2009 may be over but I'm not done celebrating the year's music. With so much good music just being given away these days I thought it was fair to highlight the best albums, compilations, and EPs that are available for FREE. Better than most pay releases these 10 downloads represent the cross section of what Nu-Soul is all about: daring artists willing to combine genres and styles with ease. I'm very proud of this list so feel free to download all of these selections, pass em along, tweet em, do whatever you need to! Just make sure you share them with the world.
1. Marsha Ambrosius -Yours Truly
Former Floetry member Marsha Ambrosius breaks away from her neo-soul sound with this ruff and tumble "mixtape" of heavy Dr. Dre inspired beats, gigantic hooks, and major guests like Phonte, Busta Rhymes, and the Game.
2. Various Artists - Aaliyah Revisited
SoulCultureUK got some of the finest names in Future Soul such as Sy Smith, Afta-1, and Jessie Boykins III to interpret the work of Aaliyah, reminding us all that she invented the sound that has become Nu-Soul. A truly gorgeous piece of work!
3. Brittany Bosco - Spectrum 2.0
Just in case you missed this funky diva from the City of Nowhere, this amazing introduction to Brittany Bosco was re-released with some new tunes for an even richer experience of future funk, soul, and jazz.
4. J*Davey - Boudoir Synema: The Great Mistapes
As we patiently wait for J*Davey's major label debut, we were blessed with this 5-track EP that finds them perfecting their signature sound of hipster electronic soul.
5. Idle Warship - Party Robot
Talin Kweli, Res, and Graph Nobel join forces for this beautiful orgy of sounds that spans big room electro, booty shaking hip-hop and hipster-infused alternative.
6. Zo! - ...just visiting too
Brilliant producer Zo! gets all the Foreign Exchange vocalists (Phonte, Yahzarah, Darien Brockington, and Carlitta Durand) to sing over lush, organic covers of some soul classics.
7. U-N-I - A Love Supreme
LA's U-N-I deliver strong rhymes and beats infused with grit and soul.
8. Various Artists - Men Love Mary: A Tribute To My Life
Soul Bounce compiled this astounding tribute to Mary J. Blige's best album with appearances by such impressive talents as Eric Roberson, Darien and more.
9. Oveous Maximus - Future Intentions
If Kanye West went to DEEP Sundays he might sound something like Oveous, who impressively swims between confessional electro hip-hop and sexy house flavors.
10. Dert - Talk Strange: A Beat Tape Inspired By Bjork
Finding inspiration in Bjork's massive catalog, Dert creates and dense headnodding soundscape of progressive beats.