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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)

This was one of those albums I didn't expect to know what to make of it, and then I still didn't know what to make of it. Still, I got a huge kick of the weird-ass vocals and sampling on here, especially on the tracks that used the guitar in a really aggressive and engaging fashion. I feel like I should like this better than I do, but I think it has a huge amount of room to grow.

Favorites: "I've Seen Footage" "Hacker"
Least Favorites: "Punk Weight" "Blackjack"
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)

Yeah okay this was really damn good, but it's hard to believe the black metal tag? Sure, this was really loud, spacious shoegaze sounding stuff, but it wasn't as understandably "blackgaze" as something like Sunbather. Still, I for sure enjoyed this more than that even if I found this considerably less memorable. A lot of these passages were supremely beautiful in the moment but afterward I'm not sure I'd remember what album this was if you played it for me in a week, which brings the score down a bit.

Favorite: "Jade Fields"
Least Favorites: "Azure Chimes" "Golden Mind"
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)

Holy shit was this a good time. I described this to slex as "Ghost but more black metal," which I think fits considerably well with the ridiculously fun riffs and vocals combined with the harsh vocals and distortion. Idk, I'm just throwing words at this to try to excuse why I love it so much, but this kicked ass and will definitely deserve a spot in my year-end list.

Favorites: "Mayhem in Blue" "Lost in Satan's Charm"
Least Favorites: seriously I can't think of much of a low point here, maybe "I Mean You Harm"?
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)

I normally find myself at odds with these discordant, disjointed electronic albums that rely more on intellectualism than melody or emotion, and this one was no different usually. However, there was a seriously engaging approach to these bits and pieces that most other albums of its kind. The bookends especially here were more captivating than the rest of the album, which seemed far more all over the place.

Favorites: "Boring Angel" "Chrome Country"
Least Favorite: "Cryo"

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)

This was crazy enjoyable and beautiful through and through, but depending on my mood I was alternately engrossed or a bit put-off by the widescreen sentimentality that bleeds through every track on this thing. I mean, it's a lovely record, but it's so goddamn cheesy that it sometimes undercuts just how great the sound and melodies are here. Some of the more bittersweet moments helped to relieve my sweet tooth, but I can't say that the sanguinity helps the record overall. Still, this rules, don't get me wrong!

Favorite: "Bricks"
Least Favorites: "New Sum (Nous Sommes)" "Welcome"
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)

This is a glowing, glittering masterwork of hope and happiness. Honestly goddamn I’ve been going through some real ups and downs these last couple weeks, and I think a big reason why I haven’t been able to move quick on this comp (outside of me being stupid busy) is just because I can’t move past this album. It makes me feel so goddamn good and it’s just goddamn beautiful. This has earned a scarily high place in my decade-end list. Thank you Sloth (:

Favorites: “Go Do” “Grow Till Tall”
Least Favorites: “Animal Arithmetic” “Around Us”
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)

There are some true highs on this thing, but overall it’s a bit too mellow and run-of-the-mill to fully stand out to me. The Gen X-y lyrics and focus on confusion of the new world is alternately engaging and more amusing than it means to be, but then again there are just some tracks that stand clear and tall above the rest that I can imagine myself coming back to pretty easily.

Favorites: “Capital” Vampire Alberta Blues”
Least Favorites: “Quiz Night at Looky Lou’s” “Virtue at Rest”
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)

Ummmmmmm, so I listened to this months ago and forgot to do a write-up on it. I think what I was gonna say is that I thought there were some cool riffs that helped it stand out from others in the genre, but that it's a genre that I have trouble getting into as it all just blends together and becomes generally unmemorable for me. Just as it was proved by me forgetting to write this.

Favorite: "Unsilent Death"
Least Favorites: the rest ig
27The Flaming Lips
The Terror

Kompys2000 (2013)

Wow this was one hell of a record. While it could’ve used a seriously punchy or hooky track to keep me coming back (I’m not sure how often I will), it was still an excellent record and an exciting experience, serving as one hell of an introduction to a band that I’ve taken way too long to start getting into.

Favorites: “Look… the Sun Is Rising” “Turning Violent”
Least Favorite: “You Are Alone”

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)

I was pretty impressed by the record, especially for the genre. It had enough tricks up it sleeve to stay interesting beyond to basic loud/soft dynamic of the vocals, and even that worked far better thematically than most metalcore records I’ve heard. It’s not the most memorable experience out there but I can say it was another winner in a genre I’m quickly learning to not cast aside so easily.

Favorite: “Hear Me Out”
Least Favorites: “Evol” “Foundations”
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)

Moving and mellow (the latter almost to a fault), this was a really chill experience that got better on the second listen for me. The patient way that the songs unfold can be a bit taxing at times, but more than often it’s worth it. Still, some variation on this thing would be nice to tell the songs apart more, but again overall I really enjoyed this one.

Favorite: “Fear Is Like Fire”
Least Favorites: “Wheels” “Save it for Somebody Else”
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)

I do feel a bit bad about this one, but the lethargic pacing and lack of any sense of climax and purpose to a lot of this songs was incredible harmful to some otherwise nice vocals and songwriting. Still, the closer use the pacing to its benefit to create a sinister yarn that was for some reason much much more captivating than anything that came before it.

Favorite: “A Knock Upon the Door”
Least Favorite: “Hermit’s Cave”
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)

You guys really liked the traditional folkier sound this time around, albeit this one definitely had a bit of a rock edge that helped this to stand out a bit. That being said while I enjoyed pretty much all of this record, I have a hard time believing that it’ll stand the test of time in my memory. A couple songs ruled here, and the rest were just really solid and agreeable tunes, but honestly it was hard to find something that would ever break my decade list here.

Favorite: “Etta James”
Least Favorite: “See You on the Other Side”
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)

I was definitely resistant at first to the opening duo, which featured scene-like vocals (seriously this might be one of the most generic vocalists I’ve ever heard for the genre), but it quickly flipped my expectations to deliver a sonically daring and moving experience through and through. Sure, it definitely could’ve been a bit short, but I was very happy for the journey.

Favorites: “Step Out” “The Breath Before the Plunge” “Message in a Bottle”
Least Favorites: “The Ship Is Going Down” “Sirens”
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)

This was quite a surprise. I’m not really sure what I expected from the band name, but a pretty straightforward country outing wasn’t exactly it. Nevertheless I really enjoyed this album, even if it was a bit too traditional for my tastes at times. A couple tracks like “Gasoline” were really interesting and outside the box, and a couple more were just a jolly good time in their own genre trappings (“Sounds Like a Movie”). At the end of the day, this sounds like an album both me and my dad would enjoy, which is never a bad thing. I think I’ll show him it over the holidays :)

Favorites: “Gasoline” “Victory” “Sounds Like a Movie”
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)

This managed to strike a unique blend of sounding super original but also just dripping with pleasantness. Despite it’s uniqueness, it might not really stick out in my memory as some of the other entries on this list, I still enjoyed it, and it definitely warmed me up to the math-y jazz-y emo whatever genre even more.

Favorite: “Ohmygodiloveyoupleasedontleaveme”
Least Favorite: “Sleepyhead Symphony”
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)

This is a whole ‘nother kind of Newsom from what I heard of her in Have One On Me. There’ s a real driving force to all of the songs here, while many of that felt really lethargic pace wise. The quicker length of the album does it a ot of help to. Basically wha tI’m trying to say is that when we writes songs with climaxes and real variety, I’m head over heels for it. There was some really impressive stuff here that wowed me beyond even “Go Long.”

Favorites: “Time, as a Symptom”
Least Favs: “Goose Eggs” “Same Old Man”
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)

Yeah, wow. This is so not what I’m normally into but this blend of genres (I mean, pop punk? metal? really?) clicked with me for some godforsaken reason. Maybe it’s because I’m so in love with the vocals and the kinetic energy of it, and the fact that unlike most punk music out there, it doesn’t sound like it’s been done a million times before, but overall I think this was a crazy fun release that I won’t soon forget. Still, I wish they’d changes things up just a bit more (if only because the weirder ones here are so cool) and that they’d let the music breathe a bit, but yeah this rocks.

Favorites: “Gang Signs” “Ctrl + Art + Delete”
Least Favorites: “Quitters Don’t Smoke” “You Can’t Sit with Us”
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)

Okay so like I didn't really enjoy this much at all. It's rare that an acclaimed album like this rubs me this wrong of a way, but I just could not care less for the abrasive post-punk boringness that was this album. I actually liked the thick atmosphere on the opener, but it was completely abandoned for "lo-fi" ugliness and repetitive riffs that I couldn't remember if you played them back to me.

Favorite: "Can't You See"
Least Favorite: "Narrow with the Hall"
Celebration Rock

luci (2012)

This is like the blandest, most white-bread rock I can’t think of. While it’s certainly lively enough to earn the “punk rock” denominator, it was also a boring liveliness that went through the motions without really having anything interesting in terms of riffs or anything musical. While the closer was a rare spot of light, and there wasn’t really any “bad” songs on here, I just wasn’t impressed with anything much here.

Favorite: “Continuous Thunder”
Least Favorite: “Adrenaline Nightshift”
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)

Alright this was another winner for me from Uzu. It's just a great rock album through and through, and while I wish that it stood out just a bit more from the rest of the pack (it's admittedly a bit forgettable), the sounds and textures here we just so enjoyable and engrossing. Maybe if the bookends were a bit more interesting this would stand more of a chance in my decade-end list, but as it stands, this was a great album that I hope I won't forget.

Favorites: "Complicated End Times" "I Am (Become Death"
Least Favorites: "Slow Sin" "Realm of the Physical"
Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Divaman (2015)

Christ. Well this album started out soaring with that completely ridiculous and utterly awesome opener, combining everything idiotic and overblown about metal in the most charming and engaging fashion, but it kinda crashed and burned whenever it forgot that it was a metal band. The more world-based and post-y pieces just didn't do it for me and ran straight-first into the cheese while lacking the muscle that made the first couple tracks on this land so well. Still, it'll be hard to forget this album, so that's something.

Favorite: "Shudder Before the Beautiful"
Least Favorites: "Edema Ruh"
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)

Now this was a good time no alcohol required. While admittedly I can’t really remember anything from this since I’ve jammed it, overall I remember it being a pleasant and agreeable experience. It starts on a strong note and falls a bit off as it goes, but it’s a lot of fun and features a lot of strong moments—more than it’s pop-punk stylings would suggest.

Favorites: “Two Letters”
Least Favorites: “Mary” “The Ghost”
68Kayo Dot
Plastic House on Base of Sky

AnimalsAsSummit (2016)

Yeah this was a nice little album, even if the jagged electronic bits and pieces didn't really fit so well together as they should've. The vocals here glued things together a lot, and the more alienating songs were actually pretty formidable pieces and based on what I know from Toby Driver, this was a pretty interesting excursion from his normal sound.

Favorite: "Rings of Earth"
Least Favorite: "All the Pain in All the Wide World"

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)

This was a bit of a frustrating release—especially given how interesting the sound is right off the bat. However, this thing goes on for far too long without ever deviating from its inherently repetitive formula, which is a huge detriment to it. If this were an EP, or if it were able to keep a steady supply of interesting ideas going, then this would’ve been something great. But alas, it t’weren’t so.

Favorite: “Blue Sky (Intro)”
Least Favorites: “Sonar” “Hydrophiinae” “Undercurrent”
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)

Okay, I am sorry about this, but this is an abomination. The imagine of anyone listening to this for enjoyment is beyond my understanding. I mean, the only reason I haven’t 1’d this into oblivion is because I do see SOME artistic merit to stuff going on deep beneath the overbearing and ear-shredding amount of distortion (literally like having nails shoved into your ears), but it’s so so buried under there that there’s no point even putting it there in the first place. If this is what whatever the hell “blackened drone-gaze” has to offer, then it can stay the hell away from me.

Favorites (if you could say that): “Alone”
Least Favorites: “Phantom Channel” “Tragic End”
74Uneven Structure

temptationFruit (2014)

Yeah, this was just a shining and beautiful example of a genre I’ve had trouble really enjoying a lot of the time. While the vocals here still don’t always land and the record takes a while to fully lift off, the closing two here just especially rule (what the heck is finale? Djent/shoegaze??) This affirmed metalcore as a genre that I could still find a home in, and I’d be glad to explore more in the genre thanks to this record.

Favorite: “Plentitude” “Finale”
Least Favorite: “Hail”
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)

I’d like to thank Johnny for this beauty of a rec—it’s so much up my alley with the striking, blown-up alt-rock sound and gorgeous female vocals that I’m surprised I haven’t gotten into this band earlier, but this was enough to make me a fan and I’m sure will thrown me headfirst a some serious discography run sometime very soon… From head to toe this album rules, even the weaker moments hold up when looking at the big picture.

Favorites: “I Can See Four Miles” “Meltdown”
Least Favorite: “Gemini II”
78Ichiko Aoba

JohnnyoftheWell (In place of 0 (2013))

Sorry bud, but I had a really hard time getting into this :c While the guitar and vocals were so pleasant, there wasn’t a single tune or melody that stuck in my head. Maybe it was the language barrier, but I already have trouble remembering much about this except the length and mind-numbing repetition of some songs. That being said, there were some great ditties here and I’d be interested in hearing more from here, it’s just that nothing really became memorable for me.

Favorites: “いきのこり●ぼくら” “うたのけはい”
Least Favorite: “はるなつあきふゆ"
Miami Garden Club

theYearis1999 (2017)

This was just a fun time. Super smooth singing messed well with the electronic flourishes and hip-hop beats, creating a singer-songwriter album not super original but also not quite like anything else I’ve heard. Even if some of the songs blended together, there were enough interesting things going on to keep it from ever getting boring. I had a really good time with this album and I hope I like her other stuff when I eventually check her out!

Favorites: “Overpass” “Asari Love Song”
Least Favorites: “2 Minutes” “Affectionate” “Running Away”
80Count to Altek
Imodius Forms: Millenium Flux

theYearis1999 (2017)

As far as abrasive, mega-bleep-bloop, electronic sci-fi concept albums go, this is pretty damn cool. It maintained a very unique sound throughout (I mean that OPENER goddamn that’s neat), and even though it seemd to really run out of steam by the end, it’s a fascinating and cool group of songs and sounds that play nicely off each other. Not the best thing ever for sure, but it’s a hell of a lot more memorable than many of the other albums on this list.

Favorites: “They Constructed the Supernetwork Using Only Sound” “Living in the Data Flow”
Least Favorites: “Liquid Memory of Area 1” “Eden’s Final Forms”
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)

Again, I’m not a huge fan of this folk-punk stuff everyone keeps reccing, but there were some genuinely great moments here. There were also some genuinely not-great moment so this album was a bit all over the place for me quality wise. Overall though I liked it, but not enough to find me coming back to it again. Maybe I’d like his other stuff more? I can be picky when it comes to punky stuff.

Favorites: “Back Pack” “Big Bird”
Least Favorites: “Skate Park” “Sorry Bro”
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)

This was weirdly catchy and stuck with me quickly, I remembered practically every song by this already when I listened to it a second time. Still, no song here reallyy stands out from the pack, which left me wishing for a clear highlight that would make the album jump out overall. While I thought this was a great album through and through, I feel I’m gonna have to wait for it to sink in before it achieves a lasting impact on my decade lists.

Favorites: “Let England Shake” “England” “Written on the Forehead”
Least Favorite: “Bitter Branches” “The Colour of the Earth”
87Danny Brown
Atrocity Exhibition

neek (2016)

This is pretty much what I expected from this record, which is to say I was not disappointed at all. I’ve always been a fan of weird, aggressive hip-hop, and while this didn’t feel quite as varied ass it could have, those big moments really delivered and overall I thought this was great. Excited to dig more into his discog more. (this summary is bad because I forgot I hadn’t added this one even though I’ve jammed this months ago)

Favorite: “Ain’t it Funny” “Golddust” “Tell Me What I Don’t Know”
Least Favorite: “Lost”
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)

This was another one where the longer I spent with it, the more I was drained of interest. And that’s a shame because the sound is so damned interesting, but it too easily wallows in repetition and vagueness where a more eclectic palate and pace would really make it shine. Idk, I know I’m in the minority in that this didn’t blow me away, but it was a good record that I’m glad I took the time to check. I just think it could’ve been a bit more than it is.

Favorite: “Earthquake”
Least Favorites: “Basement Scene” “Fountain Stairs”
91The Black Keys

neek (2010)

This was some pretty goddamn fun blues rock, a bit looser and punchier than The White Stripes (but it’s clearly inspired by them). Still, it might not be anything revolutionary but I guess it was a really fun album that filled some holes in my listening for the decade—which is about all I can ask for.

Favorites: “Tighten Up” “Sinister Kid” “I’m Not the One”
Least Favorite: “She’s Long Gone”

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"
93Macintosh Plus
Floral Shoppe

neek (2011)

I’m certainly glad I swapped this one out, even though I’m sure there were other records I’d enjoy more, I feel like this is a very important album to the 2010s, and wanted to make sure I jammed it before the decade’s completion. While it’s certainly strange and alienating, there’s a subtle beauty to the way a lot of this unfolds. While it goes too far in certain points to retain listenability, it’s always interesting and captivating throughout. I’ll probably not return to this outside of some memes, but overall it’s a museum of modern art I’m glad I visited.

Favorites: “リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー” “数学”
Least Favorite: “月” “ライブラリ”
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)

This directly fit my self-perscribed mode of hip-hop I've found that I most enjoy--weird, aggressive, and fun. It took a lot of pages from hard rock and experimental sounds that I've found myself enjoying greatly and paired it with hilarious lyrics and a seriously violent edge that never ceased to amaze me. This seriously might be my favorite hip-hop album next to MBDTF, I thought it was rad af.

Favorites: "Lie, Cheat, Steal" "Early" "Crown"
Least Favorite: "Blockbuster Night, Pt. 1"
96St. Vincent
Strange Mercy

neek (2011)

Now here’s some seriously intriguing art-rock for ya. All these weird clattering and hummings come together to form something very pretty and understated at times—and at others times loud and brash and in your face. It’s a dichotomy that works super well, and it’s engaging form strat to finish. That being said, I wasn’t really blown away by this one and could see her stand to form this sounds with something a bit more catchy or freaky. Or both. Now THAT’s the St. Vincent album I want to jam. Point me towards that one please.

Favorites: “Cruel” “Strange Mercy” “Neutered Fruit”
Least Favorites: “Cheerleader” “Hysterical Strength” “Year of the Tiger”
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)

Goddammit Drake, we’re just never going to get along are we? People promised me that this was gonna be the one I liked form you, but here we are. I mean sure, some of the instrumentals here are gorgeous, and your voice is the best I’ve ever heard it, but every time you try rapping, every time you build a song off of an insufferable chorus or deadbeat beat, I’m caught right back when we met on “Views.” I think I’m going to have to say this is it, Drake. I’m done trying.

Favorites: “Buried Alive Interlude”
Least Favorites: “Make Me Proud” “The Real Her”
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)

Yeah the hype for this has been very well deserved, I was only familiar with her latest up to this point and while I loved that, this definitely surpassed it. Some truly gorgeous instrumentation and production is overshadowed in the best way possible by a ridiculously grand vocal performance from “Florence.” This kicks so much ass in moving, unexpected, and fun ways.

Favorites: “Seven Devils” “What the Water Gave Me” “Heartlines”
Least Favorites: “Breaking Down”
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