10- Forth - The Verve
9 - Tales of Love, Loss and Desperation - The Wombats
8 - You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Yourself Into - Does it Offend You, Yeah?
7- Dear Science - TV on the Radio
6 - Third - Portishead
5 - Stay Positive - The Hold Steady
4 - Glasvegas
3 - Made in the Dark - Hot Chip
2 - Viva La Vida or Death and All of His Friends - Coldplay
1 - Accelerate - REM
Now in Long Form...
This was the record no one would have thought would ever happen. One of the biggest bands of the second British Invasion breaking up at the height of their career in 1998. A decade later, the band put themselves back together and created a fine blend of psychedelic rock, modern alternative and British jam. The Verve put a little bit of everything that has made them popular around the world into Forth. The title a pun, being the fourth record from the band but also showing they are going forth with their career together. I look forward to more music from one of my favorite acts.
KEY TRACKS : Love is Noise, Noise Epic9 - The Wombats - A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation
A small trio from Liverpool that made a big post-punk sound on their debut. The Wombats picked up the bar style power trio rock that the Fratellis made popular last year with Costello Music and brought it to new levels. The Wombats were not afraid to put their hearts on their sleeves in creating one of the most fun, energetic and cleaver records of the year.
Key Tracks: Let's Dance to Joy Division, My First Wedding
8- Does it Offend You, Yeah? -You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Yourself Into
A band that tries not to take themselves too seriously, but by doing that they really show they know how to have a great time. The word boring would cease to exist when listening to this record, Does it Offend You, Yeah fuses punk-electro-disco and pop into a non-stop dance party that will have you moving for hours.
Key Tracks: With a Heavy Heart (I Regret to Inform You), Epic Last Song
7- TV on the Radio - Dear Science
This Brooklyn band's last record was all about the Apocalypse and the end of the world as we know it and they did not feel fine. Their follow up however is a rebirth of the world around them in a full out hipster-hop dance party. This is one hell of a record and probably the band's best, TV on the Radio never stop impressing me on their musical abilities and style. One of the few band's that keep pushing the creative envelope and always have us wondering what they will do next.
Key Tracks: Family Tree, Red Dress
6 - Portishead - Third
Technically Portishead never broke up, they were just on hiatus for 11 years. Yet, it may have been worth the wait, they returned with Third, the album that could very well be the English trio's very best. Singer Beth Gibbons beautifully haunting voice penetrates right into your body, while the band hypnotizes you with their music. Third is a must own and one record that will leave you breathless.
Key Tracks: Nylon Smile, Magic Doors
5- The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
What more can I say about a band that I just absolutely love. The Hold Steady's fourth album, Stay Positive is a true rock and roll record from one of the last true rock and roll bands. It takes the story of the band's central characters created by singer Craig Finn on the band's debut The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me, these characters have taken the form of all four records in telling their story, but we as fans still have no idea if Stay Positive is the conclusion. What we the fans do know is that this is a record about scenes, and how Religion is the biggest scene and everyone in America is part of a scene whether they like it or not. One of the most honest albums of the year.
Key Tracks: Constructive Summer, Lord, I am Discouraged
My favorite debut of the year from one of my new favorite bands. Having not only the privilege this year of discovering them, but having the opportunity to interview them for the blog made my admiration for Glasvegas grow. Taking stories ripped from the pages of your life and making them beautiful songs is not an easy task, but Glasvegas make it seem so natural. Combining a 50's retro style mixed with 80's Goth mixed with 21 Century alternative, Glasvegas have certainly served up one fine album. Listen to this record, love it as much as I have and I promise you will not want to let it go.
Key Tracks: Geraldine, Go Square Go
3- Hot Chip - Made in the Dark
The most fun you will have listening to any record this year! The perfect party starter, Hot Chip have made an album that will not only having you moving and shaking for hours, but will having you begging for more. They are masters of production, beats and musicians with each member playing more than one at a time. Certainly the band's best record they have released, the sky is the limit for these guys.
Key Tracks: One Pure Thought, Shake a Fist
2- Coldplay - Viva La Vida or Death and All of His Friends
The biggest selling record of the year from the biggest band of the decade. Just as people were about to write the band off, they answered with one of their best albums as well as their most epic and adventurous to date. Produced by the legendary Brian Eno, the band takes notes from all who have influenced them, from The Beatles to U2 to Radiohead to The Verve and created a masterpiece. Their is no denying how fantastic this album is.
Key Tracks: Viva La Vida, Lost
1- REM - Accelerate
Firing on all cylinders, the original college rockers shot back with their best record since 1994's Monster. Accelerate is REM's finest hour, after releasing a handful of mediocre and sometimes awful albums, REM cut out the problems and released a straight up rock, almost punk record. Showing their roots and not their age, REM shot songs from a cannon to show they still have it in them. Being a life long REM fan, I am so proud to see these guys back at the top!
Key Tracks: Living Well is the Best Revenge, Hollow Man
So there it is, my 10 picks of the year. I hope you enjoyed it and I encourage you to listen to each album and see what I am talking about. Now we usher in a new year to see what this list will look like 12 months from now.