Reviews in 200 Words

Top Ten Albums of 2010: #1

In Top Ten Albums of the Year: #1 on December 24, 2010 at 2:55 pm
#1 Album of the year:
Micah Ling:
Vampire Weekend: “Contra”
If you haven’t gotten on this wagon yet, do. Now. They’re easy to listen to, easy to like, but they’re going against the flow. They’re mixing more instruments and more styles of music than you might have thought possible. You get the feeling that you could shoot the shit with these guys for hours: smart and funny. They rhyme horchata with balaclava. “Giving up the gun” proves that we can all be revolutionaries. That rocks. They rock. This is music, people; this, is music.
Key Tracks: “Cousins,” “Giving Up the Gun,” “Holiday.”
Jay Cullis:
Wise Blood, “+”
Five tracks. Ten minutes.

That’s all this mystery needed to make a splash. His stage name – cribbed from a Flannery O’Conner novel – isn’t the only thing borrowed, and 2010 was better for it. A lilting vocal drifts across a mélange of sampled fuzz and nostalgia. It all sounds so familiar, and yet like nothing you’ve ever heard before.

This is where the best music is these days – blending and layering bits upon assorted bits until everything old is new again. Everything familiar is recontextualized, and something powerful takes hold. Something you can’t get out of your head. In a world lacking originality, it’s this stuff that makes all the digging – all the crap and near-misses you shuffle through for the love of music – worth it.

Key Tracks: “B.I.G. E.G.O.,” “STRT SRNS,” “HANNAH MOTOWN”

Check out the Emusic countdown. Quite a few overlaps!


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