Average Rating: 3.68
Rating Variance: 0.39
Objectivity Score: 67% (Fairly Balanced)
Sort by: Rating | Release Date | Rating Date | Name5.0 classicBon Iver For Emma, Forever AgoColdplay A Rush of Blood to the HeadDeath Cab for Cutie TransatlanticismOn 'Transatlanticism', DCFC showcases a more mature sound than on their earlier works, while remaining true to their indie principles. If anything, the best word to describe this album would be 'cohesive'. Although the grandeur of the opening track, 'The New Year', contrasts sharply with the slow-paced and dramatic 'Transatlanticism', there is little, if any, feeling of discontinuity. Rather than relying on singles or catchy hooks, this album is best listened to as a whole. By the end of the album, Death Cab has taken you on a roller coaster ride of emotions and beautiful, moody songwriting. Highly Recommendeddredg El CieloJimi Hendrix Experience Hendrix: The Best of HendrixNickel Creek Nickel CreekRage Against the Machine Rage Against the MachineSufjan Stevens IllinoisWhat should I say about Illinois? Let's just say that I'm head over heels in love with this album. It's not about the indie rock cred, the press, or style points. It's about the quiet beauty underlying every song. This is an album about life, not just a state or a style of music. Although there are a lot of segues in this album, which has tended to receive some negative press, this isn't an album about instant gratification. Despite the 'soft' style of the music, this isn't meant for mere easy listening. Songs gradually reveal levels of complexity as the album plays, such as when Sufjan moves from the show tune style of 'Come on feel the Illinoise' to an absolutely spectacular chorus. Within the tapestry, there are some true golden threads; songs like 'Predatory Wasp of the Palisades', ' Casimir Pulaski Day', 'Chicago', and 'Jacksonville' are absolute masterpeices, both lyrically and musically. This is truly one of my favorite albums - not just of 2005, but ever. Open up your ears and hear the Illinoise. Sufjan Stevens MichiganThe National BoxerTitus Andronicus The MonitorWolf Parade Apologies to the Queen Mary4.5 superbAir Talkie WalkieAnais Mitchell Young Man in AmericaAndrew Bird The Mysterious Production Of EggsArcade Fire FuneralArcade Fire The SuburbsArctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That's What...Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti Before TodayBanks GoddessBon Iver Bon Iver, Bon IverBroken Social Scene You Forgot It In PeopleBroken Social Scene Forgiveness Rock RecordCasualties of Cool Casualties of CoolColdplay Viva la Vida or Death and All His FriendsDave Matthews Band CrashI grew up listening to Dave Matthews on the radio, but I only really appreciated the band until my Sophomore Year in high school. A developing drummer, I was sucked in by Carter Beauford's beautiful grooves, and was soon hooked on the fantastic music on this cd. From 'Two Step' to the spectacular #41, this album is all about one thing: pure music. Although I don't listen to DMB as much as I used to, this album remains a classic of the jam rock genre and a lesson in musicianship.Dave Matthews Band Under The Table And DreamingDc Talk Jesus FreakDeath Cab for Cutie The Photo AlbumDeer Leap/The World Is A Beautiful Place... Are Here To Help YouDeerhunter MicrocastleDeerhunter Halcyon DigestDestroyer KaputtDIIV OshinDispatch Bang BangDispatch Gut the VanElliott Smith Either/OrFlorence and the Machine LungsFrightened Rabbit The Midnight Organ FightFrightened Rabbit The Winter of Mixed DrinksMixed drinks indeed --- while a few scattered tracks recall the glory of 'The Midnight Organ Fight,' the middle of the album is filler at best, and many of the tracks lack the rawness and urgency of the band's previous efforts. Fucked Up David Comes to Lifefun. Aim and IgniteIf you don't like it, listen to it again. Alternately, place 'Barlights' on repeat and dance around your house like a maniac.Girls Father, Son, Holy GhostGuster Keep It TogetherGuster Lost And Gone ForeverIncubus Morning ViewIncubus S.C.I.E.N.C.E.Iron & Wine Woman KingJanelle Monae The ArchAndroidJars Of Clay Jars Of ClayJason Isbell SoutheasternJens Lekman Oh You're So Silent Jens"Oh You're So Silent Jens" is a strange album. It sounds like an old 70's music soundtrack, mixed with equal parts of European indie and folk, and coupled with Jens' rather Frank Sinatra-like baritone. It's also one of the best albums that came out last year. Songs like 'Black Cab', both 'Rocky Dennis Farewell' Songs, 'Maple Leaves', and 'Sweet Summer's Night on Hammer Hill' are musical and songwriting gems that are powerful from the first listen. Although the rest of the album isn't quite as poignant or immediately accessible, there are certainly no abject failures either -- all in all, this is a relatively cohesive and solid work. Pick this up immediately if you have a penchant for other similarly self-indulgent indie artists such as Sufjan Stevens. All in all, a great find, and a spectacular demonstration of old-school songwriting and positive musical pretentiousness.Joanna Newsom Have One on MeJohn Mayer Heavier ThingsJohn Mayer ContinuumJohn Mayer's most mature work to date, Continuum blends both the pop sensibilities of Mayer's earlier work with the blues styling he recently displayed on the album Try!. Although the album lacks cohesion, the songwriting is fantastical, filled with excellent musicianship and laudable restraint. Check out 'Belief', 'Heart of Life','Vultures' and 'Stop this Train'Johnny Cash At Folsom PrisonKishi Bashi LighghtLed Zeppelin Best Of, Vol. 1: Early DaysLed Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IVM. Ward Post-WarA crackling radio spits out snatches of Western tunes, accompanied by a cracked baritone. It's 'Post-War' by M. Ward, and it's an absolutely stunning album that feels both old and new at the same time. This isn't necessarily singer-songwriter folk; it heralds back to an older tradition (think Johnny Cash minus the country). In any case, it's superb. Check out 'Poison Cup' and 'Chinese Translation' especially.Manchester Orchestra Mean Everything to NothingMatt Nathanson When Everything Meant Everything EPNoah and the Whale The First Days of SpringOneohtrix Point Never R Plus SevenPete Yorn musicforthemorningafterPete Yorn's debut presented a fresh face to the tried and true alternative singer-songwriter genre. Adding a bit of country twang, a heavy emphasis on rhythmic music, and above all his gravelly lyrics and pop hooks, Yorn created a truly solid album. The only knack against this type of formula is that the music is a bit superficial -- and it is true that this is largely simple music. But it feels earnest, and doesn't resort to usual songwriting cliches. Additionally, the music quality is consistent, with there being few, if any, bad tracks. Highlights include 'Life on a Chain', 'Black', 'For Nancy', 'Closet', and the spectacular 'On Your Side'. Recommended for fans of pop rock and alternative music alike.Pete Yorn NightcrawlerWhen I first heard this album I absolutely hated it. So much in fact, that I didn't give it another chance in 4 months, and only then when I was completely in a state of musical boredom. I don't know what I missed the first time around, but this is a beautiful alternative pop album that ranks up there with Yorn's other work. 'Maybe I'm Right', 'The Man', 'Bandstand in the Sky,' and 'Undercover' are highly recommended. PJ Harvey Let England ShakeRadical Face The Family Tree: The BranchesRadiohead The BendsRadiohead In RainbowsRage Against the Machine The Battle of Los AngelesRed Hot Chili Peppers CalifornicationRelient K MmhmmRich Price Night OpensRise Against Siren Song of the Counter CultureRun the Jewels Run the JewelsRyan Adams Love is HellSarah Jarosz Song Up In Her HeadSigur Ros Takk...Snow Patrol Eyes OpenSt. Vincent Strange MercySufjan Stevens Seven SwansSufjan Steven's Seven Swans is a rather quiet affair, lacking the sprawling arrangements, lengthy song titles, and interludes of his more famous 'states' albums. Sufjan's formula here is much simpler: banjo, acoustic guitar, and his signature hushed vocals. While the album tends to get slow by the end, there are some truly beautiful songs here, including the phenomenal 'The Dress Looks Nice On You', and perhaps Sufjan's best song 'To Be Alone With You'. Other songs such as 'Sister' show an experimental approach, using complicated vocal harmonies in what is a prelude to much of the material on Illinois. At the end of the day, however, this is a quiet album that lovers of Iron & Wine and mellow folk/indie would love.Swans The SeerThe American Analog Set Know By HeartThe Decemberists The Crane WifeMany associate major label debuts by indie bands as a formn of selling out. They don't want the uniqeness of the band dumbed down for the masses, or even worse, they don't want to lose the indie chic of being a dedicated fan of a relatively obscure band. But for the Decemberists, their move to a major label has actually improved their sound. Although the minstrel tinged voice has predictably become more mainstream, the Decemberists feature some of their best songwriting yet, and perhaps more importantly, begin to show a breadth lacking in their previous albums. In the three part track "The Island, Come and See, The Landlord's Daughter", the Decemberists surprisingly display a classic rock influence, while the vocal melody in "When the War Came" sounds eerily like a Led Zeppelin song. While there are some typical Decemberist's songs on here like "Yankee Bayonet", they begin to branch out on song's like "The Perfect Crime", and display surprising musical skill in the process. All in all, the Crane Wife is not a story of a band selling out, but of a band growing up.The Decemberists The Hazards Of LoveThe Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles the Pink RobotsThe Hotelier Home, Like NoPlace Is ThereThe Knife Silent ShoutI don't normally like Electronic music. Although it's often shiny and brilliant on the surface, it usually disguises a shallow musical base that expires after about 3 listens. Fortunately, Sweden's The Knife have managed to break the mold by crafting a cohesive, fantastic album that sheds pop hooks for long lasting appeal. The synth tones here are simply beautiful, especially when contrasted with the apparent harshness of the vocals. Check out the first two songs and you'll be hooked.
The National AlligatorThe National High VioletThe New Pornographers Twin CinemaThe Oh Hellos Through The Deep, Dark ValleyThe Smashing Pumpkins Siamese DreamThe War on Drugs Lost in the DreamThee Silver Mount Zion Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on EverythingTorres TorresTV on the Radio Dear ScienceTyphoon (USA-OR) White LighterQuirky at first; brilliant after repeated listens.Waxahatchee Cerulean SaltWilco The Whole LoveWU LYF Go Tell Fire to the MountainYeasayer All Hour CymbalsYouth Lagoon The Year of Hibernation4.2 excellentJosh Ritter The Historical Conquests of Josh RitterKurt Vile Wakin on a Pretty Daze4.0 excellentAir France No Way DownAir France sounds much like fellow Swede Jens Lekman, except that the soothing baritone is substituted for a delightful mashup of perfectly crafted and soaring indie synth pop. The only major flaw with the album is its short length and difficulty to obtain (it's only available outside Sweden via download from the label's website).Anais Mitchell HadestownAngel Olsen Burn Your Fire For No WitnessArcade Fire Neon BibleArcade Fire ReflektorAt the Drive-In Relationship of CommandBand of Horses Cease to BeginBeach House Teen DreamBear Hands Burning Bush Supper ClubBear Hands DistractionBear in Heaven Beast Rest Forth MouthBeck Odelay!Beck Sea ChangeBeck GueroThis album singlehandedly got my through a week of studying through finals. Surprisingly, I hadn't listened to any other Beck album when I picked this one up, but I was incredibly impressed with all aspects of the music - the lyrics, the songwriting, the combination of driving guitar riffs and techo samples. The music may be electronic, but it certainly isn't lifeless - songs like 'E-Pro', 'Rental Car', and 'Go It Alone' are fantastic altrock songs in their own right. Beirut Lon GislandBelle and Sebastian Dear Catastrophe WaitressBen Folds Rockin' The SuburbsBen Folds Five Whatever and Ever, AmenBlack Rebel Motorcycle Club B.R.M.C.Bloc Party IntimacyBombay Bicycle Club I Had The Blues But I Shook Them LooseBright Eyes I'm Wide Awake, It's MorningBroken Bells Broken BellsBroken Social Scene Broken Social SceneBrontide ArteryCasper HinterlandCaspian The Four TreesCHVRCHES The Bones of What You BelieveCloud Cult LoveCloud Nothings Here and Nowhere Else'I'm not part of me' is my favorite single of the year so far. But the rest of the album isn't nearly as memorable.Coheed and Cambria From Fear Through the Eyes of MadnessConor Oberst Conor OberstCursive The Ugly OrganCymbals Eat Guitars Why There Are MountainsCynic Traced in AirDanny Brown OldDave Matthews Band Before These Crowded StreetsDavid Gray White LadderDc Talk SupernaturalDeath Cab for Cutie The Open DoorDeath Cab for Cutie Codes and KeysDeerhunter Weird Era Cont.Deerhunter MonomaniaDispatch Four-Day TrialsDo Make Say Think & Yet & YetDo Make Say Think You, You're a History in RustDo Make Say Think Other Truthsdredg Catch Without ArmsDuke Special Songs From The Deep ForestEdward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros Up From BelowFang Island Fang IslandFather John Misty Fear FunFennesz BecsFever Ray Fever RayFirst Aid Kit The Lion's RoarFleet Foxes Helplessness BluesFoxygen We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors...Frightened Rabbit Pedestrian VerseFrou Frou DetailsGenerationals HezaGlen Phillips Winter Pays For SummerGrizzly Bear Yellow HouseAt first listen, "Yellow House" is almost inaccessible. A dizzying maze of song structures and moods, it sounds as if Pink Floyd and My Morning Jacket combined and decided to go Indie. But if you can get past the initial audio barrage, you'll find a gem of an album filled with fantastic moments. The dazzlingly beautiful outro on 'Knife', the acoustic breakdown on 'On A Neck, On A Spit' and the climbing choruses on 'Lullabye' show that Grizzly Bear know exactly what they are doing. Highly recommended.Grizzly Bear VeckatimestGuster GoldflyHaim Days Are GoneHellogoodbye Would It Kill You?Hey Champ Cold Dust GirlHorse Feathers House With No HomeIncubus Make YourselfIncubus Enjoy IncubusIron & Wine Our Endless Numbered DaysIslands Return To The SeaMost bubble gum indie pop gets old after a few listens. Even though it's 'fun' in the beginning, it has little musical depth, and as a result, little staying power. Islands, the side project from the Unicorns, breaks this mold pretty well. Although the music is quintessentially 'happy', with calypso beats, high pitched humming, and bouncing rhythms, it's also sophisticating enough to remain interesting. Check out the beautiful 'Rough Gem' and you'll see what I mean.Jack Johnson Brushfire FairytalesJack Johnson On and OnJack Johnson In Between DreamsJapandroids Post-NothingJars Of Clay Much AfraidFollowing up their classic self-titled album, Jars of Clay produced the melancholic 'Much Afraid'. Drastically changing their music, the album featured a much higher singing voice and depressing subject matter. This can be seen in the beautiful and haunting song 'Frail', as well as in 'Tea & Sympathy'. In many ways this is a more indie album than the previous, featuring interesting musical arrangements and subdued tones. Notable also is the lack of immediate pop hooks within the music. Nevertheless, the music remains highly moving and achieves a depth not existing in their first record. So although this album is not as immediately accessible as their debut, it compensates by adding surprising depth.Jimmy Eat World Bleed AmericanJimmy Eat World FuturesJohn Mayer Room for SquaresJohn Mayer Trio Try!Jon Hopkins ImmunityJurassic 5 Quality ControlJurassic 5 Power in Numbersk-os Atlantis: Hymns For DiscoKelly Clarkson BreakawayKevin Drew DarlingsKing Creosote From Scotland With LoveKT Tunstall Eye To The TelescopeLAU Race The LoserLaura Veirs Warp & WeftLinkin Park Hybrid TheoryLord Huron Lonesome DreamsLotus Plaza Spooky Action At A DistanceM. Ward Transfiguration of VincentManchester Orchestra I'm Like a Virgin Losing a ChildMatisyahu Shake Off the Dust...AriseMetallica Master of PuppetsMetallica S&MMetric Live It OutMew And the Glass Handed KitesMew makes rock music with grandeur. Soaring vocals, anthemic melodies, all done in a very non-cheesy way. Think back to the grand days of Queen and similar bands, add an indie twist and pop hooks, and you have Mew, who are simply making good rock music.Mew No More StoriesMGMT Oracular SpectacularMidlake The Trials of Van OccupantherMidlake's music is instantly disorienting. Although other indie acts such as the Decemberists have freely adopted older musical styles, few have embraced these musical influences to the degree present on "The Trials of Van Occupanther." From the opening notes of Roscoe, the listener is transported back to 70's folk rock and perhaps even more confusingly, immersed in the lore of the late 19th century. Surprisingly, this odd approach is a stunning success. Each song feels handcrafted, and contrary to expectations, indie music, Steely Dan, and the Doobie Brothers work together in harmony. Highly recommended.Monsters of Folk Monsters of FolkMountains CentraliaMy Bloody Valentine LovelessMy Morning Jacket ZNada Surf The Weight Is a GiftNeutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane Over the SeaNick Cave and The Bad Seeds Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of OrpheusNick Cave and The Bad Seeds Let Love InNickel Creek This SideNoah Gundersen LedgesOf Monsters and Men My Head is an AnimalOffice Q&AOkkervil River The Stand InsPassion Pit MannersTry listening to 'Little Secrets', 'Moth's Wings', and 'Sleepyhead' without cracking a smile.Passion Pit GossamerPete Yorn Day I ForgotPhoenix Wolfgang Amadeus PhoenixPinback Summer in AbaddonPunch Brothers Who's Feeling Young Now?Pup PupRadiohead OK ComputerRage Against the Machine Evil EmpireReal Estate Real EstateRed Hot Chili Peppers Stadium ArcadiumThis album really grows on you - after a brief listen I thought the first side was terrible, and would have given the complete album a 2.5. But after listening to it a lot more, I began to see a lot of things in tracks that before had only blended together - this is a solid album that any RHCP fan would love, given the patience. Of course there are a few tracks to bump (as on any double disc), but there is a lot of good material here that could merit the double album.Regina Spektor Begin To HopeReigning Sound ShatteredRight Away, Great Captain! The Church of the Good ThiefRise Against Revolutions per MinuteRise Against The Sufferer and the WitnessRodrigo y Gabriela Rodrigo y GabrielaRogue Wave Descended Like VulturesRyan Adams Cold RosesSanctus Real Fight The Tide'Fight the Tide' is a perfect mainstream Christian rock album. In the vein of Switchfoot and other similar acts, Sanctus Real combines pop hooks with heavy guitars and rhythms to create memorable tunes. Although the album drags a bit in the middle, on the whole, this is a solid album from start to finish, with excellent tracks such as 'Everything About You','Alone','The Show','Message', and 'Deeds'. Highly recommended for anyone into Christian rock.Savages Silence YourselfSay Hi Numbers & MumblesSecret Machines Now Here is NowhereSecret Machines Ten Silver DropsShovels and Rope O' Be JoyfulSilversun Pickups CarnavasEver heard of mixing indie with.... grunge? That's the approach the Silversun Pickups take to this album, and surprisingly, it works. The haunting, slightly Corganesque vocals and pounding rhythms are perfectly offset by indie song structures and melodies that would be catchy even in an indie pop context (albeit with some angst). I highly recommend this album - check out 'Lazy Eye', 'Well Thought Out Twinkles', 'Melatonin', and 'Rusted Wheel'Silversun Pickups PikulSilversun Pickups SwoonSnow Patrol Final StrawSomething Corporate NorthSpoon Gimme FictionStrawberry Girls Italian GhostsSufjan Stevens All Delighted PeopleSufjan Stevens The Age of AdzSun Kil Moon Tiny CitiesIf you don't listen to Modest Mouse, you'd have no chance guessing that every song on this album is a cover. But these aren't your typical covers - Sun Kil Moon changes not only the feel of the songs but the phrasing and structure as well, in the end leaving merely the lyrics intact. Some songs, especially 'Ocean Breathes Salty,' are stunnersSun Kil Moon AprilSunset Rubdown DragonslayerSurfer Blood Astro CoastTaking Back Sunday New AgainTame Impala InnerspeakerThe Antlers HospiceThe Appleseed Cast Two ConversationsThe Black Keys BrothersThe Brian Jonestown Massacre RevelationThe Dodos VisiterThe Dodos CarrierThe Format Interventions and LullabiesThe Honorary Title Anything Else But The TruthThe National Trouble Will Find MeThe Notwist The Devil, You + MeAlthough The Notwist's Markus Acher sings each track on 'The Devil, You and Me' in what amounts to a dry and haunting monotone, the subtle and deliberate variations in melody and rhythm nevertheless create a stunning low-fi indie pop album. Check out the surprisingly catchy, albeit somewhat restrained 'Boneless' and 'Good Lies.' For fans of Pinback, Say Hi to Your Mom, and M83.The Pains of Being Pure at Heart The Pains of Being Pure at HeartThe Postal Service Give UpThe Shins Chutes Too NarrowThe Smiths The Queen Is DeadThe Weakerthans Reunion TourThe Weeknd House of BalloonsThe World is a Beautiful Place... Whenever, If EverThe xx xxThis Will Destroy You Young MountainTodd Terje It's Album TimeTokyo Police Club Elephant ShellTokyo Police Club ChampTove Lo Queen of the CloudsTrophy Scars Never Born, Never DeadTrophy Scars Holy VacantsVampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the CityVolcano Choir RepaveWilco SummerteethWild Nothing GeminiWolf Parade Expo 86Woods Bend BeyondYo La Tengo And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-OuYoung Heretics We Are The Lost LovesYuck Yuck3.5 great65daysofstatic Wild LightA.C. Newman The Slow WonderAlabama Shakes Boys & GirlsAmanda Palmer Theatre Is EvilAnberlin CitiesAndy Stott Luxury ProblemsArctic Monkeys Favourite Worst NightmareAs Tall As Lions You Can't Take It With YouAudioslave RevelationsBattles MirroredBeach House BloomBest Coast Crazy For YouBloc Party A Weekend in the CityBlonde Redhead 23Blue Man Group AudioBoards of Canada The Campfire HeadphaseBrand New DaisyBurial KindredCalifone Roots and CrownsCamera Obscura Let's Get Out of This CountryThis Scottish indie-op group sounds almost predictably like Belle & Sebastian with a female lead singer. But the focus here is more on pop polish than their Scottish indie brethren -- and they accomplish it admirably check out "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken " and "Let's Get Out Of This Country "Cat Power You Are FreeChevelle Wonder What's NextClue to Kalo One Way, It's Every WayColdplay ParachutesColdplay X & YConor Oberst Upside Down MountainCreed My Own PrisonCreed Human ClayDeath Cab for Cutie We Have the Facts and We're Voting YesDeath Cab for Cutie PlansDeath From Above 1979 You're a Woman, I'm a MachineDelorean SubizaDispatch Who Are We Living For?Divine Fits A Thing Called Divine Fitsdredg LeitmotifEels Electro-Shock BluesExplosions in the Sky The Earth is Not a Cold Dead PlaceFeist The ReminderField Music Tones of TownFiona Apple The Idler Wheel...Fleet Foxes Sun Giant EPFoals Holy FireGreat Lake Swimmers OngiaraGrizzly Bear ShieldsHandsome Furs Plague ParkI don't even like Wolf Parade. But this side project with an equally strange name seems to be a little more straightforward, with plenty of musical gems. "What We Had" and "Handsome Furs Hate This City" in particular are fantastic.Hellogoodbye Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!Hiss Golden Messenger Lateness of DancersHowie Day Stop All The World NowHowie Day AustraliaJames Blake James BlakeJapandroids Celebration RockJars Of Clay Who We Are InsteadJets Overhead BridgesJoe Gideon and the Shark Harum ScarumA stripped-down affair that strikes a delicate balance between minimalism and grittiness. Spoken word rock done right.Jose Gonzalez VeneerJoseph Arthur Redemption's SonJustin Timberlake The 20/20 ExperienceKings of Convenience Riot on an Empty StreetKlaxons Myths of the Near FutureLaura Veirs SaltbreakersLocal Natives HummingbirdLorde Pure HeroineGood pop music. But hard to get past the lyrics. Class clowns, hairpins, riding buses and bikes, and teen poetry. Low Roar 0Lykke Li Youth NovelsMae The EverglowManchester Orchestra CopeMates of State Re-Arrange UsMatt and Kim GrandMatt Pond PA EmblemsMedeski, Martin and Wood End of the World Party (Just in Case)Metric Old World Underground, Where Are You NowMetric FantasiesMother Mother O My HeartMount Eerie Clear MoonMutemath Mute MathMutemath are hard to figure out. On one hand the lead singer sounds like Sting, they imitate Coldplay pop hooks, and they have a decided tinge of the mainstream. On the other hand they are stunningly experimental and undefinable, using hip-hop rhythms, indie instrumentation, and an almost electronica undercurrent. The resulting record is uneven, but hints at future promise. Expect big things from this band in the future; in the meantime check out 'Chaos', 'Noticed', and 'Typical'Neko Case Fox Confessor Brings The FloodNow, Now ThreadsOf Montreal The Sunlandic TwinsOK Go Oh NoFun party music, pure and simple. Ok Go's music isn't quite pop punk, not quite indie rock, and not quite pop either. But it's undeniable that this album has energy, and a lot of it. Although the album tends to fall into a slight cliche of formulas, without much variation, there are some great tracks scattered throughout: The first set of predictably clustered singles, 'Invincible, ' Do What You Want', and 'Here it Goes Again' are actually quite good, and later tracks such as 'No Sign of Life' and 'Crash the Party' keep the energy from dying. Recommended - for a shallow fix.Okkervil River The Silver GymnasiumOur Lady Peace ClumsyOwen Pallett HeartlandParamore Riot!Perfume Genius Put Your Back N 2 ItPeter Bjorn and John Writer's BlockPolyenso One Big Particular LoopRadiohead I Might Be Wrong: Live RecordingsRatatat LP3Ray LaMontagne Till the Sun Turns BlackWow. I hadn't even heard of this guy, and was surprised to find him at #2 on the iTunes charts. I don't know what I've been missing - this guy writes stellar, and I mean stellar, singer-songwriter folk. The musing, the emotion, the melodies -- the complete package is here. Listen to the opening track 'Be Here Now' and prepared to be blown away.Real Estate AtlasRefused The Shape of Punk to ComeRelient K Five Score and Seven Years AgoRyan Adams 29Saintseneca Dark ArcSay Hi Impeccable BlahsScissor Sisters Scissor SistersShearwater Palo SantoSix Gallery Breakthroughs in Modern ArtSnow Patrol A Hundred Million SunsSomething Corporate Leaving Through The WindowSt. Vincent St. VincentStars Set Yourself On FireSting Mercury FallingSwitchfoot The Beautiful LetdownSwitchfoot Nothing is SoundSwitchfoot Oh! Gravity.Tame Impala LonerismTeitur Poetry & AirplanesThe All-American Rejects Move AlongThe Antlers Burst ApartThe Babies Our House on the HillThe Changes Today is TonightThe Cribs Ignore The IgnorantThe Decemberists PicaresqueThe Drones I See Seaweed'How to See Through Fog' is a tour de force. Unfortunately, some of the other songs aren't nearly as
memorable, largely because Gareth Liddiard's vocals can be...droning.The Format Dog ProblemsThe first few tracks threw me off a little bit, as it wasn't what I was expecting at all. The Format's signature - driving pop beats and indie hooks seemed to be missing somewhat, and the album felt a little more experimental. Despite a few misses, however, this is a quality album with several spectacular songs, notably 'She Doesn't Get It','Oceans','Snails', and 'The Compromise'The Gaslight Anthem The '59 SoundThe Go! Team Thunder, Lightning, StrikeThe Lone Bellow The Lone bellowThe Men Open Your HeartThe Men New MoonThe Menzingers On the Impossible PastThe Morning Benders Big EchoThe New Pornographers ChallengersThe Raconteurs Broken Boy SoldiersThe Radio Dept. Clinging to a SchemeThe Rocket Summer Of Men and AngelsBrings back memories of Something Corporate at their height. The Shins Wincing the Night AwayThe Strokes First Impressions of EarthThe Subways Young For EternityThe Tallest Man on Earth Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing BirdThe Vines Highly EvolvedThrow Me The Statue CreaturesqueTitus Andronicus The Airing of GrievancesTravis The Man WhoTweedy SukieraeVampire Weekend Vampire WeekendWe Were Promised Jetpacks These Four WallsWhite Rabbits It's FrighteningWilco Yankee Hotel FoxtrotWild Beasts Two DancersYouth Lagoon Wondrous Bughouse3.0 goodAmadou and Mariam Dimanche a BamakoAnchor & Braille FeltFelt is a pretty album. Unfortunately, it is often too pretty -- under the weight of Stephen Christian's cooing vocals, songs tend to dissolve into a warm and fuzzy mush. Best listened to in small doses.Animal Collective FeelsAudioslave Out of ExileAugustana All the Stars and BoulevardsBand of Horses Everything All the TimeBeck Modern GuiltAlthough far better than the pedestrian 'Information', Beck's latest album isn't entirely consistent or even noteworthy. Fortunately, what it lacks as a whole is redeemed somewhat by the few excellent songs scattered among the tracklist such as 'Youthless', 'Profanity Prayers', 'Modern Love', and 'Gamma Ray'. Think Guero with fuzz.Beirut The Rip TideBlink-182 Blink-182Bombay Bicycle Club So Long, See You TomorrowBrand New The Devil and God Are Raging Inside MeBright Eyes The People's KeyBush The Science of ThingsChevelle This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In)Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Clap Your Hands Say YeahCloud Nothings Attack on MemoryCold War Kids Robbers and CowardsCursive DomesticaCursive Mama, I'm SwollenDan Deacon BromstDave Matthews Band Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux KingDeath Cab for Cutie Something About AirplanesDeath Cab for Cutie Narrow StairsDzihan and Kamien Gran RiservaEels Blinking Lights & Other RevelationsFall Out Boy From Under the Cork TreeFirst Aid Kit Stay GoldFoo Fighters One by OneFrightened Rabbit State HospitalFruit Bats Spelled in BonesThe first thing you'll notice about this indie band is that their lead singer appears to be the bastard step son of any member of the Beatles. If not for the modern music and structure, this album, especially 'Lives of Crime' could easily slip within a Beatles playlist unnoticed. That being said, however, this album is no ripoff - the Fruit Bats have their own distinctive sound that fits within the larger indie/pop/electronic genre. And some songs, include the aforementioned 'Lives of Crime' are simply outstanding. However, this formula seems to largely get old by the end of the album. Pick up one or two songs, or if you like the genre, the album as a whole is pretty solid.
Comparisons: Beatles, The Shins, Clue for KaloFuture Islands SinglesGallows GallowsGuster Ganging Up on the SunI've always loved Guster. In fact, I can confidently say they are one of my favorite bands. So in anticipation, I waiting 3 long years for their latest release, 'Ganging Up on The Sun.' And I'm dissapointed. Guster sound has matured yes, and their songwriting skills are improving, but this lacks the drive and energy that made Guster well, fun to listen to. Guster has never been a generic alt-rock band, they've always had a special something, whether it be driving bongo beats, crazy lyrics, or just pure energy. This album is laid back and -- drab. Although it's a new step for Guster, I preferred the old Guster.Incubus A Crow Left of the Murder...Iron & Wine In The Reins (feat. Calexico)Jaga Jazzist What We MustJames Blunt Back To BedlamJason Mraz Waiting For My Rocket To ComeJem Finally WokenJet Get BornJoseph Arthur Our Shadows Will RemainJulian Casablancas Phrazes for the YoungK Sera Collisions and Near MissesKurt Vile Smoke Ring For My HaloLaura Stevenson WheelLemon Jelly '64-'95Liars SisterworldLocal Natives Gorilla Manor'Wide Eyes' is exceptional -- the rest of the tracks are simultaneously pleasant and unmemorable. Lovehammers Marty Casey and LovehammersModest Mouse Good News for People Who Love Bad NewsMumford and Sons BabelMuse AbsolutionMy Chemical Romance Three Cheers for Sweet RevengeMy Chemical Romance The Black ParadeMy Morning Jacket CircuitalNine Black Alps Everything IsP.O.D. SatellitePanic! At the Disco A Fever You Can't Sweat OutPassion Pit Chunk of ChangePhoenix UnitedPhoenix Bankrupt!Radiohead Hail to the ThiefRage Against the Machine RenegadesRed Hot Chili Peppers By the WayReindeer Section Son of Evil ReindeerRilo Kiley More AdventurousRx Bandits MandalaRyan Adams Rock 'n' RollRyan Adams Jacksonville City NightsRyan Adams Easy TigerIf this album is anything, it's safe. Ryan publishes few of the cringe-worthy tracks that he has sometimes included in the past, but there is a real lack of the brilliance that shines through in his other albums. Songs like 'Two' and 'Halloweenhead' are great, but nothing to write home about.Say Hi Oohs & AahsSharon Van Etten TrampSharon Van Etten Are We ThereShearwater RookShout Out Louds Our Ill WillsSigur Ros Med sud i eyrum vid spilum endalaustSleigh Bells TreatsStanton Moore Flyin' the KoopSublime SublimeSurfer Blood PythonsTegan and Sara HeartthrobThe Album Leaf In A Safe PlaceThe Appleseed Cast PeregrineThe Boy Least Likely To Best Party EverThe Brakes Give BloodThe Clientele God Save the ClienteleThe Cribs New FellasThe Decemberists The King Is DeadThe Dodos No ColorThe Killers Hot FussThe Rakes Capture/ReleaseThe Soviettes LP IIIThe Weepies Say I Am YouThis album starts out on a beautiful note, with the stunning 'Take It From Me', and 'Gotta Have You'. The former's vocal hook is absolutely infectious, but not in a flashy modern pop way - it heralds to an older singer-songwriter style of writing. The album continues with the excellent 'World Spins Madly On', but eventually really slows down. It's not that the songwriting is bad on the latter half of the album, but it lacks the energy and interest that the beginning few songs held. Overall, this album would probably have been better as an EP.Tokyo Police Club A Lesson in CrimeTokyo Police Club ForcefieldTouche Amore Parting The Sea Between Brightness And MetUnE-yArDs w h o k i l lTV on the Radio Return to Cookie MountainTwin Shadow ConfessU2 All That You Can't Leave BehindUnder the Influence of Giants Under the Influence of GiantsBacked by incredibly catchy and dance-inflected singles such as "Mama's Room", Under the Influence of Giants seems to be trying to put the funk back into pop music. Their formula, (an eclectic mix of dance, electronica, indie, and pop) is refreshingly new, and is b acked by an undeniably strong groove and vocals. With that being said, however, the music isn't particularly sophisticated - although this stuff will get stuck in your head, it fades fast after a few listens, and is probably best suited for party music. Not to mention that along with the significant hits here, there are also a lot of faceless misses. Buy the singles.
Recommended: "In the Clouds," "Mama's Room," "Faces" Why? AlopeciaWolf Parade At Mount ZoomerAlthough ostensibly 'Mount Zoomer' is a solid album, it's also an unremarkable one. Fans of Wolf Parade have become accustomed to hearing dashes of musical genius throughout everything Krug and Boeckner touch, whether it be the brilliant 'Queen Mary' or side projects such as Handsome Furs or Sunset Rubdown. 'Mount Zoomer' seems to largely be playing it safe, despite the excess of the 10 minute Kissing the Beehive and the typically obtuse song titles. Rather than pushing the envelope of every song, Zoomer plods along, fitting comfortably within the bounds of Wolf Parade's music rather than expanding it. The result is a few good songs and an altogether forgettable album.Youth Group Skeleton Jar2.5 average3 Doors Down The Better LifeAnathallo Floating WorldAnathallo can perhaps best be described as a bizarre mix of Dredg and Sufan Stevens, with the cohesion and songwriting talent of neither. Throwing a variety of musical styles into the pot in search of something that sticks, Anathallo seems to always be reaching for the perfect song, but always seems to fall short. The only remotely interesting tracks are the "Hanasakajiji" sequence, but even those lack enough to draw the listener back.Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti Worn CopyAudioslave AudioslaveBeck The Information"No complaints, but it's overrated, that's for sure," sings Beck on his latest album, The Information. And although I'm a huge Beck fan, this album has so far been a huge dissapointment to me, despite receiving relatively positive reviews... It's a mixture of Guero and Sea Change, without the style of either. Although there are some excellent tracks like 'Cellphone's Dead', most of them seem to drone on with little sense of energy. Although I need to listen more, right now this album feels very shallow.Broken Social Scene Feel Good LostCity and Colour Little HellDave Matthews Band Busted StuffDave Matthews Band Stand UpDave Matthews Band EverydayDeftones DeftonesEisley The ValleyForever the Sickest Kids Underdog Alma MaterGavin Castleton HomeHave Mercy The Earth Pushed BackHoly Other HeldHop Along Get DisownedHRVRD From the Bird's CageIceage You're NothingInterpol Turn on the Bright LightsJars Of Clay If I Left The ZooJeff Buckley GraceI found this album to be a great dissapointment, given its reputation on Sputnik. Although there are a few spectacular songs like "Lover, You Should`ve Come Over," Jeff has more confidence in his voice than it deserves. He often whines, or drones, in an almost tuneless fashion, that destroys much of the beauty of his songs. Despite being pretty good musically, this album seems to be trying too hard.Jimmy Eat World Stay on My Side TonightKiss Kiss The Meek Shall Inherit What's LeftLinkin Park MeteoraManchester Orchestra Simple MathMGMT CongratulationsMidlake AntiphonMinus the Bear OmniReveille Bleed the SkySecret Machines September 000Sound Team Movie MonsterThe Hold Steady Boys and Girls in AmericaThe Killers Day & AgeThe Knife Tomorrow, In a YearIf this album was comprised solely of 'Colouring of Pigeons', it would potentially vie for album of the year. Unfortunately, there are other songs on the album. Enough said.The Magic Numbers The Magic NumbersThe Reign Of Kindo This Is What HappensTTNG 126.96.36.199.0We Are Scientists With Love and Squalor2.0 poor.hinge The Rise & Fall Of Living GreatBlack Rebel Motorcycle Club HowlDc Talk Nu ThangEvanescence FallenLady Gaga Born This WaySevendust Animosity1.0 awfulRufus Wainwright Want Two
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