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Jay-Z and Kanye West – Watch The Throne in Montreal

Over the last few years, I’ve definitely seen my fair share of shows in every music genre there is. From Muse to Eminem, from The Sounds to Stratovarius, and also the countless international artists that came to Festival d’Été in Quebec City like Metallica, Black Eyed Peas, Iron Maiden, Arcade Fire, Linkin Park, and the list goes on…

Still, after attending all these shows, there is still no one in my mind who can match the stage presence that Jay-Z has. Prior to last Tuesday’s show, I had seen Jay-Z twice; once in Montreal for the Blueprint 3 tour in 2009, and once in Detroit, in 2010, for one of the two Home and Home shows that he was giving with Eminem. Both times, I had been completely hypnotized by his charisma and his ability to crank the stadiums’ ambiance to the next level.

With the Watch The Throne tour stopping in Montreal on November 22nd, my expectations were sky high to see how the addition of Kanye West would up the ante of a Jay-Z show.

Opting for a minimalist stage design overall, the two hip-hop juggernauts started the show each on their respective hydraulic platforms, performing their collaborative single H*A*M with just two follow-spots lighting them. They went on with other songs from their latest album: Who Gon Stop Me, Otis and Gotta Have It. The visual effects became more and more elaborated as the show was progressing. The two hydraulic platforms rose from the ground, revealing LED screens displaying images of sharks and dobermans. An insane amount of laser beams started filling the Bell Centre, and eventually, two screens at the back of the arena started projecting live images of the two rappers performing, as well as some related footage to the songs being played.

Jay-Z and Kanye eventually split and performed some solo singles from their vast repertoire of classics. Can’t Tell Me Nothing, Dirt Off Your Shoulder, Power, 99 Problems, All Falls Down, Hard Knock Life, Jesus Walks and Big Pimpin’ were just a few of the titles that could be heard throughout their 35-plus-songs setlist (see the complete list here). As expected, Jay-Z’s performances were superior to Kanye, but the 34-year-old still did pretty good besides the 42-year-old veteran king of hip-hop.

Once again, I was amazed by the energy that the song U Don’t Know brought to the arena, just like the two previous times I heard Jay-Z perform it. It felt like if the Bell Centre was going to crumble under the loud screams of the crowd.

Hova was not interacting with the crowd as much as the previous times I’d seen him, but the chemistry between Jay-Z, probably the coolest person on the planet, and the mysterious and intense Kanye West, more than made up for it. When the screens showed KW as he looked at the crowd without smiling, his look was terrifying (in a good way of course).

Kanye brought a 10-minute-long emotional phase to the show, rising solo on one of the two lifting stages, dressed in all-red leather clothes, matching the lighting, and started playing the auto-tuned Runaway and Heartless.

The Throne teamed up again for the end of the show, and performed their new hit song N*iggas in Paris not once, not twice, but 5 times in a row, and finished this crazy evening with Jay-Z’s very-appropriate 2003 hit, Encore.

Jay-Z and Kanye proved that their not only watching, but holding the throne.

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Review: Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay

One of the hardest things to do with Coldplay is to categorize their style of music. As they start their second decade on the music scene, they’ve went from doing alternative/indie rock in the early 2000s, to evolving into one of the biggest pop-rock bands on the planet. Their new album, Mylo Xyloto, will not simplify the task.

With the singles they released prior to the album launch, which is next Monday, October 24th, die-hard fans of Parachutes already know they will be disappointed. Kanye West once said something like: “People are always waiting for an artist to remake his first album, but he never will. A good artist evolves.” This is true in every genre, not just hip-hop, and Coldplay are a good example of this. While Mylo Xyloto has shades of the pre-X&Y era, it definitely draws its inspiration from Viva la Vida. The sound of Mylo Xyloto is at some times very predictable, while it is completely surprising at other moments.

Alternating between soft ballads and pop-rock anthems, the new Coldplay album brings in a new atmosphere never felt before in any LP they’ve released. Powerful synths can be heard throughout, bringing the orchestral and grandiose feeling of past Coldplay records to new heights. The best example of this is Princess of China with Rihanna. While a lot of people will hate on this song because they brought a pop-star in their production, the power and feeling of the song cannot be denied. Chris Martin and Rihanna’s voices complete each other marvellously, accompanied by the bewitching melody of the track.

Fans of songs like Sparks or Amsterdam will be pleased by the simple yet nostalgic melodies that tracks like U.F.O. or Us Against the World bring to the album, while fans of White Shadows and Shiver are more likely to enjoy Major Minus and Charlie Brown, two tracks that emanate with energy.

If you’re stuck in the beginning of the new millenium and have not enjoyed what Coldplay has released lately, you might want to skip this album and drown your sadness in bands like Arcade Fire or Interpol. But if you can handle the evolution and you also enjoy the likes of The Killers and U2, then definitely check out Mylo Xyloto. It is a refreshing album that still breathes the original Coldplay vibe, while bringing new and interesting flavours to an already incredible sound.

Jay-Z & Kanye West: Watch The Throne review

Where to begin ? This album has been on everyone’s lips for so long, and it looks like it was one hell of a journey for Jay-Z and Kanye West to release their first collabo album, Watch The Throne. With an initial release date scheduled for last January, to a delayed tour accompanying the album’s launch supposedly due to a feud between the two artists, to reaching a milestone as being the first hip-hop album to not be leaked on the Internet before its release in several years, there’s no need to say that Watch The Throne has become 2011’s most anticipated album. Well, this morning, at 12:00am precisely, the album released exclusively on the iTunes Store (it actually leaked on ThePirateBay.org 40 minutes before its iTunes launch, but still…).

At midnight, I pressed the “Buy” button on iTunes and started listening to this album that I’ve awaited for so long, since Jay-Z and Kanye West are two of my favorite artists of all-time. At first, Watch The Throne is no different than Kanye’s latest work, in the sense that you don’t know exactly what to think about what you just heard. I was anxious to write this review, but I decided to use what little amount of patience I have to listen to the album several times before publishing this.

We think we now know what to expect from Kanye since the creativity/insanity on my My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Forget it. You don’t know what to expect from WTT. Mr. West produced the majority of the album, and you can easily tell, since it sounds a lot more like his latest musicality than Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3, even though there are shades of Shawn Carter’s influence throughout. One thing is sure, both rappers will make you go through a variety of different emotions that you will not feel on many other albums in the entire music industry, ever.

The album starts off with the deep, powerful track No Church in the Wild, which is sure to give you shivers on the first listen. Not only are the melody and the Frank Ocean-sung chorus bewitching, the lyrics will hit you like a first-round punch from Mike Tyson. Jay-Z and Kanye warn you very early on that they will not hold back on anything, they will say whatever they want to say about religion, drugs, ethics, politics, lifestyles and the list goes on. “Coke on her black skin made a stripe like a zebra, I call that jungle fever” and “When we die, the money we can’t keep, but we prolly spend it all ’cause the pain ain’t cheap” are the opening and closing lines of Kanye’s first verse, leaving the door open for a lot more to come on the 12-track album (16-track if you buy the Deluxe Version).

And just when you think you get the idea of what the album is going to be, The Throne duo switch it up with tracks going from Electro Hip-Hop, to heavy club beats, to super-vintage notes, to melancholic melodies and so on. There was a slight deception for me on the second track, Lift Off featuring Jay-Z’s wife, Beyonce. With these 3 artists on the same track, you expect to have one of the best songs of 2011, and Lift Off barely makes it to the “good song” status. But if you can get through that, the ride keeps getting better and better after.

One of the biggest surprises on the album is clearly the amount of Auto-Tune/Voice distortion that was used. After Jay-Z’s track “Death of Auto-Tune”, you would expect Watch The Throne to be very raw in the singing/rapping aspect of it, but it definitely isn’t. West plays with voices like Jackson Pollock plays with paint, and it really adds another dimension to the album’s production, even for a not-a-fan-of-autotune like me.

Speaking of singing/rapping, Kanye and Jay really mix it up through the album. Going from separate verses on some songs, to exchanging line after line on some other tracks, their lyrical prowesses are astonishing. Jay-Z is in very good shape throughout the album. If we leave aside a couple of fortune-claiming rhymes and crack-selling stories that are getting kind of old, Jay-Z’s flow is so impressive that it sometimes overshadows West’s performance. But Kanye quickly strikes back with raw, honest words and lines that seem more thought-through than Jay’s. Even if we tend to compare the two, the album does not feel like a competition at all, but really more like a symbiosis. KW and Jay-Z complete each other as well, even if not better than Run-DMC or Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg back in the days.

It would be a shame to close this review without spending a few lines about the song New Day. This track, co-produced by the RZA, will go down in history as a classic, if there is still such a thing as a classic in the saturated music industry nowadays. The song is a tribute/message to both Kanye and Jay-Z’s unborn, unconceived sons. While Kanye explains what he will protect his son from, Jay apologizes in advance for the tough stardom-lifestyle that his son will have to live through because of him. The song is incredibly touching and the RZA-Kanye production has a feeling of nostalgia that completes the dialogue perfectly.

The expectations for Watch The Throne were sky-high. Did Jay-Z and Kanye West meet them ? I think this question will never be answered, because a 2007 Kanye West fan or a 2001 Jay-Z fan will definitely not like the album as much as more recent listeners will, but one thing is sure, it is meant to cause discussions, questioning and controversy, and that are usually factors of great music. With the creativity he once again brought to the table with this album, Kanye West just bought a one-way ticket into the contemporary music Hall-of-Fame, while Jay-Z’s already top-name status has just been solidified and confirmed. Hip-hop fan or not, this record is one to listen to again and again and put besides some of the greatest of modern music history.

Kanye West’s Monster

Yep, it was the WWDC yesterday, where Apple announced a bunch of cool stuff, including iOS5 and iCloud, but I know a lot less about it than the thousands of geeker-than-me people that have followed every second of this event, so no, I’m not going to talk about it, and you can go here to know everything that was announced: http://live.gizmodo.com/

After having it leaked earlier this year, Kanye West finally released the final version of the Monster video. After a disappointing, seizure-heavy video by Hype Williams for All of the Lights, Mr. West got veteran director Jake Nava to direct this controversial short for the very hard-hitting single that is Monster.

Of course, we couldn’t expect Kanye to release a bright, shiny, easy-to-watch video for a song like this one, and of course, he didn’t. Dark, morbid images hit the screen one after the other for 6 straight minutes, leaving you with this now almost usual “what the hell was that” feeling you have after looking at anything Kanye has done in the past 3 years. That aside, the video is very original, especially in its editing, where very long shots compose the editing process, something almost inexistant in today’s music videos.

While different in its content, the Monster video is visually very similar to the half-hour-long Runaway short film that Kanye launched a couple of weeks before the realease of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Vivid colors and vintage sets and costumes are the main elements of the art direction. Where Monster differs, it’s on the message side. While I haven’t truly figured it out yet, the visual from Monster shows Mr. West and fellow rappers surrounded by either in-distress or dead women lying around. While it may sound disgusting, it has a signature Kanye aesthetic that just can’t be over-looked. Kanye’s style, Jay-Z’s class, Rick Ross’s “ballin” and Nicki Minaj’s S&M sexiness/craziness come together beautifully to score yet another piece of art that will cause discussions, controversy and boycotts.

What I’m not sure about is the disclaimer at the beginning which reads: “The following content is in no way to be interpreted as misogynistic or negative towards any group of people. It is an art piece and it shall be taken as such.” It’s as if Kanye was scared by the people’s opinion, something he’s clearly not known for. Let’s hope this was the record label’s request…

I couldn’t find any Youtube or Vimeo version that didn’t get deleted in 5 minutes or less, so I can’t embed it in this post. There is a Twitvid version on Mashable that should highly quench your Kanye thirst for now: Mashable.com

Lupe Fiasco’s Comeback, Lasers review

When I discovered Lupe Fiasco back in 2006, his sound filled an empty musical void in my life. Fresh and elaborated melodies combined with profound lyrics that didn’t speak about money, rims and hoes made it something unique that really struck me. I listened to Food & Liquor countless times, and fortunately for me, just 15 months later, Lupe dropped his second album, The Cool, which was as good as the first one. Since then though, Lupe has been featured on a couple of tracks and released a few mixtapes, but hasn’t released a real EP to respond to the demands of fans. Well, in 6 days from now, the wait will finally be over, when Lupe releases his 3rd studio album, Lasers. As usual, the ever wonderful Internet has prematurely leaked the album on the World Wide Web, and I just couldn’t wait another 140 hours to listen to what I’ve been waiting for for the last 4 years.

Let’s go straight to the point. The album is incredible, from the first few seconds, to the amazing closing track, Never Forget You, featuring John Legend. As it was the case on both of Lupe’s previous albums, the production is amazing. Each and every song has great musical depth, and the beats are once again original, stepping out of the traditional recipe of hip-hop. Only 12-track long, the album is a bit short, compared to his precedent 16 and 19-track long EPs, but hey, I’ll take 12 great tracks over any 15-or-more-tracks album where half of them or less than average.

Lupe brought a whole arsenal of producers to this album, from Alex da Kid to The Neptunes, and many more. This is clearly apparent from the various types of beats that are featured on Lasers. Some very intense, darker melodies intertwine with some really clear, upbeat tracks, while still maintaining a beautiful uniformity from song to song. The album also has a ridiculous line-up of collaborating artists: John Legend, Trey Songz and rising-star Skylar Grey, just to name a few. Each of these immensely-talented individuals bring a new soul to every song they’re featured on, and really make it a plus-value for the entire album.

Lyric-wise, Lupe Fiasco stands pretty close to perfection. His flow, at times very fast-paced, at other times more relaxed, just feels natural, 100% of the time. It never seems forced nor struggling. And again, Fiasco’s words are very engaged, both socially and politically, something that’s become more and more of a rare thing in today’s hip-hop. He doesn’t hold back on anything, whether its religion, politics or racism.

I’m not going to do a track-by-track critique, because honestly, they’re all good. But I have to mention how beautiful the first song with long-time collaborating artist Sarah Green is. It is probably one of the strongest tracks to ever open a hip-hop album, matching the caliber of A Dream from Jay-Z, Good Morning from Kanye West or White America from Eminem, while being totally different. Plus, the transition between this soothing song into the agressive melody of Words I Never Said, is such a strong contrast that it grasps you even more. In that last song, Lupe goes all out, and speaks about everything that’s on his mind, from September 11th, the Jihad, Barack Obama, Rush Limbaugh, pharmaceutics… This is a song that I hope will get the airplay it deserves, and that conservative radio stations will not be afraid of playing it because of the subjects it speaks of.

There are a lot of things in this review that remain unsaid about this unbelievably good album, but I’ve only listened to it twice before writing this post, so I feel I don’t know it enough to keep on going. The only thing I have to say is that the wait was worth it. This last year has been a very good one for hip-hop, and Lupe Fiasco’s Lasers has not only kept the streak alive, it has raised the bar to a sky-high level.

The album will be available in North America on Tuesday, March 8th. I strongly suggest any music fan (not just hip-hop fans) to get a hold of it. This is something that is sure to spark interest in any music lover.

You can pre-order it on iTunes already, and there are even 6 tracks already available: Lasers iTunes Pass

Kanye West – All of the Lights

Not sure what to think about this one, directed by Hype Williams. One of the best songs of the year, that’s for sure, but the video…

I love the cop cars sequences, the lighting looks amazing and Kanye’s intensity is hard to match. I’m not sure about the seizure-style typography and the Rihanna sequences, even though her outfit is sexy as hell. Sorry Yeezy, I don’t think you put out a video that matched the caliber of the song.

Top 5 everything of 2010

Once again, as hard as it is to believe, another year has almost already passed by and it seems like yesterday I was having dinner with the family at my uncle’s house for New Year’s day for this new decade. The more time passes by, the more it seems to fly away at the speed of light, and I’m again left wondering if this year will be the one where I’ll have time to do everything I’ve planned for the coming 365 days. Of course, it will not happen, but, before this year ends, I did manage to find some time to look back on 2010 and realize how good a year this has been. And, since the only things I’ve seen on social networks in the past days are Top 10s and Recaps, I decided I’d make my own Top 5. Ok, I’ve cheated on some categories, some are top 5 with honorable mentions, others may contain only 3 winners, but, you get the point.

This is of course my own personal opinion. No stats, no results, no expert analysis, just my own totally subjective, sometimes biased opinion. Let’s start it off.

BEST ALBUMS

1. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
I said it recently, and I stand with my first impression, this is the album of the year, and critics (aka Rolling Stone Magazine) seem to agree. The creativity, the originality and the “I don’t care what you think of me” attitude that emanates from this album make it impossible to ignore. Mr. West has taken his music one step further and created a sound of his own, and for that, you get my gold medal Kanye.

2. Eminem – Recovery
Wouldn’t it have been for Kanye, first place would have gone to Mr. Mathers. Recovery is the return of the king, the road to redemption fulfilled for Eminem. It is his most mature album yet, and I think I’ll dare to say it also is his best album. It may not contain as many classics as The Eminem Show or The Marshall Mathers LP, but the overall ride on which Eminem takes you with his latest album is definitely something no Em fan has ever witnessed before. A must for any fan of hip-hop.

3. The Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
The Montreal band proved to the world that they are a force to be reckoned with this album. Their sound is unique, the lyrics are profound, and the overall experience that you go through while listening to The Suburbs is definitely something special that not many bands can match. For me, this is an instant classic, something that my iTunes play-count can start to fear.

4. Jònsi – Go
The Sigur Ros vocalist/guitarist released a solo album back in April, and I did not listen to it until earlier this month. To be honest, I’ve lonely listened to it twice, so I don’t feel like I know this album too well, but I couldn’t leave it off this list. This is musical ecstasy. Whether they make you joyful or nostalgic, Jonsi’s exotic melodies are sure to spark a lot of emotions inside you. It is hard to describe, so the best thing I can say is, buy it and let yourself be immersed by the sound of it, you will not regret it.

5. B.o.B. – The Adventures of Bobby Ray
Probably the hardest position to fill, because the list of contenders was endless, but B.o.B. had to have his place in my 2010 year. I listened to this album countless times during my trip to Costa Rica, and it just has a special feel every time I listen to it. Even if this is his first LP, B.o.B. shows an incredible maturity as an artist, mixing super catchy commercial pop songs with more dramatic, serious tracks on which the lyrics are certain to make some hip-hop veterans jealous. The artists collaborations are original (Hayley Williams, Rivers Cuomo…) and it is just a good, easy to listen album. Plus, Airplanes has to be one of the greatest hip-hop songs released in the past 5 years, so for all that, I raise my hat to B.o.B. who fills in the last position of my top 5 for albums.

Honorable mentions
Bonobo – Black Sands
Misteur Valaire – Golden Bombay
Travie McCoy – Lazarus

BEST MOVIES
Important notice: I have been a total failure as a 2010 movie-watcher. I’ve watched countless “classics” on my To-See list, but I’ve just not been into the new movies this year. I haven’t seen Social Network, Black Swan, Toy Story 3… So, this is of course my own best of, where I’m sure some of the movies I’ve just named would have had their place had I seen them.

1. Inception
How can this not be the best movie of the year ? It is a cinematic masterpiece, incredibly intelligent, well shot and brilliantly acted. Christopher Nolan raised the bar to another level with a very original story, brought to life by shining performances from DiCaprio and company. An instant classic in every genre, a movie that will be talked about for years.

2. The Killer Inside Me
Western movies are more and more noticeable nowadays since they are becoming more of a rare thing, but this one really slipt under my radar. I watched it just a few weeks ago, and I really enjoyed it. Casey Affleck is incredible, to the point he should easily be nominated for an Oscar. The mood of the movie is scary, tense, and the story really sucks you in. It is brutal, violent, sometimes disturbing, but always intriguing. A must-see, at least only to witness Affleck’s brilliance.

3. The Book of Eli
This movie did not get very good reviews, as do all of Denzel Washington’s films for the last 5 years. But I think critics were a bit harsh and have failed to see the strong points that this movie has to offer. It is visually flawless, every image is sure to make you wow at your screen. It might not be Denzel’s best performance, but you can’t say so for Gary Oldman’s. He just shines in his role as the bad guy and shows he’s one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood nowadays. Plus, the fight scenes, and especially the gun-fights are masterfully directed and now have a place in my personal best combat scenes in cinema history. Plus the ending is just incredibly surprising.

4. Ghost Writer
Roman Polanski’s latest film has a sort of Woody Allen feel, with endless dialogues and a fairly old style of editing, which make it stand out. The intrigue is good and the always entertaining Ewan McGregor is very good in the leading role. Not your typical Hollywood blockbuster, but it’s really worth a watch.

5. The Town
I rented this movie 4 hours before writing this blog post, as it was, surprisingly, on most 2010 best-of lists. You should have seen my level of skepticism before watching this film. I’m really not a Ben Affleck fan, but I decided to give it a chance. Surprise of the year for me. This is a very entertaining thriller, in which Affleck shows talent as both director and actor. The acting award in the film will definitely go to Jeremy Renner though, who is so believable in his role that you could think the producers found a guy from the projects to play in their movie. You won’t fall in love with the other characters, but they show some kind of depth, enough to make you enjoy this film, along with its good heist scenes.

MUSIC VIDEOS

1. Jay-Z – On to the Next One
One might wonder why this is taking the pole position, and it is for only one reason: It’s a music video. Hurricane and Runaway are closer to short films than music vids. Jay-Z’s video, directed by Sam Brown, portrays a funeral through multiple black and white, highly aesthetic images. It was the first music video released in 2010, and in my opinion, it is still the best. It is a shame it didn’t win any awards at the VMA, but let’s be honest, the VMAs are pretty much meaningless. Jay-Z proved once again his immense artistic talent by releasing a video of this caliber, and the 41-year-old rapper also proved he’s here to stay.

2. Kanye West – Runaway (extended edition)
Here it is, the video that will be at the top position of everybody’s list in 2010, and it deserves it. While to me this is a short film, it redefined what music videos are. It is artistic, different, colorful. It delivers powerful messages, and it is accompanied by one of the best soundtracks ever. As I said in my previous blog post, this is sure to make history with the likes of Thriller.

3. 30 Seconds to Mars – Hurricane
Another video that should be considered a short film, Hurricane will probably have its place in history also. While less visually appealing than Runaway, Hurricane is controversial, sexually offending, twisted, and beautiful. A video that the American public is not ready to see at all (and it got banned for that), and because of that, Jared Leto’s band deserves a lot of recognition. They dared, and succeeded in creating commotion.

4. Eminem – Love the way you lie
Eminem’s real comeback in the music video scene, because Not Afraid was definitely not it. This is also a controversial video that caused a heart stroke to America, because of its reference to domestic violence and dysfunctional relationships. Joseph Kahn used his enormous experience to direct a video that suits the song like few videos have been able to. The cinematography is amazing, Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan are good in their main roles and the Eminem/Rihanna duo just fills the screen with presence and intensity. One of the best videos of the year on all aspects.

5. Linkin Park – The Catalyst
Joe Hahn has slowly made the transition from turntablist to director for Linkin Park, and this change shows how much talent the guy has. He was a great DJ (he still is in fact) and is now one of my favorite director in the music video domain. His creativity is unmatched, and everything he does just fits the Linkin Park style beautifully. The Catalyst is no exception. The imagery is innovative, the editing is on-point and the Linkin Park guys really give one hell of a performance. Great use of slow motion throughout.

Honorable mentions
Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
Linkin Park – Waiting for the End
B.o.B. – Airplanes

TV SHOWS

1. Breaking Bad – Season 3
Discovery of the year for me, TV-wise. A fresh, original concept with actors Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul playing two of the most fascinating characters to ever appear on TV. Be warned, this, like many other series, is highly addictive. Sometimes humorous, sometimes dramatic, and seldom highly violent, this show will get you through the whole set of emotions, and will also kill your social life, second warning here !

2. Entourage – Season 7
The second-to-last season of the series aired this summer, and deceived no fan. Vince, E, Drama, Turtle, and especially Ari were back in full force, with new relationships, new insults and new adventures. The dialogues were once again a work of genius, and Vince’s breakdown was amazingly put together. The Cameos were entertaining and the complicity between the characters was once again something so entertaining to watch that every episode made you wish you had their lives. If you haven’t started to watch Entourage at all, I also envy your life, because you’re in for 7 seasons of never -before-seen laughter and entertainment. Start now !

3. Sportscentre – Morning Show on TSN
Probably the most unexpected winner of my entire top 2010 list, but I couldn’t pass by it. Jay Onrait and Dan O’toole are the best start of my day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. They redefine sports news with their incredible sense of humour and amazing charisma. They don’t take themselves seriously at all, they’re spontaneous and it gives a whole other perspective to everyday sports news.

Honorable mentions
Mad Men

BEST ADVERTISEMENTS

1. Dulux – Let’s color
Adam Berg takes the prize two years in a row for me, with his masterpiece Carousel for Philips last year. The whole concept of this Dulux ad is so good that it goes beyond the final TV spot. The fact they used local people and gave them the chance to put some color back into their dull scenery is amazing, and the fact that they were able to render this live process into such a beautiful advertisement is just brilliant. This is advertisement at another level.

2. Nike – Write the Future
The biggest sports event in the world of course means, the best advertisements in the world, and W+K knew that they havd to give it their best shot, and they didn’t fail. This ad pictures the World Cup vibe with such epicness and bigger than nature reactions that it clearly makes it the best ad of the tournament. The overall idea is so clever and the production value is unbelievable.

3. Sussex Safer Roads – Embrace Life
A beautiful alternative to encourage people to always wear their seat belts, Embrace Life succeeded in doing what all the gory, violent ads about car accidents couldn’t. The ad created an enormous buzz on the web, and probably saved more lives today than any other commercial. The concept is so well-thought and the imagery is spectacular.

4. Gaz Metro – A Natural Evolution
It takes great patience and dedication to tackle a project like this one, but it takes incredible talent and vision to make a project like this one look as good as this. This entire ad, conceptualized by Sid Lee, was done in stop-motion over 4 nights and with more than 1500 pieces of chalk. The animation is unbelievably fluid considering it’s stop motion and the visual is spectacular. Another considerable piece by one of the most creative agencies in the world.

5. LG – Something Lurkingg
One of the toughest spot on which to deliberate, the final slot of my entire top 2010 goes to the very recent LG ad, created by Y&R and the masters of animation, Psyop. Read a couple of posts prior to this one to know how amazed I was by this ad.

Honorable mentions
Adidas – Cantina 2010
Sony – Eye Candy
Audi – The Art of Progress
BBC – Honk If You’re Human
AT&T – Rethink Possible

This is it ! Probably the most time I’ve ever invested in a blogpost. I hope, even if you don’t agree 100% with me, that this will make you discover some gems in the media domain and give you things to entertain you during this one-to-two-week holiday that is coming up. This will most likely be my last blogpost of 2010, so in advance, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year !