Man, Idunno about y'all guys, but this year has been a real tough one
for me to get ahold of musically. So many great songs come at you
that it's hard to grab them all and remember which ones you liked the
best. But albums, well, albums are a different thing. You really
have to concentrate on an album these days since there are all these
single MP3s around to distract you. But what I did, and what I
suggest you maybe do, is to get that CD player back in rotation. And
get some CDs for it. CDs rule!
10) Michaela Melian - Los Angeles. Like her last album, the entire disc can be considered a foil for the last song - the only one with vocals, a cover of Roxy Music's "Manifesto." But the foil certainly is a joy to sit through and take in with all its shuffly details, and then at the end you are blown away - BAM - by the straightforward awesomeness of her voice.
9) Matthew Dear - Asa Breed. I kind of knew this guy had it in him: a
perfect electronic pop record that got the attention of rock
journalists. It's cute, rough, and sparkly at the same time, like a
newly-washed Hello Kitty tank, and you can dance to it, and sing along
8) Prins Thomas Presents Cosmo Galactic Prism. Well I liked this guy in the first place for the music he makes, but this two-disc mix compilation just blew my mind away. Space-psych jams slid seamlessly under with ethereal electronics and lots of other kinds of music I didn't even know existed. They should name a whole new genre of music "Cosmo Galactic Prism" after this record, only you can't really describe it, just hear the shine and then know it.
7) Charlotte Gainsbourg - 5:55. Charlotte, you are a beautiful and talented woman. I don't like Air a whole ton but when they get their hands on you and slide Jarvis into the mix they know how to turn you into a really very magical star, like you even needed that in the first place. I haven't been this happy about your career since "Lemon Incest," and I don't even think I was born then.
6) M.I.A. - Kala. When you first hear this record after having loved
"Arular" so much, you're all, damn, this shit is getting H-E-A-V-Y,
and then you start dancing. What a real live woman she is. She goes
from deadpan slamming to talking about drugs to singing a Bollywood
tune and has great fashion taste and loves to draw things that look
like video games. Even if she didn't have all of these "topics"
people love her for I would still be all goo-goo over her.
5) Daft Punk - Alive 2007. If my year was about anything, it was
about Daft Punk. Their mind-melting light and sound show made it
pretty darn clear to me that they have as plain a grip on the future
of everything as any science-fiction writer has ever had in history.
It's a positive, positive expanse of time in front of us, and it's
full of synchronized dancing and lights. (If you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor and click here and then try to book a flight to Japan to see them before the tour ends)
4) Black Lips - Good Bad Not Evil. You know, I wasn't really into them, but then I heard this album and it makes you almost want to cry. It's just dirty and then pretty and then sad and true about things, a little naive, and says a lot of things about living now and being young in a way that only people who have been touring since they were just out of diapers can say. Skip the overrated live show and get drunk to this album at home with your friends.
3) LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver. The thing about James Murphy is that he's kind of like, yeah, this is who I am, and this is what I do and I do it awesomely. Not only is "Someone Great" a tearjerker, but this Long Player makes you want to move, makes ANYone want to move (if not, get a new friend) and is perhaps the most perfect album to DRIVE to that has ever been created.
2) Malcolm Middleton - A Brighter Beat. Confession time! I never listened to Arab Strap at all or even any of MM's old stuff. But then this one came across my "desk" and BANG - uplifting/uplifting girl singing with depressing/uplifting guitar hooks around his depressed/depressed voice and words - the only album of the year where I can sing most of it, and that is saying a lot, since I normally don't "do" lyrics. You just sit and listen, and listen, and listen, and sing.
1) Panda Bear - Person Pitch. You can picture him sitting there looping all of these gorgeous phrases together and thinking, this is going to be the most perfect thing ever...let's do it, and then he did it. Better than anything Animal Collective ever put out or even Brian Wilson if you want to think about it that way and with much less fuss. Yeah, that's what it's about - no fuss - just make it happen.