I already made a fakey list for CMJ alluding to what got the most airplay over at KJHK, but these are the ten records I enjoyed most this year. They are not the records that I think rise above everything in terms of creativity or anything – they are simply the records that I listened to lots and lots. Stereogum has a a list of many more blogs more reputable than this one and their picks.
They are in no particular order.
the Ergs! – Upstairs/Downstairs
If there were ever an album to take pop punk and make it punk again, it’d have to be on Dirtnap. Insanely short, amazingly catchy songs that breeze by so fast, you have to listen to the album twice. Then it ends with nearly twenty minutes of feedback. It’s fucking brilliant in its simplicity.
Heavy Trash – Going Way Out With Heavy Trash
Matt from Azure Ray and Jon Spencer of JSBX get together and do to rockabilly what Spencer did to the blues – they fuck it up and make it fun and new, rather than a museum piece. Everyone liked this album, and that’s the way it should be. It is by no means deep or world-shattering, but it’s a damn fine record to drink beer and start fights to.
Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
“She’s a Rejecter” is just one of the many many amazing songs that made me want to shake my ass this year. After several months off from listening to it, now I actually like it better than The Sunlandic Twins, which I’d never thought possible.
“Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse“
Okkervil River – The Stage Names
I’ve already stated my love for “Plus Ones.” The rest of the album doesn’t live up to the brilliance of that track, but it does live up to the promise made with Black Sheep Boy.
“Our Life Is Not a Movie Or Maybe“
Panda Bear – Person Pitch
The first time I listened to it, I wasn’t sure if I was going to love it or yank it out of the cd player and throw it across the room. Despite my absolute anti-Pet Sounds stance, I’ve grown to love this album as if it were one of my own children. “Comfy In Nautica” makes me smile every time I hear it.
Dethklok – Dethalbum
Fake band. Real metal.
Clorox Girls – J’aime Les Filles
“Flowers of Evil” was a download about three months before the album came out. Waiting to see if the full album was as good as that download was the worst three months ever, made even more painful by the band playing a half-hour in-store before the release. It’s mod pop at its best. The band has its punky roots in full effect, but has listened to a lot of French pop to make me giddy and retarded every time it goes on the stereo.
“Flowers of Evil“
the Fratellis – Costello Music
Despite hearing “Flathead” during every commercial break for nearly a month straight, I still loved this album. Ska / pop / punk / skiffle / whatever happiness. If there were ever a band that could get me to dance, the Fratellis are it. Here’s to one of the few things the British music press has ever gotten right.
Justice – Cross
I hate hate hate dance music… or, at least, I did. Something about the crop of music to come out this year has given me a second look at music to which one shakes their booty. This was one of the albums to do so. There are points where it totally gets dark and evil, like “Stress,” but “D.A.N.C.E.” is such a boogie down, feel good song that i can’t help but get it on – much to the shagrin of my co-workers.