Sunday, January 02, 2011

Musical Raves: 2010

For me, this year was all about Before Today by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti. As I wrote when it came out, the album's bleached out soft rock left vapor trails all over my 2010.

Other albums I enjoyed this year in no particular order:

1. All Day - Girl Talk. As a child of the 80s, this tickled my synapses.

2. Contra - Vampire Weekend. Word of the year: "Horchata".

3. Have One On Me - Joanna Newsom. Bucolic, melodic & epic.

4. Hawk - Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan. When syrup and salt mix.

5. Love Letter - R. Kelly. Still high as supaman!

6. Swanlights - Antony & The Johnsons. Breathtaking, brutal and literally ethereal.

7. One Life Stand - Hot Chip. If New Order and Jimmy Webb swapped heads.

8. I Learned the Hard Way - Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. Inner city make me wanna holler.

9. Odd Blood - Yeasayer. Right between MGMT's sweet pop & Animal Collective's rubbery math.

10. The Suburbs - Arcade Fire. A grower that turned into a keeper.

11. Small Craft On A Milk Sea - Brian Eno. In a year of no Radiohead, this does fine.
12. Crazy For You - Best Coast. The sounds of summer pumped through Maria, the robot lady from Metropolis.

13. This Is Happening - LCD Soundsystem. Good, sloppy techno. Finally.

14. Everything In Between - No Age. In a year of no new Japandroids, this duo will do.

15. Together - The New Pornographers. Cuz they're a genuine supergroup and not just because Carl Newman graduated from the same high school as I did.


1. "Tightrope" - Janelle Monáe

2. "Born Free" - M.I.A.

3. "Like Rock & Roll Radio" - Ray LaMontagne

4. "Power" - Kanye West

5. "Fuck You" - Cee Lo Green

Big Discovery:

Isle Of View - Jimmie Spheeris (1971). Gauzy folk crafted by a master astride a gryphon.

Big disappointment:

The Courage of Others - Midlake. After The Trials of Van Occupanther, my expectations were high. A couple of very good songs ("Acts of Man" & "Fortune") does not an album make. A snoozer.

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