Average Rating: 3.30
Rating Variance: 0.58
Objectivity Score: 83% (Well Balanced)
Sort by: Rating | Release Date | Rating Date | Name5.0 classic...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead Source Tags & CodesBadly Drawn Boy The Hour Of BewilderbeastBlur ParklifeBrendan Benson The Alternative To LoveBright Eyes CassadagaBroken Social Scene You Forgot It In PeopleClipse Hell Hath No FuryCut Copy In Ghost ColoursDeath From Above 1979 You're a Woman, I'm a MachineDeerhunter Halcyon DigestPerhaps the most surprising thing about Halcyon Digest was just how warm everything sounded. Whereas Bradford Cox and company's earlier work tended to be unwieldy messes of noise thrown loosely under the shoegaze label, Halcyon Digest continued what 2008's Microcastle begun: transforming Deerhunter into a full-fledged rock band, feet firmly planted in pop territory and beckoning us to just relax and enjoy. When I first heard "Revival" I was astonished at just how straightforward everything was, how easy it was to connect to a band I previously had regarded as somewhat cold. But things aren't just direct; there's a depth to these songs that, coming from Cox, is not much of a surprise, but makes Halcyon Digest something more than just a really good rock album. Halcyon Digest is a record that seems destined to stand the test of time, constructed as it is out of the timeless building blocks of music: guitar, bass, vocals and drums, all done so effortlessly that it?s hard to believe Deerhunter have been doing this for years. In a way, of course, they have, but never so refined, so at ease. For Cox, someone whose constantly fidgeting around with demos and side projects, hearing him buckle down and produce a whole album's worth of immediately arresting music is a relief. Halcyon Digest is Deerhunter's most deft accomplishment yet, and they've done it not with bells or whistles or 20-minute-plus compositions but by writing perfect rock 'n roll, pure and simple.Elliott Smith Either/OrElliott Smith XOElliott Smith Figure 8Elliott Smith Elliott SmithFleetwood Mac RumoursFugazi The ArgumentGirl Talk Night RipperGodspeed You! Black Emperor Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas...Guster Lost And Gone ForeverJeff Buckley GraceJeff Buckley Grace (Legacy Edition)Modest Mouse The Moon & AntarcticaOf Montreal Satanic Panic in the AtticPhoenix Wolfgang Amadeus PhoenixRyan Adams Cold RosesShout Out Louds Our Ill WillsSigur Ros Heima (DVD)Spoon Girls Can TellSpoon Ga Ga Ga Ga GaTalk Talk Laughing StockThe Beatles RevolverThe Beatles Rubber SoulThe Elected Me FirstThe Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles the Pink RobotsThe New Pornographers Twin CinemaThe Olivia Tremor Control Dusk at Cubist CastleThe Veils Nux VomicaWilco SummerteethWolf Parade Apologies to the Queen MaryWu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)4.8 classicYo La Tengo I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One4.7 superbThe War on Drugs Lost in the DreamI want to feel like this forever 4.6 superbElliott Smith Roman CandleThe Notwist Neon GoldenThe Strokes Is This It4.5 superbAmbulance LTD. Ambulance LTD.Andrew Bird Break It YourselfArcade Fire FuneralBasement Jaxx Kish KashBeastie Boys Paul's BoutiqueBeastie Boys Check Your HeadBeck Sea ChangeBlonde Redhead 23Blur Blur 21Boards of Canada The Campfire HeadphaseBright Eyes I'm Wide Awake, It's MorningConor Oberst Conor OberstDeath Cab for Cutie TransatlanticismDo Make Say Think You, You're a History in RustEminem The Marshall Mathers LPEverest Ghost NotesFiona Apple The Idler Wheel...Florence and the Machine LungsFlorence and the Machine CeremonialsGod dammit and I was so ready to blast Ms. Welch for selling out.Fountains of Wayne Welcome Interstate ManagersGodspeed You! Black Emperor F#A# (Infinity)Guster Keep It TogetherJapandroids Post-NothingJenny Lewis with the Watson Twins Rabbit Fur CoatJimmy Eat World Bleed AmericanJonsi GoPredictably, this album gives me a huge, throbbing boner that leaves me in some pain by the time Hengilas finishes up.LCD Soundsystem Sound of SilverM83 Hurry Up, We're DreamingMenomena MomsMidlake The Trials of Van OccupantherMiike Snow Miike SnowMonsters of Folk Monsters of FolkNeko Case Fox Confessor Brings The FloodNoisia Split The AtomNoisia’s first proper LP is a shining example of everything good that can happen when a groundbreaking trio mashes all their influences together and produces something truly original. Split the Atom has it all: breaks, electro, drum n bass, funk, house, et cetera. It’s a mishmash of styles that never seems like it’s about to collapse – the Dutch group have collected everything they admire about electronica and make it their own. Noisia are not afraid to take some risks, and Split the Atom promises to be the first in a long line of relentless, heart-stopping party starters.Oasis (What's the Story) Morning Glory?Okkervil River The Stand InsThe Stand Ins is lyrically bleak and depressing, despite the often-upbeat instrumentation, and singer and writer Will Sheff is in fine form. Just check out opener ?Lost Coastlines,? where Sheff laments ?every night finds us rocking and rolling on waves wild and wide, well we have lost our way, nobody?s gonna say it outright,? along ?Lust for Life?-esque bass and drum line before exploding into an energetic outro of ?la la la?s.? With song titles like ?Singer Songwriter,? ?Pop Lie,? and ?On Tour With Zykos,? it?s not hard to figure out the theme of the record, but never once does Okkervil River bore or weigh down.
Pearl Jam TenPulp Different ClassRadical Face The Family Tree: The RootsRadical Face The Family Tree: The BranchesRadiohead OK ComputerRaekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt IIRyan Adams HeartbreakerSigur Ros Takk...Spoon Gimme FictionSpoon Kill The MoonlightStereophonics You Gotta Go There To Come BackThe Beatles 1The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club BandThe Decemberists Her Majesty the DecemberistsThe Dismemberment Plan Emergency & IThe Dodos VisiterThe Dodos do it all on their second album, an hour-long kaleidoscope of psychedelic folk, world music beats, and an constantly-shifting array of melodic ideas and lyrical thoughts that fairly blow one away on first listen. Drummer Meric Long’s training in the West African style of Ewe drumming pays off incredible dividends here, as his hard-driving beats and ridiculous sense of syncopation turns nearly every song into a clinic of talent. Add to that guitarist/vocalist Logan Kroeber’s mellower Ben Gibbard-ish pipes and talented strumming and you have a largely acoustic world-folk record that makes for one of the strangest and most exciting releases of the year.The Dodos No ColorLike The Visiter but with an editor - in short, everything we wanted the Dodos to be.The Dodos CarrierThe Fiery Furnaces Gallowsbird's BarkThe Futureheads The FutureheadsThe Go! Team Thunder, Lightning, StrikeThe Mountain Goats TallahasseeThe Mountain Goats The Sunset TreeThe National AlligatorThe Postal Service Give UpThe Stills Without FeathersThe Stone Roses The Stone RosesThe Tallest Man on Earth The Wild HuntHow can you not like a record with a cover like that? It's like Darnielle and Corgan had a baby in Sweden and it made beautiful, beautiful folk music that is at once whispery thin and insubstantial and at the other time incredibly fiery and affirming ("King of Spain," anyone?). AwesomeThe Veils The Runaway FoundThe Walkmen You & MeThe Walkmen LisbonThe Walkmen HeavenThe War on Drugs Slave AmbientThe White Stripes White Blood CellsThe Wrens The MeadowlandsThe Zutons Who Killed The ZutonsThrice The Alchemy Index Vols. III & IVVampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the CityEveryone's dying, but girl - you're not old yet.Voxtrot Raised By WolvesWilco Yankee Hotel FoxtrotWilco Kicking Television: Live in ChicagoWilco The Whole Love4.4 superbCut Copy Free Your MindOkkervil River The Silver GymnasiumPJ Harvey Stories From The City, Stories From The SeaSharon Van Etten Are We There4.3 superbBibio Silver WilkinsonBlind Pilot 3 Rounds and a SoundBonobo Black SandsDM Stith Heavy GhostElliott Smith From a Basement on the HillElliott Smith New MoonKurt Vile Wakin on a Pretty DazeI slept on Smoke Ring For My Halo. I'm wide awake for this.Rogue Wave Out Of The ShadowSpoon They Want My Soul4.2 excellentBeck Midnite VulturesGhostface Killah Twelve Reasons to DieKishi Bashi Lighght4.2? oh word eli She and Him Volume OneMost actresses who turn toward the music realm in order to diversify their image and develop yet another revenue stream usually are predestined for failure (see: Johansson, Scarlett), but indie heartthrob Zooey Deschanel’s first album has gone a long way toward dispelling that notion. She’s not the best singer, and the lyrics occasionally veer towards the simple and sentimental, but her heartfelt vocal approach and M. Ward’s (the Him) excellent backing arrangements and occasional vocal work create a timeless album of ‘60s Brill Building pop and twangy folk that bodes well for future releases.The New Pornographers Electric VersionYo La Tengo Fade4.1 excellentAlvvays AlvvaysBasement Jaxx RootyBurial Rival DealerEleanor Friedberger Personal RecordKacey Musgraves Same Trailer Different ParkL'Orange The Mad WriterLocal Natives HummingbirdLorde Pure HeroineMutual Benefit Love's Crushing DiamondNeko Case The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight...Sun Kil Moon BenjiTegan and Sara The ConThe Men New MoonThe Rosebuds Sand + SilenceWoods With Light And With Love4.0 excellent...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead The Century of Self...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead Lost SongsA Fine Frenzy PinesA.C. Newman The Slow WonderA.C. Newman Get GuiltyAcid House Kings Music Sounds Better With YouAlunaGeorge Body MusicAmerican Football American FootballAndrew Bird Hands of GloryAnimal Collective Merriweather Post PavilionAnnie Don't StopAraabmuzik Electronic DreamAs Tall As Lions You Can't Take It With YouASAP Rocky LongLiveA$APAtmosphere When Life Gives You Lemons...The focus is on Ant and Slug’s gritty, industrial-colored lyrics and simple, rhythmic flow, telling black-and-white stories of crime, drugs, the projects, and any number of other things that influenced the two as they grew up in Minneapolis. “Dreamer” brings out the woodwinds and horns in a catchy fable about teen pregnancy while “The Waitress” wallows in funky bass and a bird-like flute while it unweaves a story about its subject. While occasionally the duo’s unremarkable voices tend to blur together and the lyrical matter is unrelenting, the ingenious production keeps things from going stale.
Neither is as technically talented as rappers like Nas or Twista, neither boasts the advanced studio wizardry of producers like Kanye West or Timbaland, and neither indulges in gangster posing like Young Jeezy or 50 Cent, but Atmosphere’s unique combination of realism and straight-to-the-point beats makes their latest another gem in a long line of excellent underground releases.Bat For Lashes Two SunsBeck MutationsBeirut Gulag OrkestarBeirut The Rip TideBibio Mind BokehBig Boi Sir Lucious Left FootBlack Milk No Poison No ParadiseBlink-182 Blink-182Blink-182 Greatest HitsBlur BlurBon Iver For Emma, Forever AgoIf there was such a thing, singer-songwriter Justin Vernon alias Bon Iver’s debut record would surely win Most Depressing Record of the Year. Almost entirely recorded in an isolated cabin in rural Wisconsin, For Emma, Forever Ago is a cathartic expression of break-up and recovery in the bleakest terms. The minimalist instrumentation, lo-fi recording, and Vernon’s haunting vocals all paint a picture of forlorn grief and regret in the frozen north. Forget rainy-day music; this is music to listen to while snowed in by the biggest blizzard of the year.Boys Noize Oi Oi OiBrand New The Devil and God Are Raging Inside MeBrendan Benson My Old, Familiar FriendBright Eyes Lifted or the Story is in the Soil...Bright Eyes LuaBright Eyes The People's KeyBritish Sea Power The Decline of British Sea PowerBritish Sea Power Do You Like Rock Music?Britney Spears BlackoutBurial KindredCamera Obscura My Maudlin CareerCaribou SwimCat Power SunChromatics Kill For LoveClap Your Hands Say Yeah Clap Your Hands Say YeahColdplay Viva la Vida or Death and All His FriendsChris Martin and company were in danger of treading into soft-rock and piano drudgery on 2005’s X&Y, but Viva La Vida proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Coldplay weren’t content to sit on their laurels for their fourth record. Incorporating world music styles, multi-movement epics, and some of Martin’s best lyrics yet, Viva might be Coldplay’s best album yet, and is certainly their most original and experimental.Conor Oberst Upside Down MountainCults CultsDelicately cute twee pop with your boy-girl harmonies, sticky-sweet hooks, summer love lyrics etc. etc. You'll either be reaching for a bag of bitters and a diabetes diagnosis or begging for more. Me, I like my sugar in excess, and Cults fills the prescription quite nicely.Daft Punk DiscoveryDaft Punk Alive 2007Dan Mangan Nice, Nice, Very NiceDark Time Sunshine VesselWhere Kanye West and Big Boi stole all the hip-hop critical acclaim and publicity this year, Vessel was the little rap record that could, flying under the radar and stealthily staking its claim as one of the best albums in the genre. Vessel is an apt name; Dark Time Sunshine takes you on a trip through the furthest fringes of the hip-hop universe, a sector populated by likeminded pioneers like Aesop Rock and P.O.S but still its own unique, innovative beast. This isn’t nerd-rap or hip-hop unpalatable to the average fan; MC Onry Ozzborne is easy to understand and even easier to listen to, weaving engaging tales as he does on “E.R” and “Little Or No Concern,” while producer Zavala runs the gamut from the propulsive, tribal “Defender” to the psychedelic layers of “All Aboard” without a dud to be found. This is a trailblazer for the new decade, a road map of where hip-hop can go and what it can do, and the kind of release that makes you believe that, yes, there always is something new under the sun.Death Cab for Cutie PlansDeath Cab for Cutie Narrow StairsDelta Spirit History From BelowDestroyer KaputtHow many dicks does Bejar have to suck to get more songs on a New Pornos album good christDivine Fits A Thing Called Divine FitsDr. Dog FateDum Dum Girls End of DazeEast India Youth Total Strife ForeverEels Blinking Lights & Other RevelationsEisley The ValleyElliott Smith Live at LargoElliott Smith An Introduction To... Elliott SmithEminem The Slim Shady LPExcision Shambhala 2010Explosions in the Sky How Strange, InnocenceExplosions in the Sky All of a Sudden, I Miss EveryoneFeist The ReminderFeist MetalsOftentimes when artists feel commercial success is threatening their artistic credibility, they may record a
follow-up that often has the simultaneous goal of "getting back to my roots" and "alienating all the posers
who liked me because of that iPod commercial." I'm not entirely convinced that this wasn't Leslie Feist's whole
goal with Metals, an album that has a bleak, unwelcoming landscape as its cover and no candidates to
conveniently slide in next to "1234" at the Starbucks rack. Yet by refusing to kowtow to the single-oriented
modern market and soaking all of Metals in a morose sheen of understated production, Feist has turned the
spotlight back on what always made her a great artist to begin with: her songwriting.Fiona Apple Extraordinary MachineFirst Aid Kit The Lion's RoarFleet Foxes Fleet FoxesSeattle fivesome take rock back to its roots; and by roots I mean down in the country, woods, and backroads of Americana folk. After My Morning Jacket’s Evil meltdown, it’s reassuring to see a fresh band take up the mantle of good ole-fashioned country rock. Taking more of a pastoral angle than MMJ’s blazing guitar solos, Fleet Foxes is an album that calls to mind more the Appalachian Trail than the Pacific Northwest, complete with church-gathering harmonizing, various wind instruments, and frontman Robin Pecknold’s unearthly howl. Yet another of 2008’s great rookie records.Flight of the Conchords Flight of the ConchordsWhile there’s something to be said for Flight of the Conchords’ live records and actual concerts, which is one of the funniest things I have been privileged to attend, their debut album does manage to translate a good portion of their irreverent humor into the studio. The songs, as usual, don’t disappoint, running the gamut from anti-war sex anthem “Ladies of the World” to the funky bedtime jam that Marvin Gaye has tried so hard to perfect, “Business Time.” Who can resist seductive statements like “two minutes in heaven is better than one minute in heaven?”
Most of the songs benefit from the added instrumentation and production, with “The Prince of Parties” sounding like the Beatles if they stayed in India longer and were a comedy duo, and “Boom” is much more understandable and palatable with Bret’s clarified vocals and the faux-reggaeton production.
The only disappointment is the utter lack of new songs. While a compilation might be a necessity for casual fans or newcomers, Conchord lovers will already know pretty much every song on the disc, and one would’ve thought with the exposure the two have been getting, they would’ve jumped on the opportunity to release new material. But you can’t begrudge what they’ve already created, which is pure comic gold.Foals Holy FireFoster the People Foster The PeopleFour Tet There is Love in YouFranz Ferdinand Franz FerdinandFranz Ferdinand You Could Have It So Much BetterFree Energy Stuck On NothingPhiladelphia five-piece Free Energy would seem to have everything they need to take the hipster blogosphere by storm – a place on DFA records and an album produced by the founder himself, James Murphy; a ringing endorsement from Pitchfork; a sound that cherry picks from a helluva lot of influences but somehow stands proudly on its own as something new. But being the next “cool” thing has never been what Free Energy was about. Their music is a refreshing throwback to ‘70s arena rock without being ironic – bombastic riffs that stick in your head like bubblegum, gang vocals that lend themselves admirably to road trip sing-a-longs, melodies that hearken back to ‘60s power-pop. Paul Sprangers sings about girls and summer love and absolutely nothing of higher import because, frankly, that’s all he wants to sing about. It’s unfortunate that Stuck on Nothing was released in the spring, because it’s a summer record through and through. Beach cruising, salty air and salty hair, bikinis, breezy car trips, pool parties, Slurpees that always seem to damn drippy, the smell of tanning lotion, sand that will stay in my car for way too many months, days and days of doing whatever the hell you want – Free Energy have made a soundtrack for all of these things, and made it seem effortless in the bargain.Friendzone DXGhostface Killah Supreme ClienteleGirl Talk All DayGirls Father, Son, Holy GhostIt’s been said before, but it bears repeating: Christopher Owens, a genuinely fucked up individual by all accounts, writes some truly stellar pop music. People who dismiss Father, Son, Holy Ghost as a mere pastiche are doing themselves a disservice – Owens is the best young pop classicist in the business right now. What really sets him apart from his peers, though, is his totally guileless enthusiasm. He’s the type of front man who can give out a little yelp as the guitar buzzes back in on “Honey Bunny” and make it sound totally authentic, totally right. Which, incidentally, is how the rest of the record sounds. Combine that sincerity with the kind of ambitious song structures Owens has flawlessly constructed here, and maybe those Brian Wilson comparisons aren’t so far off now. Givers In LightGodspeed You! Black Emperor Slow Riot For New Zero KanadaGomez How We OperateGoo Goo Dolls A Boy Named GooGrimes VisionsGym Class Heroes The QuiltWhen the Heroes falter, it’s usually because McCoy’s ideas tend to run dry around the end of the 14-song-long track list, and while his flow is generally acceptable, lyrically the Heroes will never be compared to Atmosphere or Mos Def. Luckily, the uniformly innovative, genre-bending production by Stump and Cool & Dre manage to keep The Quilt afloat through its hour run and produce a pop/rap album that manages to be catchy and progressive at the same time.Handsome Furs Sound KapitalHarvey Danger Little By Little...Hellogoodbye Would It Kill You?Hospitality TroubleHow to Dress Well Total LossInterpol El PintorIrving Death in the Garden, Blood on the FlowersIslands Arm's WayIslands A Sleep and a ForgettingJack White BlunderbussJay-Z The BlueprintJay-Z Reasonable DoubtJohn K. Samson ProvincialJohn Talabot FinJustice CrossJustin Timberlake FutureSex/LoveSoundsKaiser Chiefs EmploymentKanye West GraduationKanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyI like to use Kanye West’s own Twitter to describe My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: “”This is rock and roll life my people . . . you can’t stop the truth you can’t stop the music and I have to be strong or ‘they’ win!!!;” “I can’t be everybody’s hero and villain savior and sinner Christian and anti Christ!;” “I have decided to become the best rapper of all time! I put it on my things to do in this lifetime list!” Besides an abundance of exclamation points, Kanye’s often hilarious Twitter is everything that made his newest album such a masterpiece, from his Christ complex to his feuding with the media to his undeniable artistic brilliance. Guy might be a little crazy, but weren’t all the best a bit off?Kishi Bashi 151aKiss Kiss The Meek Shall Inherit What's LeftLaura Stevenson WheelLily Allen It's Not Me, It's YouLiterature ChorusLost In The Trees A Church That Fits Our NeedsM. Ward Transistor RadioM. Ward Hold TimeM83 Saturdays=YouthAnthony Gonzalez, the brainchild behind electronica group M83, has always had a fetish for taking discarded, old sounds and turning them into something new. The group’s shoegaze approach to electronica, soothing sounds built atop waves and waves of sound and layers of production, are twisted into M83’s most accessible outing on Saturdays=Youth, a record that hearkens back to that cultural touchstone everyone wants to forget: the ‘80s! Lyrically focused on teen love and emo angst, the music is a blend of synthtastic new-wave pop and frothy, bubbling techno all buoying Gonzalez’s wispy voice. It would’ve made a hell of a soundtrack to the Breakfast Club.Madonna Like a PrayerManchester Orchestra Mean Everything to NothingManchester Orchestra Simple MathManic Street Preachers Journal For Plague LoversMinus the Bear Planet of IceMister Heavenly Out of LoveMos Def The EcstaticMotion City Soundtrack Commit This To MemoryMy Kappa Roots The House of St Colme Burnt DownMy Morning Jacket It Still MovesNada Surf LuckyNeko Case BlacklistedNeko Case Middle CycloneNoah and the Whale The First Days of SpringOasis Definitely MaybeOf Montreal The Sunlandic TwinsOh No Ono EggsOK Go Oh NoOkkervil River Black Sheep BoyOld Canes Early Morning HymnsPanic! At the Disco Pretty. Odd.Papercuts Life Among The SavagesPassion Pit GossamerPhoenix Bankrupt!Phosphorescent Here's To Taking It EasyIn an off year for alt-country Matt Houck stepped up to the plate and delivered a straightforward home run, all muscular slide guitar and folky twang. But the best part is Houck's melodies, which are fleshed out and given new life with the colorful compositions offered by his expanded sound.Phosphorescent MuchachoPinback Blue Screen LifePinback Summer in AbaddonPorter Robinson Say My NamePortugal. The Man The Satanic SatanistPosse Soft OpeningRa Ra Riot The OrchardRatatat ClassicsReal Estate DaysRegina Spektor FarRhye WomanRilo Kiley More AdventurousRise Against Appeal to ReasonRogue Wave PermalightRyan Adams Love is HellRyan Adams GoldRyan Adams CardinologySchool of Seven Bells GhostorySerena Maneesh S-M 2: Abyss in B MinorCriminally overlooked shoegaze out of Norway, Serena Maneesh crafted some of the strangest, most endearing music of the year. This isn’t your older brother’s shoegaze; this plain rocks, with angular riffs and thudding bass lines seemingly more suited for prog than pop. But for all its oddness, it’s an album that refuses to be ignored, and I’d gladly take this over the Ambien most shoegaze bands proffer up nowadays.Sigur Ros ( )Simian Mobile Disco DelicaciesSleigh Bells Reign of TerrorStars Set Yourself On FireSteel Train Steel TrainWith their third record, Steel Train showed me that sometimes, good rock ‘n roll can be just that; no gimmicks, no existentialist musings, no 20-minute-plus compositions swollen with strings and harps and timpani. Steel Train put their money down on ace melodies and that simple trifecta of rock: guitar, bass, drums. They only come out with some of the best songs of the year, sugary offerings that are no less potent because they revel in their hooks and sing-a-long capabilities. Not to mention a song of the year in the heartrending “Fall Asleep.”Strand of Oaks HealSun Kil Moon Ghosts of the Great HighwaySwarms Old Raves EndSylvan Esso Sylvan EssoT.I. Paper TrailEveryone knew house arrest couldn?t stop T.I. Going back to old-fashioned pen and paper to write down lyrics and finishing with around 50 songs for the album, Paper Trail?s 16 final cuts are some of mainstream rap?s best of the year. Hard-hitting beats combine with T.I.?s inimitable vocal dexterity and lyrics that fairly drip with venom to make an album of surefire commercial hits as well as a few that stand up to any cerebral rapper?s catalogue. And, of course, that Numa Numa sampling on ?Live Your Life? was true producing genius.Taken By Trees East of EdenTame Impala LonerismTaylor Swift FearlessTaylor Swift Speak NowTenacious D Tenacious DTenacious D Rize of the FenixInterested to see how this material will translate live without spontaneously combusting the entire audience into flames. Way better than Arcade Fire.Tennis Ritual In Repeatthat dog. Retreat From the SunThe Antlers Burst ApartAt this point, everyone knows the story behind Antlers, who finally made it (indie) big in 2009 on the strength
of a crushingly intimate record about an emotionally destructive relationship. It's a narrative that has colored
everything they've done since then, and nothing has been overshadowed by it more than Burst Apart. Peter
Silberman stated in an interview, "you can put [Burst Apart] on and not feel like it had to be a severe
emotional experience." For many, this directly defeated everything that appealed to them about the Antlers.
Those people missed out on one of the great records of 2011, a record that finally showcases the talents of
the band the Antlers and not just the lyrical prowess (still quite strong, I might add) of Peter Silberman
fronting some other guys playing instruments. Where it was Silberman's wispy falsetto that carried all the
emotional weight on Hospice, here it's the group, exploring a variety of textures and celebrating singledom
with major-key chords on opener "I Don?t Want Love." Maybe Silberman needed to get all of that poison out of
him on Hospice to make the best record of his career, because make no mistake - Burst Apart is that record,
and a strong harbinger of what's to come if the Antlers can keep evolving like this. The Antlers UnderseaThe Apples in Stereo Fun Trick NoisemakerThe Auteurs After Murder ParkThe Avalanches Since I Left YouThe Beatles Abbey RoadThe Beatles Magical Mystery TourThe Beatles Help!The Beatles LoveThe Bilinda Butchers HeavenThe Black Heart Procession Amore Del TropicoThe Black Keys BrothersThe Books Thought For FoodThe Books The Way OutThe Brunettes Mars Loves VenusThe Dear Hunter The Color SpectrumThe Dear Hunter The Color Spectrum (Complete Collection)The Dear Hunter GreenThe Dear Hunter YellowThe Decemberists PicaresqueThe Decemberists The Hazards Of LoveThe Exploding Hearts Guitar RomanticThe Fiery Furnaces EPThe Fiery Furnaces I'm Going AwayThe Fireman Electric ArgumentsThe Gaslight Anthem The '59 SoundThe Go! Team Rolling BlackoutsThe Good, The Bad & The Queen The Good, The Bad & The QueenThe Helio Sequence Keep Your Eyes AheadThe Hold Steady Separation SundayThe Horrors SkyingDitching the monochromatic cover of Primary Colours for the hazy water landscape on the front of Skying was
the best thing the Horrors ever did. I was never a huge fan of their Bauhaus image and My-Bloody-Valentine-
meets-Ian-Curtis shtick, but Skying takes all that and adds in a healthy dose of watercolors. The guitar tone
on this album is something Kevin Shields would be proud of, but it's their focus on thick, drug-friendly
grooves and a heavy dose of trippy atmospherics that make this a new shoegaze classic. The Jezabels PrisonerThe Killers Hot FussThe Kills Blood PressuresThe Lemonheads The LemonheadsThe Lemonheads VarshonsThe Mountain Goats Heretic PrideSinger-songwriter John Darnielle’s folk-rock project Mountain Goats has been a mainstay of the lo-fi scene since 1991, but it wasn’t until their last release, Get Lonely, that he started receiving mainstream attention. Unlike that record’s nihilistic, depressing attitude, however, Heretic Pride is a welcome breath of exquisitely produced, introspective indie rock. First, however, one must overcome Darnielle’s unique voice: an odd cross between Neutral Milk Hotel and Chris Carrabba, a rather terrifying combination. On songs like “Autoclave” it is tuneful and melodic, complementing the acoustic instrumentation well, but on ones like the title track, it can take an off-putting turn towards high-pitched and whiny. The production, however, is what truly elevates the album. From the graceful strings of “San Bernardino” to the vibrant percussion on “In The Craters On The Moon,” each track sounds fleshed-out and musically rich. The New Yorker once called Darnielle “America’s best non-hip-hop lyricists.” Now coupled with an amazing production team and far less morbid subjects, Mountain Goats seem ready for even greater success.
The Mountain Goats The Life of the World to ComeThe Mountain Goats Transcendental YouthYawn.....what's this....another excellent Mountain Goats album you say? It'd be a surprise, at this point, for the Darnielle MG-5000 to take a detour into crunkcore and not come out with a superb record.The National BoxerThe National High VioletThe New Pornographers Mass RomanticThe Raconteurs Consolers of the LonelyThe Raveonettes Lust Lust LustComing off the heels of their sole major-label record, Pretty In Black, many thought that the Danish couple of Sharin Foo and Sune Rose Wagner would continue the commercial, 50s-pop-fixation of that record. However, with their switch back to an indie label, Lust Lust Lust arrives as a ringing endorsement of their older, fuzz-guitar noise rock. Opener “Aly, Walk With Me” starts off with a slick drumbeat and a guitar that threatens to overcome the track with reverb. Foo’s and Wagner’s androgynous vocals are a highlight of the whole record, floating along smoothly in sharp contrast to the bursts of raw noise that the Raveonettes specialize in. Those same effects, however, are often a detriment to the band’s sound, as is apparent in the annoying static effect in “Sad Transmission” and “Expelled from Love,” sometimes sounding like you’re listening to the band play on a distant AM station located somewhere underground. Overall, Lust Lust Lust is a strong continuation of the band’s pop/noise blend that can at once be sweetly enchanting and nostalgic while still sounding unmistakably fresh.
The Roots Rising DownThe Roots retain the throne of alternative hip-hop with their eighth studio album, a record that continues this collective?s remarkable run of intelligent and socially conscious rap. ?uestlove?s beats and production as polished and stimulating as ever, but Rising Down modifies their traditional jazzy sound with murkier synths and more digital techniques that embrace a fairly dark mood. It?s appropriate for the often-political and critical lyrics of MC Black Thought, and the album as a whole comes off as a logical evolution in the sound of a band that is constantly growing.The Shins Wincing the Night AwayThe Sleepy Jackson Personality - One Was a Spider, One Was a BirdThe Stills Logic Will Break Your HeartThe Tallest Man on Earth There's No Leaving NowTilly and the Wall Wild Like ChildrenTokyo Police Club A Lesson in CrimeTokyo Police Club ChampTomba DisturbedTrespassers William Different StarsVampire Weekend Vampire WeekendI always try really hard to ignore blogosphere hype that seems way too blown out of proportion, and after hearing the somewhat underwhelming opener “Mansard Roof” I thought I could safely file Vampire Weekend under “over-hyped Internet sensations.” But this is a record that grows on you, and while initially I found it amateur-ish, I can safely say that this is one of the great debuts of the year. Ivy League pedigree be damned; Vampire Weekend is a record that can be enjoyed by anyone with an appreciation for simple, catchy chamber-pop tunes.Weezer PinkertonWeezer WeezerWeezer Weezer (Deluxe Edition)White Denim DWidowspeak AlmanacWilco Being ThereWild Nothing NocturneWolf Parade Expo 86Not as spastically enjoyable as Apologies, nor the experimental fapping of Zoomer, but it's own, unique beast, one that gets by on the markedly improved strength of Krug and Boeckner's songwriting rather than any tricks. Easily their most consistent album so far.Wolfgang Gartner Firepower / Latin FeverWolfgang Gartner Wolfgang's 5th SymphonyWoods Bend BeyondYeah Yeah Yeahs It's Blitz!3.9 excellentDisclosure SettleEels The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver EverettIncan Abraham Ancient VacationJenny Lewis The VoyagerLadyhawke AnxietyPusha T My Name Is My NameTake out most of the features here (save for Kendrick, Rick Ross (?!)), and you'd have one of the best rap records of the year. As is, it's about as stellar as one could have hoped for after all the delays that have plagued Pusha seemingly all his life.Rosie June Listening PostShpongle Museum of ConsciousnessSorrow (UK) DreamstoneTegan and Sara HeartthrobThe Flaming Lips The TerrorA brief glimpse of eternity's waltzThe New Pornographers Brill BruisersWhite Denim Corsicana Lemonade3.8 excellentAnamanaguchi Endless FantasyBADBADNOTGOOD IIIFirst Aid Kit Stay GoldHamilton Leithauser Black HoursMikal Cronin MCIIMy Bloody Valentine m b vOf Montreal Lousy With SylvianbriarRadical Face The Bastards: Volume OneSaintseneca Dark ArcSmith Westerns Soft WillSpoon TransferenceTennis Small SoundThe Veils Time Stays, We GoYellow Ostrich Strange Land3.7 greatBill Callahan Dream RiverCHVRCHES The Bones of What You BelieveGuards In Guards We TrustLykke Li I Never LearnSean Nelson Make Good ChoicesShugo Tokumaru In Focus?Surfer Blood PythonsThe Besnard Lakes Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFOThe National Trouble Will Find MeThe New Pornographers ChallengersThe Pains of Being Pure at Heart Days of Abandon3.6 greatGolden Grrrls Golden GrrrlsSpiritualized Sweet Heart Sweet LightTokyo Police Club Forcefield3.5 great...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead So Divided...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead Festival Thyme...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead The Secret of Elena's Tomb...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead Tao of the Dead22-20s 22-20s311 Greatest HitsA Fine Frenzy Bomb In A BirdcageA.C. Newman Shut Down the StreetsAlbert Hammond Jr Yours To KeepAllison Weiss Say What You MeanAndrew Bird Noble BeastAndrew Jackson Jihad Knife ManAnimal Collective FeelsAnnie AnniemalAnnuals Be He MeArcade Fire The SuburbsAtlas Sound ParallaxAvi Buffalo Avi BuffaloB.o.B The Adventures Of Bobby RayBADBADNOTGOOD BBNG2Badly Drawn Boy About A BoyBalthazar ApplauseBand of Horses Infinite ArmsBasement Jaxx ScarsBasia Bulat Heart of My OwnBeach Fossils Beach FossilsBeach Fossils Clash the TruthBeastie Boys Ill CommunicationBeastie Boys Hot Sauce Committee Part TwoBeck Odelay!Beck GueroBeck Modern GuiltBelle and Sebastian Dear Catastrophe WaitressBelle and Sebastian The Life PursuitBen Folds Five The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold MessnerBen Kweller Changing HorsesBenjamin Gibbard Former LivesBibio Ambivalence AvenueBig Boi Vicious Lies and Dangerous RumorsBleachers Strange DesireBlur Modern Life Is RubbishBoards of Canada GeogaddiBombay Bicycle Club So Long, See You TomorrowBorgore Borgore Ruined Dubstep (Part 1)Brendan Benson LapalcoBright Eyes Fevers & MirrorsBritish Sea Power Open SeasonBritish Sea Power Valhalla DancehallBritney Spears The Singles CollectionBritney Spears Femme FataleBroken Social Scene Forgiveness Rock RecordWhat exactly are Broken Social Scene apologizing for with their new record? As the patriarchs of a mammoth scene, Broken Social Scene don’t really have anything more to prove. It’s fitting then, that Forgiveness Rock Record turns inward, focusing on beefing up the production and creating intricate compositions to get lost in. While it might be a tad grandiose (not to mention way too long), it’s exactly what one should expect from a band so wonderfully outsized as this one.BT These Hopeful MachinesBurial UntrueCamera Obscura Let's Get Out of This CountryCee Lo Green The Lady KillerChad VanGaalen Diaper IslandChairlift SomethingClinic Free ReignCloud Nothings Attack on MemoryCloud Nothings Here and Nowhere ElseCoconut Records DavyCold War Kids Robbers and CowardsCold War Kids Mine is YoursColdplay A Rush of Blood to the HeadCourtney Barnett The Double EP: A Sea of Split PeasCrocodiles Endless FlowersCursive I Am GeminiCut Off Your Hands You and ICymbals Eat Guitars Why There Are MountainsCymbals Eat Guitars Lenses AlienDaft Punk Human After AllDan Mangan Oh FortuneDanger Mouse and Sparklehorse Dark Night of the SoulDaniel Bjarnason ProcessionsDatsik Hydraulic/OverdoseDeadmau5 Random Album TitleDeadmau5 For Lack of a Better NameDeerhunter MicrocastleDelicate Steve WondervisionsDelta Spirit Ode To SunshineDemi Lovato Here We Go AgainDestroyer Destroyer's RubiesDo Make Say Think Other TruthsDoves Some CitiesDum Dum Girls Too TrueEarlimart Hymn and HerEarlimart System PreferencesEels Hombre LoboEels Tomorrow MorningEight and a Half Eight and a HalfEleanor Friedberger Last SummerElectric President The Violent BlueEMA Past Life Martyred SaintsEverclear Slow Motion DaydreamFang Island Fang IslandFeed Me Jack AnatoliaFeist Let It DieField Music Field Music (Measure)Fleet Foxes Helplessness BluesFlying Lotus CosmogrammaFoo Fighters Foo FightersFoo Fighters The Colour and the ShapeFoo Fighters Wasting LightFrank Ocean Nostalgia, UltraI find it interesting, and a little bit telling regarding Odd Future as a whole, that the best songs on Nostalgia, Ultra are largely based off other people's songs ("Strawberry Swing," "American Wedding," "Nature Feels"). For all their hype, there is really very little in the Odd Future crew that hasn't been done before. It's even more fascinating, then, that the most "unoriginal" (given the overabundance of midtempo R&B crooners in the Drake age) member of their crew has made the best album of all of them. Nostalgia, Ultra mixes modern and retro seamlessly, from its occasionally misogynistic lyrics to its cassette-break interludes named after '90s video games. But there's feeling here, and talent; for all the Auto-Tune, it's obvious Ocean can sing. It's the only kind of record in the Odd Future collective that can bounce from Radiohead to The-Dream as easily as it does and still sound so fresh, so real. With Odd Future, one can often get the sense that a lot of what they do is a bit fraudulent, a self-built image (who isn't guilty of this in hip-hop?). With Ocean, it never sounds contrived. And, hey, "Strawberry Swing" nearly shits all over anything Coldplay has done.Franz Ferdinand Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right ActionFruit Bats The Ruminant Bandfun. Aim and IgniteFuture Islands In Evening AirG-Side The One...CohesiveGeographer Animal ShapesGeographer Innocent GhostsGeographer MythGirl Talk Feed the AnimalsGirls AlbumGnarls Barkley St. ElsewhereGodspeed You! Black Emperor Yanqui U.X.O.Godspeed You! Black Emperor 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!The capacity of human intelligence seems to limit the capabilities to expand upon any possible creative
aptitudes. Indeed, if one cannot even notice the facets that the ingenuities around him are comprised of, how
can he be expected to fashion a beast of his own? This inveterate sense of constraint is a great blow to the
veracity of mankind's abilities. It restrains us and holds our minds to the ground below, averting any
possibility of rising above ourselves to something greater; something not fathomed by the conventional mind.
This concept of seeking to go beyond one's self, known as "transcendence," is essentially a gateway to
unlocking pieces of ourselves that can lead to some of the most elaborate and significant creations of our
world. For many, this quest to transcend and form creations that were once considered unthinkable and
overwhelming consumes life. Certainly it is rare to find such people, but when they are found, creative
barriers are destroyed.Goldfrapp Seventh TreeIt takes about six and a half minutes before a casual listener might realize their listening to an electronica outfit, as a drum machine explodes onto the scene halfway through ?Little Bird.? Whereas previous albums focused on Gregory?s innovative beats and textures, Seventh Tree?s focus is on Goldfrapp?s lovely, breathy voice. While the down tempo ballads that start off the album might initially turn off fans, later songs such as ?Happiness? feature beautiful, multi-tracked vocals and a bouncy pop beat and build a pleasant vibe that continues, with just a few bumps in the road (see snoozer ?Eat Yourself?), for the rest of the record.
Gorillaz GorillazGorky's Zygotic Mynci BarafundleGuster Ganging Up on the SunGuster Easy WonderfulHeadlights Some Racing, Some StoppingHeartless Bastards All This TimeHeartless Bastards The MountainHeavenly Beat TalentHoly Esque Holy EsqueHospitality HospitalityHot Chip In Our HeadsIdlewild Post Electric BluesInfected Mushroom Legend Of The Black ShawarmaInterpol AnticsiNTRiKeT The WoodsIslands Return To The SeaIslands VapoursJack Beats U.F.O. Jack Beats Revolution/Out Of BodyJack Beats CarelessJanelle Monae The ArchAndroidJanelle Monae The Electric LadyJapandroids No SinglesJay-Z The Black AlbumJay-Z American GangsterJens Lekman I Know What Love Isn'tJimmy Eat World FuturesJoanna Newsom Have One on MeJon Hopkins ImmunityJulia Holter Loud City SongJustice A Cross the UniverseJustin Timberlake The 20/20 ExperienceAlmost worth the mounds of hyperbolic acclaim it receivesKelis FoodKiD CuDi Man On The Moon: The End Of DayKurt Vile Smoke Ring For My HaloL'Orange The Orchid DaysLana Del Rey Lana Del ReyLana Del Rey UltraviolenceLaura Marling I Speak Because I CanLaura Stevenson Sit ResistI wish every great female-fronted indie pop album was hailed as the best of the year, the world would be a much happier place.LCD Soundsystem LCD SoundsystemLiars SisterworldLiars WIXIWLos Campesinos! Romance Is BoringLos Campesinos! Hello SadnessLost In The Trees All Alone In An Empty HouseLove Axe PhenomenomenonsLove Is All A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At NightLudacris Theater of the MindLykke Li Wounded RhymesM. Ward A Wasteland CompanionMac DeMarco Salad DaysMadonna Confessions on a DancefloorMajor Lazer Free The UniverseMale Bonding Endless NowMan Man On Oni PondMaps & Atlases Perch PatchworkMaps & Atlases Beware and Be GratefulMark Ronson VersionMates of State Re-Arrange UsMetric FantasiesMGMT Oracular SpectacularMidlake The Courage Of OthersMiike Snow Happy to YouMiles Benjamin Anthony Robinson Summer Of FearMotion City Soundtrack GoMuse AbsolutionMy Bloody Valentine LovelessMy Morning Jacket ZN.A.S.A. The Spirit of ApolloNada Surf The Stars Are Indifferent to AstronomyNas UntitledNujabes Spiritual StateNurses DraculaOasis Don't Believe the TruthOf Montreal Coquelicot Asleep In The PoppiesOf Montreal False PriestOf Montreal Paralytic StalksOf Montreal The Bedside Drama: A Petite TragedyOK Go Of The Blue Colour Of The SkyOkkervil River I Am Very FarParades Foreign TapesPassion Pit MannersPaul Dempsey Everything Is TruePaul Oakenfold IbizaPaul Van Dyk Out There and BackPendulum ImmersionPerfume Genius Put Your Back N 2 ItPhantogram VoicesPhoenix It's Never Been Like ThatPortugal. The Man In The Mountain In The CloudPulp His 'n' HersPulp This is HardcoreRadical Face GhostRadiohead The BendsRadiohead The King of LimbsRatatat LP3Razorlight Up All NightReal Estate AtlasRegina Spektor Soviet KitschReso ValkenRilo Kiley The Execution of All ThingsRogue Wave Descended Like VulturesRoyksopp Melody A.M.Run the Jewels Run the JewelsRyan Adams Rock 'n' RollRyan Adams DemolitionRyan Adams Ryan AdamsSambassadeur EuropeanSavages Silence YourselfSchool of Seven Bells AlpinismsSebastiAn TotalSecret Machines Now Here is NowhereSharon Van Etten TrampShe and Him Volume TwoShearwater Animal JoyShout Out Louds Howl Howl Gaff GaffShpongle Ineffable Mysteries from ShponglelandShugo Tokumaru Port EntropySigur Ros Agaetis byrjunSigur Ros ValtariSimian Mobile Disco Attack Decay Sustain ReleaseSimian Mobile Disco UnpatternsSKATERS ManhattanSkrillex Scary Monsters and Nice SpritesFrom First to Last to simply first, Sonny Moore’s debut as an electro fiend with a penchant for wicked bass drops and unintelligible Auto-Tune somehow worked, in its own messy way. Skrillex will never win any critical awards, but as the rawest form of party starter, few could match up to the relentless stream of house, electro and dubstep that Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites spits out. Pills not included.Sleeper Agent CelabrasionSnoop Dogg Ego Trippin'Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin BroomSt. Vincent Strange Mercystellastarr* stellastarr*Submotion Orchestra Finest HourSubmotion Orchestra FragmentsSufjan Stevens Run Rabbit RunSun Kil Moon AprilSuperchunk Majesty ShreddingSurfer Blood Astro CoastT.I. KingTaken By Trees Other WorldsTegan and Sara So JealousTegan and Sara SainthoodTelekinesis 12 Desperate Straight LinesTemples Sun StructuresTennis Young And Oldthat dog. Totally Crushed Out!The Apples in Stereo Her Wallpaper ReverieThe Apples in Stereo New Magnetic WonderThe Auteurs New WaveThe Auteurs Now I'm A CowboyThe Beatles A Hard Day's NightThe Beatles Let It BeThe Beatles The BeatlesThe Beatles Anthology 1The Beatles Beatles for SaleThe Beatles Anthology 2The Big Pink A Brief History of LoveThe Black Crowes Before the Frost...Until the FreezeThe Black Keys El CaminoThe Boy Least Likely To Best Party EverThe Darkness Permission to LandThe Dear Hunter OrangeThe Dears Gang of LosersThe Decemberists Castaways and CutoutsThe Decemberists The TainThe Decemberists The King Is DeadThe Drums PortamentoThe Duke Spirit NeptuneThe Faint Wet From BirthThe Fiery Furnaces Widow CityThe Flaming Lips The Soft BulletinThe Flaming Lips At War With The MysticsThe Format Dog ProblemsThe Gaslight Anthem HandwrittenThe Glands Double ThrillerThe Hives Black And White AlbumThe Hold Steady Stay PositiveHold Steady vocalist Craig Finn says the band’s fourth is about “aging gracefully,” but the righteous racket and vibrant storytelling these bar band rockers serve up seem as suggest that growing up is overrated. Slicker and better produced than their previous albums, it nevertheless retains the Springsteenian classic rock feel of their earlier work and Finn’s lyrics are as sharp and relatable as ever.The Joy Formidable The Big RoarThe Killers Day & AgeThe Libertines The LibertinesThe Long Blondes CouplesThe Long Blondes have an ace up their sleeve: firebrand lead singer Kate Jackson’s vibrant personality, powerful voice, and satirical lyrics, all of which dominate Couples. Lead single “Century” is about as New Wave as you can get in 2008, with Jackson sounding like Debbie Harry reborn and the music all Depeche Mode synths and bubbly bass lines. “Guilt” and “The Couples” continues the album’s theme of tragic relationships, but unlike the weepy Cure-mimicking love songs common in the New Wave-revival scene, Jackson is merciless and acidic towards her ex’s, defiantly proclaiming “guilt has nothing to do with it” to a dumped boyfriend.
Couples unfortunately slows down around the midway point, however, with songs like “Round the Hairpin” and “Too Clever By Half” meandering off into showy drum work and the kind of slow balladry that only stunts the album’s momentum. Half of an album of excellent songs and Jackson’s distinctive vocals, however, are more than most bands can offer today.The Lumineers The LumineersThe Minus 5 The Minus 5The Mountain Goats All Eternals DeckThe New Pornographers TogetherThe Postmarks The PostmarksThe Rapture Pieces Of The People We LoveThe Rapture In the Grace of Your LoveThe Raveonettes Chain Gang of LoveThe Raveonettes In and Out of ControlThe Roots Game TheoryThe Roots How I Got OverDecidedly funky, well-written, produced, etc. etc. - decidedly Rootsian, in other words. It's just what I've come to expect from the Roots, and in that respect How I Got Over is almost a bit of a disappointment, the Roots playing it safe and meeting every single one of my expectations but never overwhelming them. Then again, there's nothing wrong with being one of hip-hop's most consistent bands.The Roots undunThe Shins Chutes Too NarrowThe Shins Oh, Inverted WorldThe Strokes First Impressions of EarthThe Tallest Man on Earth Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing BirdThe Thrills So Much For The CityThe Veils Sun GangsThe Walkmen Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is GoneThe Welcome Wagon Precious Remedies Against Satanâ€™s DevicesThe Wrens SecaucusThe xx xxThrice The Alchemy Index Vols. I & IIThrice BeggarsThrice Major/MinorTiesto In Search of Sunrise 5: Los AngelesTiesto Just BeTilly and the Wall OTitus Andronicus The MonitorTwo Door Cinema Club Tourist HistoryTwo Door Cinema Club BeaconTwo Gallants What the Toll TellsVacationer GoneWait What the notorious xxWale Attention DeficitWarpaint WarpaintWe Are Scientists Brain Thrust MasteryWeezer MaladroitWhiskeytown PneumoniaWidowspeak The SwampsWilco Wilco (The Album)Wugazi 13 ChambersWye Oak CivilianYo La Tengo Popular SongsYouth Lagoon The Year of HibernationGreat music to fall asleep to. And I mean that in the best way possible.Yuck Yuck3.4 greatCarly Rae Jepsen KissCold War Kids Dear Miss LonelyheartsEMA The Future's VoidEmpire Of The Sun Ice On the DuneHaim Days Are GoneHow to Dress Well What Is This Heart?James Blake OvergrownMaryLeigh Roohan Skin and BoneSmith Westerns Dye It BlondeSt. Vincent St. VincentThe Rosebuds Loud Planes Fly Low3.3 greatBeyonce BeyonceBoards of Canada Music Has the Right to ChildrenBoards of Canada Tomorrow's HarvestLaura Marling Once I Was an EagleGreat can't wait for a John Hanson staff review practically sweating with anticipation thanks for letting us know John!Pure Bathing Culture Moon TidesShout Out Louds OpticaThe Clientele Bonfires on the HeathThe Horrors LuminousThe Raveonettes Pe'ahiThe guitar solo on "Sisters" is enough to love this record more than anything they've done since 2010.The Strokes Room on FireYouth Lagoon Wondrous Bughouse3.2 goodPretty Lights A Color Map of The SunRogue Wave Nightingale FloorsThe Thermals Desperate Ground3.0 good...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead Worlds Apart...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead Madonna50 Cent Get Rich or Die Tryin'A Sunny Day in Glasgow Ashes GrammarA Sunny Day in Glasgow Sea When AbsentAlabama Shakes Boys & GirlsAlbert Hammond Jr Â¿CÃ³mo Te Llama?Alcest ShelterPretty bird, yeah, can you say pretty bird??? Alex G TrickAlex G DSUAlt-J An Awesome WaveAmy Millan Masters of the BurialAnamanaguchi Dawn MetropolisAndrew Bird Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of...Angel Olsen Burn Your Fire For No WitnessAnimal Collective Sung TongsAnimal Collective Strawberry JamAnimal Collective Fall Be KindAnimal Collective Centipede HzI'm not saying you need to be on drugs to give this a 4 or above but you totally need to be on drugs to give this a 4 or above.Arcade Fire Neon BibleArctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That's What...Arctic Monkeys Suck It and SeeAtlas Sound LogosAu Revoir Simone Still Night, Still LightAugustana Can't Love, Can't HurtBalthazar RatsBand of Horses Everything All the TimeBand of Horses Cease to BeginBat For Lashes The Haunted ManBeach House Teen DreamBeach House BloomBeastie Boys Licensed to IllBeck Mellow GoldBeck Morning PhaseBelle and Sebastian Write About LoveBen Kweller On My WayBen Kweller Go Fly A KiteBibio GreenBig K.R.I.T. Live From The UndergroundBig K.R.I.T. King Remembered In TimeBlind Pilot We Are The TideBlink-182 Take Off Your Pants and JacketBlink-182 Enema of the StateBlonde Redhead Penny SparkleBlonde Redhead BarraganBlue Hawaii UntogetherBlur The Best OfBlur The Great EscapeBlur 13Boards of Canada In a Beautiful Place Out in the CountryBoards of Canada Boc MaximaBon Iver Bon Iver, Bon IverBoys Noize PowerBraids Native SpeakerBrand New Deja EntenduBreakbot By Your SideBrendan Benson One Mississippi/The Wellfed Boy EPBritish Sea Power Machineries of JoyBritney Spears Greatest Hits: My PrerogativeBritney Spears CircusBroken Bells Broken BellsBurial Street HaloBurial Truant/Rough SleeperCarrie Underwood Some HeartsCate Le Bon CYRKChromeo White WomenClipse Til the Casket DropsCloud Nothings Cloud NothingsCoconut Records NighttimingCold War Kids Loyalty to LoyaltyColdplay ParachutesColdplay LeftRightLeftRightLeftColdplay Mylo XylotoCrocodiles Summer Of HateCrocodiles Sleep ForeverCrocodiles Crimes of PassionCrystal Castles Crystal CastlesCults StaticCut Copy Bright Like Neon LoveCut Copy ZonoscopeDaft Punk Human After All: RemixesDaft Punk Random Access MemoriesDamon Albarn Everyday RobotsDatarock RedDavid Guetta One LoveDeadmau5 At Play 3Deadmau5 4x4=12Deadmau5 >album title goes here<Death Cab for Cutie Codes and KeysDeath From Above 1979 The Physical WorldDeerhunter Weird Era Cont.Deerhunter MonomaniaDIIV OshinDirty Projectors Swing Lo MagellanDJ Quik & Kurupt BlaQKoutDr. Dog Shame, ShameEarlimart Treble & TrembleAaron Espinoza does a good job of imitating Elliott Smith, not such a good job of being Aaron Espinoza. A haunting tribute to the late singer-songwriter, but not one that stands up to any of its late hero's work.Eels Shootenanny!Eels End TimesEl-P Cancer 4 CureEminem The Eminem ShowEminem RecoveryEverest On ApproachExcision X RatedExplosions in the Sky The Earth is Not a Cold Dead PlaceExplosions in the Sky Those Who Tell the Truth...Fall Out Boy Folie a DeuxField Music PlumbFlying Lotus Until the Quiet ComesFoals Total Life ForeverFoo Fighters There Is Nothing Left to LoseFoo Fighters One by OneFoster the People TorchesFountains of Wayne Utopia ParkwayFoxygen Take The Kids Off BroadwayFrank Ocean Channel OrangeFrank Turner Love, Ire & SongFranz Ferdinand Tonight: Franz FerdinandFruit Bats TripperFuture Islands On the WaterFuture Islands SinglesGhost Mice All We Got Is Each OtherGold Panda Half of Where You LiveGoldfinger Hello DestinyGoldfrapp Head FirstGoldfrapp Tales Of UsGomez Whatever's On Your MindGOOD Music Cruel SummerGorillaz Plastic BeachPredictably crazy and jagged around the edges, with just the kind of brilliant instrumentation and guest stars you'd expect Albarn to cook up. But for all its craftsmanship it's still a muddled, jumbled mess of an album, one more in love with the idea itself than in the songs, which too often meander about with no real meaning, aim, or (most importantly) hooks. Bring Blur back please.Grizzly Bear ShieldsGuns N' Roses Chinese DemocracyHeadlights WildlifeHeartless Bastards Stairs and ElevatorsHot Hot Heat ElevatorHow to Dress Well Love RemainsHuman Highway Moody MotorcycleInfected Mushroom Vicious DeliciousInterpol Turn on the Bright LightsIrving Good Morning BeautifulIslands Ski MaskJack White LazarettoHey Dan Auerbach how you like deez nutz bro James Blake James BlakeJanet Jackson DisciplineWhile Janet’s last two albums had many thinking she had lost her pop touch, Discipline throws her back into the club with a number of righteous jams and a few duds.
First single “Feedback” opens with its namesake before dropping back to a steel-drum rhythm and Janet’s seductive, Michael-esque voice telling the listener that “tonight my body’s an exhibition baby / don’t be scared to touch it / so come and get it babe.” Hey, no one ever said Jackson was a lyrical genius, but the production on the song by D’Mile and Darkchild is irresistibly danceable.
Not all of the songs on the album are as club-ready, such as the boring “Rock With U” and the embarrassing ballad “Can’t B Good.” Jackson’s inexplicable decision to include a number of interludes where she talks to a robot or says unintentionally comedic nuggets like “four words: love, faith, hope, destiny” stunt the album’s momentum.Japandroids Celebration RockI could have sworn this came out in 2009 and was called Post-Nothing then.Jay-Z and Kanye West Watch the ThroneJenny and Johnny I'm Having Fun NowJenny Lewis Acid TongueJenny Owen Youngs Transmitter FailureJimmy Eat World ClarityJimmy Eat World InventedKaiser Chiefs Off With Their HeadsKanye West Late RegistrationKasabian EmpireKelly Clarkson All I Ever WantedKiller Mike R.A.P. MusicKimbra The Golden EchoKnife Party Rage ValleyLady Gaga The Fame MonsterLiars LiarsLily Allen Alright, StillLinkin Park Hybrid TheoryLinkin Park ReanimationLocksley Don't Make Me WaitLos Campesinos! Hold On Now, Youngster...Love Is All Two Thousand and Ten InjuriesLow The Invisible WayLupe Fiasco Food & LiquorLupe Fiasco The CoolM. Ward Post-WarMajor Lazer Guns Dont Kill People... Lazers DoManic Street Preachers FuturologyMariah Carey The Emancipation of MimiMarina and The Diamonds The Family JewelsMates of State MountaintopsMatt and Kim SidewalksMenomena MinesMetric SyntheticaMGMT MGMTMidlake AntiphonMika The Boy Who Knew Too MuchMoby Last NightStrict vegetarian and eternally bald hipster Moby returns to his platinum-selling roots on Last Night, turning toward a more electronica/dance style that characterized his hit club record Play way back in 1999. Beginning with the catchy “Oh Yeah” and continuing nearly unabated to the album’s closer, the epic “Last Night,” the record chronicles an all-night romp through New York’s clubs, anchored by Moby’s diverse, eclectic range of beats.
Strong points include the 80s-tastic “Disco Lies” and the Nintendo-mimicking sounds of “257.zero,” but the record bogs down a little with the slow jam “Degenerates,” and the second half of the record overall takes the energy level down a notch. Last Night’s potential for dusk to dawn bootyshaking, however, remains much higher than most of Moby’s contemporaries.
Mono Hymn To The Immortal WindMorrissey Years of RefusalMuse Black Holes and RevelationsN.E.R.D. Seeing SoundsNada Surf The Proximity EffectNada Surf Let GoNada Surf If I Had A Hi-FiNoah and the Whale Peaceful, the World Lays Me DownOasis Dig Out Your SoulOf Montreal Cherry PeelOf Montreal Aldhils ArboretumOrphans of Cush White NoizeOught More Than Any Other DayPalma Violets 180Pantha Du Prince Black NoisePassion Pit Chunk of ChangePaul Oakenfold BunkkaPaul Oakenfold A Lively MindPaul Van Dyk The Politics of Dancing, Vol. 2Pinback Information RetrievedNo one will ever accuse a Pinback record of sounding terrible; Rob Crow and Armistead Burwell Smith are
masters of lighting a slow burning fuse of groovy electric guitars and hypnotic rhythms that set in ever so
slightly. And it's predictably gorgeous. Where Information Retrieved fails is that it's content to be pretty and
nothing more. For a band that has always been adept at shading in the blank spaces during their career,
Information Retrieved is a shockingly humdrum drive, with many wonderful parts but nothing that really grabs
you. Pinback are still beautiful, but they're getting to the point where that's all they are.PJ Harvey Let England ShakePop Winds Earth To FriendPortugal. The Man Evil FriendsThese are songs to blast at the beach, to sing along with the windows down, to enjoy as four-minute bits of
rock escapism. Hopefully it will garner Portugal. The Man the attention they deserve and draw more people to
a live show that is one of the best in the scene. Perhaps then the band will finally feel comfortable exploring a
sound that hasn't already been rehashed to perfection and back again with a numbing sort of precision.Pure X AngelRadiohead Pablo HoneyRadiohead In RainbowsRaekwon Shaolin vs. Wu-TangRatatat LP4Regina Spektor Begin To HopeRegina Spektor What We Saw from the Cheap SeatsRick Ross TrillaRilo Kiley Under the BlacklightRogue Wave Asleep at Heaven's GateRoyksopp JuniorRyan Adams Jacksonville City NightsRyan Adams Easy TigerRyan Adams Follow The LightsRyan Adams III/IVRyan Adams Ashes And FireShearwater The Golden ArchipelagoShout Out Louds WorkSigur Ros KveikurSkrillex My Name Is SkrillexSleigh Bells TreatsSmoosh Free To StaySo Many Dynamos The Loud WarsSomeone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin PershingSomeone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin Tape ClubSondre Lerche Heartbeat RadioSpoon Series of SneaksSt. Vincent ActorStars In Our Bedroom After The WarStars The Five GhostsStars The NorthExceedingly pretty but it seems each Stars album has less songs that latch onto you than the one before. Here, there's "Progress," "Do You Want To Die Together," and a whole mess of frosty ballads between Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell that sound pristine yet strangely airy and insubstantial.stellastarr* CivilizedStereophonics Just Enough Education To PerformStereophonics Live From DakotaStereophonics Keep Calm and Carry OnSun Kil Moon Admiral Fell PromisesSunset Rubdown DragonslayerSuper Mash Bros Fuck Bitches. Get Euros.Taylor Swift RedTed Leo And The Pharmacists The Brutalist BricksTeenage Cool Kids Foreign LandsTennis Cape DoryTera Melos X'ed OutThe Antlers HospiceThe Bad Plus These Are the VistasThe Beatles Please Please MeThe Beatles With the BeatlesThe Beatles Anthology 3The Besnard Lakes The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring NightThe Bird And The Bee The Bird and the BeeThe Black Keys Attack & ReleaseThe Bloody Beetroots RomboramaThe Brunettes Structure and CosmeticsThe Brunettes Paper DollsThe Clientele MinotaurThe Concretes WYWHThe Dear Hunter RedThe Decemberists The Crane WifeThe Decemberists Long Live the KingThe Dodos Time to DieThe best way I can describe my feelings towards this album is that, while I thoroughly enjoyed it after a couple of listens and thought it was quite an acceptable folk-rock record with the kind of oddball touches the Dodos specialize in, it pales in comparison to Visiter. It's amazing how much more my ears perk up when "A Time to Die" fades out and my iTunes proceeds to the opening song of Visiter, "Walking." Time To Die is a good album, and would have made fairly great debut, but coming after what was surely one of the debuts of the year in the Visiter, it's a bit of a letdown.The Drums The DrumsThe Elected Sun, Sun, SunThe Elected Bury Me In My RingsThe Faint Danse MacabreThe Fiery Furnaces Bitter TeaThe Format Interventions and LullabiesThe Futureheads The ChaosThe Helio Sequence NegotiationsThe Hold Steady Teeth DreamsThe Horrors Primary ColoursThe Kills Midnight BoomThe Men Open Your HeartThe Men Tomorrow's HitsOnly a drastic change if you haven't listened to the Men since 2011, Tomorrow's Hits nevertheless feels like the first time the band's album-a-year approach is catching up with them. It's almost lazy in its perfunctory drunken bar-rock, and while that sloppiness is almost surely intentional, it makes for an insubstantial album. It sounds like the Men boozily covering the Men. That's certainly an enjoyable experience, but any forward progress has stalled.The Menzingers Chamberlain WaitsThe Microphones The Glow Pt. 2The Morning Benders Big EchoThe National Sad Songs for Dirty LoversThe Notwist Close to the GlassThe Olivia Tremor Control Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume 1The Postmarks Memoirs At The End Of The WorldThe Presets PacificaThe Rapture EchoesThe Raveonettes ObservatorThe Shins Port of MorrowThe Sleepy Jackson LoversThe Stills Oceans Will RiseThe Thrills TeenagerThe Walkmen Bows + ArrowsThe Walkmen A Hundred Miles OffThe Weeknd House of BalloonsThe Weeknd ThursdayThe White Stripes ElephantThe White Stripes Get Behind Me SatanThe White Stripes De StijlThe xx CoexistThe Zutons Tired of Hangin' AroundThee Silver Mount Zion Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on EverythingTim Hecker Ravedeath, 1972Titus Andronicus Local BusinessTodd Terje It's Album TimeTokyo Police Club Elephant ShellTrevor Giuliani SubcontrarioTV on the Radio Nine Types of LightVampire Weekend ContraVessels HelioscopeWarpaint The FoolWe Are Scientists With Love and SqualorWe Are Scientists BarbaraWeezer The Green AlbumWhite Rabbits Milk FamousWilco Sky Blue SkyWild Beasts SmotherWolfgang Gartner Weekend In AmericaWoods At Echo LakeWorking For a Nuclear Free City Jojo Burger TempestWU LYF Go Tell Fire to the MountainWu-Tang Clan Wu-Tang ForeverWu-Tang Clan The WYoung Jeezy The RecessionListeners don’t come to a Snowman album looking for lyrical nuance or subtle metaphors, but they definitely do come for the Dirty South production, the gangsta vibe, and Jeezy’s imitable wheezy drawl, and The Recession has all of this in spades.
What saves The Recession from being just another lame Dirty South record is the production by a series of semi-famous producers like J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and Drumma Boy, who create an appropriately dark, urban atmosphere replete with snare hits and rumbling bass to accompany Jeezy’s rants. While The Recession is never going to win any awards, it is a fitting late summer jam for those who like their hip-hop with more brawn than brains.Young the Giant Young the GiantYuck Glow and BeholdZammuto Zammuto2.9 goodASAP Rocky Live.Love.A$AP.Camera Obscura Desire LinesU2 Songs of Innocence2.8 goodAu Revoir Simone Move in SpectrumsDanny Brown OldSleigh Bells Bitter RivalsPoppier than their debut but without the dreamy haze that permeated Reign of Terror, Bitter Rivals attempts to split the difference and ends up gaining nothing. Chose a half measure, when they should've gone all the way.The Strokes Comedown MachinetUnE-yArDs Nikki Nack2.7 averageArcade Fire ReflektorWould have made for a swell EP. 2.5 average!!! Strange Weather, Isn't It?Akron/Family S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNTAndrew Bird I Want to See Pulaski at NightArctic Monkeys HumbugAriana Grande Yours TrulyBadly Drawn Boy One Plus One is OneBadly Drawn Boy Have You Fed The Fish?Band of Horses Mirage RockBeach House Devotion Beach House’s music perfectly coincides with their name; as one might take a trip over to a beach house for a weekend of relaxation in the sun, so does the band’s music resemble a peaceful reverie of calm days where there is absolutely nothing to do. While doing nothing does have its benefits, it does get old. This is Beach House’s mistake; rather than party it up occasionally, they maintain the same pace throughout their second record, Devotion, trying as hard as possible to keep the noise down and not disturb the neighbors.
Lead single “Gila” epitomizes this problem. Rather than develop on the musical ideas they present at the beginning of the song, the duo is content to ride along gently on vocalist Victoria Legrand’s dreamy lyrics while a fuzzy guitar and piano follow along.
Lyrically the album is strong, focusing on themes that would behoove its title: loyalty, love, friendship, and their opposites. Legrand has a haunting, ethereal voice that perfectly fits the record’s mood, and it’s surprisingly soulful in a quiet sort of way. While the chill-out tempos and Legrand’s comforting voice make for a potent musical sleeping aid, Devotion’s failure to deviate from the band’s dream-pop formula makes a full listen through the album ultimately boring. Hey, it’s better than Jack Johnson.Beastie Boys Hello NastyBeck One Foot In The GraveBen Folds Way To NormalBen Kweller Sha ShaBen Lee Awake Is The New SleepBen Lee The Rebirth of VenusBeyonce I Am... Sasha FierceBeyonce 4Blink-182 Dude RanchBlur Think TankBlur LeisureBoards of Canada Trans Canada HighwayBrand New DaisyBrett Dennen Hope for the HopelessBright Eyes Digital Ash in a Digital UrnBritney Spears In The ZoneBritney Spears BritneyBroken Social Scene Broken Social SceneBurial BurialCarly Rae Jepsen CuriosityCarrie Underwood Play OnCat Power JukeboxChairlift Does You Inspire YouChildish Gambino CampClap Your Hands Say Yeah HystericalColdplay Prospekt's MarchConor Oberst Outer SouthCursive Mama, I'm SwollenDaft Punk Tron: LegacyDanny Brown XXXDaphni JiaolongDavid Cook David CookDavid Guetta Pop LifeDelta Spirit Delta SpiritDelta Spirit Into the WideDirty Projectors Bitte OrcaDoves Kingdom of RustDr. Dog Be The VoidDragonette BodypartsDrake So Far GoneDrake Take CareEarlimart Mentor TormentorMeet the new Earlimart: same as the old Earlimart. That is to say, Aaron Espinoza continues his Elliott Smith impression and the music is a pleasant, if not particularly revolutionary, brand of hazy shoegaze pop/rock.Elbow The Seldom Seen KidManchester Britpop band Elbow is one of the most critically acclaimed bands on their side of Atlantic, but commercial success has continued to elude them, and the group is practically unknown in America. The Seldom Seen Kid, their fourth album, aims to reach wider audiences with its epic brand of indie rock, with vocalist/guitarist Guy Garvey’s distinctive British tenor leading the way.
The record starts off with slow burner “Starlings,” mostly a bubbling synthesizer and Garvey’s tender voice punctuated by occasional blasts of horn. Ultimately boring, the band luckily picks up the pace with the quintessentially British-sounding “The Bones of You,” which sounds like a mix of the Verve’s intelligent witticisms and Blur’s innovative instrumentation.
The highlight of the record is obviously Garvey, whose velvet pipes expertly complement his dreamy storytelling, as is most evident on lead single “Grounds for Divorce,” where he describes feelings of nostalgia as “there’s a hole in my neighborhood / down which of late I cannot help but fall.”
Sadly, Garvey’s talents as a songwriter can only go so far, and unfortunately The Seldom Seen Kid suffers from the same affliction as its starting record: it is too ponderous to hold the listener’s attention for long. Songs drag along on waves of noise and guitar, with only Garvey’s voice to lead a path through the musical bog. Elbow Build A Rocket Boys!Garvey has a lovely voice, but Build A Rocket Boys! is all shiny textures and pleasant listening and altogether very, very boring.Empire Of The Sun Walking On A DreamExit_International Our Science Is GoldenExplosions in the Sky Take Care, Take Care, Take Care"Unexciting instrumental music" - Adam DownerFactory Floor Factory FloorFlight of the Conchords I Told You I Was FreakyFlogging Molly FloatWith Float, the band is living by the adage ?if it ain?t broke, don?t fix it.? The band has remained stuck in their own culture, maintaining virtually the same gimmick since their debut album of Pogues-inspired rock and leading to albums that generally sound the same from one song to another. That isn?t to say the gimmick doesn?t work. ?The Story So Far? and the title track slow the tempo down and focus on singer Dave King?s soulful vocals and, on the latter, a wistful fiddle. Generally, however, much of Float sounds like a manic leprechaun singing jigs about drinking too much and poverty-stricken city workers with the metronome turned up way too far.
Florence and the Machine MTV UnpluggedFoo Fighters In Your HonorFountains of Wayne Sky Full of HolesFoxy Shazam The Church of Rock and RollFreddie Gibbs ESGNFree Energy Love SignFuture HonestGame LAXGhostface Killah The Pretty Toney AlbumGhostface Killah Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald CityGnarls Barkley The Odd CoupleSt. Elsewhere was a debut worthy of the heaps of praise it accumulated from the press, a eclectic, diverse arrangement of alternative hip-hop mixed with Danger Mouse’s extraordinarily experimental production and Cee-Lo’s oddball lyrics and fluid phrasing. The Odd Couple is pretty much St. Elsewhere redux, and considering the potential within these two guys, it’s unerring sameness is frustrating.Gomez A New TideGorillaz Demon DaysGrizzly Bear VeckatimestGroove Armada Love BoxHellogoodbye Everything Is DebatableHop Along Get DisownedIceage New BrigadeJames Blunt Back To BedlamJay-Z The Blueprint 3Justin Bieber My World 2.0Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2Kaiser Chiefs Yours Truly, Angry MobKaiser Chiefs The Future is MedievalKaiser Chiefs Start the Revolution Without MeKanye West The College DropoutKanye West 808s and HeartbreakKasabian West Ryder Pauper Lunatic AsylumLa Roux La RouxLady Gaga The FameLana Del Rey ParadiseLCD Soundsystem This Is HappeningLights The ListeningLil Wayne Tha Carter IVLinkin Park MeteoraLocksley Be In LoveLos Campesinos! We Are Beautiful, We Are DoomedLost In The Trees Past LifeMadonna Hard CandyManchester Orchestra CopeMariah Carey E=MCÂ²Metric Live It OutMGMT CongratulationsMika Life in Cartoon MotionMSTRKRFT Fist of GodMumford and Sons Sigh No MoreMy Morning Jacket Evil UrgesMy Morning Jacket CircuitalNada Surf The Weight Is a GiftNada Surf High/LowNo Age Everything In BetweenOasis Be Here NowOf Montreal The Gay ParadeOFWGKTA The OF Tape Vol. 2Paramore Brand New EyesPaul Van Dyk In BetweenPeter Bjorn and John Writer's BlockPlacebo Battle For The SunRa Ra Riot The Rhumb LineRadiohead Kid ARadiohead Hail to the ThiefRihanna Talk That TalkSaint Pepsi Hit VibesSelena Gomez and the Scene Kiss and TellSelena Gomez and the Scene When The Sun Goes DownShabazz Palaces Black UpSilversun Pickups SwoonSimian Mobile Disco Temporary PleasureSomeone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin Let It SwaySpokes Everyone I Ever MetSpoon Got Nuffinstellastarr* Harmonies for the HauntedStereophonics Language.Sex.Violence.Other?Sun Kil Moon Among the LeavesSuper Mash Bros All About The ScallionsSystem of a Down ToxicityT.I. T.I. vs. T.I.P.The All-American Rejects When the World Comes DownThe Apples in Stereo Travellers in Space and TimeThe Beatles Yellow SubmarineThe Black Keys Magic PotionThe Black Keys Turn BlueThe Darkness One Way Ticket To Hell And BackThe Dear Hunter BlackThe Dears No Cities LeftThe Dears MissilesThe Faint FasciinatiionThe Flaming Lips EmbryonicThe Futureheads This Is Not the WorldThe Get Up Kids The Guilt ShowThe Hives Lex HivesThe Hold Steady Heaven Is WheneverThe Jezabels The BrinkThe Kooks Inside In/Inside OutThe Kooks KonkThe Kooks have perfected the formula for the perfect pop song with "Always Where I Need To Be": doo-doo-doos in the chorus, Pritchard’s amusing but contrived Jagger-esque howls, and a stuck-in-your-head beat.
“Mr. Maker” is recycled Britpop, “Shine On” is dripping with the corniest sentiments this side of the Goo Goo Dolls, and Pritchard’s lyrics generally could use more than a little work. But it is guitarist Hugh Harris that saves the album. From the multi-tracked wizardry of “Do You Wanna” to the tasteful strumming on “Sway” to the ridiculously bouncy riffs and solos on virtually any song, Harris’ work makes the album a relatively pleasing memory of Britpop’s heyday.The Libertines Up The BracketThe Postmarks By The NumbersThe Raveonettes Pretty In BlackThe Sounds Something to Die ForThe Thrills Let's Bottle BohemiaThe Verve ForthThe Verve are old pros at creating songs that practically live in their own atmosphere, and the layers of sound that decorate Forth lead to tunes that reveal new, subtle differences with each listen. Such care produces songs that regularly pass the five-minute mark and beyond; six songs go well over the six-minute mark, and while at times it can be the album?s biggest plus, it also tends to lead to tracks that drag rather than evolve. It's the Verve being the Verve, which is good at putting one to sleep but not too much else.
The War on Drugs Future WeatherThe Watson Twins Talking To You, Talking To MeThe White Stripes Icky ThumpTiesto In Search of Sunrise 3: PanamaTiesto KaleidoscopeTilly and the Wall Bottoms of BarrelsTilly and the Wall Heavy MoodTinted Windows Tinted WindowstUnE-yArDs w h o k i l lTyler the Creator GoblinU2 No Line on the HorizonUsher Raymond v. RaymondVoxtrot VoxtrotWavves King of the BeachWe Are Scientists TV en FranÃ§aisWeezer RaditudeWeezer HurleyWilco A Ghost is BornWomen Public StrainThe only strain here is in making it through the whole record.Woods Songs of ShameWye Oak ShriekYeah Yeah Yeahs MosquitoYeasayer Odd BloodYellow Ostrich The Mistress2.4 averageLily Allen SheezusShe and Him Volume Three2.3 averagePanic! At the Disco Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!Ra Ra Riot Beta LoveThe Strokes Angles2.0 poor...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dea50 Cent The Massacre50 Cent CurtisAnimal Collective Here Comes the IndianAnimal Collective HollinndagainAriana Grande My EverythingAshlee Simpson Bittersweet WorldWith Bittersweet World, the younger, more tone-deaf Simpson sibling has wholeheartedly embraced the ‘80s, beat-tastic sound that has been gaining speed in the pop world over the years. The result is a mixed bag. Lead single “Outta My Head” is built on a nagging guitar beat and a simple drum machine, but sadly the lyrics are ridiculously inane (“what you lookin’ at me for huh? / show me respect or I will show you the door”), and Ashlee fails miserably at sounding sassy.
The album isn’t totally worthless, however. For every cringe-inducing break-up song (“Little Miss Obsessive”) and pointless bad-girl posturing (“Rule Breaker”), there are a couple bright spots: the dark pulse of “Murder” and the whirling guitar pop of “Ragdoll,” and no one can ever accuse Ashlee of lacking energy. All in all, Bittersweet World is more of a party than her earlier efforts, but still a plastic, manufactured one at that.Ashley Tisdale Guilty PleasureBadly Drawn Boy It's What I'm Thinking - Photographing SnowflakesBeastie Boys To the 5 BoroughsBeck Golden FeelingsBeck The InformationBlack Kids Partie TraumaticBlink-182 Cheshire CatBritney Spears Oops!...I Did It AgainBritney Spears ...Baby One More TimeBritney Spears Britney JeanColdplay X & YDaft Punk Daft ClubDeath Grips The Money StoreDeerhoof Breakup SongDirty Beaches BadlandsDJ Sprinkles Midtown 120 BluesDrake Thank Me LaterElectric Six FireEminem EncoreEminem RelapseFlo Rida R.O.O.T.S.Foo Fighters Echoes, Silence, Patience & GraceFountains of Wayne Traffic And WeatherFoxy Shazam GonzoFrench Kicks Swimmingfun. Some NightsSomething's wrong when the best song is a bonus track.Groove Armada Soundboy RockGroove Armada Black LightGuillemots RedHot Chip Made in the DarkIggy Azalea The New ClassicImogen Heap SparksInterpol Our Love to AdmireInterpol InterpolJack Beats All NightJay-Z Kingdom ComeJay-Z The BlueprintÂ²: The Gift & the CurseJessie James Jessie JamesJimmy Eat World Chase This LightJustice Audio, Video, DiscoJustin Timberlake JustifiedKaiser Chiefs Education, Education, Education & WarKanye West Yeezus"It's only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It's only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness.
Beauty, truth, awesomeness. That's all it is."
-Kanye WestKasabian KasabianKaty Perry Teenage DreamKele The BoxerKings of Leon Only By The NightLady Gaga Born This WayLana Del Rey Born to DieLil Wayne Tha Carter IIIAn overblown, bloated, scattered collection of egoism that had just as many misfires as it had genuine hits. 2008 was without doubt the year of Weezy, but there is such a thing as too much Weezy; the over-saturation of Lil Wayne on the airwaves led to Tha Carter III as not having much more than that which you haven’t already heard. It was ambitious and defiantly creative, but not the modern rap masterpiece many critics made it out to be.Linkin Park Minutes to MidnightLupe Fiasco LasersMacintosh Plus FLORAL SHOPPEMadonna American LifeMariah Carey Memoirs of an Imperfect AngelMiley Cyrus BreakoutMiley Cyrus BangerzModest Mouse Good News for People Who Love Bad NewsNeutral Milk Hotel On Avery IslandOasis Heathen ChemistryOasis Standing on the Shoulder of GiantsOasis The MasterplanOf Montreal Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?Panic! At the Disco A Fever You Can't Sweat OutRadiohead AmnesiacRaekwon ImmobilarityRazorlight Slipway FiresScarlett Johansson Anywhere I Lay My HeadSchool of Seven Bells Disconnect From DesireSecret Machines Secret MachinesShe and Him A Very She & Him ChristmasSkrillex More Monsters and SpritesSkrillex BangarangSlim Thug Boss of all BossesSpoon TelephonoStereophonics Pull The PinStereophonics Graffiti On The TrainSufjan Stevens The Age of AdzPlease, Sufjan, don't go where I can't followSun Kil Moon Tiny CitiesSystem of a Down Steal This Album!T-Pain Thr33 RingzTapes N Tapes Walk It OffThe songs on this latest record are more easily categorized under indie rock than the grab bag of styles that marked 2006’s The Loon, and while this increased focus benefits the overall flow of the album, some of the songs tend to sound too similar. The funky guitar line and fixed bass on “Hang Them All” imparts a sense of urgency that characterizes Walk It Off, as if the band is desperately trying to tell someone that they matter. Singer Josh Grier’s warbly vocals will either be a turn off or a pleasure depending on the listener, although on songs such as “Headshock” they make the song. Aside from the tango-ish tune “Conquest” and the relaxed vibe of “Say Back Something,” most of Walk It Off suffers from the Strokes Syndrome, or sounding remarkably the same throughout much of the record, that has afflicted too many guitar-rock bands in recent memory.
Tenacious D The Pick of DestinyThe Antlers (together)The Bravery The BraveryThe Bravery Stir The BloodThe Dears Degeneration StreetThe Fiery Furnaces Rehearsing My ChoirThe Fiery Furnaces Blueberry BoatThe Fray How to Save a LifeThe Fray The FrayThe Futureheads News and TributesThe Gaslight Anthem American SlangThe Killers SawdustThe Killers Battle BornIt's hard to choose a favorite among so many great tracks, but "From Here On Out" is one of the best, most powerful songs ever written about self-preservation, dignity. Its universal message crosses all boundaries and instills one with the hope that it's not too late to better ourselves. Since, Elizabeth, it's impossible in this world we live in to empathize with others, we can always empathize with ourselves. It's an important message, crucial really. And it's beautifully stated on the album.The Knife Tomorrow, In a YearThe Raconteurs Broken Boy SoldiersThe Raveonettes Raven in the GraveThe Sounds Crossing the RubiconThe Veils Troubles of the BrainThe Weeknd Kiss LandUffie Sex Dreams and Denim JeansUsher Here I StandWeezer The Red AlbumAt this point, it’s hard to say that Weezer’s latest was a real disappointment, as I’ve expected nothing but that from this once-proud band since 2005 (yes, I hung on even after Maladroit). The Red Album was trumpeted as the band’s comeback, and while it showed a few fading signs of the old Weezer, the band’s delusions of grandeur and Cuomo’s declining lyrical abilities made it instead a last gasp, “Pork and Beans” reminding me only of what could have been.Weezer The Red Album (Deluxe Edition)Wolf Parade At Mount ZoomerYeasayer Fragrant World1.5 very poor50 Cent Before I Self DestructBeck Stereopathetic SoulmanureBorgore #NewGoreOrderClap Your Hands Say Yeah Some Loud ThunderDavid Guetta Nothing but the BeatDeath From Above 1979 Romance Bloody RomanceDiscovery LPEminem Relapse: RefillJessica Simpson Do You KnowJonas Brothers Lines, Vines and Trying TimesJustin Bieber My WorldMiley Cyrus The Time of Our LivesN.E.R.D. NothingOf Montreal Skeletal LampingKevin Barnes has been cruel to me. After the one-two punch Satanic Panic in the Attic and Sunlandic Twins turned Of Montreal into one of my favorite bands, the experimental squall of Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? was interesting, to be sure, but turned me off more than a little after the perfect electronica-meets-power-pop of the aforementioned records. Skeletal Lamping is perhaps even more disjointed and uneven than Hissing Fauna, a record that bounces from random idea to opaque lyric to out-of-the-blue musical flourish with the attention span of a ADHD-afflicted schizophrenic six-year-old with a sugar rush. Barnes is no doubt a kind of musical visionary; just not the kind I expected or really even wanted.Owl City Ocean EyesRazorlight RazorlightRyan Adams 29Ryan Adams OrionThe Apples in Stereo Velocity Of SoundThe Killers Sam's Town1.0 awfulGirl Talk Secret DiaryKevin Federline Playing with FireLil Wayne RebirthOwl City All Things Bright And BeautifulLike having an orgasm and saving the rainforest, all at the same time.P.O.D. When Angels and Serpents DanceParis Hilton ParisPussycat Dolls Doll DominationWeezer Make Believe
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