Hitting the right note in 2011

Hitting the right note in 2011

The YP team reviews the hits (and total misses) from the charts this year, as well as lesser known names to look out for

Barry C Chung, Reporter

Best Album - I'm With You by original funk rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers. I've literally had it on an infinite loop for months now. Many feel it's barely up to par with their earlier albums. For me, that's what makes the whole thing so scary - the infinite loop part, not the music.

Worst Album - NKOTBSB. This pairing proves that bad music from the 80s + bad music from the 90s = bad music in the 21st century, or anytime thereafter. It's simple mathematics.

Best Discovery - Lourdes Hernandez, aka Russian Red. It's impossible to say her name in an unsexy way. Yet it's her serene voice that's her greatest asset. Not bad for the Madrid native who got into the music business while still studying translation at university.

Mabel Sieh, Reporter

Best Album - The Awakening by James Morrison. I was hooked the second I heard In My Dreams. His slightly coarse voice and straightforward, honest lyrics resonated immediately.

Worst Album - Friday by Rebecca Black. Yes, it's a single. But imagine what it would be like listening to a whole album by Rebecca Black!

Best Discovery - Soul Quest by Misia. She's already famous but this latest album is refreshing and touching, especially Ashita E which she wrote for Japan's recovery after the March tsunami.

Wong Yat-hei, Reporter

Best Album - Kesha's Tik Tok is my favourite song of the year. I don't enjoy her other songs that much, but Tik Tok is awesome.

Worst Album - The Twins 10th anniversary album. Stop kidding yourselves. Those two cannot sing or act, and yet they are releasing their 10th anniversary album. Something is wrong with the local entertainment industry. And the fans.

Best Discovery - Shania Twain is great. I have known this country singer for a long time but didn't pay much attention to her music until I listened to her Greatest Hits album.

Chris Lau, Reporter

Best Album - Kiwi band Naked and Famous' album, Passive Me Aggressive You, is a work of art. I enjoy indie rock, and this album ticks all my boxes. Upbeat, free-spirited tunes like Young Blood are something every young person should listen to. Don't even get me started on their ridiculously artsy music videos. This album is the bomb.

Worst Album - LMFAO's Sorry for Party Rocking is a downer. I'm a big fan of electro-pop, and very picky about what goes into my ears in terms of this genre. I was already disturbed by their last album, which contained a distasteful tune about alcoholic shots. I can't believe they are making a comeback with a tune about shuffling.

Best Discovery - Kimbra. I have a thing for New Zealand artists. She has a unique way of modernising jazz music with mesmerising vocals. She is also an all-rounder who can dance and write songs.

Joyee Chan, Reporter

Best Album - Undoubtedly Hugh Laurie's debut Let Them Talk. We all know Laurie as the talented star of House MD; he's a witty writer (just finished his The Gunseller); and it turns out he plays top-drawer music too. The 15 tracks on the album take us deep into New Orleans, with music that includes feet-tapping renditions of Swanee River and The Whale Has Swallowed Me.

Worst Album - Thumbs down to Joanna Wang's The Adventures of Bernie the Schoolboy. Wang's rich, velvety voice works perfectly with covers (I love her Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head and Lemon Tree), but the music she has written here is way too adventurous and eccentric for my taste, sometimes reaching the point of being annoying.

Best Discovery - More of This Thing Called Love. It's a perfect blend of 40s and 50s classics from artists like Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and Dinah Shore. A must-have for those with old-school tastes.

Leon Lee, Web Editor

Best Album - Lasers by Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco. Fiasco continues to show that there's more to hip hop than drugs and violence, mixing his brand of conscientious, meaningful rap with a smooth and catchy delivery on this album. This is especially true with Words I Never Said, where he tells people to stand up against corrupt governments.

Worst Album - There were a bunch of clunkers this year, but the worst had to be Kid Rock's Born Free. In his continued effort to pass himself off as a country singer, Kid Rock released this yawner of an record that lacked every scrap of the attitude that made him famous in the first place.

Best Discovery - Swedish rapper Adam Tensta. Hip hop is gaining popularity globally, but I had no idea how well they did it in Sweden or that they'd do it in English. Tensta blew my mind with how well he meshes his deep-voiced vocals with hip hop beats and electronic sounds.

Karly Cox, Deputy Editor

Best Album - I put it off and put it off - Beyonce annoys me a bit, and I've never really rated her voice (except on Listen) - but when I finally listened to 4, I found it to be an amazing blend of great singing, and hip-hop-styled old-school RnB and pop. Mama(-to-)B (geddit?) I salute you. Adele's 21 was up there, too.

Worst Album - I'll happily admit it: I LOVED Baby. But Never Say Never: The Remixes was just a marketing tool too far. And it was an EP, not even a full album. Back in your box, Biebs.

Best Discovery - My friend Tom introduced me to the awesomeness that is Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, a band that captures the feeling of 70s funk and soul. Addictive listening (and dance fodder).



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