Music Review: Best Album of 2006

>> Friday, February 02, 2007

Year 2006 in music was a whole lot of shattered expectations. I expected Pharrell Williams' "in My Mind" to be a major success. The guy has got talent, but his album did not turn up to show. i don't understand why he can produce great, great songs for others, but cannot deliver when it comes to his own album. He co-produced Gwen Stefani's second solo album "The Sweet Escape", but somehow it lacks its former "L.A.M.B." luster. "Love, Angel, Music, Baby" was fun and exciting, all the elements were playful, "The Sweet Escape" seems to be too personal and emotional... "Whiny" at times.

Black Eye Peas' Fergie came out with all her trashy glory with "The Dutchess". While I'm complete obsessed with the bangin' "Fergalicious" and "London Bridge", the album does not quite flow in its entirety. Beyonce's B'Day did not sell as good as expected either, midway during the year, it got pull off the shelves to be redone. To the left, to the left..., irreplaceable got replaced.

Producer to producer, Timbaland is striking gold with every record he touches. Other than the upcoming "suddenly hot and curiously promiscuous" Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake comes out with a brilliant "FutureSex/LoveSounds" featuring the strong man producer in almost every song. "What Goes Around.../...Comes Around" got a bollywood hook to it and the story about a girl leaving him for another guy reminds me of his Britney Spears history. The beat changes between "LoveStoned" and "I Think She Knows" is so brilliantly done that I stayed hooked and amazed. "(Another) All Over Again" is such a beautiful, calming ballad that brilliantly showcase this former boyband-er's charm. Brought this album to a perfectly sweet ending. I admit the beat and the falsetto can be tiresome at times, but the hidden gems of twist and turns playfully planted throughout the record made this album one of the best in year 2006.

But THE best album of the year has to be from the newly crowned R&B prince, John Legend. His first album "Get Lifted" brought back the classic sounds of R&B, at times Hip-Hop, at times Gospel. His voice is infectious and you can feel the soul. "Once Again" his appropriately named second album managed to surpass the glory of his first album. I'm usually note a big fan of male singers. I prefer female singers because the range of emotions that they can express is so much greater. But John Longend had definitely struck a note. "Once Again" is an open love letter to a girl named Maxine, her name had appear several times in the album. John is pleaing for her to come back to him and tellin her how another girl he saw in a party remind him of her. It lets me know that even if John sings about a bathroom, it'll melt every heart who have the pleasure to hear him sings. From start to finish, every song in the album is a classic. The whole experience is heart-wrenching, I hope Maxine would be as touched as we are and goes back to him. Or maybe I don't, so that he can produce another album as brilliant and haunting as this one.

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