Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Best of 2011...according to me.

Here it is finally, my lists of the best albums and songs of the year.

Out of the 38 releases (one of them happens to be an EP which is on this list) I've listened to from this year, these are the 10 (and 5 honorable mentions) that made the most impact:

1. Florence + The Machine - Ceremonials
2. Le Butcherettes - Sin Sin Sin
3. †††(Crosses) - † EP
4. Ringo Deathstarr - Colour Trip
5. M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
6. Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
7. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
8. The Naked and Famous - Passive Me, Aggressive You
9. Rihanna - Talk That Talk
10. Lady Gaga - Born This Way

1. Washed Out - Within And Without
2. Friendly Fires - Pala
3. The Black Keys - El Camino
4. Ladytron - Gravity the Seducer
5. Foster The People - Torches

1. Florence + The Machine - What the Water Gave Me
2. M83 - Midnight City
3. Le Butcherettes - Henry Don't Got Love
4. ††† - op†ion
5. Florence + The Machine - Shake It Out
6. Florence + The Machine - No Light, No Light
7. Silversun Pickups - Seasick
8. Lady Gaga - Judas
9. Rihanna - We Found Love
10. Britney Spears - Till The World Ends
11. The Naked and Famous - Young Blood (technically 2010, but whatever)
12. Ringo Deathstarr - Two Girls
13. ††† - †heholyghs†
14. Lady Gaga - Scheisse
15. Charli XCX - Nuclear Seasons
17. Lykke Li - I Follow Rivers
18. Lady Gaga - Heavy Metal Lover
19. Foster The People - Helena Beat
20. Lana Del Rey - Video Games
21. Friendly Fires - Live Those Days Tonight
22. The Black Keys - Little Black Submarines
23. Dum Dum Girls - Coming Down
24. Lana Del Rey - Born To Die
25. Drake - Take Care (feat. Rihanna)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Album Review: Torches by Foster the People

As much hype as there has been around them, Foster The People's debut album Torches is actually really solid. Of course they gained prominence from the catchy, lyrically morbid Peter Bjorn & John sounding track Pumped Up Kicks which was overplayed on Alternative Rock/Pop Top 40 stations alike. This is also one of those cases where that single is isolated from the rest of the album. So, depending on your taste you could either love Pumped Up Kicks and hate the rest of the album or hate that song and like the album. The second single Helena Beat is a much better representation of what you'll find on this album. Some other highlights would be Waste, Houdini, and bonus track Broken Jaw. The band's sound is a nice blend of pop and electronic with some interesting lyrics. There's definitely more depth to them than you'd think there'd be. It makes for something a little more worthwhile, but they can also be played to simply brighten your mood.

Houdini by Foster The People

Monday, December 5, 2011

Artist Spotlight: Ringo Deathstarr

This is a band I'm pretty psyched to introduce as they are a local band here in Austin Texas called, get this, Ringo Deathstarr. Awesome name, right? It turns out their music is just as awesome.

I discovered them by way of My Bloody Valentine who I've just gotten really into this year (no lie, they're already #2 on my top artists). If you're not familiar with MBV, they're basically the pioneers of music that's classified under the genre of shoegaze which is basically anything with "washy guitars" (as Chino Moreno calls it), lots of feedback and understated but pleasant vocals. This describes Ringo Deathstarr pretty well, but they recall the sounds of The Jesus and Mary Chain (another feedback heavy band with more of a punk sensibility) as well.

Anyway, they came out with an album this year called Colour Trip which is my third choice for favorite albums of this year. It's actually a little hard to describe why I like this album, but I'll just say it's great to chill out to. Shoegaze is a genre that doesn't rely heavily on lyrics, if you're even able to understand them at all. They're mostly just words that sound pleasant. For the most part, you can understand Ringo Deathstarr's lyrics, but I don't find them that important to really focus on anyway. It's really just about how the songs make you feel when you listen to them. I would just advise you to give them a shot. Some key tracks are Imagine Hearts, Two Girls, Kaleidescope, Chloe, and Other Things.

Ringo Deathstarr - Imagine Hearts by Club AC30
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