Thursday, July 23, 2009

Medium: Best Records of the Year So Far

Last year this list was pretty short, and admittedly it got better by the end of the year and I missed a few on my final Best of 2008 list (most glaring: Cursed, Trap Them, LeLe, Janelle Monae, Flying Lotus, Hercules and Love Affair, Cut Copy, Darkthrone, Aura Noir, Ne-Yo, and Jake One). This year, the shit is pretty long, and hip-hop even seems pretty decent shape. So in no particular order except alphabetical, here are the best albums so far:

Absu Absu
Antony & The Johnsons The Crying Light
Aviv Cohn The Widest Smiling Faces
Bat For Lashes Two Suns
DJ Quik and Kurupt BlaQKout
Dinosaur Jr. Farm
DOOM Born Like This
General Surgery Corpus In Extremis: Analysing Necrocriticism
Grand Puba Retroactive
Magrudergrind Magrudergrind
Major Lazer Guns Don't Kill People...Lazers Do
Manchester Orchestra Mean Everything To Nothing
Maria Bamford Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome
Mos Def The Ecstatic
Rick Ross Deeper Than Rap
The Sa-Ra Creative Partners Nuclear Evolution: The Age of Love
Wavves Wavvves

And then there's some additional things, like Grizzly Bear, Camera Obscura, The Dirty Projectors, Animal Collective, Sunn0))), The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, St. Vincent and etc. that I either refuse to listen to out of backward principle or know are good and haven't gotten around to giving a shit about yet because of my admittedly jerky prejudices.


Berto said...

Great list, though I'm not sure if Retroactive deserves to be on there. Playboy Tre's Liquor Store Mascot should definitely be.

Dan Ishen said...

Hey, just found this blog a couple of weeks ago and I've been reading a lot of the older posts so, it's good to see a new post.

Get over that backwards principle and listen to The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, though :D. It's the rock album released this year that I've listen to the most. Haven't listened to the new Grizzly Bear enough, but While You Wait for the Others was a standout track.

BlaQKout is great, and The Ecstatic is better than Black on Both Sides IMO, but Deeper Than Rap was meh album. I'll concede that Rick Ross has improved, but to be honest he's only gotten from horrible to average with the right beat. And he's got the same problem that Jeezy had with The Recession, where his aesthetic is getting boring and played out, even if his rapping has improved.

But yeah, great post, I'm gonna have to listen to the Playboy Tre, this is the second blog I've read recommending it.

joseph said...

Glad to see Magrudergrind on there.

What you think of the new Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Suffocation and Coalesce albums?

Christopher said...

Berto- I keep hearing about that record. I'm gonna definitely have to download that and see what's up

Dan- I dug what I heard on iTunes so far, very late 80's/early 90's alternative pop, which I dig.

Ro$$ is definitely not adding anything to anything, but his rapping is serviceable and surprisingly nimble sometimes, and those lush 70's hotel bar beats remind me of Sinatra for some reasons. Real flammable leisure suit sounding.

Joey Jordinson- I'm still digesting it but so far its the first ANb album with actual songs on it so that's kind of a plus. I dig how he programmed the drums to get that "sounds like the drummer constantly trying to play fast enough to catch up to the rest of the band even though everyone's lighting fast" feel you get with some of the crazier hardcore/D-beat bands. I dig it but haven't listened to it in full enough to put on the list yet, though I wanted to.

I just saw Suffocation live last Sunday and besides being prolly my second favorite live band the "Blood Oath" songs really sound awesome in that setting. I'm not really into how they've changed their sound (sonically I appreciate the mids, riff-wise it reminds me too much of Cannibal Corpse) but so far it seems a lot better than the last two post-reunion LP's

You know, I've never listened to Coalesce. They were never the kind of hardcore I dug.