There was plenty of other great music, but this is the stuff I listened to over and over again this year. This is the music I poked other people about and said, you have to hear this. These are the songs that, if I heard them in a restaurant or bar, I had trouble following conversation because I was so pleasantly distracted.
So here we go with my top five recommendations:
- Ryan Adams' Easy Tiger
The entire album is solid stuff, but Two and Everybody knows crawled under my skin and decided to set up base camp down there for the foreseeable future. Ryan Adams may be off his gourd on occasion, he may be a total nutcase, but when that guy sits down to write a good song, he makes it look like easy work.
Rilo kiley Silver Lining
In this particular case, I'm recommending the single only. I'm still not sure how I feel about the whole of Rilo kiley's last album, but I absolutely adore Silver Lining even though it has a few clunky lines (I never felt so wicked as when I willed our love to die sounds like something a teenager would write after reading too much Shakespeare and Herrick). You can forgive such silliness when you hear a chorus that proclaims, I was your silver lining, but now I'm gold.
Band of Horses' Cease to Begin
So, this band was on my list of favorites last year, because I thought their first album had this great build on the 90s Seattle sound that made it modern and rocking. But then they turned around and released another album this year, and now I can't put them in the Silversun Pickups novelty category. Their new album has some stunners on it, and I've already blabbed at length about why I like the single No one's gonna love you. But I'd also point out The General Specific as another fantastic single, that also serves as a great demonstration of how Band of Horses are no longer fixated on modern grunge.
I really hesitated to put this on my list, because it's on that damn iPod commercial 24-7 and this song already feels five years old. But the thing is, every time I take a break from it and then return to it, listening to it fresh, I'm once again struck by how fantastic it is. Also, I've come to the realization this year that I have a thing for crescendoes and a big chorus.
Cold War kids' Robbers & Cowards
This is one of the few albums I picked up this year that I can gladly listen to from start to finish without getting the urge to skip a single song. After hearing Hang Me Up to Dry on the radio one afternoon, I found my car mysteriously transported to the record store. But the album was kind of shocking. Hang Me Up to Dry does not prepare you for what you are in store for on Robbers & Cowards. But it's that rare album these days that has a cohesion from start to finish. Right now, I'd recommend Hospital Beds and Rubidoux as two strong singles that show you what these guys are all about. But really, I'd much rather you listened to the whole album.
There. I did my part. And this was on three hours of sleep (thanks for the 4 am flight, parentals!) and a lot of negativity circulating through my system. Your turn- I tag any blogger or commenter who listens to music and has working digits.