Saturday, January 1, 2011

5 Albums from 2010 + My Year in Review

Even though I write about vinyl that I have accumulated over the years, I do still listen to new music as it comes out. I thought I'd take a moment to look at 5 albums that caught my notice in 2010.

1. Local Natives - Gorilla Manor
Local Natives

This Album hooked me in with its catchy guitar lines; at times soft vocals coupled with great harmonies; and a unique percussive backing. The songs 'Sun Hands' and 'Wide Eyes' get constant plays whenever I get the chance to listen to music.

2. Menomena - Mines

Although the singing may not be the best, the album is very soothing and well written. It is one of the albums that sneaks up on you. You give it a listen upon acquiring it and then a song turns up here and there as you listen to shuffle on your computer or mp3 player and leaves you thinking it should be in heavier rotation.

3. Jonsi - Go

For fans of Sigur Ros, probably already know about this. For those who aren't Sigur Ros fans, they are an Icelandic band with long, beautiful songs which often are eye-welling through either sadness or their wonderful performance. However, I personally found years of songs that last 7 or 8 minutes, despite being well done, got a bit tedious. When this album came out, I thought I'd give it a try. I found the new upbeat styles paired with Jonsi's terrific vocals to be very refreshing.

4. Liars - Sisterworld

With its understated delivery,
is a departure from previous Liars Albums. They were always a crazy band and in releasing loud, dancy, percussive, sample-laden albums prior to this; it makes the almost low-key-indie sound of this album sound weird. Who knows if this will be a permanent sound change like Black Dice or Daughters went through, or just an experimental one-off. I suppose the next album will tell.

5. Eminem - Recovery

It feels sort of out of place on this list, but it belongs here (mostly because it's a list of albums that caught my ear this year). I used to love Eminem's offensive rhymes and silly beats when I was a late teen/early 20s guy, but they sort of got repetitive and I think everyone got tired of them. This album is a reset in quality for him. He isn't so angry and offensive, he is almost apologetic and introverted. He discusses getting sober and staying strong for his daughter, bad relationships and much more. All the while, his flow is better and the backup music is terrific. It all makes for a great rebound album from the rap superstar.

As for my personal 2010, it was spectacular. I had a baby girl, left a job I had been aching to leave for a much better one (more on this in another post). I got to spend a whole lot of time with family and friends, as well as seeing some family we never get to see and more time at the cottage. Here's to a great 2011!

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