As usual, my list of “favorite” albums of the year is just that – a list of what stuck with me most throughout the year, and not necessarily what my brain thinks should be the best albums. Hopefully, these 10 recordings will stand the test of time.
Arcade Fire – Reflektor
Most-hyped record of the year finally worms its way into my brain and reveals itself to be “all that”
Typhoon – Whitelighter
Most underrated album of the year from Stumptown big band – almost every song a classic that begs you to sing along
Savages – Silence Yourself
Ferocious songs and serious attitude come together for an album that’s almost as a great as their live show
Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin
Sounding like the Fall’s bratty grandchild playing catchy pop songs wrapped in sloppy hooks, and all no longer than they need to be
Cate LeBon – Mug Museum
Icy and hot, restrained and heartfelt, retro and modern … an album of contradictions from my favorite Welsh singer-songwriter
Radiation City – Animals in the Meridian
Hey! You got 70s AM rock in my vintage stereophonic lounge music. Hey, you got vintage stereophonic – well, you get the idea. These great PDX tastemakers all taste great together.
The Knife – Shaking the Habitual
Percolating, ping-pong splatter-beats and over-processed synths anchoring songs of gender dysphoria – what’s not to like?
ARP – More
Brian Eno and Kraftwerk walk into a bar. Musicality ensues … minimal, edgy, pretty and discrete
Yo La Tengo – Fade
Meditative and sincere with songs pared to their essence and then set on a hypnotic “repeat” for a tranquil, yet uplifting album
Deerhunter – Monomania
If I could magically join any band, this might be the one. Not an immediate “winner”, but the distorted mind-bending songs slowly create a solid whole that will eat your brain!
The Honorable Mentions: Robyn Hitchcock – Love From London, Wire – Change Becomes Us, Yuck – Glow and Behold, These New Puritans – Field of Reeds, Neko Case – The Worse Things Get blah, blah, blah, My Bloody Valentine – MBV, David Bowie – The Next Day, Washed Out – Paracosm, The Blow – The Blow, STRFKR – Miracle Mile, Jacco Gardner – Cabinet of Curiosities, Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II, Superchunk – I Hate Music, Courtney Barnett – The Double EP, James Blake – Overgrown, Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City