– Amiina – Kurr (delicate, fragile, gentle and lovely) – Amy Winehouse – Back to Black (Universal) (i almost forgot this came out this year. I think I’ve listened to this record more than any other in 07) – Burial – Untrue (Hyperdub) (i keep going back to it. yes i know its not really dubstep. i can’t stand 99% of dub/reggae so this is actually not a bad thing. reminds me of my first impression of the first streets record, without the brain-numbing vocals.) – Eldar – re-imagination (Masterworks Jazz) (yes i worked it, and yes i can keep listening to it. this kid is not yet 21 and can jam with ANYONE. crazy good. go to http://www.giantstep.net/artists/920 for a remix by Nicolay, too.) – The Pierces – Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge (Lizard King) (the creepy pop record that Bat For Lashes wants to be) – The Snake The Cross The Crown – Cotton Teeth (Equal Vision) (indie rock/americana of the year, as far as i’m concerned) – Stars of Track and Field – Centuries Before Love and War (Wind-Up) (the second Keane album dissapointed me, but this made me feel better) – Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge) (nuff said.) – Suzanne Vega – Beauty and Crime (Blue Note)(one of the most underrated female voices in music delivers her freshest and most cohesive work since Solitude Standing) – Young Galaxy – Young Galaxy (Arts & Crafts) (ok maybe i’m an arts and Crafts nut, but this one gets me every time too.) – Aarktica – Matchless Years (Darla) (certainly worth listening to if you haven’t and you enjoy lush indie pop)
Records everyone else liked that i did not like as much as they did Panda Bear LCD Soundsystem Radiohead Battles yeasayer Bat For Lashes (But that might just be cause i dont like bjork much)
Records i wanted to be better: Tracey Thorn Lou Rhodes Underworld
first, i make no claim to have any indie cred whatsoever.
Second, these are in alphabetical (i.e. not ranked) order
1. The Album Leaf – In A Safe Place (Sub Pop) 2. Alexi Murdoch – Time Without Consequence (Zero Summer) 3. Anathallo – Floating World (Nettwerk) 4. Clearlake – Amber (Domino) 5. Ellen Allien & Apparat -Orchestra of Bubbles (Bpitch Control) 6. The Format – Dog Problems (Nettwerk) 7. Gomez – How We Operate (ATO) 8. The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America (Vagrant) 9. Lacuna Coil – Karmacode (Century Media) 10. Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs – Under the Covers, Volume 1 (Shout! Factory)
Honorable Mentions: Men Women and Children – Men Women and Children (warner) Electric Six – Señor Smoke Portobella – Viva La Difference (not out yet)(www.myspace.com/portobellauk) (i reserve the right to add ‘honorable mentions’ through 12/31.
“Karmacode” builds on where Lacuna Coil’s 2002 breakout album “Comalies” left off and seems virtually guaranteed to bring the mainstream success they deserve. Metal babe and songstress Christina Scabbia’s vocals compliment Andrea Ferro’s more standard gutteral counterpoint, mixing the Gothic tones of The Gathering or The Mission UK with classic metal theatrics into a heavy yet accessible vision of headbangers bliss. The songwriting never sacrifices melody for volume and even ups the arena-friendly production value to a fine polish.
Lead single “Our Truth” begins with a military snare riff, then brings Christina’s amazing range together with a densely harmonized sing-along chorus. “Karmacode” ably demonstrates why Lacuna Coil are the reigning rulers of Goth Metal.
As usual, I’m way mainstreamer than most (tho only 3 out of 10 are sony records)…but hey, I work at a label that’s had that many states AND RUSSIA sue us this year, so what do you expect.
In Alphabetical order.
Kate Bush – Aerial (just something about that voice) Dangerdoom – The Mouse and the Mask Mike Doughty – Haughty Melodic (get it…its an anagram!) Kasabian – Kasabian (Anyone remember that band Rialto?) Leaves – The Angela Test (www.http://www.myspace.com/leavesmusicspace) … also their first record kicks some serious ass too. Mazarin- We’re Already There Mylo – Destroy Rock N Roll (I know it technically came out in 04, but…. See below) Anna Nalick – Wreck of the Day (not just cause i’m in the liner notes) Nada Surf – The Weight is a Gift (i’m head of the class…i’m popular…i made two brilliant records in a row) Sigur Ros – Takk… (it’s monolithic even on crappy ipod headphones)
Honorable mentioni (it was a typo but i thought it was funny) to: Ada – Blondie (The Red Shoes kicks so much ass.) Marjorie Fair – Self-Help Seranade (serene is a word i’d use) Markus Schulz – Without you near (4-on-the-floor trance music but deep and dark and atmospheric and emotional…much like myself)
Music site of the year: Pandora.com (Seriously, the first recommendation engine that has actually recommended music that both like and haven’t heard before…why didn’t anyone tell me about The Blue Nile? I blame you!)
Dissapointment of the year: Jamie Lidell – Multiply (i wanted the cool live layering stuff, not this middle-of-the-road blue eyed soul stuff)
I hate myself for liking it: We Are Scientists
Two records I’m still not sick of from last years list: Keane “Hopes and Fears” Trashcan Sinatras “Weight Lifting”
I wanted to like it more: Ben Folds “Songs for Silverman” (good production and all, but nothing as instantly memorable as anything on “rockin the suburbs”
Band everyone will be saying “i know it came out in late /05, but…” on next years mish list: The Editors
First, let’s get this out of the way: I used to work at TVT, who put out this record. The guys are friends of mine. The record wouldve been on my list even if I hadn’t worked it.
One of my first encounters with Ambulance was at a marketing meeting at my old job, the VP of marketing said basically “I know a lot of you have been waiting a long time to work this kind of record. Well, here it is.” And so it was.
Some might be surprised that I’m a fan of this record, being as it’s so definitively a Williamsburg hipster thing, but to them I say that I’m just full of surprises.
When I was working the record, the party line was that it was like Velvet Underground meets Jesus and Mary Chain, which is pretty accurate. These days, I like to think of it as “What The Beach Boys would sound like if they grew up as stoners in the 718 (totally unlike what Marcus, Benji, Darren and co actually are, right guys?). Dreamy guitar pop with influences as wide as shoegazer, twee, and other indie pop genres, make this a consistantly mellow, enjoyable listen, even in its more wall-of-sound tracks. Highly recommended.