In an effort to get that midweek post in, I’m listing here my favorite albums from the last year, since that seems to be the way of the blogs for mid-December. There may even be a law about this.
I listened to a number of pretty good albums this last year. It wasn’t exactly a banner year, but there was still some good stuff. The Broken Bells self titled album was very enjoyable. The New Pornographers’ new record, Together, took a few listens but has really grown on me. And the new Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach, was a lot of fun. I enjoyed Corin Tucker’s 1000 Years quite a lot, but the two winners are:
Miles Kurosky – The Desert of Shallow Effects
After, like, years of no Beulah albums (they broke up, we mourned) frontman Miles Kurosky finally saddled up the guitbox again for this romp through popville. If you like Beulah, this is for you. If you like amazing complex songwriting and deep production, this is for you. If you like slow dirge jams to kill yourself to, this may not be your cup of tea. This album does have a couple of problems, but nothing keeps me from listening to it over and over and over.
The only thing I may have listened to more was:
Titus Andronicus – The Monitor
Unless you listen exclusively to Kenny G, this is the album for you. And if you don’t love it, then c’mon, you only listen to Kenny G, right? Epic and infinitely hooky, this record really can’t be listened to loud enough. Anything else I write here will just sound like hyperbole, so find a copy and know that it’s really meant to be listened to front-to-back, as an album, not just another collection of songs.
There are other records I didn’t ever get familiar enough with. The Admiral Radley album, the new releases from Wolf Parade and Kanye. The Freelance Whales album, Weathervane, is pretty neat musically but utterly terrible lyrically, also: their band name completely sucks. In unexpected delights, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings got a whole lot of spins.
There were some disappointments as well. The Arcade Fire’s album I listened to all of once and a half. I’ll try to get back to it someday, but for now I was just baffled at the amount of positive press it got. The new Magnetic Fields and Eels albums were likewise albums I only listened to a single time despite being from bands I love. Maybe there’s something to them, but I didn’t have the time to find it when they came out and haven’t listened to them since.