December 31, 2011

2011 Music | The ???I Salute You, Sir??? List


There were three releases that came out this year that didn???t make as many lists as I would have thought.??To be honest, I was a bit shocked they didn't show up as often and by the "meh" commentary offered when they did. Beastie Boys, The Roots and Radiohead all released great albums this year. The Roots' Undun came out so late in the year that many felt they didn???t have enough time to absorb it and therefore excluded it. Beastie Boys' Hot Sauce Committee Part Two showed up on few lists that I've checked in on and didn't even receive mention of any kind. Radiohead's The King of Limbs got the classic, "It's good, but no [fill in your fav' Radiohead album title here]."

But I have a theory about all three of these groups. They???ve spoiled us. That's right. With their musical, creative genius over the years our appreciation has??waned. All three of these artists have produced such quality work for so long that we???ve grown accustom to them. The truth is, these albums, especially Beastie Boys and Radiohead, stand strong in comparison to all other releases this year.

Beastie Boys and The Roots clearly created albums that were far beyond what anything else in hip hop produced this year. Whether Lupe Fiasco or Lil' Wayne, most rap and hip hop releases this year were lazy. And why in the world does Kanye West and Jay Z get so much attention for such an unoriginal, self-absorbed work when these two albums came out this year?!??While most rap and hip hop mimic the same studio tricks everyone else has been using for the last three years, Beastie Boys and The Roots continue to push boundaries.??At the same time, they retain a sound that is unmistakably their own. I think they each offered strong releases this year.

And in the rock genre, only releases like Tune-Yards??? compares to the innovative work of Radiohead. For certain, we all have our favorite Radiohead album and their have been past albums of theirs that pushed musical boundaries HARD. Still, The King of Limbs is a consistent album that shows that these fellas make good music even when they're not trying to blow our minds. Some artists this year, such as Wilco for example, tried to return to some strong innovation but were unable to carry a whole album in that direction. When has Radiohead failed us in that regard?

So to these musical veterans, I say, "I Salute You, Sir." I hope they continue releasing such quality work.??

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