About the middle of last month, the unavoidable "best of" lists for every conceivable cultural endeavor began sprouting in major media outlet and fringe blogs around the world. Truth is, I'm a sucker for these when it comes to the music category.
Part of me wants validation that, once again, despite passing yet another year beyond my shelf life, I remain on top of good new music. But another part of me actually wants to leverage the ears of others. People who are even more ardent listeners than I, passionate enough to tell the world (or at least anyone that will listen) what was really the best music served up in the year.
I'm happy to say that after reading untold numbers of such lists as the year came to a close, I was turned on to something that I really love. Even more so, it's an artist that I feel sort of stupid for not being aware of before now.
Ghostpoet, aka Obaro Ejimiwe, is from Coventry, England, which, if transposed onto an American map, might be look like a city in Iowa. He released and album in February of 2011 called Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam, which made an immediate splash in the UK, so much so that he was nominated for the Mercury Prize. This year's nominees included like PJ Harvey (who won), Adele and albums I picked up during the year from Anna Calvi and James Blake.
So,having been exposed to Ghostpoet at the last minute, I listened and got hooked. Why? Well, imagine Tricky's Pre-Millennium Tension vocal stylings as channeled by Tracy Morgan, laid over really tasty, minimal dubstep beats, with very smart lyrics.
It's the only thing I have deliberately listened to for a week now.