|"Brothers" by The Black Keys|
Straightforward bluesy rock. Per usual, the Black Keys
keep it simple, yet manage to pull off a purely original
album that doesn't get old. Listen to "Tighten Up" and try
not to like it.
|"Diamond Eyes" by Deftones|
The band returns to their roots, pumping out some
crisp but heavy jams ("Rocket Skates") while saving
some space for some songs with a little more depth
that we've seen from the band as of late ("976-EVIL").
|"Feeler" by The Toadies|
Still the best band in the entire world (I know, I know).
This album was actually supposed to be released
almost fifteen years ago, but the guys re-recorded the
entire thing and just released it, and it still sounds as
fresh as any album out right now. Per usual, the Toadies
treat us to the cheerfully-twisted rockers ("Suck Magic")
as well as the tragically beautiful ("Pink"). Note: The links
are to the old versions, be sure to check out the *new*
album at MySpace or iTunes.
|"Hologram Jams" by Jaguar Love|
Ex-Blood Brothers members turnin' out crazy dance party
jamz. Hard guitars, dirty drum machine beats, and vocals
that make you wonder if you're losing your mind. Good
times! "Cherry Soda" is definitely one of the best songs
of the year.
|"Invented" by Jimmy Eat World|
The hometown boys get their groove back. It harkens
back to "Clarity" more than any other album without
reverting to it. The title track still gives me goosebumps
every time I hear it (wait til around the 4:30 mark and
prepare to have your mind blown). Well done, sirs!
|"My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" by Kanye West|
I hate to love this guy. He's a total douche, but he also
might be one of the best producers of our time. The boy
can write! I never thought I'd say this about any rap song,
but "Monster" is hands-down one of the top 5 songs
released this year, and Nicki Minaj's appearance on the
song (3:40) is one of the best performances in the genre.
|"MAYA" by M.I.A.|
I've always loved M.I.A. for being different and pushing
unique jams, and this album is no different. It takes some
time to get into, but songs like "Born Free" and "Steppin' Up"
are brutal and infectious from the first listen.
|"Treats" by Sleigh Bells|
Best new band to come out in quite a while. Think Yeah
Yeah Yeahs meets a high school drum line meets Slash.
The songs are short and sweet, but they ride ya hard
and put ya up wet. "Infinity Guitars" single-handedly
saved Christmas with rock n' roll (try to not cream your
pants at 1:50), and "Rill Rill" couldn't more perfectly
sum up that good ol' summer feeling.
|"The Winter of Mixed Drinks" by Frightened Rabbit|
These guys from across the pond are ridiculously
talented, and their songs are emotive as all get out
("The Wrestle") and just plain beautiful
("Not Miserable"). This is an album that just
makesya happy to be alive.