Average Rating: 3.83
Rating Variance: 0.74
Objectivity Score: 67% (Fairly Balanced)
Sort by: Rating | Release Date | Rating Date | Name5.0 classicA Tribe Called Quest Midnight MaraudersAngelo Badalamenti Twin PeaksArcade Fire FuneralBlack Sabbath Black SabbathBlink-182 Enema of the StateBob Dylan Bringing It All Back HomeBob Dylan The Freewheelin' Bob DylanBob Dylan Blonde On BlondeBob Dylan Highway 61 RevisitedBob Dylan New MorningBon Iver For Emma, Forever AgoBuilt To Spill Perfect From Now OnBuilt To Spill There's Nothing Wrong With LovePerhaps my personal favorite album of Built To Spill's. This is the record over which I feel in love with their approach to music and life in general. I can put this on anytime and instantly be dragged back to the salty summer air blowing through my hair as I bonded with these tunes over the warm months of 2006. Absolutley gorgeous in the most broken, fragile sense I've ever heard in a rock band. A milestone for all independent rock music.Charles Mingus The Black Saint and the Sinner LadyCoheed and Cambria The Second Stage Turbine BladeCreedence Clearwater Revival Cosmo's FactoryCreedence Clearwater Revival Willy and the Poor BoysCymbals Eat Guitars Lenses AlienDeath Cab for Cutie We Have the Facts and We're Voting YesElliott Smith Either/OrElliott Smith XOElliott Smith Elliott SmithElliott Smith Roman CandleExplosions in the Sky Those Who Tell the Truth...The truth is that this is a flawlessly executed, alternatively illuminating, dizzying, and sublime record that defies and coalesces the silent sky. Explosions in the Sky How Strange, InnocenceFang Island Fang IslandGodspeed You! Black Emperor Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas...Godspeed You! Black Emperor F#A# (Infinity)This record sounds the way I feel inside most of the time. It is indisputably sad, unique, powerful, terrifying and heartachingly gorgeous. Godspeed You! Black Emperor Slow Riot For New Zero KanadaAbsolutely, devestatingly haunting and transcendent, yet, firmly rooted to this world, Slow Riot For New Zero Canada is a minuture symphony for the modern age. Brilliantly binding the melodrama of strings to the laudatory clang and pound of drums, to the heavenly thrusting reach of guitars, the record transports one to a place both familiar, and yet, strangely canny and unique. This may well be the soundtrack to the end of days, and it could not sound more melancholy and bittersweet.GZA Liquid SwordsJimi Hendrix Band of GypsysLudwig van Beethoven Symphony No.9, Op.125Metallica Master of PuppetsMiles Davis Kind of BlueMiles Davis Sketches of SpainMusic as sublime, understated, and unnervingly powerful as the sun baked hillsides and beautiful night skyskapses from which it sprang. Undisputedly one of Miles Davis' most subtle, sultry, and whimsical albums, Sketches of Spain is an exercise in impressionistic painting with a sonic palate. And the landscape which Mr. Davis paints is, to put it mildly, supremely beautiful. Miles Davis In A Silent WayMiles Davis Jack JohnsonModest Mouse The Moon & AntarcticaModest Mouse The Lonesome Crowded WestMogwai Young TeamMono / Worlds End Girlfriend Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder RefrainMount Eerie DawnOne of the best albums of all time. Phil's epic chronicle of self-loss and reckoning with the infinite and absurd is a resonating brass bell. A journey worth taking over, and over again. This album is just as good, if not better, than Neutral Milk Hotel's legendary "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea." Please, get this album, put on a pair of headphones, and take the plunge.Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane Over the SeaNick Drake Pink MoonNirvana In UteroNirvana NevermindNirvana MTV Unplugged in New York (DVD)Oasis (What's The Story) Morning Glory?Oasis Definitely MaybeTHE quintessential British rock album of my generation. 51 minutes of the most melodic, roughshod, bloody lively collection of tunes of the entire 1990s. The perfect album for the perfect place in history. Amazing.Ornette Coleman Free Jazz (A Collective Improvisation)Pavement Crooked Rain, Crooked RainPavement Terror TwilightPedro the Lion ControlPink Floyd The Dark Side of the MoonIf you have ever had any interest in getting lost, quite literally, in a body of music, look no further. Floyd's epic, sprawling, spooky, enthralling, downright beautiful meditation on the brevity of life, the immenence of death, the problems of war, poverty, and insanity, and the search for some over-arching truth that might illuminate or explain everything. Then again, listening to the album, one gets the distinct feeling that Waters and Gilmour did not believe in the possibility of a coherent response to the questions they bemoaned so elegantly. "All that you touch, and all that you see, is all your life will ever be." A masterpiece of classic, progressive rock and enduringly resounding testament to the power of curiosty.Pixies DoolittleRadiohead AmnesiacRadiohead Kid ARadiohead OK ComputerRadiohead In RainbowsRadiohead The King of Limbs: From the BasementRaekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Sam Cooke Ain't That Good NewsThe keystone of modern soul, Sam Cooke is indesputably the greatest R&B singer/songwriter of all time. Ain't That Good News features some of Sam's best songs, including "Good Times", and was recorded soon after the drowning death of his 18-month old son. The bittersweet agony in Sam's voice is palpable, yet this album sounds much more like a celebration of life than a mourning of its brevity. Ain't That Good News is the stuff of legend.Sam Cooke Sam Cooke At The CopaSay Anything ...Is A Real Boy (re-release)Sigur Ros ( )Spiritualized Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in SpaceSteve Reich Music for 18 MusiciansSufjan Stevens IllinoisTalk Talk Laughing StockThe Antlers HospiceHospice is an album that simply radiates beauty. It is suffused in darkness, yet it glows brilliantly and, betraying its lyrical, thematic content, somehow winds up leaving its listener heaving sobs of joy, so thoroughly exhausted and ravaged by the delerious sadness that there's simply no other way out. Peter Silberman's angelic voice devestates whilst at once uplifting, the synths, guitars, and ambient sounds surging subtly, powerfully, and organically behind, wrapping the delicate falsetto in a merlot warmth, which softly confides a quiet reserve of strength. A rare, unique, truly haunting--in every shade of the word--modern masterpiece. Someday, it will sit in a museum, posterity looking back in wonder at the way human beings emoted in the distant past, and marveling at the sublime beauty; timeless, elegant, and sharp.The Avett Brothers EmotionalismThe Avett Brother deliver a stunning set of country-twinged folk-rock on Emotionalism, masterfully balancing a bevy of influences and genres, and sculpting them into authentic, honest, ocassionaly downright heartbreaking, record filled with equal parts nostalgia and resentment. The Beach Boys Pet SoundsThe Beatles RevolverThe Beatles The BeatlesThe Dodos No ColorThe Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles the Pink RobotsThe Microphones The Glow Pt. 2 (Re-release)The Mountain Goats The Sunset TreeThe Rolling Stones Exile on Main St.Why isn't there a 6 rating, for Perfect?The Strokes Is This ItThe Strokes Room on FireThe Tallest Man on Earth The Wild HuntThe Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground & NicoThe Velvet Underground The Velvet UndergroundVan Morrison MoondanceVince Guaraldi Trio A Charlie Brown ChristmasMerry Christmas, Charlie Brown! The best Christmas album of all time; this album shall be forever innocent, pure. Christmas morning simply seems hollow without this playing merrily and softly in the background, draping its warm, soft arms about you and declaring: "All is well." Weezer PinkertonWeezer The Blue AlbumYo La Tengo And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-OuYo La Tengo I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One4.5 superbA Winged Victory for the Sullen A Winged Victory for the SullenThis is simply stunning. It captures the majesty of a snow-blown winter morning; every detail, every contour and curve, every angle and jagged edge, and the glint of the snowflakes in the sunshine. The ethereal, timelessness and transcendence, flow through this music, permeating its every surface and hoisting it up; the softness of it loftily floating above the abyss, fragily, fleetingly. In a word, this record is tragic. The human heart and Universe have so little in common, yet, seemingly so much as well. I wept, but for what, I cannot tell you, for I know not myself.Andrew Jackson Jihad Knife ManA brilliant, savage, funny, sad record about the American Nightmare. Andrew Jackson Jihad is performed and sung to the key of heartbreak and dissolution. Absurd and rebellious all at once.Arcade Fire The SuburbsArctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am...Arctic Monkeys Favourite Worst NightmareBabyshambles Down In AlbionBen Kweller Sha ShaPerfect stoner rock. Great melodies, solid guitar, drums, and bass, and an endearing, sort of Rivers Cuomo-esque vocal style from Kweller. Excellent indie pop-rock, for sure brah.Between The Buried And Me ColorsThe best progressive metal album ever made. Ever. Pure brilliance.Between The Buried And Me Colors_LiveBetween The Buried And Me The Great MisdirectBetween The Buried And Me The Parallax: Hypersleep DialoguesThe most thrilling fucking thirty minutes of innovative, tight, and downright terrifyingly awesome metal music I have ever been brutalized by. This EP, combined with the forthcoming, connected LP, could turn out to be the best metal record of all time. I will never stop loving this band so long as they continue to shatter the air with such beauty and monstrous grace.Between The Buried And Me The Parallax II: Future SequenceBlack Sabbath ParanoidBlind Faith Blind FaithBlink-182 Blink-182Bob Dylan Bob DylanBob Marley and The Wailers LegendBomb the Music Industry! VacationBon Iver Blood BankBon Iver Bon Iver, Bon IverJustin Vernon takes a bold, confident step forward, and a humble, glancing step to the side, on his band's eponymous sophmore record, "Bon Iver." Gone is the lo-fi, rustic sound of 2008/2009's reclusive hermit masterpiece, "For Emma, Forever Ago," here replaced by a dense, lush, electronic, symphonically jazzy sound. Beauty abounds here. Vernon's vocals dazzle and shine. The acoustic guitar passages mesmerize. The descending piano and sax melodies endear. This is an instant classic, through and through. Do not allow the hype to cloud your judgement, for the music shall speak for itself quite plainly. By far the best album of the year, "Bon Iver" makes me happy to be alive, drawing breath, and experiencing the agonizingly wonderful music echoing in my heart. Sublime.Built To Spill Keep It Like A SecretBuilt To Spill Ultimate Alternative WaversBuilt To Spill The Normal YearsBurial UntrueCausa Sui Euporie TideChromatics Kill For LoveFuck me slowly in the technicolor nighttime. This is the music of reckless abandon and the most beautiful, spiritual release. Dive in and get lost in the glamorous, hazy glory of youth and fleeting significance.Circa Survive Blue Sky NoiseCloud Nothings Attack On MemoryCoheed and Cambria In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3Coldplay Viva La VidaColdplay Mylo XylotoAfter hearing the EP, I was underwhelmed and disapppointed. Mylo Xyloto, however, is a fantastic Coldplay album; a near perfect fusion of the two distinct styles that marked X & Y and Viva La Vida. Coldplay have not done anything revolutionary or groundbreaking here, but then again, the band sounds so pleasant and naturally charming that it's quite hard to begrudge them for playing to their strengths.Colin Stetson New History Warfare, Vol 2: JudgesCreedence Clearwater Revival Bayou CountryCreedence Clearwater Revival Creedence Clearwater RevivalCursive The Ugly OrganGothic, brutal, catchy indie-rock with some intense instrumental sections and a closing track that brings the whole thing down in a massive firestorm. We all know art is hard.Cymbals Eat Guitars Why There Are MountainsDan Mangan Nice, Nice, Very NiceOne of the most sincere, vulnerable albums I've ever heard, Nice, Nice, Very Nice is a stunning array of beautiful, rich, endearing tunes, which, with the brushstrokes of a genius, Mangan has crafted into a near masterpiece. Daniel Johnston 1990Death SymbolicDeath Cab for Cutie TransatlanticismDeath Cab for Cutie Something About AirplanesDinosaur Jr. You're Living All Over MeAwesomely fuzzed out, chunky guitars fill out this sprawl of hazy, half-baked lyrics and stoned-out metaphors. The riffs are hooky, catchy, yet never soft; they maintain an element of slinky danfer, even at their most playful and lyrical. J. Mascis' penchant for speak-singing his lyrics works especially well on this record. The mixing is rough, yet perfectly suited to his lamenting, wilting voice. You're Living All Over Me nails the perfect balance between pop sensibilities and rock aesthetics. The resulting noise is best summed up in my favorite track of the record, "Sludgefeast." Dinosaur Jr. BeyondDinosaur Jr. FarmDoves The Last BroadcastDoves Lost SoulsElliott Smith Figure 8Elliott Smith From a Basement on the Hill"I'm already down, I got no fight." I love and miss you, Elliott.Elliott Smith New MoonElliott Smith Live at LargoExplosions in the Sky The Earth is Not a Cold Dead PlaceExplosions in the Sky All of a Sudden, I Miss EveryoneExplosions in the Sky Take Care, Take Care, Take CareSimply stunning. I sat and stared through the dancing, colorful movements sweeping across the screen as the music transported me through time; both physically and poetically. Memories. Memories of love lost, of happy days under the sun, of my mother and father holding my hand, of my first experience of the absurd, of longing for union with the expansive truths of the universe. Memories of things which have yet to occur. Visions of the past unspooled before me like great chasms; my heart swelled and sank, ebbed and flowed. I cried, softly, happily, gratefully, humbly, as "Postcard From 1952" stole me away to a particular place in history, situated somewhere between my imagination and infinity. A place of purity, innocence, and warmth. This is, without a doubt, the best album of the year. Explosions In The Sky have truly outdone themselves, and created the best album of their career. Listen to this alone. If you have any affection for the beauty, wonder, sublimity, and sheer awe that is life itself, you shall love this record. A man can be rich, if he has love in his heart. Take care, take care, take care.Fiona Apple The Idler Wheel...Flying Lotus CosmogrammaFlying Lotus Until the Quiet ComesFour Tet There is Love in YouFrank Turner England Keep My BonesFugazi In on the Kill TakerGiles Corey Giles CoreyGodspeed You! Black Emperor Yanqui U.X.O.Godspeed You! Black Emperor 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!Grouper A I AHot Chip In Our HeadsIggy Pop The IdiotInterpol Turn on the Bright LightsIsis PanopticonJames Blackshaw The Cloud of UnknowingJames Blackshaw Litany of EchoesJames Blackshaw The Glass Bead GameJames Blackshaw Love is the Plan, the Plan is DeathJames Blake James BlakeThe best electronic album I've heard in a long time, James Blake is subtle, sultry, and undeniably moving. Outstanding record.Jay Electronica Act I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge)Jeff Mangum Live at Jittery Joe'sJohn Coltrane A Love SupremeJose Gonzalez VeneerJoy Division CloserJoy Division Unknown PleasuresJustin Vernon Self RecordKanye West GraduationKing Creosote and Jon Hopkins Diamond MineKurt Vile Wakin on a Pretty DazeLa Dispute Somewhere at the Bottom of the River...La Dispute WildlifeNearly flawless follow-up to Somewhere At The Bottom Of The River Between Vega And Altair, La Dipsute have really found their footing on Wildlife. At turns brutal, brilliant, beautiful, and bold, the record moves at its own pace and leaves everything on the table. Dreyer's vocals have vastly improved, as has the songwriting and sonic cohesion. Absolutely fantastic.Lady Lamb The Beekeeper Ripely PineLaura Stevenson Sit ResistAlbum of the year contender. This could be the masterpiece of 2011, and it's only May. Take a listen as Stevenson tears through your entire emotional range as a human being in less than 2 minutes on the stunning track, "Final Piece." Or seduces you gently into her silken web and then devestates you with beauty across both parts of "Halloween." Or just fall in love with her amidst the bells and accordians of "The Healthy One." Either way, don't miss the final track, "I See Dark." You'll never be sightless at night again. And don't miss this album if you have any appreciation at all for independent folk, rock, or pop music.LCD Soundsystem This Is HappeningAn elegant swan song from the old-scruffy dancemaster himself, James Murphy and his LCD Soundstytem. Superbly arranged and executed dance rock that is sure to get any white people party grooving as hard as they can try. Farewell and adieu, James. Thanks for the tunes.Leyland Kirby Eager To Tear Apart The StarsM83 Hurry Up, We're DreamingMadvillain MadvillainyMaps & Atlases Perch PatchworkMark Kozelek & Jimmy Lavalle Perils from the SeaEasily the best thing Kozelek has released since April.Mastodon RemissionMastodon LeviathanMastodon Crack the SkyeMetallica Ride the LightningMetallica ...And Justice for AllMetallica S&MMiles Davis 'Round About MidnightMiles Davis The Complete In a Silent Way SessionsMinus the Bear Highly Refined PiratesMinus the Bear This is What I Know About Being GiganticModest Mouse Good News For People Who Love Bad NewsModest Mouse Everywhere And His Nasty Parlour TricksModest Mouse Building Nothing Out of SomethingModest Mouse This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To..Mono You Are ThereMount Eerie Wind's PoemMount Eerie Clear MoonPhil hits an elegant, beautiful stride on Clear Moon. The album is graceful and sleek, yet still wonderfully fuzzy and hazed out. After going into the wilderness at night on Black Wooden Ceiling Opening and Wind's Poem, the sun seems to be peeking over the horizon, as Dawn approaches. This record feels like a long, lonesome, wintry summer dusk in Alaska; all delirious and flowing, at once pristine as spring water and velvety as rich, humid air. Absolutely gorgeous from start to finish, and surely one of the most unique, enjoyable releases of the year. My Morning Jacket ZNeutral Milk Hotel On Avery IslandNeutral Milk Hotel Everything IsNick Drake Five Leaves LeftNick Drake Bryter LayterNicolas Jaar Space Is Only NoiseNirvana MTV Unplugged in New YorkNujabes Metaphorical MusicShit just got real. A sake-drenched escapade into the night, all smoke and horns and beats, swirling about, condensing and evaporating, lifting the listener out of the ordinary and into the mystic. Astounding.Nujabes Spiritual StateSamurai meets jazz meets textural hip-hop. FUCK YES.Opeth Still LifeOrnette Coleman The Shape of Jazz to ComePavement Brighten the CornersPavement Slanted & EnchantedPhilip Glass Etudes for Piano, Vol. 1Chillingly pretty and undeniably unique, Philip Glass' Etudes for Piano, Vol. 1 is a tour de force of elegant, melancholy minimalism and a reaching, searching collection of primaly sophisticated music. Brilliant.Philip Jeck StokePinback Blue Screen LifePinback This is a Pinback CDPixies Surfer RosaPolaris Music from The Adventures of Pete and PeIf you grew up in the 90's and you have a heart, you will love this album. It is pure nostalgic, sentimental bliss. Pete & Pete were an enormous part of my childhood, and the songs on this record swirl up emotions that only fond memories of childhood can conjur. Solid, heartfelt, and often sublime, this is a diamond in the rough of an album. Portishead ThirdProtest The Hero KeziaA truly groundbreaking, unique, viscerally rich album steeped in its own unique, brutal, gothic mythology. One of the best metal albums of all time, and the band made it when most of its members were 19 years-old. KEZIIIIAAAAA!Protest The Hero FortressProtest The Hero ScurrilousRadiohead The BendsRadiohead Hail to the ThiefRadiohead I Might Be Wrong: Live RecordingsRadiohead The King of LimbsIn true Radiohead fashion, The King of Limbs blossoms slowly and kingly; unfolding its lotus bloom with care, dilligence, and patience. This is an adult rock album, and it is meant to be enjoyed by adults who think and feel deeply. Thom sings with the conviction and passion of a man who has experienced much; created much with his hands of which he is proud and for which millions of people adore him. At this point in their career, Radiohead are confident, and dangerously so for every other band in the world. From the otherworldy, underwater electro-balled opener "Bloom," to the heartbreakingly gorgeous, piano-backlight "Codex", to the stunningly groovy jam of "Lotus Flower," King lives up to its royal billing. I am so grateful I took the time to give this a second chance, as I always am with Radiohead, and I know have another album on the list of those which I must give to my children, should they find themselves here one day.Radiohead In Rainbows: From the BasementRatatat RatatatNearly flawless mixture of post-rock and pop-ambient electronica, and some incredible, searing synth melodies and sweeping, buzzing guitar riffs combine to form one of the most unique sounding records I've ever heard. Ratatat is a music about they joy of playing music. Listen for yourself, and you won't be disappointed.Saves the Day In ReverieSay Anything ...Is a Real Boy"and the record begins with a song of rebellion..."Scale The Summit Carving Desert CanyonsScale The Summit The CollectiveThis album is fantastic. It contains some of the most technically beautiful, well-arranged post-metal that I have ever heard. Inititially, the darkness inherent in the sound of this album drove me from it, but now it stands as the primary reason for my affection for it. Sprawling, immense, and filled with diversions through murky clouds of dissonant melody, The Collective is an immensely impressive piece of music. Sigur Ros Ágætis ByrjunSigur Ros Takk...Sigur Ros ValtariSmashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie and the Infinite SadnessSonic Youth DirtySparklehorse Good Morning SpiderSparklehorse It's a Wonderful LifeSpoon Kill The MoonlightSpoon Girls Can TellSpoon Ga Ga Ga Ga GaSpoon TransferenceIt took three years for Transference to make sense to me, but when at last it revealed itself one mournfully slow and still spring sundown, I was transformed. Spoon is a religious band for me. They are composed and comprised of particles which flow in my soul and their melodies share a currency with the stuff of transcendence. There's something dark and weird and just-slightly-disconcerting at the heart of this record, something glowing and rare and mythical. I can't explain it and that's basically the whole point. Out go the lights.Stephen Malkmus Mirror TrafficEasily one of the top 5 albums of the year, Mirror Traffic is 50 minutes of exuberant, radiant, elegantly restrained shades of Malkmus. The Jicks have never sounded so in control of their sound; so assured of direction, yet so loose as to allow for a genuinely profound enjoyment of the journey. This is a fantastic record, one that never lags for a moment and feels as vital and alive as any of Malkmus' work with Pavement. I can't wait to wind down and affirm the splendor of life with this record by the ocean, as September slowly evaporates the summer. Such a beautiful, simple lifestyle always demands a soundtrack, and I've found it in Mirror Traffic.Sufjan Stevens All Delighted PeopleSufjan Stevens The Age of AdzSun Kil Moon Ghosts of the Great HighwaySun Kil Moon AprilSurfer Blood Astro CoastSymmetry Themes For An Imaginary FilmEpic in scope and textured by the finest, most elegant moonlight production, Symmetry's Themes For An Imaginary Film is a work of geunine immersion, full of the nuance and subtlety that make the best film scores so memorable. Spanning two discs, each containing 18 tracks, the music ranges from thumping, pulse-pounding action sequences to rather down-tempo elctronic ballads to sinister, ominous laments to pure seratonin candy. The imagination is engaged at all times throughout, and, given the right setting, the feet may feel equally compelled to express their pleasure. Sublime sounds for a sanguine ride into the sunset.Television Marquee MoonThe Band Music From Big PinkThe Caretaker An Empty Bliss Beyond This WorldThe Dodos VisiterThe Dodos CarrierThe Kinks Lola vs. Powerman and the MoneygoroundThe Libertines Up The BracketThe Men Open Your HeartThe Middle East The Recordings of the Middle EastThe National AlligatorThe National BoxerThe Olivia Tremor Control Dusk at Cubist CastleThe Rolling Stones Let It BleedThe Stone Roses The Stone RosesThe Tallest Man on Earth Shallow GraveThe Tallest Man on Earth The Tallest Man on EarthThe Tallest Man on Earth Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing BirdThe Tallest Man on Earth There's No Leaving NowThe War on Drugs Slave AmbientSlave Ambient is nearly flawless, from start to glorious, breathtaking finish. This is lush indie-rock, in the vein of The Velvet Underground, complete with drips and drabs of Lou Reed-style vocals. Dense, yet at times melodically lofty as a cloud, The War On Drugs have crafted something truly special which lingers in one's mind for days. Hell, some of the songs outright resemble memories; hazy, nostalgiac, and nearly always more beautiful and meaningful than the actual experience.The Weeknd House of BalloonsThis is the sound of lust coming gloriously alive. A thrilling, sultry, vibrantly grimy R&B record for the ages. Fantastic.The Weeknd Echoes of SilenceThe xx xx"And we, we live half in the day time. And we, we live half at night." This sparse, sultry album, filled with lustful hushed vocal interplay and icicle guitar picking, is one of my favorite albums of 2009. I saw The xx once live, and it was almost counter-productive; the allure of this record lies in its obscurity, its intentional aura of intimacy through anonymity, and its refusal to recognize or address the listener. Listening to xx is both a vouyeristic and vicarious endeavour, and one which begs to be undertaken quite frequntly. "I am yours now, so now I don't ever have to leave. I've been found out, so I'll never explore."Thrice The Illusion of SafetyThrice The Artist in the AmbulanceThrice BeggarsThrice Major/MinorBeautifully muddy and brilliantly clean, madly dark and wildly, endlessly hopeful, powerful yet understated, Major/Minor is a dense, forecfully emotive record that finds Thrice striding gracefully and heroically into the next decade. Though not as exploratory or ground-breaking as previous albums such as Vheissu and Beggars, the album is simply magnifecent to behold, a joy to listen to, and a real gift in times when such goodness is scarce.Titus Andronicus The MonitorTouche Amore/La Dispute Searching for a Pulse/The Worth of the WorldTreepeople Something Vicious for Tomorrow / Time WhoreTrophy Scars Never Born, Never DeadUgly Casanova Sharpen Your TeethVampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the CityWilco A Ghost is BornWilco Yankee Hotel FoxtrotWilliam Tyler Behold the SpiritWilliam Tyler Impossible TruthEloquent, charming, warm, and worn-in, like a late afternoon when the sun has just dipped over the apex of the sky and casts burnt-out orange and spectacular lavender all about the trees and bellies of clouds. Tyler's fingers croon with ebulient poise, crafting gently-shaped smoke balloons, enveloping and complete. Stunning in its immediacy and power to comfort.Wu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)Yo La Tengo The Sounds Of The Sounds Of Science4.0 excellent!!! !!!Cool, squiggly guitars, offbeat drumming, and some really funky basslines abound on !!!. The vocals are mellow and almost spoken as opposed to sung; think James Murphy with a bit more nasally timbre. Interesting indie rock dance rock record. Aesop Rock SkelethonAlgernon Cadwallader Parrot Fliesalt-j An Awesome WaveThere's an intangible quality to this record, a sinewy, distant feeling, that attracts me to it. A groovy, at times shimmeringly beautiful and radiant, torrent of music, An Awesome Wave is really just that. Harmonies are ghostly and creepy in the best way, drum beats are utilized in service of moving bodies, and the synth-coated texture assures that the whole affair is thoroughly modern. A brilliant debut album, which I suspect may mark the beginning of a rather unique career for this young, aloof band. Listen to it loud and make sure you can feel the bass in your chest. Amia Venera Landscape The Long ProcessionThe sound of the end of the world in the key of Green.Andrew Bird Noble BeastAndy Stott Luxury ProblemsAnimals as Leaders Animals as LeadersAnimals as Leaders WeightlessAphex Twin Selected Ambient Works 85-92Apollo Brown CloudsArcade Fire The Arcade FireArcade Fire Neon BibleArctic Monkeys Who The Fuck Are Arctic Monkeys?Arctic Monkeys I Bet You Look Good On The DancefloorCheck out this EP for the two non-album tracks. Bigger Boys and Stolen Sweethearts is a rather melodic, poppy track for the Monkeys, and Chun Li Flying Bird Kick finds them in full on, non-vocal, heavy rythmic lock-step grooviness. [Side note: I cannot seem to find a way to edit the information, but this EP was released in 2005. I forgot to enter the release date and it automatically assigned it to 2011.] Arctic Monkeys Suck It and SeeA sneakily heavy, British 60's pop-rock album, Suck It And See is brash and sneering, but it's all been toned down to a thick, heavy smolder. The occasional eruptions into full blown "dogshit rock n' roll", as Turner puts it on "Library Pictures", are exhilarating. This bunch of tunes is melodically beyond solid; Turner is a brilliant wordsmith, and The Monkeys are masters of atmosphere. Initially, I found this album boring and uninspired, but the more I listen, the more I hear, and the more I understand what the band has done in recording a record of this style and stature. I think the lads will fare well in years to come, and may, in time, prove themselves to be among the greatest British rock bands of all time.Arctic Monkeys When The Sun Goes DownAn EP containing three non-album tracks, "Settle For A Draw," "Stickin' To The Floor," and "7." Each track is clasic, vintage 2005/2006 Arctic Monkeys. Brilliant British phrasings, prickly, post-punkish guitar lines, a thick, semi-bluesy rhythm section, and some goddamn stunning songwriting mark this EP as a "can't miss" in the band's catologue. This is band I knew and fell in love with, playing as they do best, long before they had aspirations of putting people to sleep with their albums. Atoms for Peace AmokBeach House Teen DreamBeach House BloomBenn Jordan Pale Blue DotBetween The Buried And Me The Silent CircusBetween The Buried And Me AlaskaBetween The Buried And Me Alaska [Instrumental]Beyond Creation The AuraBill Callahan Sometimes I Wish We Were An EagleBill Callahan Dream RiverBill Holt DreamiesAt age 28, Bill Holt dropped out of society, quit his job, and secluded himself in a basement for a over a year. What emerged from his time underground is the record Dreamies. Written as a both a response and homage to The Beatles' "Revolution Number 9", Dreamies builds ominously atop a slowly, deliberately strummed four chord progression, as soundclips from the likes of JFK are gradually woven in, and twitchy, sinister synth flourishes added. Composed of two tracks, "Program Ten" and "Program Eleven," the record plays well only as a whole. It is a true album, intended to be heard in one sitting. Holt re-released a newly remasterd version of Dreamies in 2006, with the two songs seperated masterfully into two suites comprised of six and seven tracks respectively. Listening to Dreamies is meant to be a fully immersive aural experience, and, in all likelihood, designed to be heard in an altered state of consciousness. I love this album; it exudes an eerie quality that lends itself to feeling like an artificact of some lost civilization. Take the plunge if you dare.Blue Gene Tyranny DetoursBoards of Canada The Campfire HeadphaseBob Dylan Nashville SkylineBuilt To Spill You In ReverseBuilt To Spill There Is No EnemyBuilt To Spill The Electronic Anthology ProjectThis EP contains seven songs, each plucked from one of Built To Spill's studio albums, reworked into synth and drum-machine laden, early 80's New Wave dance tracks. This album is a must-have for any serious fan of Built To Spill and Doug Martsch's side projects. Hilarious, fun, and gnarly. Long live Built To Spill!Burial and Four Tet Ego/MirrorCalled To Arms Peril and the PatientCaribou SwimCausa Sui Pewt'r Sessions 1Cee Lo Green The Lady KillerCemeteries The WildernessCirca Survive JuturnaCoheed and Cambria From Fear Through the Eyes of MadnessCoheed and Cambria NeverenderCrystal Castles Crystal Castles IIICurren$y Pilot TalkCurren$y Pilot Talk IIDaft Punk DiscoveryDan Mangan Oh FortuneDavid Lynch Crazy Clown TimeI'll be honest: I love David Lynch like he's family. The man can do nearly no wrong in my eyes. That being said, however, Crazy Clown Time is an astoundingly interesting, thoughtful, fantastically odd and eclectic pop album. Lynch exhibits his mastery of the dialectical nature of dreams and nightmares, life and death, love and hate; and modern society's civil, shining exterior, which he has built a career dismantling, tarnishing, and illuminating, is ripped wide open and displayed through the stark filter of Lynch's mind. Though some will loathe this record for its somewhat obtuse posturing, I think most will find a lot of substance and fun amidst the bramble of David Lynch's Crazy Clown Time.
PS - Do not miss "Strange and Unproductive Thinking," the shining star of the album, even if you choose not to listen to the whole thing.Death Cab for Cutie The Photo AlbumDeath Cab for Cutie Forbidden LoveDeath Cab for Cutie Narrow StairsDefeater Empty Days and Sleepless NightsDerek Paravicini Echoes Of The Sounds To BeHe's blind and he's a Super Hero. Listen to him play and try not to love it.Dinosaur Jr. Where You BeenDinosaur Jr. Without a SoundDinosaur Jr. Green MindDinosaur Jr. I Bet on SkyNot nearly as good as 2009's Farm, but still fantastic nonetheless. Jay, Lou, and Murph seem to have relaxed a bit on I Bet on Sky, with far less riffing than your average Dinosaur Jr. album and some surprisingly down-tempo tracks. I was hoping for a more rocking, energetic album, but it's hard to deny that Dinosaur Jr. are still one of the best indie bands around and they've been at it on and off for nearly 30 years. Dirty Projectors Swing Lo MagellanEarl Greyhound Soft TargetsSoft Targets is the undisputed love child of Led Zeppelin and The Black Keys. It's fucking cool and is best served loud. El Ten Eleven Ten ElevenElder (USA-MA) Dead Roots Stirring"Wait until those little Eichmanns get a taste of this crunchy groove!"Explosions in the Sky The RescueFaces Ooh La laFang Island Day of the Great LeapFang Island Sky Gardens EPFang Island MajorFareWell Poetry Hoping for the Invisible to IgniteFarewell Republic Burn the BoatsFiona Apple Extraordinary MachineFleet Foxes Sun Giant EPFleet Foxes Fleet FoxesFleet Foxes Helplessness BluesForest Swords Dagger PathsFour Tet PinkFrank Ocean Channel OrangeFrightened Rabbit The Midnight Organ FightFuture Islands In Evening AirGhostface Killah Apollo KidsGrimy, undulating groovy soul beats slink through this record whilst Ghost and crew flow and fly over them with force, grace, and angular swordplay. Ghost is on top of his game--lyirically and stylistically--and his Wu-Tang roots have not been this exposed, this raw, for quite some time. Terrific hip-hop album.Ghostface Killah Twelve Reasons to DieGil Scott-Heron I'm New HereListening to this early this morning upon hearing news of Heron's untimely death was quite moving and, at times, breath taking. It is hard to remain objective at this moment, but prior to all of my old ratings beingd, I had this album at a 3.5. I rate it a 4 now because, whether it is fair or not, this record now sounds eerily prophetic, self-aware, and, ultimately, cathartic. I hope they send a limousene from heaven to take him to God, if there is one.Interpol AnticsIsis Wavering RadiantJ. Tillman Vacilando Territory BluesJames Blake Enough ThunderJames Blake OvergrownJapandroids Post-NothingJapandroids Celebration RockJeff Mangum Live At Aquarius RecordsJeff Mangum Live At XFMJincallo Beacons Of Lightslippery sunshine hazy beats, smooth and mellow, flowing through drops of fog and shimmering / / the sound of calm peering through stoned eyesJincallo The First, The Lastthe path to enlightenment travels through the center of your mind, the depths of which you can scarecely conceive. sometimes, yesterday is the future, you just can't see it yet.John Coltrane Olé ColtraneJohn K. Samson ProvincialJohn Lennon AcousticJohn Talabot FinJoyce Manor Joyce ManorKanye West The College DropoutKanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyLil Wayne Dedication 2Lil Wayne Da Drought 3Little Joy Little JoyThe Strokes if you filtered them through the Amazon Jungle, a 1950's Doo-Wop lounge, and added a beautiful female counterpart to play the Girl from Ipanema. What a fantastically interesting, relaxing record.Local Natives Gorilla ManorLos Campesinos! Hello SadnessManchester Orchestra Simple MathA beautiful, sprawling, Indie-rock stunner. Epic, anthemic, and heartfelt to ground it all. Excellent record.Maps & Atlases Tree, Swallows, HousesMaps & Atlases You and Me and the MountainMaps & Atlases Beware and Be GratefulLush, rich, textured, and simply overflowing with beautiful noises from every which direction, Beware and Be Grateful sounds like Maps & Atlases finally breaking free from any constraints of identity and simply allowing themselves the space to let their songs breathe. More mature and restrained than Perch Patchwork in many ways, the record still finds a measure of wildness, expanding horizontally instead of reaching for those vertical peaks of dizzying math riffs. In many ways, this record reminds me of Death Cab for Cutie's Transatlanticism, not least of which is the astounding quality and coherence as an album, flowing serenely, intuitively, and gorgeously through to the bittersweet end. Beware and Be Grateful is not an album to be missed in 2012.Mark Kozelek Whats Next To The MoonMark McGuire A Young Person's GuideIf you have two and a half hours and a joint on you, spark up, lay back, end enjoy this journey through the astral planes of your mind. A Young Person's Guide is an absolutely stunning, understated post-rock album. Mastodon Blood MountainMetallica Kill 'Em AllMetallica MetallicaMetallica Death MagneticMethod Man and Redman Blackout!Mew FrengersMiles Davis Porgy and BessMilk Music Beyond LivingMinus the Bear Planet of IceMinus the Bear AcousticsModerat ModeratModest Mouse The Fruit That Ate ItselfModest Mouse We Were Dead Before the Ship Even SankModest Mouse No One's First And You're NextModest Mouse Night On The SunMono Under The Pipal TreeMount Eerie Black Wooden Ceiling OpeningPhil gets his quasi-black metal on with fantastically dissonant, yet melodically stunning tunes culled from the darkest of forests on a moonless night.Mount Eerie No FlashlightMount Eerie Lost WisdomMount Eerie Black WoodenPhil Phil Phil, yeah yeah yeah, strum strum strumming his guitar in the living world.Nico Chelsea GirlNirvana BleachNirvana Live At ReadingNoel Gallagher's High Flying Birds The Dreams We Have As Children: Live At The RoyalOlafur Arnalds Living Room SongsOm Advaitic SongsPanda Bear TomboyPedro the Lion Achilles HeelPinback Summer in AbaddonPixies Trompe Le MondePixies Come On PilgrimA brilliant debut for a legendary band, Caribou finds the Pixies in a state of playful agitation, churning out rough hewn gem after gem. The jittery guitar slides on "Vamos" are fantastic, and "Nimrod's Son", "Carbiou", and "Levitate Me" are all fucking awesome in their own ways. Protest The Hero Fortress (Instrumental)Quasimoto The UnseenRadiohead Airbag/How Am I Driving?Raekwon Shaolin vs. Wu-TangRamones RamonesRatatat ClassicsRatatat Ratatat Remixes Vol.1Ratatat Ratatat Remixes Vol.IIRich Aucoin We're All Dying To LiveSimply stunning; brimming to the point of overflowing with vivacity, electricity, and life. Rich Aucoin, who, in a seemingly knowing nod to forebarer and foundation-layer Sufjan Stevens chose to use a young boy in a rough-shod Superman outfit amongst a choatic urban scape as his album art, has crafted one of the best rock/electronic records of 2011. The gang vocals, the rippling, rhythmic, often hypnotically gorgeous bass, the bells and whistles and horns and chimes and every manner of pretty noise; it all coalesces under Aucoin's hand and ear into something truly magnificent, leaving the listener stunned and in a half-stupor. Clocking in at close to an hour, We're All Dying To Live is a lofty, trascendent romp in the clouds that never seems long-in-the-tooth, and invites everyone and anyone to join in the fun. Don't miss out on this record.Rodrigo y Gabriela 11:11Russian Circles EmprosS. Carey All We GrowThe perfect, soft, warm summer evening album. The cover art for this record could not be more fitting or apropos. Swaying, smooth, and elegantly stated. One of my favorite releases from 2010.Sandro Perri Impossible SpacesBeautifully recorded, elegantly constructed retro-pop music. Sandro Perri's Impossible Spaces is short, sweet, and incredibley infectious. Layers of twitchy synths are sewed and strung together by intricate, yet loose guitar lines and vocals that are smoother than silk and reminiscent of Andrew Bird. Fantastic noises abound on this minor gem of a record.Say Anything Say AnythingScale The Summit MonumentSigur Ros Hvarf/HeimSlint SpiderlandSonic Youth GooSpoon Gimme FictionSpoon Series of SneaksSpoon TelephonoSpoon Love WaysStephen Malkmus Face the TruthStephen Malkmus Stephen MalkmusThe cover of Stephen Malkmus' first solo LP is more than fitting; it encapsulates both an attitude and an approach that permeates the record. After the melancholy and heavy-heartedness of Pavement's Terror Twilight, Malky kicks back, sighs, and sets forth an album that sounds as cool and beautiful as a California breeze, the sun setting lazily over the Pacific. Stephen Malkmus takes its listener to a place that many have been before, but few recognize: the space between Malky's ears.Stephen Malkmus Pig LibStephen Malkmus Real Emotional TrashStephen Malkmus Senator - Single"I know what the Senator wants. What the Senator wants is a blow job!" Malky has not sounded this energetic since 2008's "Gardenia." Tossing off odd ball lines about smoking weed in his truck and being invisible, the music builds in paranoic tension until it releases into a final verse and chorus. Carrying the momentum of the entire song through a soft, swift, bridge in which he chants repeatedly, "You are fading fast... You are gone..." Stephen Malkmus explodes elegantly into one of the best, to-the-point, yet exuberantly emotive guitar solos of his entire brilliant career. Hopefully this an indicator of what's in store for us Jicks fans on Mirror Traffic.Strand of Oaks Pope KilldragonStrand of Oaks Leave RuinSufjan Stevens MichiganSufjan Stevens Seven SwansSufjan Stevens The Avalanche: Outtakes and ExtrasSun Kil Moon Among the LeavesSurfer Blood Tarot ClassicsSurfer Blood PythonsWhile the hooks are slightly less crunchy this time around, the dudes of Surfer Blood have rcertainly not exchanged excitement for quality on their sophomore album, Pythons. rPolished, jaunty, and beautiful, the music on Pythons is well-built and seductive. rCohesion and clarity of vision shine through. Standout tracks include singles "Demon Dance" rand "Weird Shapes," as well as the stunning closer to the non-deluxe version, "Prom Song." rJohn Paul Pitts' vocals have improved, though, for my taste, they are a bit lacking in the runhinged lunacy which gave them such bite and danger on Astro Coast. However, I have ra distinct suspicion that the more mature, refined indie pop sound contained herein will, in rtime, slowly unravel itself to reveal something far grander than I can hear from here. (!) rThis is summer music, through and through, and it's easily one of my favorite records of r2013 thus far. Lie back, let the chill sound of this serpent constrict itself about your rnucleus accumbens, and ride the tasty buzz straight through the dog days.Swarms Old Raves EndUndulating, pourous synths wash gently, ebbing and flowing, atop softly picked, subued, reverberating guitar lines. Patient, mellow flashes of bass and swells of volume permeate the record, as do the ghostly, ethereal vocal samples that round out the mix. This album is incredibly soothing, and one of the prettiest of 2011.Swearin' Swearin'Taking Back Sunday Tell All Your FriendsTech N9ne All 6's and 7'sThe Antlers Burst ApartThe Antlers UnderseaThe Avett Brothers The Avett Bros.Listening to these guys in such an early stage of their development is a rare and special treat. This EP is rough hewn--and all the better for it. The songs on this record simply exude life, each in its own battered, flawed fashion, and, set as a collection, allow the listenter access to the unbridled enthusiasm which clearly lies at the heart of who the Avett Brothers are as human beings, and certianly as artists. The record sounds like it was plucked up from some time capsule buried in the corn fields of Nebraska in 1927. Odd, dusty, somehow simultaneously familiar and vague. Ultimately, it's damn near impossible to resist the blissful nostalgia and good old-fashioned Americana that abounds on The Avett Brothers' debut EP, The Avett Bros. So, grab a smoke, grab a beer, and sit beside the fire as the Bros. spin their sepia tinged yarns of love, life, and loss. The Black Keys ThickfreaknessThe Dodos Time to DieThe Dodos The Dodos Live From Akropolis, PragueMeric and Logan sound tight, slightly off-kilter, and deranged as they tear through the majority of their 2008 near-masterpiece, "Visiter," live in Prague. Most of the songs contain a minimal bit of improvisation; just enough to make the album interesting and fresh, but they remain faithful enough to the songs that the listener is able to readily identify with the wonderful emotions that endeared him or her to the band to begin with. Definitely worth a listen for the way they shred through "Joe's Waltz" and "Jodi" alone. Also, this may contain the best version of "Fools" the band has ever recorded. Heres' hoping these Dodos do not go extinct any time soon.The Field Looping State of MindThe Flashbulb Soundtrack to a Vacant LifeThe Flashbulb Love As A Dark HallwayAvant garde jazz at its joyously exuberant finest, Love As a Dark Hallway carves a uniquely modern soundscape through use of wriggling, bubbly basslines, creeping piano melodies, and gorgoeous swaths of angular, swooping synths. One of the best records of 2011.The Flashbulb Opus At The End Of EverythingThe Halo Benders God Don't Make No JunkA keystone in mid-ninties indie stoner/surf rock music. Released the same year as co-lead singer Doug Martsch's more popular band, Bulit To Spill's classic, "There's Nothing Wrong With Love, this record sounds quite different, yet undoubtedly is imbued with a bit of the aforementioned band's DNA. The dual vocals, although a bit wearisome at first, eventually grow on the listener and becoming inviting, funny, and interesting. If sparse Built To Spill with a bit of Bill Callahan/Smog vocals sounds appealing to you, this is the band for you. Oh, and don't touch my bikini!The Halo Benders Don't Tell Me NowIf you like Built to Spill, The Silver Jews, and Smog, then this is the album for you. Amazing set of laid-back, stoner surf rock suffused with a sense of sincerity that interacts wonderfully with the playful, often tongue-in-cheek, lyrical segments. Highly recommended for fans of Doug Martsch and his work with Built To Spill. I was very surprised that this was not already on Sputnik! The Jezabels PrisonerThe Kills Keep On Your Mean SideThe Men Leave HomeThe Microphones Mount EerieThe Microphones Song IslandsThe Middle East I Want That You Are Always HappyI Want That You Are Always Happy is a stunning depature from The Middle East's often lofty, ethereal debut, Recordings of The Middle East. Imbued with a very profound, heavy sense of melancholy and pure American nostalgia, the record smolders, emitting a steady plume of gray smoke casually and elegantly. A truly superb independent folk album. The Mountain Goats All Eternals DeckThe National Trouble Will Find MeThe Pains of Being Pure at Heart BelongThe Promise Ring Nothing Feels GoodThe Replacements Let It BeThe Roots undunThe Sea And Cake The Sea And CakeThis is the first album I've listened to from The Sea and Cake, as I wanted to follow their progression as a band from their first record through their most recent. Upon first listen, this music speaks to me; serpentine, slinking, spiraling guitar melodies dance rhythmically with subdued, yet often surprisingly nimble bass lines. The vocals are hushed and buried under a soft lo-fi haze, but they are pretty and emotive at heart. This band reminds me of a perfect hybrid of Pinback, Pavement, and Built To Spill. Incredibly good rock record. I have a feeling this will reward multiple listens.The Sea And Cake The Moonlight ButterflyA great album made excellent by the mere presence of the ten minute epic, "Inn Keeping." This record sounds precisely what one would imagine The Sea and Cake would sound like in 2011; a slightly more relaxed, mature, subtly electronic version of their younger selves. Ultimately, The Moonlight Butterfly is a six track testament to the power of a band sticking to what it does best and doing it extremely well with each and every release. The Shins Wincing the Night AwayThe Strokes First Impressions of EarthThe Unicorns Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?The Velvet Underground LoadedThee Silver Mount Zion He Has Left Us Alone...Thelonious Monk Monk's BluesThrice VheissuThrice The Alchemy Index Vols. I & IIThrice The Alchemy Index Vols. III & IVThrice Live At The House Of BluesTim Hecker Ravedeath, 1972Tim Hecker VirginsTouche Amore Parting The Sea Between Brightness And MeRemember Sum 41's "Half Hour of Power?" Yeah, neither do I, but the point is, Touche Amore take twenty minutes and infuse them with raw, seething, passionate intensity that sounds all the more epic and vital as is speeds on through the record, toward the continually inevitably near closer. This is a fleeting burst of lightning; magnificent for a flash, and then gone to whence it came, as GOB would say.Ty Segall Band SlaughterhouseUnknown Mortal Orchestra Unknown Mortal OrchestraA walk in the clouds is somtimes preferable to an evening by the fire. Uyama Hiroto A Son Of The SunVampire Weekend Vampire WeekendWale Mixtape About NothingWashed Out Life of LeisureWilco Sky Blue SkyWilco The Whole LoveA cool, restrospective-feeling record that encompasses many of the disparate styles and sonic textures of Wilco over the years. The Whole Love also harkens back to A Ghost Is Born in its freak out guitar solos and eclectic, roiling instrumentation and experimentation. Jeff Tweedy delivers, yet again. William Elliott Whitmore Song Of The BlackbirdWU LYF Go Tell Fire to the MountainThis record is fucking thrilling. It sounds, awesomely enough, like the resulting album from studio sessions with Isaac Brock bleating out vocals over an Explosions In The Sky soundscape. I really am at a loss for words; it's often breathtaking. An incredibly inspiring record which has restored a modicum of hope to me that the direction of music in the near future is not doomed. Fantastic, bros.Yellow Ostrich Strange LandYo La Tengo PainfulYo La Tengo FadeYuck Yuck3.5 great*shels Plains Of The Purple Buffalo...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead Tao of the DeadAdele 21Against Me! New WaveSeemingly standard, straightfoward rock n' roll reveals it's pop/punk/blues roots with repeated listens. This record sounds heavier than the average FM rock, but really aims at hitting one in the gut with the brute force of its catchiness and anthemic choruses. This feels like some sort of protest record. Against what, I couldn't tell you, but the elements of revolt are present in the DNA of most of the tunes on this album. Great rock record, but not one I'd listen to very frequently.Arctic Monkeys Fluorescent AdolescentArctic Monkeys Leave Before The Lights Come OnAnother solid set of early, non-album Monkey's tracks. Check out the soft, doo-wop number, "Baby I'm Yours." It sounds like Buddy Holly could have written it. Cheers lads!Arctic Monkeys BrianstormArctic Monkeys AMASAP Rocky Live.Love.A$AP.Beastie Boys Licensed To IllBetween The Buried And Me Between the Buried and MeBill Callahan ApocalypseBlack Moth Super Rainbow Dandelion GumBOAT Pretend to be BraveBraids Native SpeakerBrian Eno Before and After ScienceBroken Bells Broken BellsBroken Social Scene Feel Good LostBurial Street HaloBurial KindredCarter Burwell Where the Wild Things AreCirca Survive On Letting GoCKY Infiltrate Destroy RebuildCKY Volume 1Coheed and Cambria No World for TomorrowColdplay ParachutesA beautifully melancholy, purposefully moody record that harkens back to the days of straightforward Britpop, subtly melding elements of both U2--for the worse--and Radiohead--for better--into a delicate tapestry held together by Chris Martin's angelic voice. Parachutes is the kind of album it is nearly impossible to hate. Colleen Green Sock It To Medreamy bedroom grunge soaked in kush // streaming here: http://stereogum.com/1285392/stream-colleen-green-sock-it-to-me-stereogum-premiere/album-stream/Cursive I Am GeminiDaft Punk Human After AllDaft Punk HomeworkDaft Punk Random Access MemoriesDays Away Mapping An Invisible WorldDeath Cab for Cutie PlansDeath Cab for Cutie The Stability EPEach Other Heavily SpacedFair to Midland Arrows and AnchorsFeist MetalsFrank Ocean Nostalgia, UltraFrom Indian Lakes Able BodiesFuck Buttons Tarot SportFucked Up The Chemistry of Common LifeFugazi 13 SongsGabrielle Aplin HomeWhat a refreshing, clean, nostalgic little EP. Gabrielle's voice is pristine, emotive, and beautiful, and she's got a hell of a knack for penning a melody. I cannot wait for her first LP after hearing this.Gimu A Silent Stroll On Sombre StGirls Father, Son, Holy GhostHimuro Yoshiteru Our Turn AnytimePONYO LOVES HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!Hum You'd Prefer An AstronautI Am Robot and Proud Uphill CityJ Mascis Several Shades of WhyJ. Tillman Year In The KingdomJ.Rocc Some Cold Rock StufJames Blake The Bells SketchJames Blake CMYKJames Blake KlavierwerkeJeff Mangum Sign The Dotted Line (Single)Jet Life Jet World OrderJulian Casablancas Phrazes for the YoungJustin Vernon HazeltonsKanye West Late RegistrationKate Bush 50 Words for SnowKings of Leon Aha Shake HeartbreakKings of Leon Youth and Young ManhoodKings of Leon Because Of The TimesKurt Vile Smoke Ring For My HaloSome fuzzy, intricate, wonderfully-worded, primarily acoustic impressions flesh out this somewhat lo-fi, warm affair. Smoke Ring For My Halo is listenable almost to a fault, and contains some passages of sheer slacker transcendence and beauty. Great album from a fellow Philadelphian and all-around cool guy.La Dispute Untitled 7"La Dispute Here, Hear. IIILa Dispute/Koji Never Come UndoneLes Doux DialectsLil Wayne Tha Carter IILil Wayne No CeilingsLowercase Noises Migratory PatternsLykke Li Wounded RhymesManchester Orchestra I'm Like a Virgin Losing a ChildManchester Orchestra Fourteen Years Of ExcellenceMark Kozelek & Desertshore Mark Kozelek & DesertshoreMassive Attack MezzanineMassive Attack vs. Burial Four Walls/Paradise CircusMean KnowingMetallica St. AngerFuck off, I just love it. alright? It's a tragically underrated album. I know what they were going for, and I understand it. Great fucking record.Metallica Beyond MagneticMilk Music Cruise Your IllusionMinus the Bear Menos El OsoModest Mouse Interstate 8Mogwai Come On Die YoungMount Eerie Ocean RoarNoel Gallagher's High Flying Birds Noel Gallagher's High Flying BirdsOasis Be Here NowOasis The MasterplanOasis Don't Believe The TruthObserver Drift CorridorsDreamy bedroom lo-fi indie pop rock. Very endearing, gentle listen. Owen Pallett HeartlandPavement Wowee ZoweePavement Westing (By Musket and Sextant)Perfume Genius Put Your Back N 2 ItPhilip Selway FamilialPixies BossanovaPixies Doolittle 20th Anniversary Live SamplerPreston School of Industry All This Sounds GasRadical Face GhostRadiohead Pablo HoneyRadiohead COM LAG (2plus2isfive)Ratatat LP3Rodrigo y Gabriela Rodrigo y GabrielaRodrigo y Gabriela Live: Manchester And DublinRodrigo y Gabriela re-FocRodrigo y Gabriela Live in FranceSay Anything In Defense of the GenreSELA. Ghost ReporterSELA. WShakey Graves Roll The BonesShugo Tokumaru In Focus?Sigur Ros med sud i eyrum vio spilum endalaustSleigh Bells Reign of TerrorSt. Vincent Strange MercySun Kil Moon Tiny CitiesSun Kil Moon Admiral Fell PromisesTesseracT OneThe Antlers UprootedThe Black Keys Attack & ReleaseThe Black Keys BrothersThe Black Keys El CaminoThe Dear Hunter OrangeThe Dismemberment Plan !The Dodos Beware of the ManiacsThe Flashbulb ArborealThe Gerbils Glue (Single)The Men New MoonThe Microphones It Was Hot We Stayed In The WaterThe Microphones Don't Wake Me UpThe Strokes Angles"The Strokes return to form!" "Back to the basics!" Hardly. After hearing the single, 'Under Cover of Darkness,' I was stoked (no pun intended) to hear this album. It contained all the jagged, angular (get it?) riffs that made "Is This It?" and "Room On Fire" such undisputable classics, as well as a superb vocal turn by Julian Casablancas. One can imagine my immediate dissapointment upon hearing the rest of the album. While I cannot say this record is bad, I can certainly not bring myself to say it is good. Hopefully the backlash will not deter The Strokes from making music, nor send them into relative obscurity for the next five years, but rather spur them on to return the reigns to Julian. Ahhh, fuck it. "I just can't think, cause I'm just way to tired. Is this it?"rAfter a few listens, this album is growing on me. There's more than meets the ear, but I stand by my intitial assessment; this is not The Strokes of old. This record, released 10 years after their debut, sounds very much like the progression of culture itself; from focused, if a bit fuzzy, to intensely distracted and disjointed. Great album, but not up to par with my expectations.They Might Be Giants Join UsStill goofy, but this time around They Might Be Giants sound a little more groovy, heavy, and confident. Even the tongue-in-cheek moments are often cool without any need for irony. Another great record from a reliably odd, catchy alternative band. Join Us would be a really cool album to become a "Dad rock" hit. Tom Day Crossroads (EP)Toro Y Moi Underneath The PineAmazingly soothing, deceptively-intricate electronica laced with some smooth vocals, easy-going acoustic guitar fills, and plenty of ambience. Great record for a chill night iin.Vampire Weekend ContraVolcano Choir UnmapWale More About NothingWavves Afraid of HeightsWaxahatchee Cerulean SaltWild Beasts Two DancersWild Beasts SmotherThere are worse things in life than being smothered by beauty.William Elliott Whitmore Hymns for the HopelessOffbeat yet straightforward, Hymn For The Hopeless sounds as if it were unearthed from a time capsule dated 1955. Great little folk album.Youth Lagoon The Year of Hibernation3.0 good65daysofstatic We Were Exploding AnywayAlcest Les Voyages De L AmeAlex Turner Submarine OSTAnimal Collective Sung TongsA refreshing, icicle-picked, occasionally sparse, ocasionally rich record from the primarily dense, lo-fi heavy Animal Collective. This record could definitely grow on me. The melodies and moments of clarity on this album are such a breath of fresh air to the stale, stuffy sound of "Here Comes The Indian." Surprisingly good and, in several spots, radiantly catchy and joyful.Animal Collective FeelsDecent album, but I'm still not convinced by these wackos; I seem to lack that intangible, unique connection that most true fans of the band possess.Arctic Monkeys HumbugBabyshambles The BlindingBand of Horses Infinite ArmsBeirut The Rip TideBetween The Buried And Me The Anatomy OfBlink-182 NeighborhoodsBloc Party Silent AlarmBloc Party A Weekend in the CityBOAT Dress Like Your IdolsA perfectly blanced off-kilteredness keeps this album bright, funny, occasionally joyful, and playful. "Dress Like Your Idols," unsurprisingly, is full of allusions to 90s indie-rock giants like Pavement, Modest Mouse, and Built To Spill. There's nothing new, noteworthy, or special on this record; just some good, mostly straightforward retro whimsy-rock. Check this out if you like any of the aforementioned bands, but be warned; this album is much cleaner than anything any of those bands ever released. If this does not deter you, dive on in for 37 minutes of nostalgic toe-tapping.Broken Bells Meyrin FieldsBuilt To Spill Ancient Melodies Of The FutureBuilt To Spill LiveCanyons of Static Farewell ShadowsCirca Survive AppendageColdplay Every Teardrop Is a WaterfallCount Oak Cream CatalogueDanger Mouse and Daniele Luppi RomeAn astoundingly pretty, bass-driven score with touches of acoustic guiatar and swaths of strings. Danger Mouse and Luppi create a masterful mindscape, but, inexplacably, allow Jack White and Norah Jones to ruin the continuity of the music itself. This should have been a score, not a score/soundtrack hybrid. Death Cab for Cutie You Can Play These Songs With ChordsDeath Cab for Cutie The John Byrd EPDeath Cab for Cutie The Open DoorDinosaur Jr. Whatever's Cool with MeDisasterpeace Rise of the Obsidian InterstellarA neat little glitchy piece of work, this album calls to mind the experience of playing Super Mario Brothers on acid; not that I've ever done such a thing, but this album sounds what I imagine that experience would be like. Interesting, but at times grating and irritating. Explosions in the Sky Friday Night LightsFrightened Rabbit Sing The GreysFrightened Rabbit The Winter of Mixed DrinksGirls AlbumHands Like Houses Ground DwellerInterpol Our Love to AdmireJames Blake Love What Happened HereJay-Z and Kanye West Watch the ThroneJennifer O'Conner I Want What You WantJohn Maus We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of OurselvesJustice Audio, Video, DiscoLana Del Rey Born to DieLil Wayne Tha Carter IVLou Reed and Metallica LuluMarissa Nadler Marissa NadlerMastodon The HunterMax Bemis and The Painful Splits Max Bemis and The Painful SplitsMax Bemis and The Painful Splits Max Bemis and The Painful Splits 2Metallica ReloadModest Mouse Sad Sappy SuckerModest Mouse Baron Von Bullshit Rides AgainNe Obliviscaris Portal of IOasis Heathen ChemistryOasis Standing On The Shoulder Of GiantsOasis Dig Out Your SoulOneohtrix Point Never ReplicaOnra Deep in the NightPhoenix Bankrupt!Protest The Hero Gallop Meets The EarthShugo Tokumaru ExitSigur Ros VonSnowman AbsenceOdd, spacey, and somewhat relaxing album. I would not, however, classify this band's sound as post-rock; they more closely resemble a restrained, more organized Animal Collective. Worth a listen, if for no other reason than this is the band's last album and, in some ways, oddly resembles a suicide note to music.Sonic Youth Experimental Jet Set, Trash, and No StarStephen Malkmus Tigers - SingleA solid, albeit obligatorily loopy, Stephen Malkmus alternative rock song. Clever, witty wordplay is on hand, as well as some lovely accompanying vocals, and an ever-so-slightly Midwestern, gently sweeping twang emenates effortlessly from the Jicks. I think I may also hear some spoons being softly brushed over a washboard and the cover art is beautiful, which both contribute to the quality of the song. Good track, but not nearly as fun as "Senator."Sufjan Stevens A Sun CameSufjan Stevens Songs For ChristmasSufjan Stevens The BQET. Rex Electric WarriorTaken By Trees East of EdenTaking Back Sunday Where You Want To BeTalking Heads Speaking in TonguesTesseracT Concealing FateClean, technically brutal and epic, and just the right tone in the screaming/growling. Perfect balance of melody and pure driving rhythm. This contains moments of stunning brilliance and force, but sometimes feels a bit unfocused. Overall, excellent record.The Antlers Cold WarThe Antlers New York HospitalsThe Avett Brothers The CarpenterI'm torn with this album. It's pretty. It's weak.
I fell in love with The Avetts on Emotionalism and I've had to compare every subsequent album with that one, which is rather unfair, but unfortunately true. So, listening to this album, I feel soothed and comforted and I think most of the melodies are really nice, but the whole thing lacks the drama that made Emotionalism so great. The songs here are rather bouyant and charming, and that's not really something I should fault them for, but after one listen, I thought to myself, "That was nice, but it's sort of hollow." None of the songs, save for "February Seven," really impacted me emotioanlly, and that's telling for a band that created an album just four years ago on which every song resonated with me in some way. Perhaps I'll change my mind in time, but as it stands, this is a very forgettable, if pleasant, folk-rock record from the Bros. Avett.The Dear Hunter BlackThe Dear Hunter GreenThe Dear Hunter RedThe Grateful Dead American BeautyThe Microphones WindowThe Radio Dept. Clinging to a SchemeFuzzed-out, sparse, sporadically-electronic lo-fi indie pop album that never really rises above a pleasant, distant hazy pleasantness. I expected more, due to Pitchfork's nomination of this record as part of its "Best New Music" series. Oh well. It's nice enough.The Sheepdogs Learn and BurnThe Weeknd ThursdayThrice Identity CrisisTom Day The Things We Leave Behind (EP)Tortoise Millions Now Living Will Never DieTV on the Radio Nine Types of LightTy Segall Goodbye BreadWarm, fuzzy, and jam-packed with delicious lo-fi melodies. Meandering, almost ghostly, washed out vocals and chunky power chords set the rustic tone of the record pitch perfectly. Finally, though I cannot explain exactly why, the album art for Goodbye Bread might be the most apropos of the year, this side of Bon Iver, Bon Iver and Burst Apart. Clocking in at just over half an hour, this album is certainly worth a spin or two for any fan of indie garage rock or lo-fi. Vetiver The Errant CharmWashed Out Within and WithoutWild Flag Wild FlagWolves in the Throne Room Celestial LineageYann Tiersen SkylineYouth Lagoon Wondrous Bughouse2.5 averageAndy Stott We Stay TogetherApollo Brown and Guilty Simpson Dice GameGet these beats in the hands of a master lyricist, now.Bloc Party IntimacyBotch We Are the RomansBritney Spears Femme FataleDeath Cab for Cutie Codes and KeysBen Gibbard has exchanged detail for universality; humanity and imperfection for a washed out, distant, synthy haze of distance and comfort. Death Cab, here, sound outright lazy and complacent--a word which I never, ever thought I would associate with a band that was once as special as Death Cab for Cutie were. Very sad, indeed, as this band is very dear to my heart, but every band is entitled to a few bumps along the road they traverse. Hopefully, Codes and Keys will remain an unfortunate sidestep, not blossom into Death Cab's new style, because when Ben sang, "When you need direction, then I'll be the guide," on "In The Passenger Seat," I took him at his word.Gang Gang Dance Eye ContactListenable dance rock/electronica mixed with odd dubstep style beats and percussion. The vocals are a bit offputting as well; tinny female robot vocals surrounded by bubbling, glitchy synths. Not something I'd listen to unless I was high on opium or mushrooms.Grimes VisionsHubble Hubble DrumsIceage New BrigadeAnyone else think this sounds about as average and underwhelming as music gets these days? Am I missing something? This record is not bad, it is just suffocatingly repetitve and, thus, boring as watching paint dry.Kanye West 808s & HeartbreakKings of Leon Only By The NightLil Wayne Tha Carter IIIMetallica LoadMGMT CongratulationsMinus the Bear Infinity OverheadOf Montreal Paralytic StalksOVERWERK After HoursClean, robotic, and violet. Thunderous in electric waves.Protest The Hero A Calculated Use Of SoundRodrigo y Gabriela Area 52Sufjan Stevens Enjoy Your RabbitTalib Kweli Gutter RainbowsThe Dear Hunter IndigoThis is so fucking boring. I'm sorry, but I've listened to it five times through, both stoned and sober, and I just do not understand the fuss over this. Neither this particular EP, nor the compilation as a whole. It's all so bland and average; epic in scope, true, but the music is not nearly interesting or powerful enough to bare the burden of the record's length. I tried. I really did.The Dear Hunter YellowThe Dear Hunter BlueThe Dear Hunter VioletThe Microphones TestsThe Shins Port of MorrowThe Strokes Comedown MachineThe xx Coexist2.0 poorBattles Gloss DropEccentricity and monotony coalesce perfectly to create one hell of a boring, at times downright annoying album. The only thing which saves the album from a lower rating is the technical proficiency of the bassist and drummer; they keep things interesting from time to time.Beardfish MammothBeth Ditto EPDaughn Gibson All HellThis is about as authentic as a pair of cowboy boots from the clearance rack at your local Wal-Mart and just about as appealing. Contrived, phony, and gimmicky, this record reeks of tounge-in-cheek, winking irony, and I HATE that.Four Tet Everything EcstaticGlassjaw Coloring BookGuided By Voices Let's Go Eat The FactoryKeepaway Black FluteThe poor man's Animal Collective with horrible lyrics and shoddy, bubble-gum beats.Liturgy AesthethicaLoma Prieta I.V.Mac Lethal Irish GoodbyeMan Man Life FantasticMan Man's "Life Fantastic" strikes a curious pose: calypso, rumba-ing screamo indie rock, piano honky-tonk, acoustic minimalism all share space on this odd, somewhat ingratiating, record. The vocals of Honus Honus sound like a more spastic, castrated Black Francis. As you might guess, this works in very rare moments, and tests the limit of the human conception of melody for the rest. This is another sad example of weird for the sake of weird, and I hate that shit.Red Hot Chili Peppers I'm With YouSub-par lyricist and singer + average drummer + excellent bassist - John Frusciante + someone who is not John Frusciante playing guitar = An album unbecoming of the former kings of California Alt-Funk. This may be the death knell of the Peppers, though there are a few keepers on the album, for those inclined to see silver linings.Say Anything Anarchy, My DearAnarchy, My Dear, on which Max Bemis topples headlong into that which has threatened him, and kept him so interesting, for so long: insipidness. Save for "So Good," "Sheep," and "Peace Out," the latter of which represents one of the best songs in Bemis' entire catalogue, the record meanders around, bleating and baying wildly, awash in tinny, shallow production and heartless, overbearing, uninspired lyrics. Say Anything's fans deserve better. And, more importantly, Max Bemis deserves better from himself.Taking Back Sunday Taking Back SundayWhat the fuck happened to the dude who used to shriek "And will you tell all your friends, you've got your gun to my head?" Who is this asshole asking me now, "Can you imagine Christ hitting a child?" What the fuck? This feels way too much like a grab for the arenas, and all traces of emotion have been drained from this once-vital "emo" band.The Killers Hot FussThe Rolling Stones UndercoverTyler The Creator BastardThis album really bums me out, and Tyler, The Creator is a black hole, consuming all joy and common decency.Tyler The Creator GoblinUlcerate The Destroyers of AllUnexpect Fables of the Sleepless EmpireEvery awful thing people acuse Between The Buried and Me of being guilty of is true of this album. Truly a noodling, spastic, though admittedtly an occasionally thrilling, block of "avant garde metal." No thank you. I'll stick with Colors. 1.5 very poorAnimal Collective Campfire SongsThis album is, simply put, boring and mind-numbingly stupid. Strumming the same chord for 10 minutes while a bunch of people chant and make noises in the background is not a song; it's a waste of time. I guess it's agreeable enough, but listening to this record, I find it very hard to understand fans of Animal Collective.Beyonce 4Born Of Osiris The DiscoveryCoheed and Cambria The Afterman: AscensionLady Gaga The FameWhat can I say? I went into the record with the express intent of giving it a 1 to bring my objectivity score up, and I ended enjoying almost the entire album. Though I certainly could not listen to The Fame on a regular basis, it's refreshing to know that I am still human and can relate to something that so many both love and loathe with such odd fervor. Whatever one may think of her, the music stands out as a stark testament to the powerful minimalism of truly great pop music. The profundity here is in the profound lack thereof; as the lead singer instruscts, don't think, just fuckin' dance, bitch.Lil Wayne Sorry 4 The WaitSorry 4 The Wait. Huh... Well, apology accepted, Weezy, granted The Carter IV sounds absolutely nothing like this lethargic piece of shit. Maybe hit the syrup a little harder or smoke a few more blunts, pal, because you, sir, are losing your weirdness. Here's hoping to a return to form for the F-Man.Limp Bizkit Gold CobraNot much to say about this one. Another Limp Bizkit album, but with less youthful vigor, angst, and fun. At this point, it's rather pathetic and sad for Fred Durst and crew to be recording this kind of "music." I cannot like this band ironically or straightforwardly; they are objectively awful.Liturgy RenihilationNot too much going on here. Pretty boring black metal. Monotonous, droning, and devoid of the smoldering rage that marks the best black metal albums.Mac Miller Blue Slide ParkNate Young Stay Asleep (Regression Vol. 2)If the drone genre is supposed to be analogous with boring, simplistic, and lazy, then this a phenomenal. Otherwise, it is terrible. The occasional spooky noise kept this from a 1.The Big Pink Future ThisThe Killers Sam's TownThe Streets Computers And BluesI think Mike Skinner has been listening to a bit too much Owl City these days. Holy shit, what a corny, saccharine, terribly produced, bloated sack of human excrament. Skinner should have quit while he was ahead and stopped after A Grand Don't Come For Free. Another disappointment from a formerly great artist. 1.0 awfulAnimal Collective Here Comes the IndianJesus. H. Christ. This has to be some sort of joke. It has to be. Holy hell.Coheed and Cambria Year of the Black RainbowI'm sorry, Coheed, I love you guys, but this is seriously pure fucking garbage. I expected something epic, not moody and whiney. As fans, we deserve better. As a band, you should be ashamed. Might want to officially apologize and record a new album that does not suck this terribly. It's like Indiana Jones 4... but worse.Death Grips The Money StoreGucci Mane and V-Nasty BAYTLHawthorne Heights The Silence In Black And WhiteJustin Timberlake The 20/20 ExperienceKorn The Path of TotalityLil Wayne RebirthOwl City Ocean EyesJust listen to one track, at random, and you've heard the entire album. In all fairness, this is one of the most worthless pieces of shit I have ever had to the displeasure to hear. This kid and his "music" are fucking insufferable. Let's hope he stops before this makes any other kids favor surface over substance in music.Periphery Periphery"Somone please turn that shit off and put Barry Manilow or Kenny G on, for Christ's sake! I'm serious! Now! Anything at all would be preferable to this noise! Quick, someone turn on the blender or give me one of those sharp knives so I can jam it way the fuck into my eardrum.! Pleaseeeee! Just. Make. It. Stop..."Skrillex More Monsters and SpritesSharon Marsh captured it best when she said of this brand of dubstep, and I quote, "It sounds like shit."Skrillex BangarangSuperHeavy SuperHeavyFuuuuuck me. What in the living fucking hell were these assholes thinking? I mean, literally nothing works on this record. At all. There are no saving graces, and today, I felt myself die a little inside whilst listening to Mick Jagger sing over 17 fucking reggae beats. What a bloated, sugary piece of fucking shit. I need to go lie down.The Killers Day & AgetUnE-yArDs w h o k i l lThere is absolutely nothing enjoyable about this black hole of agreeableness; it sucks from the moment it begins until the moment it mercifully, beautifully ends. Everything about the record is annoying, overdone, and just plain wrong. Fuck this shit.Viva Brother Famous First Words
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