5 Albums That Need More Love
It's getting harder to pick out albums that need more attention, since everyone seems to already know about everything. Here are 5 albums that don't seem to get mentioned too often, but would definitely be in my top 50 of 2010:
1. The Soft Wave
I love Another Green World
and this album is as close as anything I've ever heard to replicating it's sound and feel. Listen to "From a Balcony Overlooking the Sea
" to see for yourself.
2. Blooming Summer EP
- Blue Hawaii
I fell pretty hard for chillwave this year, and though it is still a (terribly-named) genre I enjoy quite a bit, I make no claims that it will hold up over the next few years. This fantastic EP, though it may be lumped in with that crowd, should hold up just fine. Cokemachineglow
ranked it as the #10 album of the year, but that is the only place I have read anything about this EP, so I figured it deserved inclusion in my list as well.
3. Sleep Forever
I read a review of this somewhere that drew comparisons between this album and Primary Colors
from last year and I definitely agree that there are similiarities. Nothing earth-shattering here, just great psych-tinged guitar rock, and I think it helps that at only 8 tracks, it doesn't overstay it's welcome.
4. Fang Island
- Fang Island
These guys deserve their own Rock Band game for creating an album so full of killer guitar riffs, and I also think it would be especially fun seeing the nonsense-lyrics scrolling across the top of the screen.
5. Passive Me, Aggressive You
- The Naked and Famous
I found out about this New Zealand band by reading this guy
's Best of 2010 list. After hearing Young Blood
I knew I needed the album which, at least for Canadians, is only available on their bandcamp page
.My 20 Albums
I can't rank them 1-20, so I'll alphabetize the top 5 and 15 Honorable Mentions:
1. Teen Dream
- Beach House
2. Halcyon Digest
4. Clinging to a Scheme
- The Radio Dept.
- Sleigh Bells
Over the course of the next few months, I know there are going to be at least 3 of these albums I will regret not putting in the top 5:The Suburbs
- Arcade FireCerulean
- CaribouCrystal Castles (II)
- Crystal CastlesThere Is Love in You
- Four TetLucky Shiner
- Gold PandaOne Life Stand
- Hot ChipThis Is Happening
- LCD SoundsystemHigh Violet
- The NationalAstro Coast
- Surfer BloodInnerspeaker
- Tame ImpalaCausers of This
- Toro y MoiForget
- Twin ShadowContra
- Vampire WeekendOdd Blood
If you swap Terrible Love
with Terrible Love (Alternate Version)
, then High Violet replaces Mines in my top 5.
I think Odd Blood
's parallel from last year is Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
. Both had 2 unbelievably killer songs (OB's Madder Red
, and WAP's Lisztomania
), and the rest of the album was filled with just really good songs, which is what I think hurt ODD BLOOD critically this year.Saving The Best...
The most interesting trend I discovered in 2010 was not chillwave, but rather the surprising number of bands who placed their very best tracks right at the end of their albums. Why is that? Is it perhaps to punish people who do not listen to full albums anymore? I don't know, but I was able to make up a killer compilation CD composed of only last tracks from 2010 albums, and here it is:
1. Impossible Soul
- Sufjan Stevens
The only reason this fits on an 80 minute CD is because I cut off everything but the last 3 minutes of this song, which are, although many people will cry heresy, easily the best minutes of this behemoth.
2. All My Hate and My Hexes Are For You
Atmospheric slow-burner, not anywhere near as hateful as you would expect from a song with this title.
3. Catholic Pagans
- Surfer Blood
Honestly, what guy can't identify with the sentiment of trying to quit bad habits in order to impress a girl? And you've gotta love any song with the lyrics: "Barack Hussein Obama would have a field day if he knew at all"
4. When I'm With You
- Best Coast
This song has got to be amazing if it hasn't made you hate Bethany Cosentino for continuing to rhyme 'lazy' with 'crazy' by the time the end of the album rolls around.
5. I Don't Really Mind
- Tame Impala
No track on this album particularly stands out as better than the others, but the massive synth that breaks out at 1:39 of this track is definitely enough to make you sit up and double-check what album you are listening to. It's almost as if being a band signed to Modular
, you are contractually obligated to have synthesizers included in one of your songs, so TI decided to throw it in the last 2 minutes of their last song.
This is the last song on Public Strain, and it's my fave. That is all.
7. He Would Have Laughed
Not always my very favorite off Halcyon Digest, but it did manage to make me think that maybe Jay Reatard
was a cooler guy than I first thought.
8. You Stopped Making Sense
- The Radio Dept.
This is one of my very favorite bands, and in my opinion, this is classic Radio Dept. No band is better at conveying a sense of longing in their music, and I feel like they are still far too under-appreciated for their greatness.
9. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
- Arcade Fire
OK, OK, I know it's not technically the LAST track from The Suburbs, but the only track after it is really just an outro, and it is surprising for a song this great to be buried so far back on a really long album. Not that it's position in any way hurt it's recognition as a great track.
- LCD Soundsystem
The only track that rivals this one is All I Want
. Sorry, Pitchfork, I know that I Can Change
is a great song, but you really have to listen to this one again.
11. Take It In
- Hot Chip
Does anyone else agree that One Life Stand
is Hot Chip's best album yet? Seriously, this song (along with Thieves in the Night
, One Life Stand
, and Brothers
), is on par with Boy From School as best Hot Chip tracks EVER.
Dan Snaith was born in the same year as me and his music continues to rub my nose in the vastness of my talent void. This album gave me a new appreciation for Arthur Russell
- Twin Shadow
Another awesome album, but what elevates this track for me is the killer Def-Leppard-slow-ballad-style guitar solo that comes in around 2:23. This guy taught me the importance of not judging a book by it's cover, as I was positive I would not be into his music when I first saw his picture.
14. Causers of This
- Toro y Moi
This track would not be my favorite off the album had he included the single version of Blessa
I could understand other people's indifference toward this album if they only listened to the first side, but if you liked her other two albums, you should like side two.
Oh man, do I love this song. A good parallel to this is Foreground
from last year, also a last track and a total show-stopper. "Cause you don't want the truth....you want someone else"
17. Does Not Suffice
- Joanna Newsom
I always found this triple album to be an exhausting listen from start to finish, but I kept forcing myself to do just that, since so many people were singing it's praises all year. It obviously never made it's way into my top 20 albums, but my goodness, was this song ever worth it for sticking it out until the end. So beautiful.No Guilty Pleasures
Another thing surprising about this year, I found no cheesy pop songs that I was embarrassed to admit I liked. MAYBE Unfortunate
by Trey Songz
, but I don't really feel that guilty about it. MAYBE Break Your Heart
by Taio Cruz
, but it doesn't give me much pleasure anymore:(If Anyone Actually Scrolls All The Way Down Here...
Here are some great songs I think went overlooked this year:The Kiss
by PallersAll My Great Designs
by The WalkmenSweet Talk, Sweet Talk
by The New PornographersFuguefat
by The Octopus ProjectBullfighter Jacket
by Miniature TigersMeds and Feds
by M.I.A.The Greatest Light Is the Greatest Shade
by The Joy FormidableAmazing (feat. Lakutis)
by Das RacistEverlasting Light
by The Black Keys
and, of courseDaisy
by Fang Island
How can a song with nonsense lyrics sound so inspiring and uplifting?
Thanks for reading!