Year-end "Best Of!" You knew this was coming. Eventually.
The first five albums listed below are what I submitted to LEO.
The stuff after is what I submitted to the Idolator “Jackin’ Pop” poll. Thankfully, I didn’t have to write capsule descriptions for this poll.
I always miss a few CDs – I am but one man with a mere 24 hours in each day, just like you mortals -- and this year was no exception: Had I heard the Knife’s “We Share Our Mother's Health” before last week, it would’ve made my “Best Singles” list for certain. And so on.
BELLE & SEBASTIAN The Life Pursuit (Matador): A brilliantly consistent disc from a brilliantly consistent band, Pursuit added traces of glam (“White Collar Boy”), boogie rock (“The Blues Are Still Blue”) and psychedelic soul (“Song for Sunshine”) to their already impressive palette. They’re great live, too.
WOLFMOTHER (Interscope): This Aussie power trio takes damn near everything that was cool about ‘70s hard rock – power chords, heavy organ fills, white afros -- and regurgitates it for the here and now.
ARCTIC MONKEYS Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (Domino): Young, loud and snotty. Hooks aplenty. Debut of the year. Et cetera.
GOLDFRAPP Supernature (Mute) Justin Timberlake said he was bringing sexy back this year. Too bad that Allison Goldfrapp beat him to the punch: she’s 10 times sexier than that pantywaist, as “Lovely 2 C U” and “Number 1” demonstrate. Plus she could kill him with her bare hands. She wins.
TOOL 10,000 Days (Volcano): Critics who don’t really listen to much metal will genuflect over Mastodon’s Blood Mountain this year, but Tool’s record is a much more varied, coherent and ultimately, much more satisfying listen. Deal with it.
Local H, ’99-’00 Demos (G&P)
Raconteurs Broken Boy Soldiers (V2)
Your Black Star Sound from the Ground (Wonkavision)
Cold War Kids Robbers & Cowards (Downtown)
Scott Walker The Drift (4AD)
“Crazy” Gnarls Barkley
“Steady, As She Goes” Raconteurs
“Shoot the Runner” Kasabian
“Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken” Camera Obscura
“Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt” We Are Scientists
“So Far We Are” French Kicks
“Wolf Like Me” TV on the Radio
“Redneck” Lamb of God
“The First Vietnamese War” Black Angels
“Throw It All Away” Zero 7
Pulp This Is Hardcore (Island)
Cheap Trick Dream Police (Epic Legacy)
The Clash The Singles Box (Epic Legacy)
T. Rex Tanx (Rhino)
Depeche Mode Violator (Mute)