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Last Active 04-01-11 12:30 am
Joined 11-15-10

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04.21.11 Anger, Rage, Depression04.09.11 Kimm And Spec
04.03.11 Volunteer Work12.18.10 Defeater2010someguest
11.15.10 Vinyl


This was my favorite year for music this far into my life. I hope you enjoy the read.
15The Devil Wears Prada
Zombie EP

Regardless if you think I'm trolling with the inclusion of this here, or think I'm doing it "for the lulz", I have listened to Zombie EP on a weekly basis since it was released. It's not technical, it's not groundbreaking, and it's nothing special; however, it's a lot of fun. You see, sometimes I forget why I started listening to music when I'm constantly analyzing what it consists of and how it's all brought together. This release allowed me to step back from my usual self and just enjoy the music for what it is. The people who write this off just don't know how to have fun.
3.5/5 - Favorite Track: "Revive"

It's been roughly fifteen years since Varg has come out with a proper black metal release, but with Belus he showed that in fact he still is relevant within the genre today. It's no surprise one of the innovators of the genre still knows what he's doing. The most voiced complaint with the album was the riffs were too far drawn out, but isn't that what Burzum has always been about? And, yes, it's pretty obvious his vocal delivery and quality is not even close to where it was at one time. These issues aside, "Glemselens Elv" (which by no coincidence is the longest song on the album) shows what Burzum as always been about.
3.5/5 - Favorite Track: "Glemselens Elv"
13Arcade Fire
The Suburbs

This may be my favorite Arcade Fire release to date for one reason: how the guitar drives the album. It seems the sound is quite a bit stripped down from the likes of "Funeral", with a more focus on playing some rock instead of being over the top and pretentious. Also, the specific lyrical lines dissing their fans adds value here since you actually know what they're singing about this time around. They weren't out to please the crowd with this release, and that fact makes it just that much better.
3.5/5 - Favorite Track: "We Used To Wait"
12How To Dress Well
Love Remains

I hated "You Won't Need Me Where I'm Goin'" the first time I streamed it here, but I still continued to read the hype on it. It was enough for me to order the album at a local shop and give it a proper listen. The cold and deliberate style of the music grabs a hold of you over time and all issues you'll have with the production vanish as the album drags you down with it. There's no better way to combat depression than with more depression.
4/5 - Favorite Track: "Ready For The World"
Spiral Shadow

Extremely catchy and eccentric sludge with a heavy influence in classic rock. Essential to everyone but Adam Downer.
4/5 - Favorite Track: "To Forget"
Scenes From Hell

The blend of classical music and influence with black metal continues for this Japanese band. Overly complicated and dense, Scenes From Hell left a lot of people in a haze when they tried to digest this way back in the beginning of the year. Those who had the patience to absorb and discover every little detail the band put into the release were equally rewarded. If you thought The Age of Adz had too much going on at once, don't come near this album anytime soon. One of the standouts of the album is the trading of vocal duties back and forth between a man and a woman, and surprisingly the woman does the deeper, more death metal influenced vocals, while the man does the higher pitched screeches which black metal is widely known for. Hardly a straightforward black metal album, Scenes From Hell is an experimental album which stretches the limitations of the extreme.
4/5 - Favorite Moment: "Musica In Tempora Belli", saxophone solo from 4:12 - 4:25
9Kid Cudi
Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager

If Kanye is known for being too egotistical, then Scott Mescudi is known for being too self-critical. The sophomore release from Kid Cudi is a continuation of his problematic personal life, with topics ranging from "too many white girls" to the confirmed cocaine abuse. It's a story of someone who is on top of the world to everyone but the person experiencing it. And it points out a very important issue: it doesn't matter how much you have or how many people like you if you cannot find a way to see something good in yourself. The laid-back delivery combined with the atmosphere presented in the music gives off a dreaming effect and works extremely well as a continuation of the first Man On The Moon. It's relaxing to take a step out of the real world and into Mescudi's.
4/5 - Where To Listen: downtown in the middle of winter, with a spliff and/or a girl
8Big Boi
Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty

4/5 - Favorite Track: "Shine Blockas"
Diamond Eyes

If anything, Diamond Eyes should get the award for the most consistent album of the year. It might be the one true exception where the difficulty of distinguishing the tracks from one another is actually a positive aspect of the album. The only album in their catalog that's in direct competition with their magnum opus, White Pony, manages to create an effect of sedation on the listener. You fully realize this when you stumble upon "Sextape", which is the peak of the intended effect (and I highly recommend the video that goes along with the track for both musical and visual reasons) and completely submerges you within the ocean of their sound.
4/5 - Full Album Listen Required
Majesty And Decay

Majesty And Decay is undoubtedly the heaviest album of the year. Along with the Atheist's and Autopsy's return to the death metal scene, this album showcases that experience does matter when it comes to the quality of the music. The production punches you repeatedly in the stomach, the drumming melts your brain, the intensity of the riffs crack your spine, and the lyrics turn your thoughts into a cesspool of the damned. In other words, this is exactly what you should want from a death metal album, and should be craving even more after the disappointing release from Suffocation last year. I expect this to be in heavy rotation for some time to come.
4.5/5 - Favorite Track: "Power And Shame"
Axioma Ethica Odini

What hasn't been said about this album? Easily the most hyped metal album on this website this year, Axioma Ethica Odini is the black metal album to own.
4.5/5 - Favorite Track: "Raidho", although it could be any of them.
4The Tallest Man On Earth
The Wild Hunt

I don't know much about folk music. For example, I didn't even know any of Dylan's music until I took a rock and roll appreciation class at my university last year. However, what I do know is this album is the most genuine and personal album of the year. It's difficult to imagine how something this simple and direct could stir up powerful and gutwrenching emotions, but every track here manages to do that somehow. "King of Spain" throws away the pressures of the world and describes the aspirations of a person who can do anything, while "Kids On The Run" perfectly looks at the confusion and misdirection found with someone who cannot find peace as an adult. Personable and endearing, Kristian relates to this generation the same way Dylan did to his.
4.5/5 - Favorite Track: "Kids On The Run"
3Sufjan Stevens
The Age Of Adz

The album has easily divided Stevens fans, but to someone who was not familar with his work I couldn't be happier. I had never checked out any of the previous Stevens' albums because of a genuine disinterest in what I perceived to be the general sound of music he played. When I heard this had a very prominent electronic influence which was somewhat similar to Kid A, I took a chance and downloaded it. And I didn't turn it off for a couple of weeks. The most successful tracks are definitely the ones which have a build to them ("Too Much", "Get Real, Get Right","Vesuvius", "I Want To Be Well") and the closer "Impossible Soul", which shifts multiple times and goes into things such as auto-tune and group chants. And that auto-tune still gets me everytime.
4.5/5 - Favorite Track: "Get Real, Get Right", Favorite Moments: computer uploads and downloads at the end of "Vesuvius", the ten-minute mark of "Impossible Soul"
2The Dillinger Escape Plan
Option Paralysis

Since this came out fairly early in the year, I listened to it frequently through the spring but forgot about it in the shuffle. Earlier this week when I decided to break it out again, I instantly remembered why I loved it as much as I did the first time around. Let's just get this straight: Option Paralysis is a great blend of the two albums before this one. It has all the chaos and Patton-esque vocal delivery and eccentricism found on Miss Machine while keeping in tact some of the more experimental and pop elements found on Ire Works. They also went back to a sound more focused on the core of the band, while placing the glitchy programming in the back of the mix right where it belongs. And when you throw in Puciato's improved vocals and a new drummer who has successfully stepped up to the plate, you have The Dillinger Escape Plan's best album to date.
4.5/5 - Favorite Track: "Farewell, Mona Lisa"
1Kanye West
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

It should be almost expected that this album would take my top spot. West's latest release was definitely my most listened to album this year, considering it's only been out roughly a month and I've probably played it about thirty times from front to back. A lot of people here don't like the lyrics and/or the flow, but considering what the album accomplished on a musical level, it's perfectly acceptable that what he spits fits with the music. And it does. Kanye is egotistical enough to increase the self-esteem of any person who picks up this album. You just can't feel bad listening to it. And the guest spots work every single time they come up, including the great verses delivered by some lesser-known names in "So Appalled". The only negative aspect of this release is it is very unlikely Kanye will ever reach this level of perfection again.
5/5 - Favorite Track: "Power"
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