Requisition me a beat!
So, the Mrs. and I are teaming up this year for our Year in Music. We saw some things the same way, some differently, and some things, one of us convinced the other of. All comments after my ratings are mine, and comments after E’s ratings are written by her.
M.’s No. 1 of the year: White Stripes, Icky Thump. Is it perfect? No. But it’s loud, and has Jack White’s killer tone, and a bunch of fantastic songs, and months after it came out, it sounds just as good to me as ever.
E.’s No. 1: Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. Equal partscatchy, quirky, rocking, and earnest. This was the most accessible of
Modest Mouse’s albums — and I mean that in the best way possible.
M2: Against Me!, New Wave. Somebody here at OYNAG recommended these guys way back, and I went out and bought the record. FANtastic. Big, loud songs. Punk? Not really, but who cares? Really a killer record that I listened to again and again and again.
E2: same as M2. This album made the band a sellout, but I loved every minute of it. It was intense and well written.
M3: Kanye West, Graduation. His songs get better and better. Musically a terrific record, and he’s managed to stay compelling lyrically.
E3: same as M3. A little bit over-produced for my taste, but even that couldn’t diminish the awesomeness of West’s rhymes.
M4: LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver. Wow, wow, wow. Another band I was exposed to for the first time this year. Everything from funny/fun/danceable to heartbreaking and beautiful. "All My Friends" and "Someone Great" are probably two of my five favorite songs of the year.
E4: Tegan and Sara, The Con. The songs on this album are hypnotic and intensely personal. It held my attention from start to finish.
M5: Foo Fighters, Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace. Only listened a few times, because I didn’t get it till the end of the year. But I love it, from the loud stuff to the quiet stuff.
E5: Erin McKeown, Lafayette. Though it’s a live album, Lafyette showcases both McKeown’s original
songs and her interesting take on some old standards. McKeown’s voice
soars on each and every track.
M6: Modest Mouse, We Were Dead… I didn’t love it quite as much as E, but I did finally come to GET it after a bunch of listenings. Two months ago, it wouldn’t have cracked my top-10.
E6: Smashing Pumpkins, Zeitgeist. Lush and rich-sounding, this album is heavy and murky sometimes. Lyrical complexity keeps this album from feeling stale.
M7: Cinematics, A Strange Education. Not really anything new, but it sounded great.
E7: White Stripes, Icky Thump. Meg and Jack prove they can make music that is fresh and that crosses genres.
M8: Nine Inch Nails, Year Zero. It wasn’t as earth-shattering or mind-bending or whatever as I think Trent wanted it to be. But I dug it anyway.
E8: Blaqk Audio, CexCells. The kids from AFI prove that they’re the heirs to Depeche Mode’s fortune.
M9: Jay-Z, American Gangster. Jay still isn’t back to his lyrical form from The Black Album, but musically this was a killer disc. And Jay at 80 percent is still as good as pretty much any other MC on the planet.
M10: Kings of Leon, Because of the Times. Just love the sound these guys create.
Stuff E liked but don’t know well enough to include on the list:
The Bravery–The Sun and the Moon
The Cinematics–A Strange Education
LCD Soundsystem–Sound of Silver
Mandy Moore–Wild Hope
Kaiser Chiefs–Yours Truly, Angry Mob
M’s honorable mentions:
Blaqk Audio, CexCells
Dinosaur Jr., Beyond
Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Cold War Kids, Robbers and Cowards
Wilco, Sky Blue Sky
Buffalo Tom, Three Easy Pieces
Smashing Pumpkins, Zeitgeist
Maps, We Can Create
Stuff E hasn’t listened to enough to make an informed decision about:
Kings of Leon–Because of the Times
Wilco–Sky Blue Sky
Foo Fighters–Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace
Spoon–Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
-M, currently going WAY back with the all-time favorite album of a particular Post-Dispatch staffer — the Black Crowes Southern Harmony and Musical Companion.