Friday, August 13, 2010

(A Very Late) Best Music of the First Half of 2010: Part I

After post #300, I took a hiatus from this got busy. It still is, but I'm feeling like writing about stuff again. I've been listening to a lot of music this year, and my ego compels me to share my opinions with the internets.

The albums mentioned below and in the forthcoming posts all came out before July (I think). There are plenty of good albums that have come out since then, but I'm sticking to the first half of the year for now. Instead of a standard top 10, I've split everything up into 4 categories and things are in no particular order. Category 1 sounds boring, but it includes some great albums:

Albums that Met My Expectations

The National - High Violet:
Didn't think it would be as good as Boxer, and it's not. But it's still a great album by nearly any other standard.

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach: Expected good, got good.

The Hold Steady - Heaven is Whenever:
The Hold Steady know how to put out an album around the beginning of the summer that begs to be played loud in the car with the windows rolled down. That's what I wanted and that's what I got.

She & Him - Volume Two: I won't claim to like this album as much as Volume One,
but that was a hard debut to follow. It was as much as I could have hoped for from a pretty actress with a pretty voice and an indie star who has been, arguably, a little too prolific as of late. I guess that makes it sound like I didn't like this album, but I do. I expected fun, light pop and that's what Zooey and Matt brought.

LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening: Everything I could have hoped for from a group that's just getting better. Video for my favorite song off the album, "Drunk Girls":

The New Pornographers - Together:
This band has set such a high standard for themselves over the years, it's hard not to worry about a dud coming along. But I didn't, and it hasn't. A.C., Neko, Dan, and the rest of the gang can make albums forever as far as I'm concerned.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - I Learned The Hard Way: Exactly what I wanted from a band that offers a nice change of pace from pretty much everything else I listen to.

Robyn Hitchcock - Propellor Time
Laura Viers - July Flame
Dr. Dog - Shame, Shame
These are all artists that I like, but seldom love. They tend to put out albums with several OK songs and a few greats songs, and their latest efforts did just that, no more and no less.

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