Top10 New Sounds of 2012
10. Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE
As Julyssa will tell you, as soon as I heard this album, I pretty much almost wept. The first song I actually listened to was Sierra Leone, and from there everything was meaningless. There was so much hype and build-up about Frank Ocean that I sort of didn’t really want to give it a listen. Am I ever glad I did. The album is just a few shades short of perfection, from the sound, the lyrical construction, it’s a marvelous piece of work. It makes one wonder what the other albums had that put this one as number 10.
But truthfully, channel ORANGE was a gorgeous piece of R&B, and Frank Ocean deserves all the love in the world from me and anyone else blessed to have heard the album.
9. Jose James – It’s All Over Your Body EP/Austin Peralta – Views of Saturn EP
Yes, yes, it’s a tie. However, both are EPs (mini-albums, for those not familiar), and both deserve to be here.
Firstly, Jose James… *sigh* The man is a piece of brilliance so very necessary in jazz, music as a whole, really. He brings nuance and innovation to the genre, igniting it into something with more soul and sensuality than it’s had, probably since the greatness of Miles Davis and his Bitches Brew. Yeah… I said it .
Then, there’s the late Austin Peralta (son of one of the fathers of skateboarding, Stacy Peralta). This young prodigy (and protege of Sir Flying Lotus) had a way with the piano that I think would have tilted the world on its axis and thrust it ahead a few hundred light years . Sadly, he passed away at the age of 22 on 22 November. Both of these works of musical mastery brought jazz and all forms of sonic communication to a new sense of purpose and being and thus needed to find their way on my list.
You can purchase Views of Saturn EP at Austin Peralta’s website.
8. Wes Felton – Handle with Care
I heard this album earlier this year and was completely head over heels in love with the man the moment the first notes slid into my ear. I would find myself completely wound up in the texture of his voice and the romance of his lyricism. Track Worth It found a constant retreat on what I dubbed my “Smooth Music” playlist — just easy to listen to and fall madly in never-ending love with.
You can listen to and purchase Handle with Care on Wes Felton’s Bandcamp.