1. Beck Sea Change DGC/Geffen Records
Once again, he’s outdone himself. Even Jackson Browne should be suitably impressed with this gloom n’ doom beauty. Take Mutations and remove any semblance of humor.
2. Aimee Mann Lost in Space Superego Records
I don’t understand how Bachelor No. 2 got raves and this one seems to fly under the radar for most. If she has more of these in her misery treasure trunk, by all means keep em comin’!
3. Super Furry Animals Rings Around the World Beggars/XL Records
A real mish-mosh of Beatle-pop, electronica insanity and 70s cliché-isms. A real feast for the ears and a fun record period.
4. Queens of the Stone Age Songs for the Deaf Interscope
My devil-horned fingers are back though they are also crossed in hopes that this will bring home the gold.
5. The Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Warner Brothers
A perennial favorite of mine who continue to bring a big smile to my face. Wayne & Co. dazzle and amaze once again. The Beck/Lips show was quite a show to behold.
6. Spoon Kill The Moonlight Merge Records
Alright, what’s all the fuss about here? Well actually quite a refreshingly good fuss. The use of space on this recording is truly delightful as is how concise and tight it is. Bob Pollard please take note!
7. Rilo Kiley The Execution of All Things Saddle Creek
For fans of Bettie Serveert’s Palomine, Liz Phair and the powerful voice of Neko Case. Jenny Lewis’ lyrics and delivery are truly inspired. Also worth checking out is their 1st on Barsuk (Take-Offs & Landings).
8. The Bigger Lovers Honey in the Hive Yep Roc Records
Produced by Pernice Brothers’ Thom Monahan, his stamp is all over this plush pop plethora. Philadelphians oughta be proud to add the Lovers to their list along with The Nazz and The Hooters (well maybe just The Nazz).
9. Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Nonesuch
Finally, it’s legit to write about the “David and Goliath” album, and the little band that could. A Rhino “Handmade” series on the demos of this album is definitely in order.
10. The Soundtrack of Our Lives Behind The Music Universal
Good enough to be on my year end list 2 years in a row! Forget Vines and the Hives, get your rocks off right here. Rock hasn’t sounded this inspired since Townshend stopped drinkin’ and druggin’
Sondre Lerche – Faces Down (Astralwerks)
The Doves – The Last Broadcast (Capitol)
George Harrison – Brainwashed (Capitol)
Tahiti 80 – Wallpaper for the Soul (Minty Fresh)
Pavement – Slanted and Enchanted: Luxe & Redux (Matador)
Amon Tobin – Out From Out Where (Ninja Tune)
Doug Martcsh – Now You Know (Warner Brothers)
– Ken Beck