Seven months ago, that award would have gone to The Antidote, no problem. Then, I bought this record on a lark.
Its awesome. Its breakthrough music. It makes everything else seem old, including hip hop. Its trancy; its layered; its energetic; it rocks. It does all these and more. I can't tell you how great this album is. Road trip nirvana is what it is. And then, only when you can't convince the DJ at your favorite hang to play it so you can groove for an hour non-stop! This ain't your daddy's Big Beat...
My recommendations: Start with Track 1, "Take California". What a groove. Play it really loud, then wait to you hear the bongos kick in. Whoa! The next song, Velvet Pants, either gets you or it doesnt. I love it, but its trippy. All the next songs rock; a few with some great hip hop beats. 360 Degrees (Oh Yeah) is really interesting, some old school hip hop set to a back beat rhythm that starts with a skateboard in a half pipe! Two songs that have received siginificant attention, "History Repeating" and "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" are good, but not the album's best. Shirley B is great on the former, but the latter drones on too long for my tastes.
The cool thing about this album is you'll groove to the first five or six songs right away. Then, the next few get a little slower; you'll almost always skip the last two or three songs as a result. Then, after a month, you'll realize the last two songs are the BEST songs on the record!
Enjoy. Its awesome. Let me know your thoughts!