10. Land of Talk - Some Are Lakes
This little band from Montreal snuck in through the back door with the help of Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver). Actually at Bon Iver's concert I asked their merch guy who the artist was for Bon Iver's shirts. He said, "Oh this cool lady named Elizabeth Powell, frontlady for Land of Talk, did most of the art work." I quickly went to Atomic Records to check out what this wonderful artist was all about. What I discovered was something fresh and comforting. Powell sings with the spirit of all the great female singers of the 90s and just happens to be surrounded by a great band. Just put Dolores O'Riordan from The Cranberries in today's indie music and you have Land of Talk.
9. We Are Wolves - Total Magique
Who doesn't like Canadians? This Montreal based band might kill you. But I know you'll be dancing while they do it. In a world overcrowded with dance/rock bands this one gives all the others STDs. We Are Wolves have a more raw/punk rock feel to them then their counterparts. I saw them this summer at the Subterranean in Chicago. I've never been more unashamed to dance in my life. For some reason I kept thinking I was at a Hall & Oats concert in 1986... I think we all know that's a good thing.
8. She & Him - Volume One
The sweetest voice in music today meets the greatest mind in M. Ward. They put together an album that I think Buddy Holly would like. Some of these songs would fit nicely on the Stand By Me soundtrack (best soundtrack of all time). This was the most anticipated album of the year for me (huge M. Ward fan), but the first few times through I was less than satisfied. A couple months ago I decided to give this another try. I found an album that never gets old and always puts me in a good mood. PASTE magazine calls this the best album of the year. I wouldn't say that but if you've already written this album off I encourage you to give it a second chance like I did. You won't regret it.
7. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
The Flaming Lips meet The Rolling Stones. The most soul filled dance rock album this year. I think if I did Crystal Meth I wouldn't hesitate to put this at number one, but I don't so here it sits at number eight. There are better songs on this album but don't miss out on the fourth track "Electric Feel." I'm declaring that song the top "Dance Naked In Your Bedroom" of the year.
6. Termanology - Politics As Usual
The Puerto Rican Sensation's debut is getting comparisons to a young Eminem. He might be better...
5. Ra Ra Riot - The Rhumb Line
Worst band name ever. It took me a long time to come around to listen to this band. Then I read an article on them in SPIN magazine and decided to give them a chance. What followed was nothing short of happiness...
4. Tim Fite - Fair Ain't Fair
The first time I saw this small interesting band dressed in pink shorts and suspenders walking around The Pabst, I knew I was in for something special.
3. Department of Eagles - In Ear Park
I love Grizzly Bear, I love this band even more.
2. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
All the hype is true... Best hip hop/rap album I heard all year. I've listened to this album a hundred times over and his rhymes still amaze me.
1. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
Any band with "Iver" in their name is cool with me. My 97 year old grandma loves this album. Need I say more?
:::NEW BAND SPOTLIGHT:::
This up and coming band from Rochester, MN will blow you away... and they haven't even made an album yet!
With the big band orchestra feel of The Arcade Fire and the heart and familiarity of Jimmy Eat World this band is quick to become one of your new favorites. Please give this band a listen, it's for your own good!
LISTEN TO THEM HERE: myspace.com/orangutanvsmantis.com
(Song of Note: Nova Scotia)