My criteria this year, as every year, is the same: no or few skipped tracks and the amount of times I find myself listening to the album over the course of the year.
10. Freelance Whales, Weathervanes. One of the few albums I can stand banjos on.
9. LCD Soundsystem, This Is Happening. Witty dance music. Plus, James Murphy looks like he could be my brother.
8. The Limousines, Get Sharp. Catchy as all hell. “Very Busy People” is one of the singles of the year.
7. Girl Talk, All Day. Every 30 seconds, something that astounds and amuses. A carnival of samples, and a RIAA nightmare.
6. Yeasayer, Odd Blood. New New Wave.
5. The Bird and The Bee, Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates. What could have been a gimmick…well, kind of still is, but in a great way. I can go for this.
4. Broken Bells, Broken Bells. I don’t like The Shins or Danger Mouse, but I do like this album from Shin’s James Mercer and Danger Mouse. A great, unexpected pairing.
3. The National, High Violet. The best album yet from this band. Melancholy, thoughtful, expansive.
2. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs. A really great album, from start to finish. “We Used to Wait” and “Suburban War” are as good, if not better, than anything on Funeral.
1. Eels, End Times. One of the bleakest records of the year is also my favorite. If “Little Bird” doesn’t break your heart, you don’t have one.