WU LYF, Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
I'm truly hoping that this album signals the end of irony's reign in the music world. I had almost forgotten what it was like to hear sincerity coming from a new band. Sounds like David Byrne fronting Sigur Ros covered by early Kings of Leon.
The new pinnacle of modern-day yacht rock.I've never been on a cruise of the Greek Isles, but Daniel Bejar has made that irrelevant.
BEST NEW TO ME ALBUM
The Walker Brothers, Nite Flights
This album somehow manages to exist not only completely outside the rest of The Walker Brothers output, but also, to an extent, outside the rest of music history. The best frame of reference I can give it is the perfection of everything Bowie was trying to do in the mid- to late-70s.
Darondo, Listen To My Song: The Music City Sessions
The king of San Francisco cable access television somehow managed to record an amazing Otis Redding-style soul album.
Caveman, Coco Beware
Picking up where The Shins left off, another possible indicator that sincerity is making a comeback. Ethereal, dreamy pop but not so airy that it feels meaningless.
The dream of the 90s is alive! Loses a little steam in the second half, but this is a 90s rock inspired album that doesn't feel overly referential.
BEST ALBUM THAT I USED TO OWN AND JUST REBOUGHT
The Time, What Time Is It?
Essentially a disguised Prince solo album with Morris Day singing most of the vocals. Seems like by not putting his name on it, Prince was able to cut a little looser. "777-9311" is one of the best funk tracks of the 80s.
Joan Armatrading, Show Some Emotion
Gut-wrenching honesty interrupted by a couple Caribbean-pop filler tunes.
BEST OLD FAV IN NEW SURROUNDINGS
Hail Mary Mallon, Are You Gonna Eat That?
Sounds like Aesop Rock found out how to have fun again. Still smarter than 99% of the hip hop out there, though.
BEST SONG SURROUNDED BY AN ENTIRELY MEDIOCRE ALBUM
Wilco, "The Art of Almost"
First track on The Whole Love got my hopes up way too high. Groundbreaking, unique and hyper-intelligent, "The Art of Almost" seemed like it was followed by the 3rd set of outtakes from Sky Blue Sky.