I’d have to say this is probably the most anticipated post of the year. So unlike Sean, I won’t distract you, I’ll just let you see the list the will cause most people to say, “Oh yeah, that’s cool.”
American Idiot by Green Day (2004)
The Execution of All Things by Rilo Kiley (2002)
The Crane Wife by The Decemberists (2006)
Saltbreakers by Laura Veirs (2007)
10. Everthing Goes Numb (2003) by Street Light Manifesto
I had this dream back when I was trying to go to school in Portland, that I would get down there, meet a bunch of sweet musicians, and start an awesome ska band. This is what I wanted to sound like. I saw these guys live and it was the most insane thing I’ve ever seen. They play like 3 times as fast as the actual album and play so tight and together which is incredible for how many musicians are in the band. And when you have sweet musical theory song names like “Point / Counterpoint” that remind you of your evil Russian theory teacher, what’s not to like?
9. Here, Not there. (2008) by Heathers
This album is kind of embarrassing to really get into once you realize that you are listening to high girls whine about there lame high school problems. But all of that lameness is canceled out by the fact that these chicks can really sing. They are all over the place with these incredible harmonies and when you take their age into account, I just find it really impressing. I can only dream of being that talented.
7. Give Up (2003) by The Postal Service
This is just one of those albums that I could listen to no matter what my mood is. If I don’t know what to listen too, I just play this. I was never really that impressed by the concept, just by the great songs. This is really Ben Gibbard’s finest hour lyrically and melodically. If you like Deathcab and have never listened to this, well, go talk to David Bowie.
6. The Con (2007) by Tegan & Sara
Departing from there more poppy sound, the BC twins took much more somber tone and teamed up with one of my favorite producers, Deathcab guitarist Chris Walla*. There was a point when this album came out where this was basically the only thing I was listening too. Over and over and over. My Shnoo co-workers were not happy. But they should have been, because its awesome. My only complaint is that it is really short, and when that is your only complaint you are in pretty good shape.
5. Monsters of Folk (2009) by Monsters of Folk
This is also an album that I could not put down when I first got it. Usually long albums are a turnoff for me, but I’ve never heard one that was this good all the way through. Besides the first song, I’m basically hooked. I love the fact that instead of a super group where its basically four guys’ left over solo stuff jammed into an album, there is a real sense of comradery. Every song has tons of backup vocals and sharing lead vocals. I can’t really tell which song is written by who except for a few. It really is a unique musical experience.
4. Sun, Sun, Sun (2006) by The Elected
This is another time period album for me. Basically Joey “the Rat” Epstein’s solo project, I was skeptical at first because I had never particularly liked the songs he sings for Rilo Kiley. But once again I listened to the shit out of it because that’s what I do. To this day it takes me right back to Kamola 368, trying to fall asleep whilst my roommate and that beezy get it on.
3. Challengers (2008) by The New Pornorgraphers
After a somewhat disappointing album in “Twin Cinemas” I knew good ol’ Carl Newman wouldn’t let me down. Starting out with a great melody in “My Rights Versus Yours” and taking it to the Max Steel with “Adventures In Solitude” this album is truly a triumph and I am so glad I got to see them live. Thanks Colin.
2. More Adventurous (2004) by Rilo Kiley
Besides Bright Eyes, these guys are probably my other favorite band. Jenny Lewis has the most pure singing voice in the world. Everything she sings is just effortless and the song writing is nothing short of spectacular here. I really wish she would stop fucking around with trying to reinvent her solo career and her band, because this shit is where it’s at. Give me more of this.
1. Digital Ash in a Digital Urn (2005) by Bright Eyes
The sweet electronicish counterpart to I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning, this is what got me hooked on Bright Eyes. Even though I still love all their early whiny emo stuff, this is definitely where Connor Oberst hit his stride. These two albums really show how great of a song writer Oberst is and how diverse he can be. I don’t know how many times I can recommend this album. Get your shit together and listen to it. DO IT NOW!
No one put MOF on your list? Man, F**K you guys.
*Chris Walla’s solo album is so bad. Just thought I’d let you know. SOO BAD.