I'm not saying that they should sound like Coldplay, I'm saying that I'd be interested in the results of them making a truly counterintuitive "Radiohead" move. Like, hooking up with an outside producer of note, and opening up their sound again. In a lot of ways this LP is exactly what you'd expect them to make.
(And do I really have to say that I listen to a lot of music, in this space?)
Your college aged self should kick you in the balls. If you are going to fault the work of Radiohead, at least do it from a higher aesthetic ground than that which necessitates giving validity to Coldplay. Maybe you should just listen to more music.
Being only aware of them, having heard a handful of songs at most, and subsequently neither hot or cold for The Decemberists, this review actually steered me towards checking out 'The Hazards of Love', expecting to encounter a mountain of dreck. Um, no. Hardly. An ambitious, well-crafted collection of songs with stellar production is what I've come across. Yes, there are elements of prog rock involved. Unfortunately, in music circles these days, "prog" has become the equivalent of "communist" during the McCarthy red scare/witch hunts. Ugh.
More importantly, what interests me is whether 'Hazards' was something of a one-off the band chose to explore or they were browbeaten to change course on 'The King is Dead', which is nice but not terribly interesting.
Way to include Rick James - that's the way it should be! And help people get back into Rick's Music...and beyond Chapelle...they should post this over at twitter.com/rickjames and facebook.com/rickjames..
Nice list, and you obviously have good taste (thankfully) - I agree with the earlier poster and think that High Violet should be in there. The other big omission to me is Plastic Beach by Gorillaz which I think was one of the most inventive and downright fun records in years. But good job and I love your column!
Dawww, it hurt my feelings to see Age of Adz sitting pretty at the top of this list. I thought Sufjan's skill with composition and big, symphonic sound translated superbly into an electronic context. Then again, I only listened through the album a few times, then played "Futile Devices" (okay, the LEAST bombastic/eclectic song on the album) on repeat for a month. Still, NPR's Bob Boilen rated it at the top of his Best of 2010 list here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2010/12/…
Four songs from this album got played on local NY station 101.9 when album was released. That is major impressive! Mystery Zone just got picked as one of the best songs of 2010 by Rolling Stone. Written In Reverse is amazing! I cant stop listening
to this record. You think it blows.You missed the boat completely. I think you panned
this just to be contrary to everyone else. Your judgment cant be trusted
As a big fan of song-enhancing production, I'm with you on this one, Mike. But if we're going to be consistent, the essence of the songs has to be the final measure. Otherwise, what would be the point behind praising a lot of the amateurish, harsh-sounding, un-produced records championed on here?
Re: On the Prevailing Contrarianism Among Music Critics
More troublesome is how instead of using "their considerable smarts" towards educating their followers, many critics labeled as fresh and innovative bands from the past decade which had clear and, more often than not, striking post-punk antecedents. For every comparison of Interpol to Joy Division--regardless of merit--there were numerous instances of either ignorance or arrogance by folks who might have thought their readership had not a clue who Wire or XTC were, for example, and failed to comment on their marked influence on these new artists.
Those dinosaurs from the '70s may have erroneously ragged on Led Zeppelin, but they sure knew who Howlin' Wolf and Willie Dixon were. I recently had a conversation with a 20-something music critic in which I slagged Lady Gaga as a more media savvy Dale Bozzio. I didn't expect him to agree with me, necessarily, but I would've appreciated that he'd known who Bozzio was.
Rivers was right the first time.
seriously can't understand why Kanye's new album isn't on this overrated list.. amd I the ONLY person who doesn't get it? I mean, it's okay....but best album of the year on multiple lists? Please someone fill me in because i've listened to it 4 times now and am BORED every time.
Easy mistake. :)
Nevertheless I like this list more than most. A few albums I'd have liked over others but you can't please everyone. :)
Nope, Jan 26, 2010.
Nice list. Wasn't that Charlotte Gainsbourg album released in 2009 though?
Whoa thats a harsh review... actually Patricia wrote a lot of the synth parts too. And I think its lame to insist that she should have used an overstylized vocal trope (and copy Glass Candy etc), when she obviously sang in a way that spoke to her, and pulled off some great vocal melodies that fit the songs perfectly.
Once again, Infinite Arms an album that I cant stop listening to has been trashed by
your critics.Every person that I turn this on to loves or even gets obsessed with this
piece of genius. The first eight songs are amazing. The guy basically made a Beach Boys record with Summer Teeth production. I dare you to find better melodies or a better vocal performance anywhere.I dont give a crap about Band of Horses former records. Judge this on its own. I also loved and are still listening to Transference as well. Its hard to believe how harsh you were to two amazing records.I am 46 and have been on the cutting edge my whole life.Arcade fire is a poor Springsteen Knockoff. Thats your favorite. You stupid!
The spelling I can excuse.
FINE. WE'RE HIPSTERS.
(What're your top 10 albums of the year, that we might more easily situate you within a specific demographic based on your musical taste?)
the title of this list be top 25 albums for hipsters. All of their "rock" stuff listed is such a carbon copy of that "indie" soft rock that's so narcisistic (excuse my spelling) which I think might be the fruition of the facebook generation which is completely self-absorbed in their trivial personal drama and completely removed from reality.
For example, you have a song like Suburbs from Arcade Fire and you have a great opportunity to talk about real issues regarding suburban sprawl, sustainability, and the advent of the car-economy and super-consumerism. Instead, it's personal nostalgia for simple days growing up as a white teen in the suburbs.
Agreed in entirety. An enjoyable and refreshingly candid article about the year in suck.
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