Friday, April 23, 2010

Album of the Year: 2010

There are some very heavily anticipated (by me) releases coming out this year. Before those come out and (hopefully) obliterates the competition, I wanted to give some recognition to my favorites of the year so far. Maybe my favorite in April will go wire to wire. From the leaks for Heaven is Whenever by The Hold Steady, I doubt it.
My album of 2010 is the self-titled album from The XX! Maybe the album is titled "20". Sometimes I miss dry British humor. This isn't the typical hard driving release that occupies my top spot. But give the XX a listen or 20 and it will be your go-to album for chilling out. I've heard it described as "make out music for a new generation". It is definitely sexy.
There isn't a sexier musical sound than a perfectly played bass. I wish I could play the bass guitar. I started just wishing I could play guitar, but to really achieve musical ability in line with my well-placed moniker, I would need to strap on a sweet bass guitar with extra long straps so I can play with my arms fully extended. And I would need to not pronounce the name of my sweet axe the way a fisherman might pronounce the word bass. That's always been a struggle for me. I suppose I will have to continue on with my appreciation of excellent music as my lone musical talent.

The XX are very young twenty year olds from London. The lead singing is shared by a lassie and a bloke who trade lines as well as harmonize wonderfully. Their voices complement the very cool bass lines and atmospheric sounds that define the sound of the group. I've seen them perform on Youtube, and I like them better without video. They sound much better than they look. A wise man nearly thirty years ago said "Video killed the radio star". Luckily, this pair was born way after the MTV Moonman paraded across my basic cable. Love the band before you risk ruining it by taking a look at these two.

XX is a complete album that should be listened to with noise cancelling headphones and in its entirity. Perferably while receiving a message next to a crystal blue lagoon that is being feed by a graceful waterfall in preparation of a night full of passionate love making... Obviously, I'm listening to it right now. See how dreamy the music is!

It is very unlikely that you would immediately love The XX, but here is a sample from what could be considered there much accessible song. One of their songs was being played prominently below commericals featuring Apolo Anton Ohno during the Olympics. I believe that is what lead him to such continued success.

The other contenders early on in the year are:

2. American Idiot: Broadway - It is a combination of my favorite album of all-time and one of my favorite musical mediums. It's kind of like a real kick ass version of the cast of Glee got a hold of the last two Green Day albums. Man oh man, I want to see this on Broadway! I did see it is Berkeley and loved it. Not very good sound here, but worth a peek.

3. Spoon - Transference - I was a little disappointed when I first starting listening to latest album by this long time indie band. The more I listen, the more I listen. It is really starting to dig a groove in the musical part of my brain. Some good jangly piano, some rockin' guitars I could see this moving up and not down as the year goes. This song was actually a pretty instant hit for me.

4. Ok Go - Of the Blue Colour of the Sky - Winner of the worst album title of the year. I love Ok Go and their revolutionary video clips. I've linked the latest. This is a good album but not great. More misses than hits. Maybe it will grow on me too.

5. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach - It keeps growing and growing on me. Perhaps if I sparked up with Snoop (who raps on the opening track) I would get the half of the songs that I don't quite dig yet. It's getting there. Plenty of guest rappers, but I'm really not a huge rap fan. I do like Gorillaz flavored rap. They are a bit hit or miss with me and always have been. Can't wait for the vid for this cut.

No comments: