You know what December means, besides reading schmaltzy Christmas books? It’s Top Ten time! Without further ado…
10. Yuck – Yuck
It’s 1993 again, you guys, except no homework!
Favorite songs: “Georgia,” “The Wall,” “Sunday”
9. A Winter Tale – Bobby Long
Whatever – I’m not ashamed.
Favorite songs: “In the Frost,” “Two Years Old,” “Being a Mockingbird”
8. The People’s Key – Bright Eyes
Conor Oberst goes mainstream (with the my favorite crazy ramblings – paaaahmagranate).
Favorite Songs: “Jejune Stars,” “Shell Games,” “Triple Spiral”
7. Take Care, Take Care, Take Care – Explosions in the Sky
I think this may be my favorite work of theirs so far; it feels the most warm to me.
Favorite songs: “Trembling Hands,” “Postcard from 1952,” “Last Known Surroundings”
6. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
I can even forgive the song that sounds like bad* Phil Collins, because the rest is so good.
Favorite songs: “Holocene,” “Towers,” “Calgary”
5. The King is Dead – The Decemberists
The Decemberists are back on form, and thank God. Best ballad-writing of the year!
Favorite Songs: “January Hymn,” “Calamity Song,” “June Hymn”
4. Mountaintops – Mates of State
Because everyone needs a little glee in their lives, and I’m not talking about the TV show. Best singalong of the year!
Favorite songs: “Maracas,” “Palomino,” “Change,” “Desire”
3. Helplessness Blues – Fleet Foxes
I want to curl up in front of a fire with Robin Pecknold’s voice. Best harmonies of the year!
Favorite songs: “Helplessness Blues,” “Battery Kinzie,” “Grown Ocean,” “Montezuma,” “Lorelai”
2. Hotel Shampoo – Gruff Rhys
Gruff’s most sophisticated solo album yet, and its inclusion here is hardly surprising. Best lounge rock of the year!
Favorite Songs: “Vitamin K,” “Honey All Over,” “Christopher Columbus,” “At the Heart of Love,” “Follow the Sunflower Trail (Theme Tune for a National Strike) [bonus track]”
1. What Did You Expect from the Vaccines – The Vaccines
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! Album of the year!
Favorite songs: Pretty much all of them, but especially “Post Break-Up Sex,” “Wetsuit,” “If You Wanna,” “A Lack of Understanding,” “All in White”
And here is a bit more:
Best songs from albums on the cusp:
“Weekend” from Dye it Blonde by Smith Westerns
“Heart in your Heartbreak” from Belong by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
“Dig a Little Deeper” from Gimme Some by Peter Bjorn & John
Burst Apart – The Antlers
Kaputt – Destroyer
Embarrassingly Small List of Concerts I Attended (or, as my husband puts it, Wow, We Were Lame This Year)
(this may be the strangest list ever)
Please feel free to share your top tens or favorites from this year in the comments. I’d love to see what you thought of this year’s music!
*Not all Phil Collins is bad… you do know this, right? Don’t make me break out “Take Me Home” on you.