>Goddamn, it’s been long! I missed my music rants a little too much. Lucky for me, it’s that time of the year again, when we either mourn or bid joyous farewell to yet another year; and along with the mandatory New Year resolutions list -which I will post later, if I get off my lazy ass and actually make one… which will most likely never follow through- comes the necessary and similarly traditional ‘best albums of the year’ list, or as some might call it, Cat’s perfect chance to show just how stuck-up and hipster she
aspires to become is.
First, I’d like to say that, despite the enormous piles of hot, steaming shit that today’s pathetic music business has been projectile-spewing at us, this has been a rather positive year for true music fans. Now, I can’t say that I am a true music fan, because the term ‘true’ applied in this context is rather relative and depends a great deal on the individual itself. I can only say that I do enjoy music more than anything, much more than I actually should, much more than is considered normal. I also know that, thanks to my obsessive interest in music (the good kind, as I’ve been told), I have the ability to distinguish trash from gems, and think that, based on that ability and knowledge, I can provide decent recommendations to whomever is interested enough to ask…
And even if you don’t ask, I’m just gonna go ahead and rant. This is my blog, I can do whatever the hell I want. So, in no particular order, I’m going to start with a list of my favorite albums of the year. Those which I think are the best of the whole damn year.
Brazilian Girls – New York City
Hell yesssss, Brazilian Girls, the most Internacional band in the history of bands! These guys create such a wonderfully rich and culturally diverse mix of styles that makes their music very hard to classify. That’s always good. This very eclectic mix is graced by the sexy, multi-lingual voice of front woman Sabina Sciubba, who pulls a very effective mindfuck with every song she performs, frantically switching languages completely out of nowhere. This release marks the third in the rather young life of the band, its predecessors being two other equally mindfuckingly great albums. I have nothing but praise for these peeps. Oh, they’re from NYC, how cool is that?
Recommended track: Ricardo – I just love this song. The story is nice and funny, and it does have a message to it. Also, it’s in Spanish. So, Ricardo, don’t work yourself too hard…
The Kills – Midnight Boom
The moment I heard this album, I became obsessed. These guys make garage rock sound so great, I could say I like them as much as I like The Stooges or MC5. People have compared this lovely duo with the incestuous White Stripes, but please, I BEGGGG to differ. Now, I know the White Stripes ain’t half bad. I know there’s way worse crap out there. They could be Linkin Park. It’s just a matter of taste, and preference for bands that actually know how to play their instruments, and employ a bass… and know a thing or two about personal hygiene (I honestly think Jack White is a hobo). The Kills are so much better than that. They look like they shower. And Midnight Boom is fucking awesome!!! I am not lying when I say I am in love with each and every one of the two/three-minute tracks off of this album. A million thumbs up, and lots of kudos and XOXOXO…
Recommended track: (Damnnnnn, this is harrrrddd!) Sour Cherry – I think this song, and this whole album in general, would make good stripping music. Mmm…
Does it Offend You, Yeah? – You Have No Idea What You’re Getting Yourself Into
Fun stuff. These young lads from across the pond have made me giggle a time or two with their beats, and if I find it amusing, it’s definitely worth a shoutout. And my boy Trump Resner picking them personally to open for his band, the Nine Inch Nails or whatever, is also a plus for them. Great synth music, danceable at times, rocking post punk at others, yet consistently keeping me interested.
Recommended track: Attack of the 60 ft. Lesbian Octopus – Just because I had never thought of an octopus being a lesbian before hearing this wonderful name.
Ladytron – Velocifero
I am a certified Ladytron geek and everyone knows it. They could literally record their washing cycle, yawn on top of it and release it as an album, and I’d sure as fucking hell buy it and love it! Undeniably beautiful, this little baby is definitely on my top three of this year. And even though I still love the holy crap out of its predecessor, Witching Hour, Velocifero has slowly but steadily made its mark on my heart. This is said to be Ladytron’s most commercially successful release to date, which some idiots might call selling out instead of rightfully deserved success, what it really is; and for once, I have to agree with the rest of the world. Ladytron did it again.
Recommended track: They Gave You a Heart, They Gave You a Name – Maybe because this is a Helen Marnie track, and I have a history of worshiping Helen Marnie’s songs, but I cannot get enough of this one. This woman’s voice is so fucking beautiful, holy shit!
Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts I-IV
Fucking Trent Reznor and his fucking talent. Sometimes I really hate him. I hate him because he can NEVERRR EVER EVERRR go wrong, and thus forces me to remain dumbfoundedly in love with him… er, his music. But, how can anyone not love him when he makes such a beautiful masterpiece??? This is one of the most artistic albums I’ve ever heard, oozing imagery and integrity out of every sound. Goddamn, Michael Reznor, stop being so fucking talented already so I can stop obsessing with you!!!
Recommended track: 14 Ghosts II – Oh hell, this is some dirty shit! That guitar is pure sludge! I only wish he would have included more tracks like this one, but I’m not complaining. The wimpy piano songs are also very cool.
My Morning Jacket – Evil Urges
This one of those weird selections that I don’t fully get but included anyway because I can’t exactly point out why, but I like it. I like this one a lot. I technically shouldn’t, since every hipster critic out there is wetting their pants for this album, but whatever, I’m embracing my hipster side. Another unclassifiable album, kind of trippy, indie, sort of… folk/country??? No idea. Aaanyway, I’m glad I decided against ignoring this album, it made me smile a few times last month, and only a few things possess the ability to make me smile, so alas! Long live Evil Urges!
Recommended track: Librarian – Another one of those depressing tunes that I just love because I hate myself. Deep and emotional and mopey, somewhat.
The Faint – Fasciinatiion
This is not my favorite The Faint album, by any means. I just like this band a little too much, and I’m willing to include this so-so album among the best of the year because I’m dumb like that. Standard The Faint: usual synths, lyrical resemblance to their previous releases. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. It’s just The Faint.
Recommended track: Forever Growing Centipedes – Fun, bubbly, catchy. What else can I say, it’s a cool song…
Nine Inch Nails – The Slip
This is when Trent Reznor stars to piss me off. Every time I listen to The Slip, I feel like he’s punching me in the face and going: “Hey, assholes! This is how I thank you for stealing my music, I’m gonna give you this wonderful, incredibly awesome album for free! Fuck you and enjoy! XOXO.” It just had to be so good it makes people think of the infamous Broken EP in terms of aggressiveness, but with a modern dance approach. And it had to be for free. I would have paid outrageous amounts of money that I don’t have for it, because it’s Nine Inch Nails and I have a slight (haha, slight) NIN OCD; but he had to charge jack squat for it and become the hero of our generation. Well, yes, he is a hero, and a visionary, and a very sexy man. No need to rub that in our faces, ok? We know that already. *God, I love you so much, Trent Reznor! Marry me!*
Recommended track: 1,ooo,ooo – This is perfect. Seriously, there’s not a single thing I would change about this one. I love all of The Slip (ok, maybe Corona Radiata is a bit pointless and overrated), but I have much more than simple love for this track. If I could express it with words, I would.
The following are albums that I already have, one way or another, mentioned on previous posts, and am lazy enough to re-review.
Okkervil River – The Stand Ins
If this album made me fall in love with an entire genre, it must definitely be at least one eighth good.
Recommended track: On Tour with Zykos – Slow melody, nice lyrics, rain factor. Yum.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
I have already written a Bible full of praises for this one, but I just had to include it here for one final review. It’s Nick Cave, how can one not love it?
Recommended track: Lie Down Here (& Be My Girl) – Slightly more upbeat than your typical Nick Cave track, my second favorite after the sorrowful Hold On to Yourself.
Modwheelmood – Pearls to Pigs, Vol. 3
Ally, I miss you in NIN!!! I wish you all the best with whatever projects you undertake in the future, and please, keep the volumes coming, I am already hooked on your pearls and pigs.
Recommended track: Lie – Haha, Alessandro Cortini swearing is the funniest thing I ever heard!
Emiliana Torrini – Me and Armini
God, I love Italy. This chick is great, her rather minimalistic music relaxes me, it’s fresh and Mediterranean, like basil.
Recommended track: Ha Ha – Somehow, this song doesn’t make me laugh. It’s rather sad, to be honest.
TV on the Radio – Dear Science
All critics agree that this album is one of the absolute best of the year, and again, they’re right. Damn them. These guys have kept me entertained since Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, and with Return to Cookie Mountain, they established themselves as one of my all-time favorite bands. And they’re from Brooklyn! Yesss, homeeezzz! This long-awaited release was, indeed, well worth the two-year wait.
Recommended track: DLZ – Mmmm, funky.
Black Kids – Partie Traumatic
Straight from Florida, these kids present a minty cool new wave of danceable pop to light up anyone’s crappy day.
Recommended track: Hurricane Jane – Yay! This one makes me want to hit the dancefloor and move mah bones… I’m gonna include it on my New Year’s playlist 😉
Some honorable mentions:
Wolf Parade – At Mount Zoomer
M83 – Saturdays=Youth
The Fireman – Electric Arguments
Northern Lite – Super Black
Laura Marling – Alas, I Cannot Swim
Holy crap, this girl blew my mind, and she’s two years younger than me! How the hell did that happen!
Portishead – Third
The Duke Spirit – Neptune
David Byrne and Brian Eno – Everything that Happens Will Happen Today
Meat Beat Manifesto – Autoimmune
Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
Loquat – Secrets of the Sea
Shiiitttt, Harder Hit is probably my favorite song of the month… quite possibly on my top 5 of the entire year! I am in love…
Below I will list what I think were some of the most painfully overrated albums of the year, which doesn’t mean they’re bad, but rather that I have no taste:
Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
I already blogged plenty about my disliking of this album. Yes, I did not like it one bit! Okay, maybe one little bit called Oxford Comma, when in a good mood, and perhaps Walcott if I’m feeling like going to the circus, but for God’s sake, I still don’t see what the hell everyone’s a-buzzing about these guys. They’re as hipster as they get, and they don’t even make up for it with good music! Shame!
Recommended track: Oxford Comma – Because I already mentioned this track above. Stupid song, catchy melody.
MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
Hmmm… I tried to get into it, I swear. I tried, but I gave up… (lol) I just don’t find anything remarkable, poignant, gripping, even interesting about this album. I’m gonna give it another listen before the year is over and maybe you’ll have an edit and my sincerest apologies. In the meantime, I’m gonna keep saying it’s an overrated album with uncomfortable artwork.
Recommended track: Future Reflections – Retro… lol, I kind of like this song, but it’s too weird and trippy. Trippy is usually good, but now it’s just weird.
Noah and the Whale – Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down
I think this is a weak debut album. These Britons could have done wonderful things with this record… they could have had more Laura Marling on it, since she performed on one track and she used to be in the band or something… and she kicks ass. That could have made things so much better. But they didn’t, and the result is some generic, unexciting folk album that could put my rowdy Poodle to sleep. I’m sorry, I’m really trying to love folk, but these guys make it kind of hard. And they’re not bad, I just don’t get them. <–This is my version of the old 'it's not you, it's me'.
Recommended track: Hold My Hand as I’m Lowered – If only more tracks were like this one…
Oh, I also think that Coldplay’s new album, Viva la Vida and something or other, takes the crown as most overrated album of the year. Coldplay is actually the gayest, most overrated shitty band ever… even more so than The Doors! I might be speaking merely out of a bias, maybe Viva la Vida and Motherfucks is the greatest thing since The Beatles’ White Album, maybe Chris Martin is not gay… I wouldn’t know, because I didn’t even dare get near that
rotten piece of shit album, and I wouldn’t get anywhere near that rotten piece of shit Chris Martin, even if it involved a million dollars and seven minutes of heaven with Trent Reznor. I heard the single, though, and it was enough to show me that today’s music business is infested with old, asskissing homos with no discernible good taste. The bulk of them works for Pitchfork. And those people are saying that piece of chewed manure Coldplay is passing as a record is actually THE best album of the year. And those same people gave Ghosts I-IV a 5 out of 10. Haaaaaaaaaa… as Merril Nisker once said, “suck my left one.”
Recommended track: Butthole Surfers – The Annoying Song
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
I got this album about two weeks ago, encouraged by the wonderful reviews I’ve read of it. It’s good, yes, although I don’t feel capable enough to give my honest opinion of it. I haven’t quite got it yet. So, let’s wait and maybe next year I’ll be able to say whether I love it or hate it. I think I might not love it, but I won’t hate it either.
Recommended track: Blindsided – So far, this is the first track I really really like. Sounds like Dylan but without the weird vocals and with a more elaborate melody. And I’m not a huge Dylan fan, but I think I might like this guy. Huh…
Crap, it’s almost 4 AM and I’m hungry. All this music appreciation wore me out. Well, this is what I’ve been listening to that really caught my attention. I command you to give at least one of these bands/albums a chance. They will not disappoint. Except for Vampire Weekend, but the way I see it, everybody likes them because everybody likes them, so if you like things that everybody likes, you’ll like Vampire Weekend… and I won’t like you. Whateverrrrr. Now I’m gonna go stuff myself with whatever I can find in the cupboard and have a great night’s sleep. See ya in 09! Or even earlier, if I feel like being an annoying bitch before Dec. 31st and blog again!
Listening to: Spoon – Rhthm & Soul (too bad Spoon’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga was released in 07, otherwise it would have been a shoo-in on this list!)
Eating: A molten Sneakers bar