Friday, December 23, 2011

2011 Countdown - #7

Closing out the second week of the 201 countdown – how exciting! It’s been (for me) a great two weeks of wonderful artists and their exceptional 2011 albums. Today's pair, although completely different, have three very important things in common: 1) They had phenomenally huge years b) They will be around for decades (and decades) to come c) They can break hearts with their voices, words and natural talent. So, that being said, let’s explore their unrelated – but magical – talents.

Eddie Vedder

EDDIE VEDDER – Ukelele Songs: Vedder’s stripped-down vault of uke songs that he’s had up his sleeve for over a decade proved to be one of the more refreshing compilations of the year – just so long as you didn’t go into it expecting any Pearl Jam. Save for “Can’t Keep”, a barebones PJ track, the rest of the album is a compilation of heartbreak ballads, love songs, duets with talents like Cat Power and Glen Hansard, and other quiet strumming moments with the famous front man. Featuring obvious elements of Into The Wild’s (Vedder’s other recent solo project) romanticism, the album is thoughtful, mature and a wonderful wind-down from Pearl Jam’s nonstop touring, film release, and height of glory. Highlight songs: “Tonight You Belong To Me”, “Longing to Belong”, “Sleeping By Myself”


BEYONCE – 4: OK, let’s kick it up a notch with this babe. This album is one of the pop and R&B Queen Bee’s most well-rounded yet. A balance of powerful love songs, quirkily mixed dance tracks and old-school diva numbers make this all-star-studded compilation a meticulously produced coming-of-age album for her, and each of its listeners. In the colourful assortment of influences that includes 90s soft jams, Motown, contemporary electro-dance and everything in between – Beyonce conducts the direction more confidently and ahead of her game than ever. Resembling nothing else currently topping the charts, Knowles looks and sounds like she has moreso secured herself as the reigning superstar and performer of our generation after releasing this sparkling gem. Also, I think most girls really do feel like they can “Run The World” when that song rolls on – so, well done, B.  Highlight songs: “I Miss You”, “Run The World”, “Love On Top”, "1+1"

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