#1) Fever Ray Fever Ray
A challenging record that is eerily beautiful from start to end.
#2) The Slew 100%
The Slew, a combination of Kid Koala, DJ Dynomite D, and the rhythm section from the first incarnation of Wolfmother, quickly reveals itself to be a surprisingly cohesive unit on 100%. Though it might casually sound like a step toward a nu-metal revival, the album is anything but; turntableism never sounded so massive.
#3) Pearl Jam Backspacer
The right producer, with the right band, at the right time, Backspacer is a pure rock album by a band that undeniably knows how to do just that: rock.
#4) Rancid Let The Dominoes Fall
Let The Dominoes Fall is a bit like rekindling a friendship with a best friend you haven’t seen for years: it’s a little awkward at first, but eventually you remember why it—in this case, the band—meant so much to you in the first place.
#5) Lily Allen It’s Not Me, It’s You
While Allen deserves of some of the ridicule she received this year (quitting music, stance on file-sharing, etc.), It’s Not Me, It’s You is still the most enjoyable pop album of the year.
#6) Raekwon Only Built For Cuban Linx Pt. II
Fans were hoping for a classic from Cuban Linx II and The Chef and his Wu-brethren delivered. One of the best Wu-Tang records of the decade.
#7) P.O.S Never Better
A dynamic shift from the norm, Never Better was seemingly built from as clean a slate as you might find these days. The result is a record that sounds genuinely fresh and original.
#8) Moby Wait For Me
On the brink of has-been-dom a few years ago, Wait For Me takes a gigantic leap from Last Night’s club-infused tracks, and rediscovers Moby’s ability to create music without contrived beats or overused sampling.
#9) Dan Deacon Brompst
An overlooked gem that finds Deacon taking a giant leap from acclaimed novelty-act toward acclaimed musician.
#10) Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion
Though it’s lost some of its shimmer since its release in January, MPP remains a criminally good album that fails to grow old.
[This post was first published by Culture Bully.]