These five albums were masterfully crafted from start to finish. Each one of these projects were on heavy rotation when they came out and still resonate with me until this day, from beginning to end. In an age where owning music is on it's way out, these five albums are worth every penny and whatever space they may take up in your house and/or on your computer.
Bon Iver, Bon Iver /boʊn iːˈvɛər/ is the second studio album from American indie folk band Bon Iver, released on June 17, 2011. The album is composed of 10 songs and was seen as a new musical direction for the band.
The album was commercially successful, debuting at number one on the Norwegian Albums Chart and the Danish Albums Chart, and number two on the US Billboard 200 chart. It sold 104,000 copies in its first week in the United States. As of January 2012, the album has sold a total of 357,811 copies in the United States. It received very positive reviews from critics, some of which named it one of the best albums of 2011. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album at the 2012 ceremony, while the song "Holocene" was nominated for Song of the Year and Record of the Year.
Following its release, it debuted on the U.S. Billboard 200 at number 16, selling about 31,000 copies in its first week, and debuted at number 2 in Canada, selling just over 18,000 copies. As of July 25, 2011, the album has sold 729,000 copies in the US. The Reminder was also the best selling album of 2007 on the iTunes Store.
On November 25, 2008, the Deluxe Edition released as a two-disc package featuring nine bonus tracks on the second disc.
Overly Dedicated (stylized O(verly) D(edicated) and often referred to as O.D.) is the fifth mixtape by American hip hoprecording artist Kendrick Lamar, released on September 14, 2010, via Top Dawg Entertainment. The album features guest appearances from Dash Snow, Jhené Aiko, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Ash Riser, Dom Kennedy and Murs, among others. The album's production was handled by several TDE in-house producers, including King Blue, Sounwave, Tae Beast and Willie B; other producers such as Tommy Black, Drop, Jairus "J-Mo" Mozee, and Wyldfyer, also contributed production. As of October 2012, the mixtape has sold a total of 12,000 copies.
In Rainbows is the seventh studio album by the English rock band Radiohead, first self-released on 10 October 2007 as apay-what-you-want download, followed by a physical release internationally by XL Recordings starting on 3 December 2007 and in the United States on 1 January 2008 by TBD Records. In Rainbows was Radiohead's first release after the end of their contract with EMI labels Parlophone and Capitol Records. Recording with their longtime producer Nigel Godrich, Radiohead worked on the album for more than two years, beginning in early 2005. Between recording, the band toured Europe and North America for three months during mid-2006, performing many new songs from the album. The songwriting of the songs on In Rainbows is more personal than other Radiohead albums, with the band's lead singer Thom Yorkedescribing most of the songs as his versions of "seduction songs". With this album Radiohead also incorporated a variety of musical styles and instruments, using electronic music, string arrangements, pianos, and the ondes Martenot.
The pay-what-you-want release, which was the first for a major act, made headline news all around the world and sparked debate about the implications for the music industry. Time called it "easily the most important release in the recent history of the music business". Upon its physical release, In Rainbows entered the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200 at number one. By October 2008, it had sold more than three million copies worldwide in both digital and physical formats. The album received critical acclaim and was ranked one of the best of 2007 and of the decade by several publications. In 2009, it won two Grammy Awards for Best Alternative Music Album and Best Special Limited Edition Package. In 2012, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the album number 336 on their updated version of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
xx is the debut album by English indie pop band the xx. After they signed a contract with XL Recordings, the band recorded the album from December 2008 to February 2009 at the record label's in-house studio in London. Audio engineer Rodaidh McDonald worked with the xx during the recording sessions and strived to reproduce the intimate, unembellished quality of their demos. The band's Jamie Smith produced xx on his laptop and created electronic beats for the songs, which he thenmixed in a detailed process with McDonald.
Although the xx had been strongly influenced by R&B acts, the album drew comparisons from critics to alternative rock,electronica, and post-punk sounds. The melancholic songs on xx featured minimalist arrangements and were built around Smith's beats, Oliver Sim's basslines, and sparse guitar figures played by Baria Qureshi and Romy Madley Croft, who employed reverb in her lead guitar parts. Most of them were sung as low-key duets by Croft and Sim, both of whom wrote emotional lyrics about love, intimacy, loss, and desire.
xx was released in August 2009 by Young Turks, an imprint of XL, and received widespread acclaim from critics, many of whom named it one of the year's best records. It sold consistently over its first few years of release, becoming a sleeper hitin the United Kingdom and the United States. Although none of its singles became hits, xx benefited commercially from the licensing of its songs to television programs and the band's Mercury Prize win in 2010. When Qureshi was dismissed from the group shortly after the album's release, they continued to play as a trio on a protracted concert tour that helped increase their fanbase, reputation in the press, and confidence as performers.