July 01, 2010
Author: Zach Savage
2010 is officially halfway through, so to celebrate the year that still is, here are my ten favorite albums released so far. Make sure to leave a comment of your own favorites! Also, if you're interested in purchasing any of these albums, just click the album art to go to its amazon page.
1. Titus Andronicus - The Monitor
The Monitor is one hell of a trip. Featuring quotes from civl war heroes, allusions to a mysterious enemy (SPOILER ALERT: who turns out to be the self), and enough musical twists and turns to catch even the most seasoned listener off-guard. However, it's an ultimately rewarding album. It begs to be played over and over again until you memorize every riff, every shouted lyric, and every soliloquy, because try as you might, once you start listening you can't stop until the end.
2. The National - High Violet
The National are constantly evolving. With each album their sound gets tighter and tighter, and with each album vocalist Matt Berringer finds more things that make him insecure. On Alligator, he may have been scared he might not get that promotion, but now he's afraid he might eat your brains. Each word from Berringer mouth sounds like its being purged from the darkest reaches of his soul, and catharsis is supremely infectious, just like a zombie bite.
3. Harvey Milk - A Small Turn of Human Kindness
A drum kick, someone strums a guitar, someone else lets out a pained howl. Lather, rinse, repeat and you've got the latest release from Harvey Milk. It's an almost perfect marriage between the doom and gloom of their mid-90s releases and the rock sensibilites of their later albums. It's a slow burner that's highly recommended to any doom/sludge/stoner metal fans.
4. The Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt
Just a man (with a very distinct voice) and his guitar. Many have tried this formula, but few have the storytelling ability, natural skill, and most importantly, the heart that Kristian Matsson pours into each one of his songs. Comparisons to Bob Dylan aren't far off, but writing Matsson off as another Dylan copy doesn't give Matsson the credit he deserves.
5. Dangers - Messy, Isn't It?
How can you not love an album that opens by begging the question "Why didn't you kill yourself today?" and is bold enough to scream "Fuck the Beatles, I'm an animal". Messy, Isn't it? is absolutely a mess: riffs bounce around, songs stop on a dime, and the band decries just about everything about society, but it's too much fun not to get caught up in!
6. Liars - Sisterworld
Liars aren't just weird, they're deranged. Every song creates an atmosphere darker than the last, and each song seems ready to explode at any second, and most do. Of course they're German.
7. The Gaslight Anthem - American Slang
In the past, The Gaslight Anthem has made no effort to hide their influences of Springsteen, Strummer, and drunken cigarette breaks, and they've really made no effort to stray from their influences either. Finally, on American Slang, they start to create a sound of their own, although the seeds are still there in their latest selection of blue-collar fairy tales.
8. Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma
This is, without a doubt, Flying Lotus's most complete effort to date. On Cosmogramma FlyLo mixes the textured hip-hop that inhabited 1983 and the glitch pop that made up Los Angeles and then takes it a step further by adding some forays into avant-garde jazz.
9. Ceremony - Rohnert Park
Ceremony have finally expanded their sound without comprimsing it at all. The vitriol and fear of complacency is still there, but now with some great scream-your-fucking-lungs out choruses and rip-your-guitar-apart riffs.
10. Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me
I've still yet to fully immerse myself in this behemoth of a release. A triple album with over 2+ hours of material, it's enough to overwhelm even the most dedicated elf enthusiast. Although, I've always been a fan of Newsom's quirky voice, they've greatly improved here. Sometimes, its hard to truly appreciate an album, when every song is so consistenly great.
I'd have to add Frightened Rabbit with Winter of Mixed Drinks and Suckers with Wild Smile. Titus was pretty solid.
Friday, July 02, 2010 10:50 PM
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