BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL
Nov. 23, 2015, Toronto, ON - Nowadays, it can be quite hard to find albums that are just as dope from the very first opening track to the very last closing one. It’s almost like these artists took their three best songs, placed them at the very beginning, middle and end of their CDs; leaving the rest as fillers.
If you’re not into empty calories like me, then here are 12 albums that are sure to keep you engaged from start to finish. [Click the album art to pick it up on iTunes.]
CHILDISH GAMBINO - [EP] *
Raw hip-hop beats paired with adolescently intelligent lyrics set to make you chuckle. What more would you expect from Troy from Community? [*Note: Album unavailable on iTunes, but still accessible online. Click the image to download.]
K-OS - JOYFUL REBELLION
Conscious awakedness made cool. Jump to 10 minutes, 36 seconds of the very last track to begin questioning your own perception of what we've all come to know as "real." Paradoxically perfect, yet crystal clear for the awakened.
DESTROY REBUILD UNTIL GOD SHOWS - D.R.U.G.S.
Orchestral, robust and heavy on the distortion. This departure album from the band Chiodos brings a well balanced blend of poppy-vocals, growling shrieks and pulse racing instrumentals. Craig Owens puts forth one emo-theatrical masterpiece, following Bone Palace Ballet.
SAOSIN - SAOSIN
Duelling guitars, driving drums, and anthemic vocals. This band of seers presents a vision of the beyond, backed by their post-hardcore tones and compelling ambient sounds. If you didn't grow up knowing the sounds of Saosin, it's time to play a little catch up.
SKRILLEX - BANGERANG
Spine chilling and chest thumping. This electronic album, laden with DJ scratches mirroring the likes of R2-D2, will have you questioning where music has gone and where it is going.
LIGHTS - THE LISTENING
Sweet, melodic and fantasy filled. This pixie-sounding firefly will put your mind at ease with her ambient electronic sounds, beautifully placed chord progressions and soothing vocals.
50 CENT - GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN'
Want to play gangster without rolling up on 20-inch rims and a beretta hidden under the passenger seat? Undeniably, one could argue that every track on this album is an instant chart-topper. 50's breakout album.
BILLY TALENT - BILLY TALENT
Break out the bmx and get ready to do some cruising. This high amplitude album will super-charge your body with its raw emotion and ripplingly memorable guitar riffs. I never knew Billy was so damn talented.
ALL TIME LOW - SO WRONG, IT'S RIGHT
Catchy pop punk sing-a-longs rarely get any better than this. Looking for some feel-good, up tempo, good time vibes? This is your definite album of choice. A light hearted, energetic pick-me-up.
ESCAPE THE FATE - THERE'S NO SYMPATHY FOR THE DEAD [EP]
Ghosts, ghouls, banshees, zombies and even some Halo references. This album certainly kicks things into high-gear, never stopping to ask if you're OK keeping up. Brilliant and perfectly laced in each and every track; a definite must-listen for those not of the faint of heart.
PARAMORE - RIOT!
Clean, wholesome, good natured, and lively. That pretty much sums up this anthemic girl-power pop punk album. A little something for everybody on those long commutes, when all you want to do is just sing along to something great.
MY AMERICAN HEART - THE MEANING IN MAKEUP *
The real life BECK, The Meaning In Makeup is one of those classic gems that is nearly impossible to acquire online. Pairing pop punk hooks and bluesy guitar riffs, this album is sure to get your head swaying in all the right ways. [*Note: Album unavailable online. Check your local record store or stream it via YouTube.]