Tag Archives: kanye west

Throwback Monday: Kanye West – I Wonder

As we wait in anticipation for his next album, here’s what already seems like a classic from his album Graduation.

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Katuwapitiya.com’s Top 10 Albums of 2010

So I’ve procrastinated on writing this list for a while, mostly because I felt like 2010 was a great year for music. There was a lot to choose from when trying to find 10 albums, much from artists that I’d never heard of before this past year. With that said, there were also a lot of disappointments from some of my favourites. Ra Ra Riot, Sufjan Stevens, The National, Stars, Gorillaz, Born Ruffians and Vampire Weekend all released albums that I was not fond of. In fact, I even hated some of them (Stars, I’m looking squarely at you). The bright spots definitely outshone the missteps though.

Katuwapitiya.com’s
Top 10 Albums of 2010

10. Mumford & Sons- Sigh No More

British accents, crescendos, relatable music. Like a lot of indie stuff in the past few years except you can show all your friends without some of them looking at you weird. You know which friends I’m talking about.
Highlights: Sigh No More, Awake My Soul

9. El Guincho- Pop Negro

The first time I saw the video for lead single Bombay, it was definitely a WTF moment. As confusing as the video was, the music really shone through. Infectious Spanish pop music with Afro-Carribean influences. 2010 was a random year for sure.
Highlights: Bombay, Soca Del Eclipse

8. Arctic Monkeys- Humbug

This album is on no other Best of 2010 lists. Mostly because it was released in 2009. With that said, it got panned by a lot of critics and magazines and I brushed it off as a mistake a year ago. At some point during 2010, I gave the album another listen and realized what I had missed out on. You should too. Darker with few catchy hooks, it was a departure from the Arctic Monkeys sound that I had grown accustomed to. But after some time to simmer on it, it’s an awesome album.
Highlights: Dance Little Liar, Cornerstone

7. The Black Keys- Brothers

Two guys making a lot of noise together and it finally worked on an album for me. An accessible sort of blues that has enough of a contemporary shine to really make me look forward to whatever they have coming next.
Highlights: Tighten Up, The Only One

6. Shad- TSOL

Real hip hop stand up. London, Ontario was responsible for more than a beatboxing pop-cover artist in 2010. Shad really has a knack for choosing beats that’ll get your head nodding and his lyrics become more and more refined with every album.
Highlights: A Good Name, Rose Garden

5. Local Natives- Gorilla Manor

Just a solid album all around. When I first heard the song “Airplanes“, I was blown away. Little did I know that it wasn’t even the best song on their album.
Highlights: Wide Eyes, Cubism Dream

4. Beach House- Teen Dream

Dreamy indie pop, this album immediately spoke to me. The airy vocals remind me a bit of Fleet Foxes except Beach House can at times actually outshine.
Highlights: Silver Soul, 10 Mile Stereo

3. Kanye West- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

I mistakenly wrote Kanye off a few years back. He’d started focusing on autotune, started doing even crazier shit and I just got tired of trying to explain his antics in my head. Then 2010 came around and I started hearing the singles on his new album. I still refused to be swayed. Then I saw him perform on SNL and I was taken aback. His cocky demeanor, his nonsensical lyrics, they were all still there, but it suddenly was working for me. I ‘got’ him again. Then he released an album featuring Bon Iver on three tracks and the complete 180 in my mind was complete. Even though he’s still releasing self-indulgent, pretentious 30-minute music “videos” and is still doing crazy shit, I’m now a fan once again. Let’s have a toast for the douchebag.
Highlights: Lost in the World, Runaway

2. Arcade Fire- The Suburbs

Everything clicked for Arcade Fire in 2010. I mean, they were big before but suddenly they had the same name recognition as Coldplay and Radiohead. They had youtube web broadcasts of shows, they had a number one album in the States and they deserved every bit of that success because The Suburbs is a hell of an album. It was better than Neon Bible and better than almost everything released in 2010. The lead single “Ready To Start” came along at a point in my life when I was ready to start a lot of things as well, one of those life-defining sort of songs.
Highlights: Ready To Start, Half Light II (No Celebration)

1. Titus Andronicus- The Monitor

I had never heard of Titus Andronicus before 2010 (besides the Shakespeare play) and a lot of people I know still haven’t. That’s a shame but it’s not surprising. The songs on this album are nothing short of epic but I wouldn’t say that they’re the most accessible. Buried under civil war references, Bright-Eyes-esque aching vocals and 4-5 minute long build-ups are bar-song rally cries and incredible hooks. The lyrics are dark but they contain a glimmer of hope, you just have to get through the entire album a few times to hear it. It’s complex, it’s simple, it’s the best album of 2010 and you’d be missing out if you didn’t give it a few chances. They’re also awesome live.

Listen to The Battle Of Hampton Roads below:

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Kanye West is back

Let me just say, I was wrong. I can no longer hate on Kanye. Not after listening to his Beautiful Dark Fantasy. Pick it up. You won’t regret it.

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Katuwapitiya.com's Top 25 Albums of the Decade

It’s list season! Lists everywhere about everything that you care/don’t-give-a-shit about! Honestly, I’ve had a lot of experience making lists. It does not shame me to admit that I used to make binders full of music countdowns as a child. Simple top-songs-of-the-moment lists, complete with fast-rising debuts and a weeks-on-chart column. That was before this decade. This decade, I decided to just listen and write about it at the end of 2009. So here we are. Surprisingly, Californication was actually released in 1999. I really had that pretty high on my list of the decade but I guess my memory isn’t as good as I thought it was. Hey, I was 13 at the time.

Katuwapitiya.com’s
Top 25 Albums of the Decade

25. Vampire Weekend- Vampire Weekend

This album was like a breath of fresh air to the whole indie scene. A sound so fresh that it came to define an entire summer for me.
Favourites: “M79” and “Oxford Comma“.

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24. Death From Above 1979- You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine

This album grabs you and kicks you in the face multiple times and I love that.
Favourites: “Black History Month” and “Little Girl

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23. The Go! Team- Thunder, Lightning, Strike

How can I describe Thunder, Lightning, Strike? If life were a video game, all music would sound like this. Cheerleader hip-hop mixed with indie rock? Awesome.
Favourites: “Huddle Formation” and “The Power Is On

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22. Franz Ferdinand- Franz Ferdinand

Classic british indie rock.
Favourites: “Take Me Out” (of course) and “Jacqueline

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21. Sage Francis- Personal Journals

What I wish hip-hop would strive to be. Dark, poetic, beautiful, tragic.
Favourites: “Crack Pipes” and “Broken Wings

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20. Arctic Monkeys- Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not

The original MySpace Cinderella story. Went from nothing to everything in a few months. A hell of an album.
Favourites: “A Certain Romance” and “Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong But…

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19. Sufjan Stevens- Illinois

Sufjan’s masterpiece. With old folk tales and stories of horrifying criminals, Sufjan took us on a memorable journey.
Favourites: “Chicago” and “Casimir Pulaski Day

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18. Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Fever To Tell

Like DFA1979’s album, Fever To Tell kicks you in the face. However, this album had depth. One word: Maps.
Favourites: read previous sentence.

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17. Metric- Old World Underground, Where Are You Now

Take the depth of Fever To Tell and multiply it by a factor of 1.5. That is this album. Emily Haines shines.
Favourites: “Combat Baby” and “Hustle Rose

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16. The New Pornographers- Twin Cinema

To me, this is one of the defining albums of Canadian indie rock.
Favourites: “The Bleeding Heart Show” and “Stacked Crooked

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15. The Postal Service- Give Up

Give Up takes me back to my first year of university. We would share burned copies and would marvel at how cool it all sounded. Paired with the bips and bleeps were some great lyrics from Ben Gibbard.
Favourites: “Such Great Heights” and “Brand New Colony

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14. The National- Alligator

This album grows on you like a fine wine. Not everyone’s favourite but for me, the last third of Alligator cannot be beat.
Favourites: “City Middle” and “The Geese of Beverly Road

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13. OutKast- Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

Does this need an explanation?
Favourites: “Hey Ya” and “Prototype

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12. Madvillain- Madvillainy

MF Doom and Madlib took hip hop and turned that shit upside-down and inside-out. So fresh, like nothing I had ever heard before.
Favourites: “ALL CAPS” and “Accordion

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11. Kanye West- The College Dropout

Not only did this put Kanye on the map, but it also did so much for artists like Mos Def and Common. Now I understand if you don’t like him and Imma let you finish but Kanye West had one of the best albums of this decade.
Favourites: “Two Words” and “Through The Wire

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10. The Killers- Hot Fuss

Nothing, and I mean nothing, gives me more nostalgia than blasting “Believe Me Natalie” and “Smile Like You Mean It” on my car stereo. Hot Fuss was that summer before university, hell, it was the summer after first year too.
Favourites: see above

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9. The White Stripes- Elephant

This album blew me away. It was like Rock in its prime. Rock as it should be.
Favourites: “Ball and Biscuit” and “Little Acorns

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8. Bloc Party- Silent Alarm

I have never listened to an album as many times consecutively as I have Silent Alarm. Period.
Favourites: “This Modern Love” and “Positive Tension

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7. Radiohead- Kid A

How does a band follow an album that is widely-regarded to be one of the best albums of all time (OK Computer)? Change your style completely and knock it out of the park!
Favourites: “The National Anthem” and “Motion Picture Soundtrack

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6. Arcade Fire- Funeral

A step above Twin Cinema, this took Canadian music as a whole to an entirely new level. Awe-inspiring.
Favourites: “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)”, “Neighborhood #2 (Laïka)”, “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)”, “Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles)”, “Wake Up”, “Rebellion (Lies)

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5. Kings of Leon- Aha Shake Heartbreak

Before they were all polished and pretty, Kings of Leon was a bunch of southern rockers with a weird-sounding lead-vocalist, nonsensical lyrics and awesome riffs. I miss that.
Favourites: “Taper Jean Girl” and “The Bucket

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4. Broken Social Scene- You Forgot It In People

I’ve talked a lot about defining Canadian albums. This BSS album took some of the most talented Canadian musicians out there and put them all together to make a masterpiece.
Favourites: “Almost Crimes” and “Cause = Time

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3. Iron & Wine- Our Endless Numbered Days

Some folksy dude singing a bunch of songs that all sound the same. And it’s fucking incredible.
Favourites: “Naked As We Came” and “Sunset Soon Forgotten

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2. The Strokes- Is This It

The album that introduced me to indie rock.
Favourites: “Is This It”, “Barely Legal”, “Someday”, “Last Nite”, “Hard To Explain

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1. Coldplay- Parachutes

Hard to believe that Coldplay didn’t exist before this decade. The biggest band in the world had its humble beginnings in Parachutes, released in 2000. Simple songs about love and the world. No Gwyneths, no weird baby names, no multi-million dollar tours, no sexiest vegetarian awards, no making trade fair, no apple commercials, no frills. Just an awkward-looking dude singing about a colour, walking on a beach as the sun rose. Wonder who’ll start from such beginnings next year?

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Honorable Mentions (a.k.a the reasons this list took so long):

Death Cab For Cutie- Transatlanticism, John Mayer- Continuum, The Shins- Chutes Too Narrow, D’angelo- Voodoo, OutKast- Stankonia, We Are Scientsts- With Love and Squalor, Coldplay- A Rush Of Blood To The Head, Amy Winehouse- Back To Black, Damien Rice- O, K-Os- Exit, The Strokes- Room on Fire, Feist- Let it Die, Stars- Set Yourself On Fire, All other Radiohead albums.

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Purexed by P.O.S.

let 'em try to find the beauty in your face

let 'em try to find the beauty in your face

There are times when I get jaded with a genre. Sometimes it happens to indie rock but more often it happens with hip hop. Hey, I can’t help it when all the artists that I love simultaneously decide to start releasing sub-par material (Re: the latest releases by Kanye West, Common, Little Brother, Talib Kweli, and sigh, even Mos Def). And yeah, the new Q-tip album is nice, but I keep waiting for Phife Dawg to pop up on the next verse and end up disappointed.

Once in a while, however, a song can remind you why you love a genre. And it doesn’t have to be a prototypical genre song either. Sometimes, it can be something so fresh and new that it redefines potential and shows you levels that can be reached.

I’ve largely ignored releases by P.O.S. for superficial reasons. His moniker is just too dangerously close to the name of P.O.D. and just like I’d avoid a band named Bevanescence, I’ve avoided checking out this Rhymesayers artist. However, I took a leap of faith based on a lot of recommendations, and stumbled upon the track “Purexed” off his new album Never Better.

Needless to say, this is one of those songs that can remind you of why you love hip hop. And it does it in a way that my indie rock readers might like too. Just incredible. His flow has the urgency of Sage Francis and the way it builds, especially in the chorus, it’s just surreal. Check it out below:

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