To the tune of the Andy Williams chestnut:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
All the critics are listing
And everyone’s wishing
Their favorite albums appear
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Here is the second installment of my countdown to the best album of 2010.
A brilliant soundtrack to a great rock ’n’ roll movie, from the fake originals that Beck wrote for our heroes Sex Bob-Omb (“Garbage Truck” rules!), to the tracks from Broken Social Scene, Metric, Beachwood Sparks, and the Black Lips.
For rock fans who cut their teeth in a certain era of Black Sabbath/Deep Purple sturm und drang, the third album by thes eCanadian stoner/psychedelic/heavy-metal mavens is irresistible, with Amber Webber’s seductive, nicely leavening the awesome growl.
38. Octopus Project, “Hexadecagon” (Peek-a-Boo Records)
There’s no denying that Austin’s psychedelic/electronic combo boasts the coolest theremin (and sexiest theremin player) in rock today, but even more important on record are the unique and otherworldly soundscapes, which always are enhanced by strong melodies.
This may not be the best from the queen of “quiet storm” R&B, but it’s great just to have her back, exploring a much darker vibe befitting the times.
36. Jay Farrar and Ben Gibbard, “One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Music from Kerouac’s Big Sur” (Atlantic)
I dig Gibbard, especially when he’s not whining too much, but I can take or leave post-Tupelo Farrar. The Kerouac connection is what puts it over the top for me.
35. David Singer, “Arrows” (www.davidsingermusic.com)
This chronically underrated Chicago musician has given us another set of smart, literate, heartfelt psychedelic pop musing on no less a subject than the importance of music in our lives in this solipsistic era of the easy download.
This sextet from Reims is thoroughly steeped in four decades of great psychedelic pop, and they are masters of conjuring the sounds of a bad trip.
Forget about Chicago politics; Che Smith is needed even more in hip-hop, so long as he continues to give us raps like these, alternately political and goofy, but always thoroughly unique.
A killer set from one of the nastiest garage-rock quintets out of Detroit since the Motor City Five.
Norwegian renaissance man Kim Hiorthøy teams up with three equally ambitious women from Sweden and Finland for a collection of hypnotic electronic transmissions from an alternate universe.