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10.02.19 Neek's 2019 Cram List09.08.19 Mellon Collie: Revamped
07.20.19 Pitchfork Fest '19: Bands I Filmed07.06.19 TWENEEK19: Q2 Albums
07.01.19 TWENEEK19: Q2 Films06.13.19 Neek's 2010s Cram List
06.12.19 2019 Charts Up 04.24.19 Neek Can Legally Be an Alcoholic
04.11.19 TWENEEK18: AOTYs/FOTYs04.03.19 TWENEEK19: Q1 Albums
04.02.19 TWENEEK19: Q1 Films03.20.19 TWENEEK18: SOTYs
02.21.19 Neek's Oscar Picks 201901.01.19 Sput's JAN 2019 Song of the Day
12.30.18 Black Mirror: Bandersnatch discussion12.01.18 Sput's DEC 2018 Song of the Day
10.29.18 1000 Ratings; 10/10 Songs10.13.18 Neek's Hip Hop 5s and 4.5s
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Neek's 2010s Cram List

It's fuckin time boyos, figured I get this going a while before my 2019 one so I could get a head start. So here's the thing. It's been a long 10 years, and I've barely heard anything before 2017 (around when I started listening to music seriously). Throw me classics I've missed, your all time faves, and keep it to three recs for now, capeesh? Below are some examples why not
The Seer

neek (2012)

Holy hell. This is one dense beast of a record. While I didn't find it as sickening or hellish as some others, the discordant sounds and impressive scope were undeniably unsettling, though I found them to resolve into a more hopeful place in the second half of the record. But this was so so much more moving than Soundtracks in my opinion (my only other experience with them), with far more dense, melodic, and affecting tunes that, while massive, still had intense emotion and purpose throughout. I see why this gets so much praise 'round these parts. To Be Kind is next...

Favorites: "Avatar" "The Seer" "Apostate"
Least Favorite: "93 Ave. B Blues"
2The National
High Violet

neek (2010)

So I understand that my issue of Matt Berninger's vocals acting as a small block to me fully enjoying this band is not a common one, but goddamn can it be. It seems to drown out the gorgeous, deep instrumentals at many turns, and rarely do the melodies have enough of a catchiness or immediacy to them that make me want to jam these songs again and again. And yet, I give it a 4.1. Here's the thing, this is an album that should so easily be a 4.5 for me, but these all hold it back. Even the b-sides and live cuts on the expanded edition carry the performances that could've made this fly, but here, ever so slightly, things just feel so held back at times. It's a great but frustrating listen. Maybe it'll grow in time.
Favorites: "Afraid of Everyone" "England"
Least Favorites: "Anyone's Ghost" "Sorrow"
3Justin Timberlake
The 20/20 Experience

neek (2013)

I definitely understand where the love comes from, as his approach to progressive-pop here is definitely exciting and a lot of fun, but ultimately this record was a bit hit or miss for me. The hits definitely hit more than the misses missed, but it was enough to say that while I definitely really liked this album, I certainly didn't love it. Everything was a bit too all over the place quality-wise (did "Suit & Tie" really need to sound so lethargic?), and the songs I didn't like just seemed too overlong. Still, I admire the shit out of this for its adventurousness, and like I said, it paid off more often than not.

Favorites: "Don’t Hold the Wall" "Let the Grove Get In"
Least Favorite: "Suit & Tie"
4Death Grips
The Money Store

neek (2012)
5Sharon Van Etten
Are We There

neek (2014)

Since my only experience with Sharon Van Etten were the aggressive, sprawling corridors of her latest release, all I knew what to expect from this was something different, and different is what I got. While the personal side to this record is extremely convincing, I felt myself equally swayed by the smallness of the album compared to her latest release. However, there's a plainness toa few of the songs that can't be ignored given the scope of female indie singer-songwriters out there today, and I feel that her operatic vocals better suit the more atmospheric stuff she's done. So while I think this is a truly great record, I gotta say that Remind Me Tomorrow edges this out just a tad.

Favorites: "Our Love" "Tarifa"
Least Favorites: "I Know" "I Love You But I'm Lost"

neek (2013)

While this is certainly an intriguing blend of elements, I still can't what see what all the hubbub was about. It's really impressive in scope and variety, and I did really like it, but it just doesn't seem as groundbreaking now. Perhaps it's because it's been built up by so many people and elaborated on by so many other acts, but this simply didn't do much to floor me the way I expected it to. I also thought it was a strange decision to place the most abrasive and least interesting track as the opener, especially for an album so dedicated to accessibility within the genre. Still, very glad I gave it a spin, and some of those atmospheric tracks were something else entirely.

Favorite: "Please Remember"
Least Favorite: "Dream House"
The Years

budgie (2010)

This was simply a pleasant experience. While I'm not sure how much I'll remember of it in the future, its hazy atmospheres and calming guitar lines were just the thing I needed in the moment. Some tracks stood out over others, but overall this was a solid dream pop EP that admittedly could've used lot more originality to become decade-end worthy.

Favorite: "Lately"
Least Favorite: "Modern Normal"
Everything Else Matters

budgie (2015)

Appropriately bright and shiny, this band also has a muscular sheen to them that helps them stand out against different bands in their genre, creating a sound both new and exciting. My biggest problem would be that it's hard to pin down but is also a bit unmemorable, as in I really enjoy listening to this, but not much sticks in my mind afterward looking back on it. Still, it was definitely a great record I'm going to have to check in with every once in a while!

Favorites: "Wish We Were" "Ravestar Supreme" "Marigold"
Least Favorites: "Glitter" "Metamorphosis"
Melting Sun

budgie (2014)
10Teho Teardo and Blixa Bargeld
Still Smiling

Papa Universe (2013)

In typical Papa fashion, something wholly accessible but daring, yet rendered almost inept with one important factor--this time again, the vocals. Why they decided to pair such extravagant and moving instrumental passives with monotonous moaning in foreign languages and often undercut and made redundant a great many of these tunes. However, it all works far, far more often than not, especially in a pair of closing tracks that put the pieces together to finally deliver the emotional (rather than intellectual) blow the album so desperately needed to seal the deal. This was an excellent rec.

Favorites: "A Quiet Life" "Defenestrazoni"
Least Favorite: "Axolotl"
11Hail Spirit Noir
Mayhem In Blue

Papa Universe (2016)
12King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard
Nonagon Infinity

Papa Universe (2016)

Oh so thissssss is why everyone has been talking about these guys? No doubt this is some brilliant, progressive-ish rock with a lot of different sounds and elements, which I love. The thing I think that holds it back is the same thing that makes it stand out--its cyclical, self-referencing nature adds to the overall cohesion of its disparate parts, but it also makes it seem a bit redundant at times despite this eclecticism. Overall though, this is a banger of a record, and I'm excited to dig into these guys more with my 2019 cram list.

Favorite: "Robot Stomp"
Least Favorite: "Gamma Knife" "Mr. Beat" "Invisible Face"
13Julia Holter
Loud City Song

granitenotebook (2013)

I feel like it'll take me a couple years to fully grasp the beauty of this album, but what I heard here was really great. I wasn't blown away by the opener (still amn't), but as the album slowly unfurls itself like a flower, I have to say I was incredibly charmed by it's strangely serene yet eclectic nature. I definitely preferred this to her latest release, and it makes me curious to check the album in between!

Favorites: "Hello Stranger" "Maxim's II"
Least Favorite: "World"
14Oneohtrix Point Never
R Plus Seven

granitenotebook (2013)

granitenotebook (2015)

Oh wait, this really is that much better than her album?? This clicked a lot for me, as even though this is just as processed, it feels a lot less cold and more inviting than that release, featuring abstract but decidedly poppy tunes that don't alienate but definitely elicit emotion. I liked this one a lot more than I expected.

Favorites: "ELLE" "MSMSMSM" "VYZEE"
16Trophy Scars
Holy Vacants

dmathias52 (2014)

Yeah this album was something else. I didn't really know what to expect here, but I was not let down by the ecstatic array of hardcore, alt, gospel, and blues rock influences coming at me from all sides. It's one thing to create some massive bangers that jump from one genre to the next, but to do so with such consistency and then still deliver the emotional wallop of that one-two punch of a closer? That's just magic.

Favorite: "Everything Disappearing/Nyctophobia"
Least Favorite: "Vertigo"
17Jason Isbell

dmathias52 (2013)

This was a very good and at times moving folk record that unfortunately played into my lack of listening to lyrics a bit too much for me to fully appreciate it. When songs did grab my attention with their skeletal sound and brash lyrics (i.e. Elephant), they devastated, but truth be told that song is the only one that shook me in such a way. The others didn't grab my attention enough to truly dig into the lyrics, and therefore all I was left with was enjoying the music alright and liking his voice. Bonus points because I know this will grow on me when I finally give it a proper listen.

Favorites: "Elephant"
Least Favorite: "Super 8"
18Hey Rosetta!

dmathias52 (2011)
19The Smith Street Band
No One Gets Lost Anymore

SlothcoreSam (2011)

While I resisted its charms for a while, I eventually grew into a peaceful liking of this album. While its pop-punk (I know it's not pop-punk) leanings bothered me a tad, overall I felt that it came from a genuine place and that even if not all the tracks did it for me, overall it was filled with fun tunes and a solid variety for its genre. A few tracks stood out far more than others and I wouldn't say I was blown away, but it was a pleasant listen nonetheless.

Favourite: "Sigourney Weaver"
Least Favourite: "My Little Sinking Ship"

SlothcoreSam (2010)
21The Hotelier
Home, Like NoPlace Is There

SlothcoreSam (2014)

This was far more of a straightforward emo release than The World Is a Beautiful Place, and while this relative plainness (I do feel they could've switched up the sound a bit more) did a bit of harm, I really enjoyed the way this album sequesters itself in that "Home" and delivers emotional stories that hit harder than you'd expect. There's a great dynamic between softer and louder moments here that only detracts in moments like "Life in Drag," but adds great power to tracks like the biggest highlight and closer "Dendron." Overall this was a big win and I could see why someone would like it even more than I!

Favorites: "Dendron" "An Introduction to the Album" "Among the Wildflowers"
Least Favorites: "Life in Drag" "Housebroken"
22Bomb the Music Industry!

Rowan5215 (2011)

Two punky albums in a row?? I made a mistake jamming this and Smith Street back-to-back, but I did have quite a bit of fun with 'em. This one was far more anarchic and all over the place, and I still haven't fallen for Rosenstock as a vocalist, but this was a pretty convincing pop-punk argument that, even with all its faults and sickeningly sweet choruses ("Everyone That Loves You" and "Why, Oh Why, Oh Why (Oh Oh Oh)") was a good time overall, and it certainly lays the groundwork for his solo work in the future which I'd say I enjoy quite a bit more.

Favorite: "Campaign for a Better Weekend" (This track kicked ass tho)
Least Favorite: "Everyone That Loves You"
23John K. Samson
Winter Wheat

Rowan5215 (2016)
24Keaton Henson

Rowan5215 (2013)

I ended up enjoying this far more than I thought I would based on the opener, but I never recovered from that initial skeptiscism. I think the biggest issue with this album is that the opener and closer are so intent on setting a tone that they don’t capture the listeners attention, instead putting the catchier or bigger tracks in the middle where they get lost a bit. Still, this was a powerful and VERY moving indie folk record that I won’t forget in a long while, but I wish the music shook me more on the bookends.

Favorites: "Kronos" "Don’t Swim"
Least Favorite: "Teach Me"
Yellow and Green

Kompys2000 (2012)

I definitely dug the aggressive mix of stoner rock and metal influences with a touch of folk here, though the farther it went along I became a bit tired by songs that felt like only choruses, and some uninspired at times, grunge-y vocal stylings. Overall though this was a really great album, especially the more progressive-sounding back half of Yellow, even if the entire thing could've used more thinning.

Favorites: "Twinkler" "Cocainium" "Back Where I Belong"
Least Favorites: "Take My Bones Away" "Board Up the House"
Unsilent Death

Kompys2000 (2010)
27The Flaming Lips
The Terror

Kompys2000 (2013)

SteakByrnes (2013)

I'm not gonna pretend that I enjoyed this album, but I will say that there was an inherent charm to its blend of poppy/proggy metalcore aesthetics, but after a couple songs worth it got old fast. As technical and admirable as it was at times, every song felt completely un-unique from the rest, each tracking the same amount of untrackable riffs, screeching choruses, and brutal growls. There wasn't a song here that I actively disliked, quite the opposite actually, but when you smash them all together you got some quite less than the sum of its solid parts.

Favorites: "Alpha Seed" "Ultraviolet"
Least Favorite: "Prometheus"
29A Lot Like Birds
No Place

SteakByrnes (2013)

This is like some seriously inventive modern prog band decided to pair their music with high school slam poetry. But seriously, this stuff is really damn good. Even if the lyrics can get a bit laughable or incredulous at times (like a much, much better Icarus the Owl), the music and themes were still very engaging and at times moving. Overall it worked great, but let’s just say that this album made we realize why La Dispute are considered master wordsmiths in their genre.

Favorites: "In Trances" "Kuroi Ledge" "Shaking of the Frame"
Least Favorites: "Next to Ungodliness" "Myth of Lasting Sympathy"
30Dream On Dreamer

SteakByrnes (2013)
31Fair to Midland
Arrows and Anchors

Dewinged (2011)

I wasn't sure how much I had liked this until it was over, when I looked over my song ratings and saw a bunch of 8s and 8.5s with no dips in quality. I think that's the best thing about this, no matter how eclectic the sounds are and crazy the instrumentation can be, it's extremely consistent. The closer especially was excellent, and it's about time that I took a dive into some modern prog, so I appreciate the rec. Good shit Dewi (;

Favorite: "The Greener Grass"
Least Favorites: "Rikki Tikki Tavi" "Whisky & Ritalin" (i guess, these are both great)
Perfect Darkness

Dewinged (2011)
Sun Structures

Dewinged (2014)

While that their sound is violently close to a certain Tame Impala (to their benefit and harm), I must admit that at times their progressive and wide-screened tendencies allow them to nearly eclipse him. A few tracks here land almost perfectly, others just plain don’t. But overall this is a solid take on the modern psych-rock style, and nails it more times than not.

Favorites: "A Question isn't Answered" "Sand Dance"
Least Favorite: "Mesmerize"
34Mark Eitzel
Hey Mr Ferryman

DoofDoof (2017)

Now you know me, I'm a sucker for this indie-folky stuff, and this album largely delivers. While at some times the vocals stylings get a bit too close to Elvis Costello for my liking, I really enjoyed a lot of what this album brought to the table, especially in the more melodic, rocky moments ("Professional Singer" kicks ass). Again, it was a bit rocky in some parts and not all its tricks paid off, but overall this was a really nice little folk record.

Favorite: "In My Role as a Professional Singer and Ham"
Least Favorite: "An Angel's Wing Brushed the Penny Slots"
35John Grant
Queen Of Denmark

DoofDoof (2010)

As moving and pleasant as this record was, just too much of it fell through the cracks and wasn’t memorable for me to fall in love with it. Still, I thought it was a really solid folk record with some incredible highlights when things got more interestingly musically.

Favorites: “TC and Honeybear” “Leopard and Lamb”
Least Favorite: “Silver Platter Club”
36Cass McCombs
Wit's End

DoofDoof (2011)
37Suis La Lune

Lucman (2012)

Man y'all love your screamo don't you? Not gonna lie, this record did a solid job for me. While I'm a bit resistant to the genre in general, when it showcases some impressive melodic elements, which are fully on display here, it's easy for me to enjoy. This was even more gorgeous than it was aggressive and crunchy, making a happy balance for me that was only weakened by some uninspired screamed vocals and a lack of variation between some of the songs. I thought the heavy and light could've been balanced more engagingly I guess? I don't know, but this is a solid win for me!

Favorites: "Remorse" "Riala" In Confidence"
Least Favorite: "Hands Are For Helpings"
38Brian Fallon

Lucman (2018)
Poison Season

Lucman (2015)

I think I definitely, if only slightly, preferred this to Kaputt. While this certainly had its share of great moody, hazy tunes that shifted like a nighttime cityscape, what really stood out for me here were the jazz-rock bangers, which honestly just stole the show here through and through.

Favorites: “Dream Lover” “Midnight Meet the Rain”
Least Favorites: “Hell” “The River”
40Norma Jean
Polar Similar

tyman128 (2016)

Y'all know by now that metalcore is not my cup of tea, but when you combine it with some crazy interesting riffs, some serious melodies and genuinely solid vocals, well, that's quite enough for me to be swayed by it. While I may not think this is the coolest thing in the world, I really did enjoy this album and it's just another metalcore album that's starting to sway more and more closer to fully giving in to the genre, much like that Greyhaven release last year.

Favorite: "Reaction"
Least Favorites: "Death Is a Living Partner" "An Ocean of War"
Into the Sea

tyman128 (2015)
Diamond Eyes

tyman128 (2010)

I can see why so many love this record, it’s a beautiful if very barebones rock album. It could’ve stood to make things a bit more interesting as a lot of them felt a bit too monochromatic, but especially on the back half it turned track after track into massive emotional epics.

Favorite: “Sextape”
Least Favorite: “CMND/CTRL”
43Kairon IRSE!

bgillesp (2014)

Yo this shit BANGS. A brilliant blend of post-rock and shoegaze (and even some jazz??), this is guitar music firing on all fucking cylinders to deliver a grand and exciting album. There's a massive amount of talent going on in these structures and melodies, each song prancing through trance after trance and each growing further from the last. The only downside is that some parts are clearly more effective than others, but each song delivers overall in such a large quantity it's easy to forgive. The fact that the opener, which is an absolute BANGER, is the weakest song here simply because it never goes beyond itself is a testament to this album's quality.

Favorites: "Tzar Morei" "Rulons"
Least Favorite: "Valorians"
44Son Lux

bgillesp (2017)

Okay yeah, I have no idea what the heck this is but I think I’m in love. I’ve found that I really dig organic but rhythmic electronic music, and this does so with alien precision, and yet feels so entirely human. It’s an intriguing dichotomy that just makes this consistently and completely invigorating.

Favorites: “Dangerous” “Stolen” “Remedy”
Least Favorite: “Part of This” (still damn great)
45Trampled By Turtles

bgillesp (2010)
46Joanna Newsom
Have One on Me

fogza (2010)

This album is sort of like digging through gold. The dirt you have to scour through is pleasant and lovely enough, but it’s pennies compared to when it all comes together—the eclectic instrumentation settling into beautiful vocal melodies that lure you into its haunting lyrics (i.e. “Go Long”)—that’s when the gold starts to show. One can’t argue that this album isn’t a bit excessive, and it certainly pays off overall, but goddamn if only this were shorter it could’ve been one of my top albums of the decade.

Favorites: “Go Long” “Baby Birch”
Least Favorites: “On a Good Day”
47Arcade Fire
The Suburbs

fogza (2010)

This album finds a surreal blend between the Springsteen-ian, blissed-out but downtrodden takes of the suburbs from classic rock and their own inherent weirdness, creating a sound that's extremely familiar but still unique. It's comfortably similar to other anthemic alt-rock bands of their age and never feels the need to be anything else for that, it's happy to be what it is and it delivers explicitly because of that. It's un-pretentious, fun, and emotionally satisfying.

Favorites: "Suburban War" "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)"
Least Favorite: "City with No Children"
48Midwife (USA)
Like Author, Like Daughter

slex (2017)

This was a hreatbreaking reminder of everything sad going on in my life right now. The moment I popped this on, I was overcome by feelings of loss and homesickness from my move. But the thing is, these are all things that I was unconsciously suppressing and not letting myself feel. I need music like this to remind me to feel, and that it's okay too. Musically I'm just in love with the endless reverb and distortion, and it was a captivating mix of sadgirl indie and shoegaze, with minimalist but devastating song after song.

Favorite: "Name"
Least Favorite: "RTD, Pt. 2"
49Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas

Bedex (2016)

This has got to be one of the absolute best metal albums I've ever heard, diving headfirst into the sheer heaviness of the genre without being afraid to delve in the dark melodies that crystalize each song as being a gorgeous and unique composition. The only track here that falters is "Approaching Transition," which is great in its own way but still serves as a disappointing blend of being overlong without enough content to back it up. Still, there's such a depth and scope to everything delivered here that it's impossible for me not to love it with all of its unbelievable heights.

Favorite: "The Wreck of the S.S. Needle"
Least Favorite: "Approaching Transition"

Bedex (2014)

I found myself kinda at odds with this album. Sure, it definitely falls into that sadgirl indie sound that I love so, yet the skeletal approach here didn’t quite work for me completely since the melodies never hooked me in and the piano parts weren’t that engaging. I think what swayed me most were the ambient passages that injected some change and hope into an otherwise despairing sound, and just the beauty of hearing the nature outside of her studio added far more than I would’ve expected.

Favorites: “Made of Air”, “Lighthouse” (kinda)
Least Favorite: “Labyrinth”
51Clever Girl
No Drum And Bass in the Jazz Room

Bedex (2010)
52Titus Andronicus
The Monitor

SowingSeason (2010)

While the folk-punk aesthetic tends to wear thin for me when it leans on the punk side too far, this actually had a great balance between the two. And while I didn't much prefer some of the more rambunctious offerings from the first half, the folkier, more progressive tunes that wormed their way in later one were as exciting as they were moving. While this won't end up on my own decade-end list, I'm glad this ended up being more compelling than its genre tags suggested for me.

Favorites: "A Pot in Which to Piss" "Four Score and Seven"
Least Favorites: "Richard II" "Titus Andronicus Forever"
53The Dear Hunter
The Color Spectrum (Complete Collection)

SowingSeason (2011)

Black: 4.2
Red: 3.9
Orange: 3.7
Yellow: 3.6
Green: 4.1
Blue: 4.0
Indigo: 4.3
Violet: 4.1
White: 3.7

Overall: 4.0

Okay so some of this was REALLY cheesy, but overall I just loved the concept and although some EPs hit me way harder than others, it was just generally a really cool experiment that created some rad rock music and some songs I could definitely see myself coming back to. It’s not quite as exciting, consistent, or “out there” as it might be, but yeah this thing is pretty damn great overall.

Favorites: “Therma” “Never Forgive, Never Forget”
Least Favorite: “Misplaced Devotion”
54Joanna Newsom

SowingSeason (2014)
55The Menzingers
On the Impossible Past

ButtBoy (2012)

Y'all and your goddamn pop-punk... Okay, I'll admit that I really liked this record. It maintained a healthy balance of upbeat bangers and brooding lyrics that manifested an admirable amount of personal emotion, making it far more engaging and moving than the usual stadium-rock leanings in the genre. But while there were a fair amount of interesting musical change-ups, it stuck to the roots of the genre fairly closely. And while I did think this was very good, if this is the best that the genre has to offer, I think I'll keep keeping my distance from it.

Favorites: "On the Impossible Past" "Good Things" "Nice Things"
Least Favorites: "Gates" "Ava House"
56We Lost the Sea
Departure Songs

BlazinBlitzer (2015)

On one hand, this was a really nice and chill widescreen post-rock experience, but on the other the melodies and structures never really wowed me as much as the greats of the genre. It left me happy and with positive thoughts, but I don't think it had a unique enough voice (in a genre where one is desperately needed) to really make it work and stand out to me, so it came off as a bit tepid.

Favorite: "The Last Dive of David Shaw"
Least Favorite: "Challenger Part 1 - Flight"
57Blood Command
Cult Drugs

BlazinBlitzer (2017)
A Dream In Static

BlazinBlitzer (2015)

While this can definitely veer into cheese-metal territory (depending on the vocalist), the instrumentation really shines and breathes life into these massive tunes. Especially the closer here brings the scope and emotion hinted out throughout the record seriously to the forefront and really just nails what it felt like it was all leading to.

Favorite: "Contemplation of the Beautiful"
Least Favorites: "Mob Mentality" "A Dream in Static" "Crater"
Public Strain

luci (2010)
Celebration Rock

luci (2012)
61Fiona Apple
The Idler Wheel...

luci (2012)

I'll have to admit that I was a bit... disappointed is a strong word... with this. While I definitely see the appeal of her more minimalist take on the same indie-pop singer-songwriter field as Regina Spektor does, she also really lacked the hooks and wide variety that makes Spektor so appealing to me. Maybe it's just because I'm used to a more maximalist sound with this kinda stuff, but also a lot of the melodies here didn't quite click for me or get stuck the way I wish I did. Does it sound like I'm complaining too much? I shouldn't, I really enjoyed this record (especially "Hot Knife") and hope to listen to more of her! I just hope it clicks more in time.

Favorites: "Hot Knife" "Anything We Want"
Least Favorites: "Jonathan" "Largo"
62Boom Boom Satellites
To The Loveless

Uzumaki (2010)

There's something so attractively immediate about this album's heavy rock hooks, that at the same time doesn't betray its catchiness or accessibility. What I'm trying to say is that this is a great alternative rock record with a lot of exciting, loud ideas whose only setback is its length (the third act gets a bit too redundant and feature 3-4 songs in a row that could've acted as a fitting closer). Still, this is an album that I really liked, and one that I'm sure to remember.

Favorites: "Drain" "Stay"
Least Favorite: "Hounds"
63Perfume Genius
Put Your Back N 2 It

wtferrothorn (2012)

This was a really captivating collection of bite-sized, depressing indie folk tunes. While I really wish some of these sounds were more developed than they were, it's hard to say that the album didn't land exactly how it was intended, commanding my attention at every turn. It's lovely, inspired, and heartbreaking. And goddamn is it good.

Favorites: "AWOL Machine" "All Waters" "Floating Spit"
Least Favorite: "Dirge"
Endless Light

Uzumaki (2016)
Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Divaman (2015)
66Foster the People

Divaman (2011)

Yeah alright this was a winner too. Y'all know I'm a sucker for upbeat indie rock, and this is certainly no exception. That being said, there really is an inherent creativity to the music here that goes beyond the pop hooks, especially on tracks like the opener and "Houdini." It's blissful, smart, fun pop rock that hits the nail on the head even if its not as consistently ear-popping as it could be.

Favorites: "Helena Beat" "Houdini" "Waste"
Least Favorites: "Call it What You Want" "Pumped Up Kicks"

Divaman (2016)
68Kayo Dot
Plastic House on Base of Sky

AnimalsAsSummit (2016)

AnimalsAsSummit (2011)

This was another great, intruiging release that ultimately I'm worried just hasn't stuck with me. I'm writing this a couple weeks after my last listen, and I'm already struggling to put into words why I liked it, as I can't pick out anything aside from some weird melodies and discordant songs. And yet my rating says I really enjoyed this, so I must have. Maybe it doesn't have the staying power I wish it did.

Favorites: "Kaputt" "Suicide Demo for Kara Walker"
Least Favorites: "Bay of Pigs (Detail)" "Song for America"
70Black Barrel
Last Frontier

AnimalsAsSummit (2018)
71King Creosote and Jon Hopkins
Diamond Mine

zakalwe (2011)

Zak, you may be frustrating and crotchety at times, but let it never be said that you don't deliver quality recs from time to time. "John Taylor’s Month Away" mopped the floor with me, and everything else didn't follow fall behind. While quality-wise there was a bit of a slow dip, overall the mix of folk and ambient passages throughout really shaped something unique and memorable throughout.

Favorite: "John Taylor’s Month Away"
Least Favorite: "Your Young Voice"
Alba - Les Hombres Errantes

Kaiwaz (2018)

RIP Aiwaz, maybe you'll see this somewhere. Anyway, this was a really great album. I loved the progressive-ish use of acoustic elements to create a deep and moving atmosphere throughout. While I agree with the criticisms that the interludes kinda kill and deflate this with incoherent mumbling in foreign languages, it does help to create the mood and far from ruins it. The music is just gorgeous and free-flowing, though it never quite matches the blissful heights of the opening track.

Favorite: "He Who Wakes Up from This Dream Does Not Bear My Name"
Least Favorites: "Cuarto del Alba" "Ojos Azules"
73My Purest Heart For You
Tragic End

temptationFruit (2017)
74Uneven Structure

temptationFruit (2014)
75Mount Eerie
Clear Moon

temptationFruit (2012)

Yeah holy shit this was momentous. I absolutely loved the sound of this thing, dark yet vibrant with feet planted in so many different worlds and ideas. The variety of sounds yet the tonal consistency here is really admirable, and I'll be damned if I didn't love it. It's very different from what I've heard of him in the past (his two most recent releases), so I really didn't expect to be this caught up in it, as this is much more my speed musically. Hot damn.

Favorites: "The Place I Live" "Lone Bell"
Least Favorite: "Synthesizer" (idk if this even counts but I had to pick something)
Tales Of Us

JohnnyoftheWell (2013)

Goddamn this was another winner. While the tunes altogether might sound a bit homogenous and woven from the same textures, on their own they just burst with emotion and vibrancy, which is just impossible to ignore. So while this might not quite be as good as the sum of its parts could've been, those parts are just purely delectable, interesting, and gorgeous so fuck it--it's exactly as good as it should be.

Favorites: "Jo" "Stranger" "Clay"
Least Favorites: "Ulla" "Laurel"
77The Gathering

JohnnyoftheWell (2012)
78Ichiko Aoba

JohnnyoftheWell (In place of 0 (2013))
Miami Garden Club

theYearis1999 (2017)
80Count to Altek
Imodius Forms: Millenium Flux

theYearis1999 (2017)
New Album

theYearis1999 (2011)

Me and you have had an interesting history with your recs, Year. But I've gotta hand it to you, this is one hell of an album. While the opener didn't really sell me and the closing duo was a bit disappointing, overall these tracks are far different from what the rest has to offer, which is a dense, exciting, and unique experimental rock record. I'm not even sure if that's the correct descriptor but this album really did keep me guessing (and not just in terms of some inconsistent quality) through its constant switch-ups in sounds and vocalists. Idk, this just did it for me man. Kudos.

Favorite: "Luna"
Least Favorites: "Flare" "Tu, La La"
82Sun Kil Moon

BlushfulHippocrene (2014)

I had a negative experience with the long, drawn-out passages of "Common as Light," and Doof's anger at my suggestion that I might like this better did nothing to quell my worries that I'd feel the same here. Still, I was truly blown away by just how similar the two records are, but also at just how different I feel about them. I mean, this thing is just purely gorgeous and heart-wrenching. Even songs that shouldn't hit me that hard (I've never gone through anything like "Micheline" and yet I found myself near tears both times I heard it) do, and man, this just makes me fucking feel things beyond my years.

Favorites: "Micheline" "Pray for Newton"
Least Favorite: "I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love"
Knife Man

BlushfulHippocrene (2011)
84Blood Incantation

Itwasthatwas (2016)

This was a kickass combination of everything I love in extreme metal: melody, sweeping scope, atmosphere, and devastating riffs. This thing really had it all, to the point where I was surprised metal purists actually enjoy it as much as I do, since usually I find less is more in terms of what most metal fans enjoy. But still, I was completely wowed by how much I enjoyed this, and I hope to come back to it more and really dig deep into why I like it so damn much.

Favorite: "Vitrification of Blood (Pt. 1)"
Least Favorite: "Chaoplasm"
85Icarus The Owl
Icarus The Owl

GreyShadow (2014)

Yeah, no. Not for me thanks. I just can't stand this kind of stuff at all, it's but laughable lyrics, terrible choruses, and some genuinely incel-core amounts of edge going on at all times. There a few moments at the start of cleverness or fun, but aside from those I did not have a good time with this in the slightest. This album only has one emotion: anger. And it really wears on you when you realize he's never gonna allow himself to ever feel anything else. I need someone to tell me what this is genre-wise so that I can steer clear of it for the rest of my life.

Favorite: "Ignore Check Engine Lights"
Least Favorite: "Crimson Covered Walls"
86PJ Harvey
Let England Shake

neek (2011)
87Danny Brown
Atrocity Exhibition

neek (2016)
To Be Kind

neek (2014)

Holy shit. I guess I'm in the camp that liked this even better than The Seer, which I loved in of itself. This turned up the dark a few notches but also the melody, crafting some massive, almost bluesy numbers which never felt too long despite their massive girth. I thought this was an even more moving and interesting experience than The Seer, although I'll say the one problem this has in comparison is that it's a bit top heavy, the first half would be almost a flat 5/5, but a few of the latter compositions don't really add much to the table (especially once "Oxygen" is done). Still, I could see this becoming a 5 in due time, especially if I keep giving this a few listens.

Favorites: "Just a Little Boy (For Chester Burnett)" "A Little God in My Hands"
Least Favorite: "To Be Kind"
89Beach House
Teen Dream

neek (2010)

Yeah man, I just don't get what all the talk about these guys is about. Like, they're really talented and good musicians, but just like with "7," I found this to be a perfectly fine and enjoyable collection of blissed-out, monochromatic tunes that I'll never remember or be able to pick apart from each other tomorrow. But hell, it's good stuff. Really good stuff. I just can't believe how much I know I'm gonna be hearing about this again when all the year-end lists come around.

Favorites: "10 Mile Stereo" "Norway" "Lover of Mine"
Least Favorites: "Walk in the Park" "Used to Be" "Silver Soul"
Halcyon Digest

neek (2010)
91The Black Keys

neek (2010)

DinoJones (2015)

If the apocalypse happened in the 80s, this is what music in the 90s would sound like. Given my thoughts on previous nostalgia-heavy releases I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did, but it really adds a lot of creativity and nuance to synth-heavy music of yore. Idk, I thought this was great, so props to you Dino.

Favorites: "The Mountain" "Maximum Black"
Least Favorites: "Black Sun on the Horizon"
93Vampire Weekend
Modern Vampires of the City

neek (2013)
94Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam
I Had a Dream That You Were Mine

fogza/my roommate (2016)

This was a deceptively complex folk rock album that really interestingly married some rad modern production with a more aged atheistic than I usually prefer from my folk, but it did so in a moving and fun way.

Favorites: “The Morning Star” “Rough Going (I Won't Let Up)”
Least Favorites: “Peaceful Morning” “Sick as a Dog”
95Run the Jewels
Run the Jewels 2

neek (2014)
96St. Vincent
Strange Mercy

neek (2011)
97Flying Lotus
You're Dead!

neek (2014)

This was a jittery, eclectic work of jazz that was just fun through and through, but everything simply felt too brief for me to sink my teeth into it. I wish some of these songs were longer or more developed, as I felt like everything here was just another flavor of a different song. Still, this was pretty damn great if I say so myself, I just wish there was more substance and depth to it all.

Favorite: "Never Catch Me" "Dead Man’s Tetris"
Least Favorites: "The Boys Who Died in Their Sleep" "Obligatory Cadence"
Take Care

neek (2011)
99Chance the Rapper
Acid Rap

neek (2013)

Yeah, this was pretty good. Even though his voice was unbearable at times and some of these tracks were genuinely annoying (I'm looking at you, "Juice"), there was more than enough originality in the production and songwriting for me to be more than placated. And even though you probably won't catch me jamming this in a long time, I certainly why this carved Chance a (recently lost) big name in terms of being an important hip-hop creative.

Favorites: "Good Ass Intro"
Least Favorites: "NaNa" "Juice"
100The World Is a Beautiful Place...
Whenever, If Ever

neek (2013)

I've been meaning to listen to these guys for literal years (since high school at the least), and man they did not disappoint. While I'm still new to the emo genre, these guys' knack for leaning into progressive, highly emotional soundscapes just kicks me in the gut, and I haven't been able to stop listening to the closer here. Sure some moments hit harder than others, but otherwise this is a lean, mean, feeling machine.

Favorites: "Getting Sodas" "Low Light Assembly" "Heartbeat in the Brain"
Least Favorite: "The Layers of Skin We Drag Around"
101Florence and the Machine

neek (2011)
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