December 30th, 2012 | By ChasingSoul
I’ve never been one to create annual lists because it’s too hard, but this year I was up for the challenge. A lot of great music released this past year so there is no shortage of content to review. In fact, there are many projects that I just didn’t get to or haven’t listened to enough to form an opinion. Let me offer this disclaimer before I start … my goal for ChasingSoul.com has been to share my journey and support great music and the artists who create it. It is not an entertainment magazine and this list will not be a critical review of all 2012 releases; I’m just recognizing the albums that were in heavy rotation in my world. In no particular order …
Robert Glasper Experiment – Black Radio
Black Radio was like a breath of fresh air. Robert Glasper’s vision infused the sounds of jazz, hip-hop and R&B to create a masterpiece. Music’s heavy-hitters (Ledisi, Lalah Hathaway, Erykah Badu to name a few) lent their vocals to the project and delivered excellence on each and every song. No need to highlight favorites from this project because I love them ALL! I’m sure this album will appear on a lot of ‘top’ lists this year and it should.
DivaGeek – He Said, She Said
Once upon a time Vula and Ben were working on their music independently but soon realized that they were better together. There’s something very fresh yet familiar about their sound. From the first single “He Said, She Said”, to the remake of Hall & Oates “I Can’t Go 4 That” and a smoothed-out version of MJ’s “Can’t Help It”, you’ll be hooked. This is a musical gem and more people need to know about it.
Choklate – Fly (EP)
Choklate has been a favorite because of her inspirational anthems that usually find their way on to my go-to playlists. Every song on FLY is on point (quality over quantity). This is one of the best EP releases and I’ve already decided that “WIN” will be my 2013 anthem!
Allen Stone – Allen Stone
If you are not familiar with Allen Stone you need to get on it — this dude is amazing! I love all of the songs on this album and to be honest, I don’t think the album does him the most justice. When you see him perform live he literally blows your mind. My favorite moment was seeing him perform at the Vail Soul Music Fest — he gave an amazing performance and turned festival-goers into believers.
Temika Moore – The End of Me (EP)
I recently learned of Temika’s music with the release of her single “I’m Not Ok”. This song touched a chord with me and gave me the permission to keep it real and just say ‘I’m not ok’ sometimes. I’m grateful for this song as it got me through a few tough days.
SWV – I Missed Us
I loved everything about I Missed Us and how the ladies came back and rightfully took their place in R&B. I appreciated how they kept their signature sound (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it). From “Co-Sign” to “All About You” it was like a straight party. Of course I loved the slow jams because Coko can lay a song out! It was also nice to hear Taj and LeLee sing more on this project.
Fred Hammond – God, Love & Romance
God, Love & Romance is a musical love letter – it reflects the feelings of a man who loves both God and longs to be in a loving relationship. This double CD is filled with both love songs and gospel melodies. I love the lyrical storytelling woven throughout the CD (minus the skits). A few of my favorites are “My Love Is Real” featuring Frank McComb, “Face it All”, “I Feel Good” and “He Lives (2011).
Daley – Alone Together (EP)
I first became familiar with Daley after hearing a cover of Maxwell’s “Pretty Wings” floating around on Twitter. Earlier this year Daley released the sexy single “Alone Together” which features Marsha Ambrosius. I’m classifying this as another EP that serves up quality over quantity.
That’s it folks … these are my top albums of 2012. Stay tuned for a new post that highlights my favorite songs of the year and if you enjoy any of the selections above, please support these artists.