Thursday, December 16, 2010

Matthew Phillip Mentele's Top Ten Albums of the Year Extravaganza

I'm not good at writing these things but I'll do my best. Not ranking, went with alphabetical.

Arcade Fire-Suburbs
3 for 3 is the count for me. I have legit loved each record. Tried to avoid this one for a bit until after the hype died down. But I couldn't, all my friends were on me to give it a listen. Glad I did, it's still very solid.
BEST TRACK: Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).

Black Keys-Brothers
This is a band I have the right to be a snot about. I saw them at the MAD PLANET years ago I think right before the Rubber Factory release. Now selling out the Aragon Ballroom, 5k capacity, in Chicago. Damn. The thing about Black Keys is there are always 2-3 songs that are just amazing off each record. Some records of theirs I'm not too hot on but it always has at least a few kickin' tracks. How much longer can my Akron boys do it? Maybe they get out their terrible songs on their shitty side projects:)
BEST TRACK: She's Long Gone

The Dead Weather-Sea of Cowards
I said it before and I'll etc etc. Ima sucker for Jack White. Horehound was better and this album is probably just a collection of B-Side of songs they didn't use for it. However, Blue Blood Blues, might be the best song of the year in my book. I think Jack White is the Elvis Costello of our generation.
BEST TRACK: Blue Blood Blues

Drive-By Truckers-The Big To-Do
Long after shortstop Ozzie Smith passed his prime, he kept sneaking into the All-Star game, even in the years he wasn't starting. Fans vote for players for the All-Star game and you just kind of kept voting for him because his name was still there and you thought "yeah I like him." I think Drive-By Truckers might be my Ozzie Smith here. I like this album however it's clear they are getting worse by the release.

Grinderman-Grinderman 2
How is this band popular? A guy like Nick Cave is supposed to be "underground" right? I thought this as I saw Grinderman perform here at the Riviera Theatre to a couple thousand fans. The most rag tag mix of people, young and old, as I've seen in a long time. My theory; his songs are really fucking good. Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man is bad ass and much like track one of the last record, Get It On, it has an awesome build and climax.
BEST TRACK: Heathen Child

Kanye West-My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
It took me a while to get into this. I was not feeling it at first. In the past I would usually hear a Kanye single long before it came out. So I would hear "Stronger" or "Gold Digger" and go, "this is a great song I gotta get this album." I did not hear a single this time and went into it cold, nothing grabbed me right away. But after a few listens I can't put it away (or I guess nowadays we should say "can't stop clicking")? I like my artists crazy and driven. And Kanye might #1 in both those categories.
BEST TRACK: Lost in the World

LCD Soundsystem-This is Happening
It takes a lot to get me to dance. Growing up in Wisconsin, half-Irish, half-German. Not exactly blessed with good rhythm. But as I saw LCD Soundsystem kill live at The Riviera Theatre a few months back I couldn't help but look at a venue full of people just like me, who can't dance, DANCING THEIR ASS OFF! And not caring. It was fun as hell. One of the best shows I've seen in a long time. I hate house music and avoided LCD because that's what I thought it was. But it's so much more. Great lyrics and emotion make this the most played album this year on my ipod.

Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin-Let it Sway
These guys are consistent. Every release to date have been a solid collection of indie-pop at it's best. Though I still like Pershing best, this is a great album.
BEST TRACK: All Hail Dracula!

I really like this many more do I have? I'm getting tired writing my thoughts.
BEST TRACK: Written in Reverse

Vampire Weekend
Now I have avoided this band for years. Did not listen to the first album. Too much hype! The thing about hype is it ruins art for most. When a movie is pumped up to you for years to the point you think you'll literally have an orgasm while watching it, it's a disappointment when it's just a good movie. So I have two categories for things that are hyped to me, The Godfather, because the movie is amazing and comes through on all levels, and Scarface, which, come on, straight up sucks. So, I hear someone at a bar play "Giving up the Sun" on the jukebox. I loved it right away, "who is this" I queried. "Vampire Weekend" was the replay. Son of a bitch! Congrads VW, you are in The Godfather category.
BEST TRACK: Giving Up the Gun

Most used words in this post; good, bad, sucks, awesome. And this is why I'm not a writer.

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