TEG’s Music Awards 2010

Come to think of it, there really hasn’t been an outpouring of reviews this year. Partly due to a lack of noteworthy albums, but also a change of mindset; my counterpart rightly said at the beginning of this blog that we just don’t have time to review substandard albums anymore. And while last year I contentedly introduced myself to a music-scene otherwise unknown to myself, this year’s approach has been mired with critique and scepticism. With only twenty-four albums (and thus, twenty-four reviews) to show for three-hundred-and-sixty-five-days of 2010, I feel somewhat disappointed. But for the most part, I’ve culminated some of the best (but not all) music I could find. I’ve tried to stay consistent in reviewing-technique and deliver good-or-above reviews. And I’ve been juggling it all with essays and study. So I hope you enjoy my best-of 2010 –each is accompanied with a brief reflection and a link (picture) to the review:

 

Albums:

1. Chimes & Bells – Chimes & Bells

Easily some of the best music I have ever seen; Cæcilie Trier utterly blew me away with her performance. A real band with a real saxophone; sexy, dark and on occasions, beyond itself in quality.


 

2. Go – Jonsi

I’m not usually partial to side-projects, but Go delivers. Jón Thor Birgisson’s main affiliate band, Sigur Ros, can do no wrong. Go is but a fledgling in comparison. But for upbeat, English-ised lyrics and hauntingly beautiful vocals, go to Go.

 

 

3. Young Persons Guide To – Kyle Bobby Dunn

The first real review-request where I fell in love almost instantaneously; writing it wasn’t like pulling teeth. Ambient excellence on-par with The American Dollar. Long, outdrawn soundscapes full of soul, exquisitely portrayed across two-hours and captivating to the last second.

 

 

4. Innerspeaker – Tame Impala

We waited and waited and waited and for what? Absolute brilliance, that’s what. Instant classic: Innerspeaker reignites my faith in Australian bands. What more is there to say?

 

 

 

5. 229 – The Bavarian Druglords"

We wanted it so bad, we had to ask for it. 229 goes through the looking-glass, people, into a realm previously explored by 205. TBD have this uncanny style not polluted by the elements of mainstream. An album to come back to, a band to watch out for.

 

 

 

Tracks:

1. Shadows – The Fool – Warpaint

Particularly resonating lyrics with myself, this basically sums-up life in four-minutes. Off-key riffs and ethereal vocalisations, floating piano and dominating percussion all make for a ghostly apparition of a track. Unfortunately overlooked; but then, I found it.

 

 

2. Pray For Rain – Heligoland – Massive Attack

Heligoland’s opening track, Pray For Rain, featuring Tunde Adebimpe from TV On The Radio. The rolling drum partnered with low-key piano riffs are only supplementary. The real effort is Adebimpe, who’s voice never ceases to amaze me. Massive Attack should have just had him singing, really…

 

 

3. Do The Right – Chimes & Bells – Chimes & Bells

The aforementioned saxophone is at its highlight here; at 5:05, sit back and enjoy the ride…

 

 

 

4. St. Jude – We Became Your Family When You Died – Bullets In Madison

The soft, delicate introduction of violin slowly builds – from cello, to piano, and finally synth – to deliver a seven-minute serenade that is utterly sublime. Whether it is this or the repetition of the phrase: “The ground will break your fall…” I cannot fully articulate.

 

 

5. Odessa – Swim – Caribou

Heard it in a vinyl store, fell in love with it immediately. Followed by a review and weeks of Odessa playing on my phones. Hour after hour, day after day…

 

 

 

Lyrics:

1.  Lights – Interpol – Interpol

Lyrical masters in their own right – but this fourth studio-album has seen some fickle reviews. More Lights were needed, obviously.

 

 

 

2. Joel Found His Angel Shivering In The Garden – We Became Your Family When You Died – Bullets In Madison

More like a sinister storybook than a song, Joel’s Angel is strikingly reminiscent of a Velvet Underground track. Different context, same style.

 

 

 

3. Pray For Rain – Heligoland – Massive Attack

I remember reading someone searching for a meaning to Pray For Rain. I’m not sure, exactly, what it’s supposed to mean. But it literally inspired me to do a .3X1.3m painting to represent what I thought was going on.

 

 

4. Leaf – 229 – The Bavarian Druglords"

Only for the phrase: “You’re a leaf off a tree no-one can find.”

 

 

 

5. Afraid Of Everyone – High Violet – The National

High Violet basically encapsulates an agoraphobic, misanthrope – in some respects negatively, in another light heroically. At times I was unsure of what to make of it. My advice: go with the flow. I also had the fortune to misinterpret the phrase: “Yellow voices swallowing my soul, soul, soul…” as “You’re oysters are in my soy-soy-sauce…”


 

Honourable Mentions:

1. Interpol – Interpol

Interpol has everything going for it. Just, nothing was going right for Interpol this time. Some good stuff happening, but the sparks surrounding Stella as she dove, just weren’t around.

 

 

2.High Violet – The National

My first introduction to The National. Impressive – but from what I read, this wasn’t up to scratch for loyal fans who were sourly disappointed…

 

 

 

Dishonourable Mentions:

 

1. The Suburbs – Arcade Fire

In retrospect, a really disappointing album not worth purchasing; lyrically, apparently a masterpiece. But I just couldn’t see it.

 

 

 

2. The Crystal Axis – Midnight Juggernauts

 

 

 

 

A final note: these awards are entirely personal, based on my own tastes (synonymous or contrary to your own) and reflect considerable afterthought and thorough, dutiful listening. It’s a take it or leave it situation, so feel free to disagree!

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~ by enantiomorphicgod on December 10, 2010.

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