Caleb C.

Reviews 26
Approval 94%

Soundoffs 20
News Articles 4
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Album Edits 10

Album Ratings 299
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Last Active 12-02-14 8:35 am
Joined 11-28-09

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12.29.14 Swim's 201403.02.14 The 86th Academy Awards
02.08.14 Let It Go01.01.14 Swim's 2013
12.20.13 My Boy Garth12.03.13 4 More Years
08.06.13 June/july Tunes06.04.13 April/may Things
04.08.13 February/March Digs02.01.13 January Digs
12.26.12 Swim's 201205.28.12 Thrice's Farewell Tour
04.27.12 Favorite Tv Characters12.19.11 Swim's 2011
10.10.11 I Need Acoustic12.13.10 Swim's Top 10 Albums Of 2010
12.04.10 Swim's Top 10 Songs Of 201012.03.10 Anniversary
More »

Swim's 2011

I was bored so I wrote this up.
10Bon Iver
Bon Iver, Bon Iver

When I first heard For Emma, Forever Ago a few years ago, I was startled by how lonely the music was. It was as if there was a single fire burning in the middle of a barren tundra, and that fire had one hell of a falsetto. With his sophmore release, Bon Iver still has that fantastic voice, but instead of a frigid atmosphere, he gives us a heaping helping of straight up indie, while still holding onto everything that allowed For Emma to be such a strong record. You can even hear some cautious optimism this time, and for that we are thankful.
The King of Limbs

It's never blatantly obvious exactly what Radiohead is trying to acomplish. Leaning more to the electronic side of their sound, Radiohead surprised a lot of people with The King of Limbs, especially when it followed the wildly successful In Rainbows. Yet it's not what comes before or what comes after that an album should be judged by, but rather by what it is in and of itself. And by that logic, The King of Limbs is a fantastic (albeit brief) collection of electronic-laced alternative rock that could easily stand out even among a discography as heavy as Radiohead's. And I'm not just saying that because Thom Yorke's dancing in the Lotus Flower music video is gorgeous.
8The Dear Hunter
The Color Spectrum (Complete Collection)

This was hard to digest at first. It seemed overwhelming, the sheer volume of material released at once. But when you really started to break it down, you could see that each one of these EP's, each color, was terrific. Couple that with the fact that there was 8 (!) in total, and you can really see that The Dear Hunter did something special here, and despite it's enormous size, it really deserves repeated listens.
7Foo Fighters
Wasting Light

"Oh, the Foo Fighters released another album? News to me. And it's good? Well, shit, I guess I'll listen to a little bit of it." Best decision I made all year. Not only was the new Foo Fighters' album good, it ranks right up there with the best albums they've released. Not one single track sticks out as mediocre, something that has plagued the band in the past. Hard rock done right, the Foo Fighters succeed where other bands in the genre fall short. Plus they have Dave Grohl. That helps.
Hats Off to the Bull

There's something to say here about progress. Following Chevelle through the years has been rather predictable, as with every 11 track release we get the same Chevelle, heavy riffs with Loeffler wailing his cryptic lyrics giving each song a much needed melodic base. This is no different. Yet with the lack of progress we get quite the refinement in songwriting. The maturity of the band is clearly evident throughout, and it allows for that lack of progress to be overlooked, and even preferred. Hats off to sticking to your guns and learning to draw better.

Being around the block as long as Thrice has, it's natural for a band to get tired of trying to be something else every couple of years. Sometimes you just want to sit back and make some tunes, and not reinvent the wheel. That's what I see Major/Minor as for Thrice, a relaxing of the constraints for a band that really just wants to make some rock music, and the result is wonderful. The passion is back and the music is tight. It's just Thrice being Thrice.
4Manchester Orchestra
Simple Math

When Manchester Orchestra released the title track from this album, Simple Math, I was taken aback. It was an indie masterpiece, and certainly foretold of an LP to match, right? Unfortunately, not quite. What Manchester Orchestra delivered was an excellent album, nothing more, nothing less. It cements them at the top of the alternative indie pile for years to come, to be certain, it just didn't quite live up to what a few of the highlights suggested it would be. Maybe next time.
3La Dispute

This is so freakin' depressing. It takes your soul and sucks it out, steps on it a few times, defecates on it, and hands it back to you. And after all that, you still can't help but thank it for being so damn wonderful. The musicianship and cohesiveness has improved vastly from Somewhere at the Bottom, and their story telling has elevated them to places few bands dare to reach. This is one of those bands that at first repel with their abrasiveness, but if you can see past it, there is a treasure underneath.
2Frank Turner
England Keep My Bones

I can't really put my finger on the reason I was hesitant to give Frank Turner a shot. Something about his name I guess, reminded me of some old, washed up "rock" star who was far past his prime. And there, my friends, is where we finally find out that I'm a fucking idiot. He truly is a gifted songwriter, and his folk-tinged rock'n'roll is clearly something that deserves to be admired. While with this release he seems to move away from his music-off-the-cuff style of previous albums and his development of songs becomes more apparent, it still astounds me how real and geniune he sounds. Of all the rock stars in the world, there is not one person I would rather have a beer with than Frank Turner.
1Fair To Midland
Arrows and Anchors

RIKKI TIKKI. Even I laughed the first time I heard that, so don't be too worried if you couldn't stifle your own. Regardless, this album was far and away my most anticipated album of the year, and it sure as hell didn't disappoint. It took all the expectations left by Fables and left them in pieces on the floor. From start to finish, Arrows & Anchors is an ingenious venture into alt, metal, and progressive euphoria that I have never seen rivaled. Each song is crafted to perfection, creating a whirlwind of activity that re- emerges new and exciting upon every spin. There is no way I could try to describe it and do it justice, other than to say it is amazing. To put it simply, it's the best album of 2011.
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