Friday, January 14, 2011

My Favorite Albums of 2010 (2)

From part one:
10. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (needs proper comma use)
9. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
8. Women - Public Strain

Part two:
7. Pomegranates - One of Us
I love this fruit. As an enticing band name that caught my eye (mouth?), Pomegranates did quite a number on my ears, too. The opening title track sonic-booms after a pensive first minute, propelling me spaceward where reverb dreams and guitar drones float along side me weightlessly: "I wish that I could just let go / I've closed my fingers way too tight on what I think I know." Yeah. I'm with you there, Pommies. Some tracks rock a bit; some tracks drift as looser compositions or transition from "song" to "song." I'm happy to simply categorize this album as "indie rock," even though the term is almost meaningless at this point. The term is a hurricane: all that radiates from the center interacts, blows,, but the eye's a nothingness - a controlling but empty sign of the larger swirl. So, "indie rock" will have to do. I found much to enjoy here, whether it was a more beat-heavy rocker ("50's," "Prouncer") or a mellow, meditative dreamscape ("White Fawn," "Between Two Dreams"). One highlight, "Anywhere You Go," starts with a chest-thumping swell of yelps ("I can be / pretty desperate / about a lot of things / but all I want / to want / is love") before stepping away into a back story narrative of new lovers. The final punctuation of "I'll go anywhere that you go / I like you / I REALLY LIKE YOU!" strikes a wistful and anxious mood that lies at the heart of this collection of songs. It's heartfelt all the way through as a good indie rock disk should be, and that reminds of the bounty of life experiences that 2010 brought me.

Highlights: "One of Us," "50's," "Prouncer," "Anywhere You Go," "Between Two Dreams," "Demond"

6. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Deerhunter make great music. This is no surprise as they and side projects have been in my top ten for three straight years. Good good good. End of story.

5. Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
Some albums here required no thought at all for me to love. For forty minutes, Surfer Blood let the pop-rock flow from them seemingly effortlessly. The hooks are bouncy, the lyrics contemplative yet light; all in all, the album efficiently delivers blow after blow of crunchy pop-rock. "Swim" is the most perfect example here: huge riffage, vocals in booming reverb, and a cheerleading chorus. It's simple, effective and air guitar ready. Rock on.

Top four this weekend!

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