The Smells Like Pop Best of Lists Archive

When we re-launched Smells Like Pop in the Fall of 2010, we decided to start fresh with new stuff and leave our old content behind. Except for our Best Of Lists from 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. So, here they are – enjoy your walk down memory lane…


Best of 2009



Another strong year for records. Some of these stand a good chance of becoming classics. May Jay Reatard rest in peace…

  • The xx – xx
  • Ramona Falls – Intuit
  • Neon Indian – Psychic Chasm
  • Phoenix  – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • …Mew – No more stories Are told today I’m sorry They washed away No more stories The world is grey I’m tired Let’s wash away
  • Arctic Monkeys – Humbug
  • Starf**ker – Starf**ker
  • Sparklehorse/Danger Mouse – Dark Night of the Soul
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!
  • Neko Case  – Middle Cyclone
  • Jay Reatard  – Watch Me Fall
  • Grizzly Bear – Vecktamist
  • Sonic Youth – The Eternal
  • Black Moth Super Rainbow – Eating Us
  • The Thermals – Now We Can See
  • Various – Dark Was the Night
  • Built to Spill – There is No Enemy



In no particular order (obviously I like pop music). Share your list and tag me back if you want to…

  • Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
  • Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
  • Wilco – s/t
  • Yo La Tengo – Popular Songs
  • Noisettes – Wild Young Hearts
  • Horrors – Primary Colours
  • Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
  • Arctic Monkeys – Humbug
  • Jay Reatard – Watch me Fall
  • Ramona Falls – Intuit
  • Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse – Dark Night of the Soul
  • Dark Was the Night – Red Hot Compilation
  • Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career
  • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – s/t
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz
  • Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
  • Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • Fever Ray – s/t
  • Papercuts – You Can Have What You Want
  • Built to Spill – There is No Enemy
  • Flaming Lips – Embryonic
  • Atlas Sound – Logos
  • Girls – s/t
  • Sonic Youth – The Eternal
  • AC Newman – Get Guilty
  • Robyn Hitchcock – Goodnight Oslo
  • Jarvis Cocker – Further Complications
  • White Rabbits – It’s Frightening
  • Sunset Rubdown – Dragonslayer
  • Viva Voce – Rose City


Best of 2008



  • Record of the Year: Bon Iver (For Emma, Ever Ago) – proof that the best things of the year came from the Midwest (slight political commentary here)
  • Deerhunter (Microcastle)– Pitchfork darlings continue to mature into solid songwriting outfit
  • TV on the Radio (Dear Science,) – band continues to make music that reveal influences, without simply copying them
  • Chad Vangaalen (Soft Airplane) – on his third full length, the continuously underappreciated Canadian cranks out his most adventurous, and unified, album of his young career
  • The Sea and Cake (Car Alarm) – the “Steely Dan” (not ironic – and you only get to comment if you knew that Steely Dan was named after a metal dildo from a William Burroughs story) of indie-rock strike again with another solid effort
  • Lambchop (OH) – the Kentucky band’s most accessible, if not most adventurous, release brims with subtle elegance and wit
  • Fleet Foxes (Self Titled) – band taps the vibe of the ‘60’s without the schmaltz and drugged-out haze. Beach Boys, with more focus, less goofy tangents…
  • Wolf Parade (At Mount Zoomer) – Montreal boys continue to sharpen their songwriting skills to go with musical talent
  • Nick Cave (Dig, Lazarus!) – the man digs deep to create perhaps his strongest album from start to finish
  • Black Keys (Attack and Release) – this album has probably worn out a grove in whatever media device I played it in this year
  • Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks (Real Emotional Trash) – upon repeated listenings, the subtle cleverness of a maturing Malkmus reveals itself…Pavement is dead, long live the Jicks!
  • Beach House (Devotion) – subtle beauty from the dynamic duo of Baltimore
  • School of Language (Sea to Shore) – Peter Brewis (Field Music) creates music that allows us to appreciate the influence of XTC, without being too derivative
  • Vetiver (Thing of the Past) – perhaps the best covers album of the decade, unearthing vinyl gems, polishing them for extra shine
  • Gnarls Barkley (The Odd Couple) – though not as immediately catchy as their debut, more solid beginning to end, with a darker undertone
  • The Week that Was (Self Titled) – David Brewis (Field Music) one-ups his brother on the production value, taps other 80’s luminaries (Kate Bush, etc.) to craft a pop masterpiece
  • Q-Tip (The Renaissance) – just listen to it, beginning to end, and try to keep your head from bobbing, your brain from processing his thoughtful rhymes
  • Horse Feathers (A House With No Home) – even more subtle beauty than their sublime debut – haunting…


Best of 2007



I think 2007 was a pretty strong year for albums – I really had a hard time paring my list down, and stuck to albums which I listened to repeatedly, track-for-track. I also listened a lot to 2007’s music on shuffle, while painting the interior of my house; tracks from these albums just stood out for a few weeks.



There were so many great records put out this year that limiting myself to just 10 was kinda tricky. Every time I thought my list had coalesced, I’d give another record yet another listen and then throw everything out the window. So, here’s my list, as of today…

  • Menomena – Friend and Foe
    Pre-percolated, mind-boggling rhythms punctuated with spiky horns, keys and electric guitar to create a visceral, throbbing punk-prog mash-up.
  • The Shins – Wincing the Night Away
    As we’ve come to expect, shimmering and melodic, maybe even more so than previous records. It’s easy to take this band for granted, but this is another fantastic collection of songs.
  • LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
    The bastard child of Eno and Chic adopted by NY punk parents. Even better than their first CD. Dance music hasn’t made you think so much (since Gang of Four). And, never has head-music made you want to dance so much.
  • Blonde Redhead – 23
    Maybe my favorite record of the year. Everything you want in a perfect pop album and more – beautiful, haunting, melodic and smart. Just lovely. Go buy it.
  • Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
    Incredibly layered songs reveal more and more with every listen. Johnny Marr’s guitar work makes a great band sound even better.
  • Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
    Tight, angular and almost clinical in its precision, this record grooves nonetheless. And rocks quite nicely, too. Great music for driving away from the scene of a crime.
  • Panda Bear – Person Pitch
    Brian Wilson hasn’t sounded this good in ages! Sonic cut-and-paste techniques and Beach Boy harmonies blend into beautifully pulsating trance-inducing pop music.
  • Battles – Mirrored
    It’s hard to describe this record. I could say that it’s a great prog-rock masterpiece for the new millennium, but that sounds like hyperbole. I could say it’s a pot-head’s aural wet dream, but that might sell it short. Just listen to it yourself. Loudly.
  • Caribou – Andorra
    60’s psychedelia with an electronic heart. Smart, beautiful and timeless. It leaves you feeling like you must have heard this somewhere before, but the underlying feel is quite modern, if not totally new.
  • Radiohead – In Rainbows
    It hasn’t completely soaked into my system yet, but this is another great record that is hands-down the best cost vs. quality ratio of anything out there (depending on what you paid for the download).

If I could pick more than 10, the latest albums from these artists would all be on my list! Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! | The Field | The National | Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew | St. Vincent | Arcade Fire | Of Montreal | Bat for Lashes | White Rabbits | Grinderman | PJ Harvey | Amy Winehouse | Lilly Allen | Animal Collective | Bloc Party | Band of Horses | Sunset Rubdown | Robert Wyatt | Le Savy Fav | Peter, Bjorn & John | Fujiya & Miyagi.


Best of 2006

We’ve launched! And, what better way to start this magazine off than by compiling a list of our favorite albums from 2006? We thought you might like some insight into our individual and combined musical tastes. So, here are our lists in no particular order:



I had a hard time finding 10 strong albums (I think 2007 has already been a better year for music, what with LCD Soundsystem, The Shins, Spoon, and The National).



Here’s my list and I, too had a tough time finding 10 strong albums. The top 5 were no problem, but the next tier was a little more tricky–some really great songs in 2006, but some not-so-great ones ruined otherwise stellar records.


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