I’m gonna keep the descriptions short simply because there’s ten of them and I’m lazy. Just listen to them, the songs speak for themselves.
10. “Sainthood” by Tegan and Sara
This one surprised the hell out of me. Not because I didn’t think they were any good, but just because I never thought I’d listen to them. Well I did, and I’m glad.
Best song: The Cure
9. “Vancouver” by Matthew Good
Best song: The Boy Who Could Explode
8. “Them Crooked Vultures” by Them Crooked Vultures.
No album surprised me more this year than this one… okay maybe that’s a lie, but no album surprised me more that I liked it. I’ve been slowly moving away from hard rock over the past couple years, the genre just didn’t appear to have anything new to say to me. At least, that’s what I thought… then this little group (composed of absolute nobodies I believe… yeah that sounds about right) came out of left field and blew me away with their awesome beats, bass lines, and guitar shredding. Epic and awesome album.
Best song: Nobody Loves Me and Neither Do I
7. “Tonight” by Franz Ferdinand
This album took quite a while to grow on me, but now its like a horrible, horrible disease that eats away at me on the inside. The thing is, I don’t want to get rid of it. Ferdinand has come a long way from their debut album and changed their style quite a bit. At first that put me off, but now I’m happy they have. Staying the same is a death march for an artist, you need to show that you can both adapt and change. This band can and that’s a rarity in the industry.
Best song: Bite Hard
6. “A Brief History of Love” by The Big Pink
This is another album that took a little while to grow on me, but like “Tonight”, the waiting just makes the overall enjoyment all the more worth it. This is a hauntingly beautiful and dark album. Every song oozes atmosphere and the lyrics are precise, cutting to the heart. An amazing debut effort from a band that I can’t wait to hear more from.
Best song: Velvet
5. “Three” by Joel Plaskett
You’re gonna be hard pressed to find a more talented Canadian artist than Joel Plaskett. His songs manage to be both personal and poppy all at the same time, a rare feat indeed. Quite simply put, if you’ve never heard him before, do so now. Plus, a concept album made at the age of 33, that includes 3 CD’s, song titles with three words, and it’s the third solo album that he has ever made? That’s just ballsy and genius.
Best song: Through, Through, Through
4. “Swoon” by Silversun Pickups
Ever since first hearing Lazy Eye by Silversun Pickups, I have been in love with the band. “Swoon” is no different. It might not have a stand out song like Lazy Eye, but overall it’s a much stronger and more sincere album. Give them a few more years and something great’s gonna happen.
Best song: The Royal We
3. “Humbug” by The Arctic Monkeys
I’m not gonna lie, the ranking of these next three albums fluctuates all the time, depending upon my mood. I wasn’t huge on The Arctic Monkeys after their first album, but their second one more than sold me on their unique and down and dirty sound. This album has furthered the love affair. It’s the most “classic” album made all year.
Best song: Crying Lightning
2. “Daisy” by Brand New
Another top-notch album from the best band in the world. Yes, Brand New is my favourite band, so it’s of no surprise to see their newest album this far up the list. “Daisy” might not be “Deja Entendu” but it’s still fucking amazing. And the best part? How Brand New re-invents themselves with every album. Needless to say, after a very misleading and quiet opening, Vices exploded in a fashion that I never saw coming. It took me five minutes to love their new sound, it took me six to realize that I was going to love the album.
Best song: Sink
1. “xx” by The xx
I found this album quite late in the year and I wish I had found it earlier. This is a band that just has to be heard to be believed. Very minimalist in nature, every second and beat of every song is perfect. It also doesn’t hurt that it contains the best song of the year. Search it out and listen.
Best song: Shelter