It’s Blitz was promoted as a more electronic sound, but while I hear that influence – it still sounds like the same Yeah Yeah Yeahs to me – and that’s a good thing. I think their image makes people dismiss them, but YYY has quietly become one of the best indie bands around, and while people want to talk about acts like Grizzly Bear or Andrew Bird this year, Yeah Yeah Yeahs are doing their own thing and doing it well.
Definitely get the deluxe version – the acoustic versions are better in most cases than the original.
I was late on my Best of 2008, but I’m catching up on my mid-year report. This will be an ongoing feature, so come back – subscribe to my RSS feed – and share your comments.
Maybe my favorite this year – Metric is a Canadian band that is associated with Broken Social Scene, along with artists like Feist and Jason Collett among others. Sometimes they come off as a more indie sounding Elastica. Excellent grooves – catchy melodies. Fantasies goes well with Yeah Yeah Yeah’s It’s Blitz of for a good party mix.
My Favorite tracks: Help Me I’m Alive, Sick Muse, Satellite Mind, Gold Gun Girls
There’s a good reason why I didn’t do this earlier. Last year I lost my commute via public transportation. I didn’t give all the albums I got the same listen I used to. So I didn’t feel right judging them. After being laid off, I’ve had more time to ruminate. I know you’ve been waiting. The lack of A Rubber Door’s official recommendation is the one thing I can point to hurting the music industry this year.
I promise to make it up – the best of 2009 is coming within the week.
Honestly without M. Ward – this may not make the list. More Him, less She (Zoey Deschanel). And he listened – a new M. Ward album this year. (OK – I just relistened to You Really Got a Hold On Me – maybe it was the right amount of She)
My Favorites: Why Do You Let Me Stay Here, You Really Got a Hold On Me
Here’s my top 18 albums from 2007. Why 18? Well I keep listing albums until I feel there are no more that deserve to be mentioned. I’d love to hear your comments – and if you have your own list, put it in the comments section and I’ll keep a running list of best of 2007 around the blogosphere. For the most part links will link you to iTunes (except for Jay-z and Radiohead).
Spoon – Ga ga ga ga ga – For some reason this album got middling reviews. For me every time I heard a song from it I couldn’t believe how good it was. Easily the most accessible of their releases.
My Favorites: Don’t Make Me a Target, The Underdog
Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha– This album is truly amazing. I’ve described it as a more tuneful Sufjan Stevens album. And it holds together better than a Stevens piece.
My Favorites: Fiery Crash, Darkmatter
Radiohead – In Rainbows – This album will be remembered for the unique, name your own price, distribution method. It should be remembered as classic Radiohead.
My Favorites: Bodysnatchers, Falling into Place
Peter Bjorn and John – Writer’s Block – I couldn’t get the whistling song (Young Folks) out of my head all summer – which was like torture since I can’t whistle. Get past that and this some kick ass jangle rock.
My Favorites: Objects of My Affection, Young Folks
The Apples in Stereo – New Magnetic Wonder – I waited to get this because it’s a double album and took a lot of my eMusic downloads. Stupid. Some people won’t like it because of it’s experimental takes, but it includes a ton of great songs.
Mark Ronson – Version– All I have to say is Ol’ Dirty Bastard redoing Britney Spears’ Toxic. Just one of an album full of great covers – done so differently you forget the original.
My Favorites: Toxic, Oh My God
Feist – The Reminder – Thanks to Apple’s ubiquitous nano ad I bought this album. 1234 is the catchiest song of the year – but the rest of the album holds its own.
My favorites: 1234, I Feel it All
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black – Listening to this album, you should have been able to see the train wreck coming. That doesn’t make this into a novelty act – Winehouse (and producer Mark Ronson) update the 60’s girl sound – without making it trivial.
My favorites: Back to Black, Love is a Losing game
My favorites: Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe, John Allyn Smith Sails
John Doe – A Year In the Wilderness – John Doe does what I would want to as a singer/songwriter – work with unique voices such as Kristen Hersh or Kathleen Edwards. His song The Golden State (with Edwards) is one of the best examples of songwriting I’ve heard this year.
Crowded House – Time on Earth – I didn’t expect to like this album as much as I did. It’s been 14 years since their last release and this sounds like an older Crowded House – but I’m an older me, so it works.
Trances Arc – XOXOX – I have a sneaking suspicion this album will keep rising and rising the more I listen to it. I didn’t get it until recently and it’s already made an impression as one of the best pop rock releases this year.
My favorites: Peace of Mind, New Style
Mark Olson – The Salvation Blues– The former Jayhawks lead singer sounds like he hasn’t skipped a beat. This could have followed up Tomorrow the Green Grass. Some might call that nostalgic; I’ll call it timeless.
My favorites: Clifton Bridge, Tears from Above
Here’s an iTunes iMix of My Favorites songs from the albums above
Jeff Tweedy is one busy bastard. His best known band is Wilco – simply one of the most important bands currently recording. For most people that would be enough, but Tweedy in addition to Wilco and solo work also performs with three other acts: Golden Smog, The Minus 5, and Loose Fur. While all are firmly in the alt-country arena, it’s Loose Fur that should most appeal to Wilco fans. Their sophomore release Born Again in The U.S.A. deftly mixes poppier sounds, incredible instrumental work and the wonderful lyrics of Tweedy and Glenn Kotche. Unlike your average Wilco CD, Loose Fur’s songs are short and to the point.
Little musical wandering with most songs at around 3 minutes long and the CD at a shade under 38 minutes short (this includes Wreckroom which is over 8 minutes long).
A great way to span the time between Wilco releases.
Songs to check out: