Friday, December 3, 2010
Like every other year, there are some albums that got universal praise seemingly long before even being released or for some sentimental reason. This list is for only those albums that are not on my top 30 of the best albums of the year but seemingly popped up everywhere else. So, Laurie Andersons’ Homeland isn’t here because, though critics descended upon it like a holy text to be revered---it has been totally been forgotten on their year-end lists. Yes, that’s how vicious and absentminded their hypocrisy can be. Here we go:
1. This is Happening (LCD Soundsystem): even before release, one could sense critics lining up to crown this year-end winner. I had no expectations but its ordinary dance tracks seem cartoonish and I don’t mean that in a nice way. It must have hurt critics too though they won’t ever admit it but the fact that most lists have placed this ridiculous record outside of top 20 range speaks volumes.
2. Swim (Caribou): a huge disappointment given how brilliant his previous album was (Andorra). The lead track, Odessa was cool enough but from their Dan Snaith tuned me out with his non-commitment to lyrics.
3. Plastic Beach (Gorillaz): I love me some Gorillaz but the second half of this album dragged on for ever and left us with an unbalancing act that Damion Albarn just doesn’t pull off convincingly.
4. Treats (Sleigh Bells): by mid-way I tired of their noise and wanted actual, real songs besides the brilliant ‘Infinity Guitars’. The hypocritical view of most critics was that though they’re signed to M.I.A’s label and she tried her hand at the same stuff with her album, she got slammed while they got all praise. Something isn’t balanced there.
5. How I got Over (The Roots): or, how I continue to do the same stuff year-in, year-out but get praised for it always.
6. Crazy for You (Best Coast): it’s retro surf-rock done with female vocals basically and that’s all. And no, I don’t want to head out to the beach with it.
7. Sisterworld (Liars): this edged out of the gates early but has remained there because the low spectral quality was obvious.
8. Crystal Castles (Crystal Castles): I loved their debut but this new opus just lacked any oomph or memorable lyrics pared with production value.
9. The Monitor (Titus Andronicus): maybe it was the super serious intent that swayed critics that this was Very Important material but I can’t remember one memorable hook. It’s not awful but it is forgettable.
10. Brothers (The Black Keys): a very fine duo but even with some fine moments, at what point will their garage rock expand?