Tim Armstrong - A Poet's Life.
It blew me away because I did not think Tim Armstrong was capable of making music of this calibre. I really don't like the new Rancid, and the old Rancid is nothing more than okay. I have always steered away from this record because I thought it was some soft Rancid music without Matt Freeman and Lars Frederiksen singing (Matt Freeman is the best vocalist in Rancid, why can't he sing more often like he used to in Rancid 1993?). But this doesn't sound like Rancid at all.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't a perfect record. Tim still sings very annoyingly, and nearly all of the lyrics are too simple for me and even some times dumb. Not all the songs are good either, but what blew me away is that he single-handedly managed to make a decent record.
Probably Marina and the Diamonds - Electra Heart
Upon first listen to some of her songs, she just seemed to be some enjoyable, decent pop. But as I listened to Electra Heart all the way through, and then started watching the music videos in sequence, I started to grasp the concept of the album, which is an interesting one. The combination of the concept, her lyrics, and the diversity of song styles results in one of my favorite albums in quite some time. She's incredibly talented - plus she plays piano and does acoustic versions of her songs. One of those rare pop singers who's a real musician.
Seriously, I'm loving this album. Probably one of the best ones I've heard so far this year. He stepped up his beat making, the story is pretty interesting. Him and the rest of the OF crew stepped up their rhymes, and then of course there's the whole thing with both Pharrel and Erika Badu on there which is pretty fucking cool.
Choice of Weapon by The Cult!