Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Top 25 Albums of 2010

                              25. Sleigh Bells - Treats
Sleigh Bells take indie pop to a whole new level. This album is pure upbeat lo-fi pop with a hint of hip hop rhythm. I highly recommend jamming out to this in the car with the windows down on a warm summer's night.

24. of Montreal - False Priest
If anyone knows how to have a good time, it's of Montreal. "False Priest" is filled with psychedelic dance beats and a whole array of sexual innuendos, thanks to the humor of Kevin Barnes. Solange Knowles and Janelle Mona are guest vocalists in this album, making it one of this band's finest works yet.

23. Ra Ra Riot - The Orchard

With its beautiful instrumentation and string instruments, "The Orchard" captivates its audience. This album is absolutely incredible to listen to when driving around with friends whilst passing through gorgeous scenery.

22. The New Pornographers - Together 

The New Pornographers never disappoint. This Canadian indie-rock group delivers catchy lyrics and vibrant melodies. This album is a grower. Right away I enjoyed it, but I seem to enjoy it more and more with each listen. 

21. MGMT - Congratulations

When I first heard "Congratulations", I thought to myself 'wow, these guys must have tripped on acid while recording this record.' "Siberian Breaks" was apparently based off of an acid trip Andrew VanWyngarden had while surfing. The whole album reminds me of the Beach Boys blended with some crazy electronic beats, but is unlike anything MGMT has done before. This LP was definitely inspired by the 60's, and that is totally not a bad thing.

20. Citay - Dream Get Together

Citay takes Led Zeppelin-esque guitar riffs and mixes them with dreamy psychedelic pop. This album sounds like it could have been made in the 1970's, but is wonderful nonetheless. This is a record to lose yourself in.

19. Past Lives - Tapestry of Webs

With obvious shoegaze influence, "Tapestry of Webs" is Past Lives's best work yet. It combines experimental rock with post-hardcore and consists of smooth hooks and riffs. This LP is quite unlike Jordan Blilie's work with The Blood Brothers. The unusual hyper chaos of TBB is not as evident in Past Lives; it's more subtle. Don't let it fool you though-this is still a solid record.

18. Interpol - Self Titled

Interpol's latest album is layered in intricate beauty. I'll admit, I was not impressed upon my first listen. This is a real grower, but once you give it more chances it stands out as one of 2010's greatest. 

17. Los Campesinos! - Romance is Boring

This Welsh indie-rock band has matured and developed into outstanding musicians. Gareth's lyrics are as innovative as ever. This band keeps it fresh without being too pretentious and continues to impress me every time.

16. The Album Leaf - A Chorus of Storytellers

The Album Leaf's partially instrumental (Jimmy LaValle does vocals for some tracks) "A Chorus of Storytellers" is just like the title implies. You literally feel like you are being taken to a whole new place, as the imagery of stories sometimes makes us feel. Overall, it's one hell of a record and I would suggest listening to it when wanting to just space out with the music. It's a very dreamy album. 

15. Daft Punk - Tron: Legacy OST

I know, I know. This is clearly NOT just a new Daft Punk record, but the soundtrack for Disney's new movie. Nonetheless, it is fantastic in every way. Dramatic and upbeat, I'm almost certain that it immensely adds to the climax of the movie (although, I haven't seen it). Just listening to it makes me feel like I'm in some awesome fantasy land in the middle of a raging battle. Listen to it yourself and find out. 

14. Tunng - ...And Then We Saw Land

Associated with the genre "folktronica", this band is some of the best music I have ever heard. Each lyric is gorgeous and I especially love how original their sound is. They incorporate multiple instruments (including the banjo, mandolin, etc.) and create extraordinary tunes. I would highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys folk music, but keep in mind Tunng takes folk to a whole new level.

13. LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening

James Murphy knows how to make the best dance-punk out there. The tracks are a bit lengthy, but that is merely because it's a dance record. Each song makes you want to get off your ass and get  down. Seriously. 

12. Tokyo Police Club - Champ

"Champ" is the epitome of my summer soundtrack. It is catchy in every sense of the word, not to mention Dave Monks has a sexy voice. I don't know what else to say about this album other than it's phenomenal. What are you waiting for? Check it out, man!

11. Beach House - Teen Dream

This record is pure dream pop goodness. It's soothing to listen and drift off to. The atmosphere of this album is unlike anything I've ever heard before. Truly and utterly wonderful beyond words.

10. Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz

This album is unlike anything Sufjan has done before, and I love it. At first, I didn't like it all that much. I was disappointed that he changed his sound to electronic and drifted away from his precious banjo, but when I pushed those feelings aside and actually listened hard I realized how brilliant he still is. The instrumentation in this record makes me feel like I'm in a Disney movie and the lyrics are still astounding. Don't be alarmed by Sufjan's distinct change in sound; he knows what the hell he is doing, and he's not fucking around.

9. Wolf Parade - Expo 86

Words cannot describe how much I love this band and Spencer Krug's unique voice. I feel like this group can do no wrong! Every album they have put out has been fantastic! I'm at a loss of words for how good this is. You'll just have to find out for yourself.

8. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Let it Sway

Produced by Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla, "Let it Sway" is the definition of a solid indie rock album. These musicians have indeed matured and developed their sound into catchy masterpieces.

7. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

"Plastic Beach" is one hell of a record. It smoothly blends the genres of hip hop, electronic, rock, and even some Arabic music. It's everything I expected from them and more. Totally the album I would blast at a party or would bump in the car. A bass boosting album for sure, one that you should listen to as loudly as possible.

6. Stars - The Five Ghosts

I'm convinced that Canadian artists are pure geniuses at making good music. The newest Stars album is indie pop at its finest. The lyrics are light-hearted and humorous at times and then other times are much deeper. The music itself is uplifting and a real grower. I love it more and more by the minute. This just might just be the best pop album of 2010.

5. Circa Survive - Blue Sky Noise 

Anthony Green's vocals get better and better by the album it seems. "Blue Sky Noise" has a more polished sound to it. I wasn't entirely sure how I felt about that at first. My initial thoughts were along the lines of, 'this sounds so mainstream.' It's not that I hate mainstream music or anything. I just never thought of Circa as a mainstream band. However, they have signed to Atlantic, a major record label. Regardless, Circa still has what it takes. The raw emotion within this album is what stands out most of all. I think this is Anthony's most honest work-he even wrote a song about his wife's miscarriage. If you decide to listen to this, brace yourself. It's an emotional album, and that's what is so good about it.

4. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

This is, yet again, another band I was worried about. Their rising popularity made me think they would become a bunch of sell-outs and gradually lose all the significant elements I so love about them. They did not disappoint me though. I gave the record multiple chances and even read the lyrics along with it and began to fall in love with "The Suburbs" and its entirety. I particularly love the theme of being lost and not knowing where you belong. Arcade Fire knows how to paint this imagery so beautifully. 

3. Yeasayer - Odd Blood

Yeasayer is probably the catchiest music I've heard in a long time. It is very rare that I can listen to an album completely and thoroughly enjoy every single track on it. This is one of those rare gems, of course. It's got some great beats that make you want to dance, some hooks that take you back to the 80's, and an overall kickass sound. One of my all time favorites: timeless.

2. Titus Andronicus - The Monitor

This record has to be one of the best ever made. Okay, I might be a bit biased because I'm a huge Titus fan, but the point's amazing. Patrick Stickles knows how to write crazy good songs and sings them with his voice that so accurately depicts the suffering he writes about. What may seem like a lenghty album actually seems shorter than it really is if you play as many times as I do. It's a magnificent concept album with incredible imagery, and I know it'll stick with me the rest of my life.

1. The National - High Violet

I wrote an album review about this before (check out my other blog posts), and I can honestly state that this is my favorite album of 2010.  "High Violet" is layered with such deep explosive passion. I have never heard anything like it before, and it blows me away every time. The National is basking in greatness, for this record is their best yet.