Monday, December 28, 2009

Most Important Albums of the Year 5-1

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band
Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band
The strong guitars throughout the album turn every song into an anthem. It’s hard to place a definitive genre on these guys and I think that is a major part of why I like them. On “Anchors Dropped” and “Masquerade” they could easily be a edgy alternative band (borderline punk maybe) but on “Going On a Hunt” and “Dull Reason” they could be an indie band. I listened to this album more time than I could tell you; it is an absolute great piece of work. For goodness sake, the drummer is FOURTEEN years old.

Passion Pit
This album is a demonstration of pure musical talent. The guys voice isn’t the most appealing once you hear it but once you appreciate it, Manners begins to get better and better. Though it isn’t a thorough performance by the band because the latter songs (MINUS “SLEEPYHEAD”) lack the synth-pop feel the album starts you off with. “Sleepyhead” is the one of the best songs, if not the best, put out on an album that came out this year. Passion Pit’s defined sound set them apart and above what else came out this year.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
It’s Blitz
Who would have thought that a synthesizer would have been a step UP for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs? Not me. While Nick Zinner threw his guitar in the trunk and picked up a synthesizer, Karen O and company set out on a different direction with It’s Blitz. They were most certainly heading in the right direction with this revolutionary genre-bending album. The changes that they made could have had set them on a straight shot to a reality TV show. Both Fever to Tell and Show Your Bones are alternative albums and It’s Blitz combines their alternative roots with a new, catchy electronic side. The band’s evolution almost completely removes them from their sound on Fever to Tell. This is Karen O’s best performance on a YYYs album so far. The different altitudes her voice reaches, from “Softshock,” up to “Dragon Queen” and culminating in “Heads Will Roll,” show how diverse and one-of-a-kind musician she is. Every song on this album has a different sound, which makes the YYYs evolution and It’s Blitz so noteworthy.


Dirty Projectors
Bitte Orca
The main voice of the Dirty Projectors threw me off when I first heard the album, but after listening to the album on repeat while studying I really started to dig this album. The backing harmonies added by the girl may be what help his voice sound appealing, or not, I don’t know exactly what it is. No matter what, the vocals are quite outstanding. On the first go-round of the album it is definitely appreciated more for the music than the vocals and lyrics mainly because it’s hard to figure out what they are saying. The changing rhythms and beats in the middle of songs is not an easy task, nor is switching them up multiple times in a 2 to 4 minute span. The Dirty Projectors are able to flow from one rhythm to another in such a smooth fashion; it’s hard to not give them such high praise. The Dirty Projectors have a sound all their own and Bitte Orca showcases this from beginning to end.

The Avett Brothers
I and Love and You
These North Carolina boys got cleaned up by musical genius Rick Rubin and make you “ill with want” for more. Meaningful lyrics along with a new sound, from added drum and electrical instrument emphasis while downplaying the banjo and acoustic guitar, creates a brilliant album. These guys have been pumping out music like this for years and now they are finally recognized for it; it’s great to see this for a band from my area. As you can see from the screen shot of my iTunes account, every song on this album is good. I never give a band this high a rating. I have written more on this album and the brothers in an earlier post.

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