10. Jazmine Sullivan "Love Me Back" - Sullivan has always said that the great Mary J. Blige is one of her biggest inspirations, and on Love Me Back, she carries the torch of the exposed diva with poise, heart, and vocal power, and creates a stunning and star-making album that is hard to ignore.
9. Carole King and James Taylor "Live at Troubadour" - Sure, there is no new material on their live concert album, but for a huge fan of both of them, seeing these two old friends take the stage and remaster their old hits was a dream come true. They both have this natural affinity towards genuine music that oozes with love and soul in a way that few artists of today can match. If you are a fan, get the CD/DVD package and relive the magic of this 2007 concert any time you want.
8. Sade "Soldier of Love" - Wrongfully snubbed by the Grammys, the hit band Sade made a decade-long comeback with their mello and soulful Soldier of Love. It may not be a album stocked full of power ballads, or club thumpers, but instead is a quiet and introspective whisper of R&B smoothness that prefectly captures the talents of one of the most underrated bands of all time.
7. Lady Antebellum "Need You Now" - It's very rare that I like a country album, but the mellow, bluesy vibe of Lady Antebellum's second album makes it a lot different from most country albums, and has pushed them quickly to the forefront of the pop charts. There many Grammy nominations was not surprising, but definitely welcomed.
6. Janelle Monae “The ArchAndroid: Suites II and III"- One of the highest rated albums of the year by critics, Monae's second album is nothing less than a stunning combination of various R&B styles, from old school funk to more modern day slickness, this is an overwhelming experience to say the least, and is an incredibly professional album considering Monae's newness to the music scene. She will be one to great to be ignored in years to come.
5. The Black Keys "Brothers" - While some of their raw nature has been polished up a little bit, Brothers is still a perfect combination of blues and rock. Furthermore, and probably most importantly, they deftly combine newer sounds with an old school vibe, which brings a unique, yet genuinely familiar rock album that was truly one of the best.
4. Corinne Bailey Rae "The Sea" - After her husband died, Corinne Bailey's music became a way to heal, and her introspective, melodic The Sea was a mournful, yet surprisingly wonderful album, that, like life, takes itself through the various phases of mourning. And while the journey can be rough at times, if your willing to go through the ups and downs with her, the result is quite remarkable.
3. Arcade Fire "The Suburbs" - One of the nicest, and most well deserved surprises of the otherwise lackluster Grammy nominees was the Album of the Year nod for Arcade Fire's latest hit The Suburbs. This wasn't just any ordinary well-done alternative music album. Pure and simple, it is a modern rock classic. While it is a little more restrained than their previous albums, it is that restraint that gives it an air of maturity that was lacking on its other works. And the result is simply magnificent.
2. Big Boi "Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty" - Many people (including myself), wondered how Big Boi would fare all by himself on a full-length major album released, and boi (no pun intended) did he prove us wrong. His high-flung melodic rhymes, carefully crafted and slung in front of heart-thumping beats that make Ke$ha look as tame as Celine Dion, combined with Boi's incredible charm, make Sir Lucious Left Foot rap heaven. Here's hoping that the sequel comes sooner than later.
1. Kanye West "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" - This was probably the most hyped album of the year. And luckily it did not dissapoint. It is a well-written concept album that features incredible guest performances, and West at his most introspective and dark self, creating a perfect combination of rap gold behind auto-tuned hooks and master-class production values that raise the stakes beyond hte realm of normal rap albums. I could go on and on, but I think it is safe to say, asshole or not, Kanye West is a rap god, and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy may just be his greatest creation yet.