Chvrches - The Bones of What You BelieveChvrches had the highest highs, and the album's lows were really only changes of pace to set you up for the next hot track. Tegan & Sara's turn toward pop was brilliant, and that album is all killer no filler. We've dissected VW already - majority killer and a smattering of filler. Neko Case again produced an album that was ranked in the top ten of many year-end lists; she continues to meet already high expectations.
Tegan & Sara - Heartthrob
Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
Neko Case - The Worse Things Get...
Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like ClockworkI didn't buy the QOTSA album until an after-Xmas sale, so I haven't digested it much. But what I have digested has been very kind to my bowels, to carry the analogy to a needless and grotesque place. The 2nd and 3rd most appreciated Scottish albums I heard this year have some great moments -- Franz's "The Universe Expanded" might be my favorite songwriting of the year.
Franz Ferdinand - Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse
Arcade Fire - ReflektorI was a firm "No" on Reflektor, until I found that I could buy it for $4, and then found that I wasn't charged $4 due to an Amazon mix-up. So can I hate a free record? Probably, but not this one. The songs are all too long - every one of them - and I still prefer my Arcade Fire shouting to dancing. I mean, this is the first album of theirs I'd probably want to listen to while I cleaned the house. But it's mostly fine. And "Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)" is the kind of song I hope to again hear from U2 soon.
Okkervil River - The Silver Gymnasium
Okkervil's newest is a good album sprinkled with horrible tracks. "Stay Young" and "All the Time Every Day" are so bad that I find myself avoiding the entire CD. Yes, I bought the CD. Sometimes I listen to music in the form of CDs.
Dodos - Carrier
Polyphonic Spree - Yes, It's True
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito
Alpine - A is for Alpine