I wouldn’t say it has been an overwhelming year for music, but there have certainly been some highlights. Pretty mainstream, I know – but I’m not quite as on the ball as I’d like to be with new bands. Here is my top 10 with a few new discoveries on the list and a few albums from old faves. What do you think?
10. Fleet Foxes Just making it in under the wire, I have a feeling this album is going to continue to grow on me. At my live intro to them at Sasquatch last May I thought they were fine but didn’t fall in love. I’m glad to say their recording has some fever I didn’t catch at the vast open stage of the Gorge.
9. Duffy – Rockferry I like Adele and can get down with some Amy Winehouse, but when it comes to the British female vocalists, Duffy is just my speed and this album is a classic.
8. The Verve – Forth I continue to be impressed by this great band and it seems to me that this is their best album yet.
7. The Mars Volta – The Bedlam In Goliath Teh Volta is back and as strong as ever. The crashing cymbals and blaring guitar are still present but Cedric and co. take this album in a bit of a different direction from previous studio recordings. I was surprised by the new sound and very, very happy.
6. Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III I’ve lost track of hip hop a bit in the last few years but I was immediately blown away when I heard what Lil Wayne was doing on this album and his abundant mix tapes. This guy is taking rap music in a whole new direction and, love it or hate it, it is simply incredible to witness.
5. The Raconteurs – Consolers of the Lonely Performers of the year honors go to The Raconteurs whose show at the Greek last fall was a barn burner (maybe only equaled by MIA). Every track on this album rocks.
4. Santogold Twisting and turning, Santogold rips it in every direction with her dancehall/hip-hop/reggae/jazz/rock/fill-in-the-blank inspired beats and awesome vocal stylings.
3. Kings of Leon – Only By The Night This album would make my top 10 if it just had Sex On Fire on it 11 times – but instead we’re lucky enough to get 10 other great tracks. A bit more radio friendly than past albums, perhaps, but I think it adds up to one solid rock album.
2. TV On The Radio – Dear Science I don’t know what to say about these guys but whatever they are doing I just hope they keep doing it. I love their out there sounds and this album’s infusion of a bit more melody only makes it stronger.
1. The Killers – Day & Age I already know I am gonna get a boatload of shit for this pick. It seems this album really polarizes people. I can’t get enough of it and I keep finding tracks I like more than the last. Waaah, you don’t like the lyrics to Human. I don’t care. The song’s synthesis of current rock and 80s electronica equals one of the coolest sounds I’ve heard in a long time. You don’t think they rock? Listen to the power chords in the chorus of Losing Touch. Because of this album, The Killers have just jumped to the very top of my list of bands I need to see live soon!