The Liner Notes

All the music that matters

Posts Tagged ‘The Dead Weather

Top 10 albums of 2010

with 2 comments

When it was all said and done 2010 was a good year for music. There was a lot of growth in the industry and creativity with musicians and albums. For the first time in a few years I struggled to narrow the list of albums that could make this list rather than build one’s that could qualify. Those below are what made the cut from a bountiful year in music.

10) I Am Not A Human Being by Lil Wayne


 

 

 

 

It was a big year for Weezy F Baby. While in prison he released a No. 1 hit record here and justly so. I Am Not A Human Being picks up where Tha Carter III left off. Standout beats, twisted rhymes and Wayne’s lyrical acrobats make for an entertaining listen.

 

9) Sea of Cowards by The Dead Weather


 

 

 

 

Jack White wasted little time with this follow to the band’s debut Horehound. This time the result was a harder, dirtier stripped down Dead Weather, if that was even considered possible. Growling guitar riffs and thick bass are the backdrop to White’s scathing vocals. Crossing between several genres – blues, rock – this is a fantastic album.

 

8 ) Broken Bells by Broken Bells


 

 

 

 

When James Mercer of The Shins and Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse, of Gnarls Barkley teamed up for this side project no one really knew what to expect. The result was nothing like either’s respective bands. Instead it delivered a mellow quirky journey with Burton’s beats and Mercer’s expanded vocals. Funky, funk and easy to listen to, the Broken Bells broke new ground with this collaboration.

 

7) Infinite Arms by Band of Horses


 

 

 

 

Airy, moody, mellow, all those are things one would expect from a Band of Horses album, and they are thick through and through these 12 tracks. Yet, somewhere the group found a deeper truth in their songs present here. The melodies are classic and catchy, but more than that the band has matured and the end result is truly grand.

 

6) Transference by Spoon


 

 

 

 

Spoon has a distinct sound. Fans are sure to lock onto their trademark sound and Britt Daniel’s signature voice in the matter of a chord or two. This album is no exception; however there is something special here. It is hard to define, which is what makes it so good, but even for Spoon this is an exceptional album, and that is really saying something.

 

5) High Violet by The National


 

 

 

 

Stark and striking and it is beautiful this is the first time The National has really shaken their indie sound to make a truly solid album from start to finish. It drags, at points, but in all this is a spectacular collection of songs, best enjoyed in the company of a lightning storm miles from civilization.

 

4) Mojo by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers


 

 

 

 

Petty has been making hit records longer than many people who attend his shows have been alive. He’s got it down. So how does a bonafide rockstar like Petty keep things interesting? Take the gloves off. Petty recorded this album straight off the studio floor with all instruments recorded simultaneously and few overdubs. The result is a range of bluesy deep tracks that reflect Petty raw.

 

3) My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West


 

 

 

 

Love him or hate him for his on and off stage antics, West has an uncanny ability to make hit records. With this tortured gem, West throws a little bit of everything into the pot and then adds his anger, hostility and a large dose of ego and viola something that has never been heard before. Good in spots and great in others, this album has a little bit of everything.

 

2) This is Happening by LCD Soundsystem


 

 

 

 

While The Sound Of Silver is still the standard for James Murphy, This is Happening was a breakout this year for the pop scene with unparallel beats and lyrics. Songs such as “Dance Yrself Clean” and “You Wanted a Hit” are instant classics with an air of familiarity, yet uniqueness, that only Murphy’s master craft can provide.

 

1) Plastic Beach by Gorillaz


 

 

 

 

Innovative, creative, groundbreaking and damn catchy just begin to scratch the surface of Plastic Beach. The Gorillaz not only braved new ground on this album, they built a whole new island forming collaborations with some of the best musicians around the globe. The end result is a kinetic masterpiece that will only be truly appreciated with time.

 

2009 Top 10 Albums

2008 Top 10 Albums

Advertisements

Written by David Young

December 26, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Top 10 albums of 2009

with 5 comments

Top 10 albums of 2009

This year the music industry in 2009 continued to trend towards the digital download model making more music than ever before available to the masses. There were a number of standout albums, and promising bands that emerged this year. Below is a list of the top 10:

10) Rated O by Oneida

So dense, it almost takes an active, analytical listener to truly appreciate the breadth and depth of this album. Largely instrumental, the Brooklyn band spans a litany of mind-bending genres in this album. From psychedelic 20 minute jams to structured rhythmic rock, Oneida braves new musical territory with this gem.

9) Horehound by The Dead Weather

It seemed like 2009 was the resurgence of the “supergroup.” Jack White (The White Stripes and The Raconteurs), Alison Mosshart (The Kills and Discount), Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) and Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs and Greenhomes) suddenly formed The Dead Weather this year and the result is nothing less than some of the best rock and roll produced in years. Horehound is simply sublime. Reports are the group is working on a follow up album.

8) Humbug by Arctic Monkeys

Humbug took the Arctic Monkeys in a new direction from their past work. Darker, more mature and developed, the music flows more deliberate and less sporadic than previous works. Song such as “Crying Lighting” and “Dangerous Animals” still seep the signature AM sound, but the guidance of Queens of the Stone Age’s frontman Josh Homme, who produced the album recorded in Joshua Tree, Calif. Is evident throughout. The result is a more deliberate, stoic and untimely cohesive album.

7) Octahedron by Mars Volta

Characterized by a smooth subdued pace, pined up more by Thomas Pridgen’s insane drumming than ever before,Octahedron steps towards a more “traditional” album than previous works. Still filled with spectacular guitar by Omar Rodriquez-Lopez and surreal screeching vocals by Cedric Bixler-Zavala, MV continues to advance music is a direction unexplored by any other artist. This is the kind of deep, dark and phenomenal album one has come to expect from MV.

6) Manners by Passion Pit

Following on 2008’s promising Chunk of Change, Manners is the ideal follow up full of everything one could ask for. Rhythmic beats, fun hooks, choppy synchs and airy lyrics that make up one of the year’s most pleasurable albums to listen to. It just one of those records that makes the listener feel good.

5) It’s Blitz by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Some might frown upon commercial success, and Karen O and the crew have seen the limelight this year more than ever before. It’s Blitz achieved that new degree of success by departing from its conventional formula. Still true to its roots, the YYY added a heavy amount of synthesizers and reverb to the album taking the band to the next level.

4) Old Money by Omar Rodriguez Lopez

Perhaps one of the most complex albums of 2009, Lopez, of Mars Volta, unleashed a juggernaut with Old Money that could be interpreted a million different ways. Much like MV, Old Money is an epic journey of disjointed sounds, rhythms and themes. Revolving around otherworldly themes of dreams and nightmares, the album is an intricate mix of instruments and textures making for a surreal listening experience.

3) Felt 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez by Felt

In a time when hip-hop is pretty uninspired, primarily composed of guys ripping off each other’s beats and rapping about cliché’s, comes Felt’s new album produced by Aesop Rock.  Murs (Living Legends) and Slug (Atmosphere) compose an intelligent original piece of work in their latest tribute to b-list celebrities. Adding Aesop to the mix adds an edge to Felt 3 that the previous two albums didn’t have.

2) Them Crooked Vultures by Them Crooked Vultures

Another superband to make this year’s list and the members pretty much say it all: Dave Grohl, of the Foo Fighters and Nirvana, Josh Homme, of Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal, and John Paul Jones, Led Zeppelin. The combination creates a classic rock album that chock-full of heavy guitar riffs and thumping bass. The album sounds more like a QOTSA than anything, but that may be Homme’s predominance on vocals.

1) Cosmic Egg by Wolfmother

Who cares if Wolfmother frontman Andrew Stockdale wasn’t even alive when Robert Plant and Ozzy Osbourne were in their heyday. Nearly 40 years later he is blatantly ripping off their style with a precision that makes listeners have flashbacks to ZoSo. Stockdale takes his new band and breathes a second life into the notion of comprising an album around power chords thundering bass lines, reverb and wailing vocals.

See 2008’s list here.