Categories
Books Design Technology

Hitting the Books

As a student, I read because it was an assignment (see: Wuthering Heights). As a young adult, I read becuase it was an adventure (see: Sin City). Now, as a professional, I read becuase it is a necessary part of intellectual and career development.

Trust AgentsLately I’ve made myself famillar with technical books, including A Book Apart’s HTML5 for Web Designers, CSS3 for Web Designers, and Sitepoint’s Create Stunning HTML Email That Just Works. My latest venture will be Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. This is a departure from the technical books I’ve been reading of late.

As I mature as a designer and creative thinker, it’s important to be both a technical master and strong strategist. With Trust Agents, I hope to broaden my knowledge into the non-technical side of creativity. What are you reading?

Categories
Music

My Favorite Albums of 2010

2010 has come and gone, and it was an incredible year for music. Have a look at some of my favorite albums of the past year (and beyond)…

The Black Keys, “Brothers”
This blues-rock tandem had great success with their single “Tighten Up” and the rest of the album does not disappoint. Far and away my favorite rock album of the past few years. It’s a shame it took me so long to discover them as this is their sixth album.

Kanye West, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”
The world’s biggest ego and hype machine, Kanye delivered yet another legendary album at the tail end of 2010. His unique style, attention to the smallest production details, and creative drive make for an incredible listen. “All of the Lights” may be my favorite track of ’10.

John Legend & The Roots, “Wake Up!”
When I heard that Legend and The Roots, two of my favorite artists, were teaming up for a collaborative album, I nearly fainted. This album of covers all center around awareness and engagement. Their teamwork is timeless and makes for an incredible listen, both live and in-studio. “Hard Times” kicks off the album with a bang.

Black Milk, “Album of the Year”
The world’s greatest producer that no one knows, Black Milk released his sonically impressive album to great reviews. His constant lyrical improvement combined with unmatched heavy drums and production make for another successful Milk album. His last three albums, including “Tronic” and “Popular Demand” are all impressive.

The Roots, “How I Got Over”
Despite their everyday job as The Greatest Band in Late-Night, The Roots still delivered not one, but TWO albums in 2010. “How I Got Over,” an album increasingly more optomistic than their previous releases, delivers the famouts Roots Crew sound with which we’re accustomed. The title track is a banger.

Drake, “Thank Me Later”
This rapper-singer sold incredible amounts of his mixtape… and his first studio album continued the trend. Drake’s music walks the line between hip-hop and R&B and does so with a unique sound. “Fancy,” featuring T.I. and Swizz Beatz is probably the most radio-friendly (and upbeat) track on the album.

Bonus Album: Alicia Keys, “The Element of Freedom”
Although released in 2009, Alicia’s fourth studio album used a combination of new electronic and synth sounds to craft another brilliant collection for 2010 – yet another album that works from beginning to end. “Un-thinkable (I’m Ready)” affirms what I already know – that I want to marry Alicia Keys.

Bonus Album: The xx, “xx”
Another album from ’09, The xx’s debut album is one that doesn’t fit my usual tastes. However, this London-based band has been a permanent go-to throughout 2010. Their soft, synth take on R&B makes for a unique and soulful album full of simplistic beats, reduced vocals, and a sensual vibe. “Shelter” steals the show