Friday, December 23, 2011

The Ten Greatest Albums of the Year (2011) by P. Hundt

My (first ever) top ten list has only one new band… The Internet has finally overwhelmed me and I have become boring or all new music bores me.

10) Woods - Sun and Shade
                  One of my few new discoveries is a band that has been around since 2005 and released many albums.  This band always reminds me of early Ween, with more pop oriented melodies and less silly lyrics.  Songs range from short, fuzzy pop tunes, Any Other Day
to those that are easy to get lost in before they explode, Sol y Sombra

9) SM & the Jicks – Mirror Traffic
        Beck produced blah blah blah bla bl … nothing very Beck-ish about this album.  
                      “I cannot even do one sit-up, sit-ups are so bourgeoisie 

       Classic Malkmus lyrics. Wowee Zowee-esque song structure and album flow.  Maybe Beck told him to leave behind the long - guitar solos of some past albums and get back to the business of writing awesome songs.   Three sided LP, weird.

8) Tune Yards – W H O K I L L
            She has the most fun of any performer I have seen in a long time and it shines through on her album.  Fun rhythms, vocals, and unique energy.  I saw her as an opening act a few years back and couldn’t figure out what I was watching, but knew I needed more.  Semi-shitty video of Gangsta from that 2009 show:

I wasn’t the only confused person in the crowd.  Her sound seems so familiar now, but it truly is unique and crazy like the person behind it.

7) Braids – Native Speaker
            By far my most listened to album of the year.  Long songs with the best elements of pop, drone, and artsy stuff.   Lammicken:

6) Grouper - A I A: Dream Loss; Alien Observer  or however you write it
            Technically two albums.  Beautiful, fuzzy-noise over simple folkish songs.  Amazingly loud, delicate, and mesmerizing music that pairs great with a book or just staring into space.

5) Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
            Pop jams for everyone, with enough innovation to keep your attention… and she has played the moon!

4) The Antlers – Burst Apart
            New band to me.  Heard this one first, then Hospice.  One of those bands that combines empty spaces and full sound so well.  Moving, emotional songs.  Album closer: Putting the Dog to Sleep:

3) Atlas Sound – Parallax
            Maybe the most prolific artist of our time puts out another hit that somehow takes a few steps to either side of previous stuff and sounds like a new thing.  Bradford exists in his own world and I like hearing about it.  One (very) slight downside was the reworking of Mona Lisa.  He had me with the demo version:

2) St. Vincent – Strange Mercy

1) Panda Bear – Tomboy Expanded
            Panda started releasing singles for this album 20 years ago and the resulting album was all Sonic Boom-ed.  This special release has Panda’s basic-lofi version, including extra songs (The Preakness, previously available on the KEEP cassette),  alternate song order, original titles (Bullseye) and the much missed King Tubby sample in Scheherazade

Guitars!!! Great change of pace from the almost exclusively sample based Person Pitch. Ohh and this release also includes the amazing Sonic Boom produced version with so many added bleeps and bloops that it really should have included his name on the front cover.  
Check out the bros. live

Honorable mention: Radiohead – King Of Limbs, The Horrors - Skying,

Moonface - Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I'd Hoped, Thao and Mirah – s/t, Cat’s Eyes – S/t

VERY SPECIAL Honorable Mention

Chemical Brothers – Hanna Soundtrack      - > where did this come from?

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