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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Josh One
Narrow Path
Myutopia Recordings

Rating: 6/10 ?

January 30, 2005
Hip-hop producer Josh One's new release is a DualDisc album. This means that one side of the disc plays as a regular CD, while the other side plays as a DVD in surround sound - featuring pictures of things like sunsets and forests to go with each song. Although this may seem at first like a bizarre fusion of b-boy and New Age aesthetics, it actually makes perfect sense: both beats and images are pretty and serene, but a little too easy to digest and don't require a whole lot of thought.

Up until now, Josh has been best known for a successful Nappy Roots remix as well as a house remix of one his original songs, "Contemplation." He may or may not be poised to gain some more recognition with the release of this new collection, but judging by the formulaic and soporific styles contained within, it's unclear whether Narrow Path merits more attention.

It's not a case of lack of talent or chops; Josh's beats are a smooth mix of organic instrumentation, programming, and scratching and some talented singers and not quite as talented MCs join the fray (minus the mighty Mikah 9 of Freestyle Fellowship who appears on "After Hours"). One of the best songs is actually devoid of any vocal talent: the jazzy flute land softly thudding bass laced "Grey Skies."

But this isn't 1996, and jazzy trip-hop isn't quite on the cutting edge of electronic music, if it ever was. These tracks would make perfect car commercial music, and they would sound great issuing forth from the speakers of your local downtown mildly hip clothing store. Songs like "Day Dreamer" and "Miss Me" almost ooze slickness, but definitely lack for soul, and therein lies the problem. Josh One's talents as a producer feel almost wasted here, and it would be interesting to see him push his production in a different, more cutting direction.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker



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