For all of us!
30. The Arcade Fire- Neon Bible- I’m still not too sure this is the followup record we were all hoping for. It’s got its ups and downs. I like how they’ve defined their image more, and I’d still vote for them as one of the iconic 00’s bands, but “Intervention” and “Keep the Car Running” might be the only songs I enjoy outside the context of the rest of this CD.
29. Air- Talkie Walkie- Despite what my dad would say, a record by two French guys isn’t necessarily bad. “Venus” has great chords, “Surfing on a Rocket” and “Cherry Blossom Girl” are catchy and hummable, and “Alpha Beta Gaga” deserves points for Aaron posting a clip of himself playing it on a keyboard and saying “help what is the name of this song?”
28. Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Fever to Tell- Before this disc, I never imagined a CD being so simultaneously loud and sexy. I know few CDs that flat-out rock more than this. Plus, “Maps” and “Y Control” are both classic.
27. Beach House- Beach House- Speaking of moody music, I’m not sure if this record has any discernable vocals. It’s like patterns in an oil spill or like drifting in and out of consciousness on a summer day.
26. Crystal Castles- Crystal Castles- My most recent favorite. It’s half moody techno and half screamy! Like an angsty teen! But in the context of glitchy bleepy electronic, it sounds, you know, not absurd.
25. The Beatles- Abbey Road- Ram, I’m starting to come around, “Her Majesty” might be worth it. The Beatles at their jokey best.
24. Belle and Sebastian- Tigermilk- These guys are in the vein of the New Pornographers in that I’d really just like one or two discs of their best stuff instead of many CDs of so-so songs. But their best songs are really catchy and happy. Goes well with smoothies.
23. Justice- + (“cross”)- Usually I enjoy CDs that go home. Between huge squelchy beats and their decision to release just about every song as a single, these guys (two Frenchmen again!) go big. That’s cool.
22. LCD Soundsystem- The Sound of Silver- The first disc was okay, but this one is great. Seven-minute songs, almost minimalist, but with words. And it hit some mainstream success, too!
21. The Earlies- These Were the Earlies- I can’t say enough good stuff about this psychedelic, twangy, yet somehow a little electronic CD. If you like the Flaming Lips or any jam band, you might like the Earlies, Of course, they have a little self-restraint.
20. Jens Lekman- Night Falls Over Kortedala- I’m a sucker for Swedes. Cancel that. I’m a sucker for Jens Lekman. His tunes are just so sweet! And yet, they have this hipster irony to them too.
19. Balkan Beat Box- Balkan Beat Box- I guess they have a few CDs. I want them. This blast of Eastern-European and Middle-Eastern-inspired rock tunes made me want to dance, air-drum, and join a brass band.
18. Belle and Sebastian- Push Barman to Open Old Wounds- If a band’s going to put out a lot of singles and EPs, like B&S, they darn well better release a compilation disc like this. It’s all over the place, but scores a few big hits and a lot of little hits.
17. Portishead- Dummy- Julie’s right, this is one of the sexiest CDs of all time.
16. Bloc Party- Silent Alarm- Of all the new British-accented sort of punk bands, you know, Arctic Monkeys, the Vines, Art Brut, and their boring ilk, this album is the only one that gets it right. Maybe it’s the driving basslines, maybe it’s the guy’s voice, maybe it’s just overall a little more inventive.
15. Hot Chip- the Warning- I imagine at one point these guys and the Barenaked Ladies were good friends. Then, one Christmas, Hot Chip got a bunch of electric keyboards, and BNL got a major label deal. Hot Chip, however, still rocks.
14. Jens Lekman- Oh You’re So Silent Jens- Another in the Belle and Sebastian compilation-of-EP’s category, and another in the pretty-boy-sings-sweet-songs category. Did I mention he uses a lot of samples?
13. Liars- Drum’s Not Dead- Probably the weirdest CD in my top 15, this raw tribal drum-heavy CD is best enjoyed on a camping trip to an Incan ruin.
12. Mates of State- Bring it Back- They conjure up sunny fields like whoa. Plus, drums and electric organ? That’s neat.
11. Beirut- Gulag Orkestar- These guys, however, conjure up autumn days in Eastern Europe with family members and a lot of horns. I don’t know how he sounds so European, just being a college kid from the states. Also, he might be younger than me.
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