The Weeknd “The Morning”

Here’s that moment, almost 5 years ago, when I realized The Weeknd was my jam.

While Abel Tesfaye is currently riding a wave of stardom with Can’t Feel My Face and spots on the Fifty Shades soundtrack, here’s the original slow jam that seduced the world. It’s called The Morning.

It’s great seeing more of my friends finally recognizing this dude, thanks to his latest single, but I’ve been proselytizing for years now. For all the fine work he’s done since, the original Trilogy of albums from 2011 stands as his obvious masterpiece. I’ve got fond memories of walking down the sidewalk with friends in San Francisco, belting out the verses to this tune. We were ecstatic and laughing at the seemingly sudden and magical way R&B had re-entered our lives as a vital force. It had returned older, wiser, and a lot more psychedelic than we remembered from the 90s.

I’ll just leave you with a link to those evocative lyrics. It’s just not the same to quote them in print; you’ve gotta sing ’em.

Destroyer – The Laziest River

destroyer_kaputt

When I purchased the 2lp edition of Destroyer‘s 2011 pop masterpiece Kaputt, I had no idea that the bonus track promised on side C would slowly become the languid circulatory system of the entire album.

It swims in an embryonic well from which the other tracks drink, all held breath and deep plunge. It’s patient and fragile, and just may comprise twenty of my favorite minutes.

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James Blake – James Blake

My first album of 2011. So infectious, I’m giddy with the prospect of holding its vinyl in my hands on release day – still a month off. James Blake set the blog frontier ablaze last year with two progressive leaps beyond the dubstep fray – the CMYK and Klavierwork EPs – but never gripped my attention, making my ears perk up, my spine tingle, quite like this. This self titled debut is easily this year’s (first) benchmark.

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