Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.
Album of the Year
- Childish Gambino’s Stone Mountain/Kauai
- Kiesza’s Sound of a Woman
- Pharoahe Monch’s P.T.S.D.
- The Root’s …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
- Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour
WINNER – Pharoahe Monch: P.T.S.D.
If you’ve been following Hush Comics’ “Diggin’ Through the Crates” articles, then there is no surprise when I tell you that we are BIG fans of this man. Forget for a moment that he frequents our site for his comic book wisdom, Pharoahe Monch is is the most powerful poet of this generation. His latest record, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a compilation that touches on ground-level socio-political issues like drug addiction (“Broken Again” and gun violence “Damage,” but also exudes excellence through bravado on “Bad M.F.” There is not a rapper alive that can touch Pharoahe lyrically, and P.T.S.D. is just a friendly reminder. – Sherif
Second Place – Childish Gambino: STNMTN-Kauai
Yes everybody, Childish Gambino is still weird, but we love him for it. Being a fan of both Camp and because the internet, I was quite excited to hear this combo album-ish mixtape… thingy. I don’t know exactly what Gambino hopes or desires from his craft, but STNMTN-Kauai was a pleasant mix of his first two albums. Yes, it was filled with melodies and soothing sounds, but it was also filled with genuine rap lyrics. Is Gambino finding a happy medium, or will the experiments continue? STNMTN had me grooving and bumping my shoulders side to side, and Kauai made my heart full believing I was getting a small glimpse into Gambino’s thoughts and feelings. There was also a genius to the album’s marketing when he released STNMTN for free, and Kauai as a cheap EP on iTunes. No matter what side of the album I was listening to, one thing was clear, this music made me feel good, even the weird tracks with Jaden Smith. – Evan
Third Place – The Roots: …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
Since joining Jimmy Fallon, the Legendary Roots Crew has been relatively quiet on the music scene. After an odd collaboration album with Elvis Costello in 2013, The Roots continued their departure from their signature Hip-Hop sound with a concept album called …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin. In this album, all bets are off, and it’s likely you won’t even recognize these as the same Roots that you grew up with. To me, that is the allure of &TYSYC. Clocking in less than 35 minutes in total length, the album is best treated much better as a continuous experience (much like Childish Gambino’s because the internet was last year) than a full-length Hip-Hop album. Even if The Roots’ play is limited to xylophone remixes of pop songs on the Tonight Show, And Then You Shoot Your Cousin is proof that they still reign supreme as artists. – Sherif
RUNNER UP – Sam Smith: In the Lonely Hour
Are you a sad, lonely man? Do you wish there was an artist and an album out there that spoke upon your problems? Are you ready to feel all the feelings? Of course you are! Well, in that case, Sam Smith’s new album, In the Lonely Hour, is perfect for you and your emotions. Lots of albums come out every year, some of them are decent, many of them suck, and very few of them are ones to remember. Sam Smith is one of those albums to remember. Throughout all 16 tracks, I never felt like skipping any of the song, not once. Probably one of the things I appreciated most about this album was how it felt real. It felt like the truth and Sam Smith genuinely was expressing his thoughts and feelings. A lot of new artist try to make a huge statement upon their arrival by creating a crazy club hit with lots of sounds and intense lyrics. However, his breakout hit “Stay with Me,” was not flashy in the least bit. It was not over the top or extravagant. It was simply Sam Smith. – Evan
RUNNER UP – Kiesza: Sound of A Woman
Mix 90’s House with Hip-Hop and you get this amazing album. The music video for her first single, “Hideaway,” has been out for a few months now, but her song is just now starting to hit the radio (at least on our state’s stations) . Listening to this album brought me back to all the good things I remember about the music of the 90’s and you can tell how heavily she was influenced by it; from En Vogue to Haddaway, she has a little something for everyone. I never actually realized I didn’t know the words to “What is Love” until I listened to her cover for it. My experience from it was solely form Night at the Roxbury and the morning announcements at our high school. The greatest song on this album is definitely “Piano” and everyone reading this should listen to that song if they were only going to pick one try out. – Robert