Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brunette's Top 13+8 Albums of 2010

I eagerly look forward to the end of year wrap up that NPR does every year of their picks for the Best 50 albums to debut in 2010. I was thus inspired to rifle through the new albums and do my own highly biased Top 13+8. So what if its an odd number. That's how I do things around these parts. Here they are in no particular order. Enjoy!

Ray Lamontagne and the Pariah Dogs - God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise
If you know me, you know I can't get enough of Ray. Since first acquiring Trouble I have been a devoted fan. Seeing him live seemed to encapsulate my entire existence into perspective. I really love his blue grass alt country ways and he did not disappoint with the newest album.
Listen to: Like Rock and Roll and Radio

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
All I can think of when listening to this album is vast. This album is BIG and anthematic while still leaving you feeling like it works personally. I fell in love instantaneously. And hopefully you did too. Its a perfect mix of drama and down home goodness which will leave you feeling nostalgic and fresh. And how can we forget to mention their interactive film???
Listen to: Ready to Start

Jonsi - Go
Go created by Sigur Ros' Jonsi is a delightful solo album. "Somewhere along the line, it just sort of exploded" is a perfect explanation of the albums essence from the man himself. Its haunting and cold and exactly what you would expect from a mixture of every style known to man.
2 enthusiastic thumbs up
Listen to: Tornado

Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz
I moderately to passionately enjoyed this album before seeing him live this year and then the passion grew to obsession and a whole new level of intensity. Let us all remember how my head exploded... He is slightly crazy, slightly genius and also slightly hot which is weird considering how loony he is. But that seems to make the best combination for great music. His tracks are littered with beats and synth up the wazoo. All an exploration in furthering his musical journey I suppose.
Listen to: Vesuvius

Angus and Julia Stone - Down the Way
This brother/sister duo trade off on vocals and create an engaging album from start to finish with ambrosial acoustic tunes and endearing lyrics. Although pretty long at 62 minutes, this became my perfect album for a lazy Saturday morning. A mellow modern folk set for those of you that can't get enough of that kind of thing.

Listen to: Big Jet Plane

Vampire Weekend - Contra
As soon as this album debuted it was firmly planted on my snowboarding mix and didn't move until May 2nd, the last day I hit the slopes. Fun, upbeat and loaded with energy, Vampire Weekend became my go-to album for a vigorous emotional uproar. Granted I did have to take a breather from it for awhile after so much intense listening, I still count it as one of my favorites this year. Did you hear the controversy over the album cover?
Listen to: White Sky

The Tallest Man on the Earth - The Wild Hunt
Can one man and his guitar be all that one needs to satisfy his/her every whim? Why yes, and Kristian Mattson is the man to do it. His scratchy and sultry voice lures you into a trance of acoustic goodness. He's also a Swede which may have something to do with it. Having been introduced to him just after he graced Utah with his presence made me one very sad woman. I won't let that happen again for sure.
Listen to: The Wild Hunt

The Weepies - Be My Thrill
Who doesn't love the happiness that oozes from every Weepies album? No one that's who. Even listening to the sad songs, or my favorite Please Speak Well of Me which clearly talks about an ended relationship, I still manage to smile every single time I hear this husband and wife strike up a chord. The concert was amazing as well. Don't let this one pass you by. Even if you get turned off by the two "Be" songs placed next to each other on the album (who made that decision anyway??).
Listen to: Please Speak Well of Me

The Black Keys - Brothers
 Slightly dark and extremely bluesy this album made me love The Black Keys in a whole new way. A huge step up from their last album, Brothers makes me just want to throw their brotherly love in my stereo for a long road trip to paradise. As Liz Lemon would say, "I want to go to there."
Listen to: The Only One

 The National - High Violet
This album reminds me of a really great piece of artwork that has been deconstructed just enough so that you find it endearing in a whole new way while still keeping the essence and integrity of its original beauty intact. It hits the right nerve and makes me want to do something with my life, even if it ends up in utter ruin.
Listen to: Bloodbuzz

Horse Feathers - Thistled Spring
Calm, peaceful and contemplative, this album is a treat with violin and cello arpeggios running in and out of each other alongside a striking and melodic banjo. I love me some folk and these guys do it so well. Plus they are playing TONIGHT! At Kilby! So come and say hello to me, because I will for sure be in attendance.
Listen to: Thistled Spring

 The Walkmen - Lisbon
Just listen. When you have a lot of time to fill and you just want to groove. Do it. Now. Drop everything and groove away.

Blue As Your Blood

Frightened Rabbit - The Winter of Mixed Drinks
Building off their last album The Midnight Organ Fight with a beautiful and more streamlined sound, Frightened Rabbit are a force to be reckoned with.

Listen to: Swim Until You Can't See Land

Ok that rounds out the albums I have bought so far. Now here is the list of albums I have been streaming online constantly and are still on the purchase wishlist. I wouldn't say these are honorable mention more like Brunette is too poor to purchase more music but totally favorites and worthy of mention. Christmas anyone?

Josh Ritter - So Runs the World Away
The Morning Benders - The Big Echo
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark and Twisted Fantasy (Can you believe this album???)
The Roots & John Legend -Wake Up!
Caribou - Swim
Sleigh Bells - Treats
Kings of Leon - Come Around Sundown
LCD Sound System - This is Happening

What are your favorite albums this year?

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1 comment:

Jake said...

Nice list! I'd put Broken Bells on there too.