Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Albums of 2010, for you to listen to in 2011

Ok so while i'm posting, I thought i'd make a tiny little breakdown of the best albums i've been listening to in the last year, i'm not going to do a massive review and go into detail I might not even say anything. Some of the crop came out this year, some came out ages ago. Enjoy.

16 . Red House Painters - Rollercoaster
A classic album from 1993, there are some beautiful moments of genius across the album.

15 . MewithoutYou - It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All A Dream! It's Alright
This 2009 release see's MewithoutYou take a new direction in their sound, in my opinion the new direction is better than anything they've done before, as always Aaron Weiss's lyrics are beatifully narrative.

14 . Modest Mouse - No One's First And You're Next
This 2009 release from Modest Mouse, is one of their best albums/ep's to date in my opinion, the range of the tracks incorporate a sound akin to their latest albums but also their older work.

13 . Fall Out Boy - Take This To Your Grave
2003's Take This To Your Grave was Fall Out Boy's real debut, and is still one of their best pieces of work. 

12. The National - High Violet
The first 2010 release on the list, The National have a habit of putting out incredible albums, High Violet is no exception.

11. Phil Collins - No Jacket Required.
This 80's album is a master class in creating popular music.

10 . Sufjan Stevens - The Age Of Adz
The 2010 release of The Age Of Adz, see's a departure from the folk/acoustic sound of Sufjan Steven's last 3/4 albums for a more electronic sound, much like his earlier work. However nothing is lost you can still here the beautiful crafted sound and his ability to create a melody. The artwork for the album is pretty crazy, I'm not the biggest fan, the cover comes off better than the booklet.

9 . Jack's Mannequin - In Valleys
Andrew McMahon's 4 track e.p from 2008 continues his sunshine sound, almost an extension of the beautiful Glass Passenger album, I can't get enough of the tracks Cell Phone and Sleazy Wednesdays, he's also fantastic live.

8 . Owen - The Seaside E.P
Pick up anything by Mike Kinsella and you won't be disappointed, the seaside e.p from 2009 collects together a mix of new tracks, b-sides and covers. Finally getting I'm Not Seventeen down on a record is enough of a reason to have a listen.

7. Mae - (a)fternoon
Since moving to their own label Mae have blossomed into an incredibly versatile band, with the release of (m)orning, (a)fternoon and (e)vening. Their sound is at times large and rousing and at others soft and intricate, they shift tone and pace making one song seem like 2 or 3, which keeps the music incredibly dynamic for a modern rock band, and as always their mastery of harmony and melody is ever present.

6. Sun Kil Moon - Admiral Fell Promises
This was one of my most anticipated albums from 2010, Mark Kozelek doesn't disappoint, the intricate classical guitar and haunting lyrics and voice steep the album, I always get the image of a misty canadian mountain forest on an early crisp autumn morning

5 . Taking Back Sunday - Live From Orensanz
This is the only live album on the list, Taking Back Sunday's 2010 release see's their best work beautifully re-worked acoustically. Taking in some of their most memorable songs and breathing new life into B-sides. Growing up listening to TBS it's great to hear these tracks given space to flourish.

4 . Grammatics - Grammatics
I was really disappointed when I heard of Grammatics disbandment, especially after their 2009 self titled release, there sound wasn't like the work of their contemporaries you could hear that they were different and had something special, they were a local band too which was inspiring. 
The album itself spans across a haunting array of guitar leads and the gorgeous lead vocals of Owen Brinley.

3 . The Tallest Man On Earth - Shallow Grave
Kristian Matsson is from Sweeden, and has appeared like a bracing wind from across the North Sea. I don't know how but he sounds so much more than one man and his guitar, his songs are all crafted and tell stories that wind around your head and take you in to his world. He also looks like a 60's Holywood actor which is cool.

2 . Jenny and Johnny - I'm Having Fun Now
Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice, have come together as if they were meant to create music together. Their recent 2010 release is a perfect album, I don't really know what else to say it's hard to explain in words, just listen to it.

1 . Villagers - Becoming a Jackal
Every so often an album comes along which cements itself into history, Villagers is Conor O'Brien and his debut Becoming a Jackal is one of those albums, it's almost awkward because I wouldn't know how to proceed it. 
Each song is finite and perfect, the core reason why the album is so good is because you know it works in more than one way, it sounds amazing with a full band but also works stood alone with just an acoustic. I noticed O'Brien's Yairi parlour guitar, which he seems to always use, it's a great looking instrument and has become part of his image. I'm looking forward to seeing where he goes next!

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