Best of 2011: Soul Albums

>> Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This list is a little short. And if it were any other topic I would scrap it all together. I hate putting out lists of less than at least 10 items, but this list needs to be shared. As it has easily become the honest to goodness music of my year.

Here are my top five, hand clapping, foot stomping, head swaying, and all out sing along at the top of your lungs Soul Albums of the year.

Now, alot of people lump Soul and R&B together. I however, see a distinct difference. I hope by the songs I share, you will too. Because it's such a short list, I'm gonna give each artist a bonus track. Two for one.

One other note, three of the five below are Northwest Products. There is a crazy Soul movement up here in the rain. If I were a betting man, I'd wager this is the next musical trend to root in Seattle and blossom out. Enjoy.

1. Pickwick - Myths
Now this was originally released as three separate EP's but combined into one extended EP with a couple new songs recently. It is easily one of the best things I have ever heard. This is the number one band on my list to see live. Considering they are local, and how many shows I go too, it still hard to believe I've missed them.
"Window Sill"

"Hacienda Motel"

2. Allen Stone - Allen Stone
Another Northwest artist that is making spectacular noise. The best thing about him, well, besides his voice, is the fact that it looks like it doesn't belong to him. His craft is so perfectly honed that he can dress like Kurt Cobain, with locks of gold, oversized glasses and it all works. Works hard. I think if a bill was put together with Pickwick, Allen Stone, The BGP, and Tess Henley (#4 below) it would be looked back on in history as the start of something grand in NW Soul.


3. Adele - 21
A lot of people consider Adele more of a pop or R&B singer. But I say those people are not listening hard enough. That lady clearly has Soul just oozing out of her. And, as one of the most successful artists out there these days, I should revolt against her and whatnot. But, come on. You've heard that voice, that passion. No one can hate Adele.
"Someone Like You"

"Rolling In The Deep"

4. Tess Henley - Easy To love
Now, this is actually a rerelease from her record of the same name in 2008, but with 4 new tracks, and what sounds like some remastering, it is too special not to be included. Below you will see one of the new tracks, and a song from 2010's EP release The Appetizer. I realize this is breaking trend on the list so far, but I need for you to see what she can do live so you can picture the Bill I mentioned above. Hopefully, if enough people picture it, it will happen.  

"What You Won't Do For Love"

"The Boy In The Window"

5. Mayer Hawthorne - How Do You Do
All Soul singers have a little throwback in them. It is a necessary evil. Buy Mayer Hawthorne absolutely embraces it. Now, honestly, this album may be better then number 5. But, with Allen Stone spinning prior to picking this up, I probably have not given it enough of a chance. However, that does not mean it does not merit this inclusion. It is a special record that I think will only get better with time.

"The Walk"

"Get To Know You"


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