|EmeritusReviews 211Approval 98%Soundoffs 34News Articles 60Band Edits 42Album Edits 73Album Ratings 450Objectivity 68%Last Active 05-19-13 12:56 pmJoined 05-30-05Forum Posts 2,756Review Comments 2,806
Turns out that most of the albums I have from 2010 are actually February releases, but here's
my ranked January list.
Safe in the Steep Cliffs
Never has a trip-hop album sounded so organic. I'm hesitant to even call it trip-hop, as Emancipator records many
of his own tracks - guitar, bass, banjo, violin... the list goes on. Yet he adds his own electronic beats, mixing and
manipulating the sounds to put all of the gorgeous harmonic and melodic material in that trip-hop aesthetic. Each
moment of Safe in the Steep Cliffs is beautiful, and its consistency makes it the best release of January.
|2|| ||Slow Six|
Tomorrow Becomes You
At a close second, Slow Six release their latest album as a departure from their typically more classical aesthetic.
Founder, director, violinist, and electronic manipulator Christopher Tignor decided to strip down the members of Slow
Six and cut away some of the string support to make a more experimental rock album, and the results are gorgeous.
Tomorrow Becomes You is post rock done by classical musicians, rather than a post rock band attempting classical
music. The result is more consistent, flowing, and powerful release.
Five years after the classic What We Must, Jaga Jazzist return with what could be considered a return to their jazzier
sound. Rather than progressing logically from What We Must, Jaga moved with a deft sidestep, changing many things
about the composition of the album. Most importantly, Lars Horntveth composed every note of the album, leaving
little to no room for improvisation. Although that confines their sound, taking away some of the thrill found in the
spontaneous discovery of What We Must, Horntveth composes complex, intricate grooves in "Toccata" and "Banafleur
Overalt", and One-Armed Bandit is an odyssey unlike any Jaga album before it.
I never wanted to believe the hype with Vampire Weekend, but Contra is no doubt a solid album. Unafraid to move
towards pop music with the auto-tuned "California English" yet still capable of intricate composition with "Diplomat's
Son" and "I Think Ur a Contra", Vampire Weekend's versatility is certainly impressive. This band is no joke.
|5||The American Dollar|
Nothing has changed with The American Dollar. It's the same euphoric combination of guitars, synths, live drums, and
electronic drums, but the combination is so winning that Atlas is still quite enjoyable.
Shining (not the Swedish band, but the Norwegian band), have never been terribly consistent in their albums, but
Blackjazz is certainly their most consistent. The last song on the album is a modernized, metal cover of "21st
Century Schizoid Man", but it serves as the entire album's inspiration. Blackjazz attempts to describe the sound of
the album, a jazzy version of black metal, and for the most part, it works.
There Is Love In You
Four Tet's most danceable album, and a collection of pretty good tracks. Aside from the epic, hypnotizing
"Love Cry", nothing is terribly amazing, but Four Tet certainly knows his game and does it better than
While songs like "Let There Be Horns" and "A Son's Cycle" are brilliant, many of RJD2's latest songs fall
flat. If you want something better, try Blue Sky Black Death.
|I hope to review Emancipator and Slow Six soon.|
|I need to hear 1 and 2.|
5 and especially 7 are great.
|I'm very interested in 1.|
|i liked 7 a lot and its not the kind of thing i usually listen to|
|I still havent heard any of these. Better get onto that|
|i wish i saw in 3 what you do|
|moar like January 1979|
2 sounds sweet, i'll have to check that out