While compiling a list of my favorite albums of 2010, I was reminded of a quote someone said in the comments section of an article I did for Jambase several years ago. The comment said, “rating music is much like rating that last breath of air you just took.” You can interoperate that comment in several ways. I took it that music is as much a necessity to some of us as is the way our bodies process oxygen. Whatever albums are your favorites, just make sure that you consume as much great music as you can in 2011.
This list was easier in ways this year than others because I knew what I wanted to include, but the battle between Dr. Dog and the Black Keys for that top spot was insane. Both albums have stood up to the test of the year and both are still at the top of my iPod playlists. Usually I would settle the debate with who had the better live show and who brought the best live interpretation of the albums songs to the stage. This year both Dr. Dog and the Black Keys slayed the stages they played and climbed just another rung higher on that scale of greatness. But Dr. Dog inched out the Black Keys in depth and passion that they exuded on their album. In the third spot is the Barr Brothers self-titled album which has yet to be officially released, but is available in small doses at the site below. These cats have once again blown me away with their delicate touches on guitar, drums and vocals. Shooter Jennings concept album is a small wonder with Steven King offering apocalyptic story interludes between the music ( watch a movie called Ponty Pool), but it’s tracks like “The Breaking Point” with its ’70s hard rock meets Nine Inch Nails sound that makes this one of the best this year. Sufjan Stevens is a master at aligning sounds to make emotions explode. Even at 30 minutes long “Impossible Soul” wreaks havoc on your mind in the best of ways.
There’s gold in each and every other album listed whether it’s the poignant weirdness that MGMT has evolved into or the glorious soul coming from John Legend and the Roots as they recaptured the spirit of another era. All of these albums are worth owning. I encourage you to share your favorite albums below in the comment section and please let everyone know what they missing out on.
1. Dr. Dog, Shame Shame – http://www.drdogmusic.com/
2. The Black Keys, Brothers – http://www.theblackkeys.com/
3. The Barr Brothers, The Barr Brothers – http://www.thebarrbrothers.com/
4. Shooter Jennings, Black Ribbons – http://www.shooterjennings.com/
5. Sufjan Stevens, The Age Of Adz – http://www.sufjan.com/
6. Ray LaMontagne And The Pariah Dogs, God Willin’ And The Creek Don’t Rise – http://www.raylamontagne.com/us/home
7. Spoon, Transferance – http://www.spoontheband.com/
8. The National, High Violet – http://www.americanmary.com/
9. MGMT,Congratulations – http://www.whoismgmt.com/us/home
10. John Legend and The Roots, Wake Up! http://www.johnlegend.com/splash/