Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hey-yooooo! What up, bitches?! Long time, no blog - I know, I know...what an asshole, amirite? But, I can't go into the new year without doing my annual selection of (drumroll, please) the best albums of 2011! As always these are purely based on my opinion, so if you don't agree, tough titties. It was a hard decision cutting a few, but in the end I think the list is pretty solid. So without any further delay, I give you Stereophonic Zoology's Top 20 Albums of 2011:

20. TV on the Radio Nine Types of Light
The boys from Brooklyn had a pretty intense year. After non-stop touring, they took a break and recorded this album, and in the process veered away from their signature fuzzy static and noise and wrote some of the best ballads in their career. Sadly they lost their beloved bass player, 34 year-old Gerard Smith, to lung cancer shortly after the release, making it a bitter sweet moment in their career.
Highlights: Keep Your Heart, Will Do, Repetition

19. Theophilus London – Timez Are Weird These Days
From the moment I saw this guy perform at SXSW this past year, I knew this was something special. His unique style of rhyme's are delivered over synthesized beats you could swear were pulled from Studio One in the 80's. It's just so damn catchy. If you're not moved by this music by the second song, you might wanna check your pulse.
Highlights: Last Name London, Love is Real, One Last Time

18. Young the Giant – Young the Giant
Yes, it's your typical, radio friendly group. Yes, they have a very mainstream sound. And yes, at times they can sound like everything else out there. But then you listen to them again. And again. And again. Why you ask? Because sometimes, that "popular" band is just a really fucking good band. Deal with it.
Highlights: Apartment, 12 Fingers, St. Walker

17. SerynThis Is Where We Are
This five-piece out of Denton, Texas seemingly came out of nowhere with their debut album. Their soaring melodies and grandiose instrumentals immediately catch anyone's attention within earshot. Whether you hear them recorded or live, you can't help but be drawn in by their earnest, dynamic sound.
Highlights: So Within, We Will All Be Changed, Our Love

16. BeirutThe Rip Tide
Four years after his last release, the multi-talented Zach Condon is back with a new album of eastern European melodies and gypsy-tinged folk ballads. However, on this set, his disposition seems sunnier. His voice, sounding older and dustier than his years, keeps the songs grounded. His growth as not only a musician (of which he plays many an instrument) but as a solid songwriter is clear.
Highlights: A Candle's Fire, East Harlem, Vagabond

15. Iron & Wine Kiss Each Other Clean
You got to respect an artist who's willing to make a big departure from a sound that established him on the scene with his many fans. Sam Beam did just that with this release. Are those horns I hear on an I&W album? You bet they are. His jazzy ensembles and heavily-layered rhythms rubbed some the wrong way. But if you took the time to let this album seep in, it was quite intoxicating.
Highlights: Walking Far From Home, Tree By The River, Rabbit Will Run

14. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
This folk rock group's sheer unpretentious attitude is one of their most endearing attributes. The harmonies and storytelling in each of their songs is one of the biggest reasons why they continue to build an audience year after year. And with a record as deep and analytical as this one, there's no doubt the boys from Seattle will keep mining gold in the future.
Highlights: Montezuma, Helplessness Blues, Lorelai

13. The Features – Wilderness
Flawlessly juggling chaos and control with just his voice, lead singer Matthew Pelham instantly makes you take notice. This band just rocks, plain and simple. They're serious without taking it too seriously. When this band is going full-tilt, they're hard to beat.
Highlights: Kids, How It Starts, Offer Up

12. Grouplove – Never Trust A Happy Song
Angsty, introspective, sunny, nostalgic, rebelliously carefree, saccharine hippie rock. That pretty much sums up Grouplove, a band of friends whose origins as a group started on the island of Crete. This album will make you wanna give the finger to the establishment and get away from it all.
Highlights: Itchin' On A Photograph, Colours, Love Will Save Your Soul

11. Bon IverBon Iver
After Justin Vernon's first release, most wondered how he could ever top it. How about by taking that signature "folk" sound and combining it with a chamber pop experimental edge. It's flawlessly arranged sound combined with Vernon's exquisite songwriting makes it a piece of beauty.
Highlights: Holocene, Michicant, Calgary

10. TennisCape Dory
This album screams nostalgia. No matter what kind of mood you're in, once you hit play, everything is sunnier. It takes you to breezy coastal waters and warm sandy beaches. You instantly want a Mai Tai. You'll want to set sail for the nearest hammock. Be sure to bring some flip flops.
Highlights: Take Me Somewhere, Marathon, Seafarer

9. The Black Keys El Camino
Anyone who's a fan of good old-fashioned rock knows this Akron, Ohio duo. They're one of the only survivors of the garage rock revival from a few years ago, but dammit if they don't own it. Time and time again, they show us that often times perfection is simply a wailing guitar and pounding drums.
Highlights: Lonely Boy, Run Right Back, Sister

8. White DenimD
This Austin quartet's latest release harkens back to a grungy, classic-rock era, with distorted guitars and punk attitude aplenty. There are psychedelic flourishes, hippie mysticism and raspy howls. It would sound as good at the Fillmore in '77 as it does today.
Highlights: It's Him!, Street Joy, Is and Is and Is

7. CultsCults
This debut is one hell of a fun listen. Lead singer Madeline Follin's youthful voice soars in an alto-like state, making this some of the most enjoyable indie pop in a while. It's a perfect length, at just over half an hour long. It's catchy as hell. What's not to like?
Highlights: Go Outside, You Know What I Mean, Oh My God

6. Jay-Z & Kanye WestWatch The Throne
Hova. Yeezy. I mean, c'mon. Really? 'Nuff said.
Highlights: No Church In The Wild, Ni**as In Paris, Otis

5. St. VincentStrange Mercy
Anyone who knows me knows that I have an affinity for this local talent. You could even go so far as to say there's a bit of a crush involved. But can you blame me? One listen to Annie Clark's hypnotic voice, unhinged, lurching guitar style and grounded, emotional songwriting is enough to make anyone swoon. That goes for you too, ladies.
Highlights: Cruel, Cheerleader, Strange Mercy

4. Manchester OrchestraSimple Math
These fellas are deep. They're introspective. They have existential crises and question everything. Yeah, yeah, yeah...we get it. You're fuck ups. So why are they on here? Take a listen to the title track and tell me that's not one of the best damn songs you've heard in a long time. Now listen to the rest of the album. You'll thank me.
Highlights: Pensacola, Pale Black Eye, Simple Math,

3. Of Monsters And MenMy Head Is An Animal
Who? What the what? Don't worry. The fact you haven't heard of these guys isn't that surprising. This album flew under the radar most of this past year, but for those that found it, what a pleasant surprise. This Icelandic folk-pop group takes everything you love about Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons and Edward Sharpe and weave their own brand of catchy, irresistible tunes.
Highlights: King and Lionheart, Little Talks, Six Weeks

2. The Dear HunterThe Color Spectrum
You can never accuse Casey Cresenzo of being a lazy ass songwriter. On his latest piece, the dude started writing, and writing, and writing...36 songs to be exact. Rather than whittle them down, he created a concept album consisting of nine EP's, with four songs per EP. Each is represented by a corresponding color, and accordingly sound completely different from each other. It's one of the most ambitious albums I've heard in a while.
Highlights: Deny It All (Red), The Canopy (Green), Mr. Malum (Violet)

1. The Head and the HeartThe Head and the Heart
From the moment I heard this album, I was instantly drawn to its sound. The grass roots feel. The catchy rhythms. Everything just seemed to work. It made me want to drink rye whiskey and jump a freight train outta town. I know there are quite a few haters on this album *cough Pitchfork cough* but screw it. Albums connect to us in one way or another for whatever reason, and this one will be a favorite of mine for quite some time to come.
Highlights: Down In The Valley, Lost In My Mind, Sounds Like Hallelujah

If you happen to have never heard of some of these albums or artists, I highly suggest giving them a listen. Me thinks you'll like. Here's looking forward to another amazing year in music. I can't wait to hear what's to come.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sucker Punch > Every movie ever made in the history of the world...ever

Jesus. H. Christ. This movie is going to be.... ridiculous. To say it's going to be over-the-top would be doing it injustice. Watching this film may be the highlight of my inner child's hopes and dreams. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be giving high fives to my 8 year-old self.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Radiohead :: Lotus Flower

The world is once again set right now that Radiohead recently announced that they're releasing their brand new album, The King of Limbs, to the masses immediately. And rightly so, here's the debut video for the first single, Lotus Flower. It features lead singer Thom Yorke being all...well, Thom Yorke-y.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Honey Badger Don't Give A Shit!

Genius. Absolute genius. Meet Randall and his Wild Wild World of Animals. If National Geographic doesn't immediately hire this guy to start narrating all of their nature shows, they're idiots. I would watch snails migrate a hundred miles as long as this guy was narrating it. More exciting takes on our crazy ass world of animals after the jump.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sleigh Bells :: Rill Rill

Since most of the country is snowed in, why not kick back and enjoy the new video for Sleigh Bells' awesome single Rill Rill? No one knows what the hell is going on, and honestly, who cares?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Every Man's Guide to Life

For those of you who haven't given the show Parks and Recreation a chance, do yourself a favor and do so. It has one of the best casts on TV right now, and consistently produces smart writing and big laughs. One of the biggest standouts, and my personal fav, is the character of Ron Swanson, played by Nick Offerman. This man truly gets me. In the season premiere last night, he debuted his guide for living, and let me tell you, I intend to live by it daily. For a closer look, go here. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some facial hair to grow, scotch to drink and skim milk to pour down the drain.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy Friday from Celery Man

Many of you know about my undying love for Celery Man, and if so, you'll understand why this is the greatest thing you'll see this weekend. If you don't know what I'm talking about, do yourself a favor, scroll down a couple of entries and find out for yourself. Just avoid the nude Tayne.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hey-yooooo! Guess who's back? This guy! I know, I know...I've been seriously slacking in my blogging duties, but back off! This year's been pretty busy for yours truly, including getting married, road trips for work and being trapped in a Chilean mine for months. Okay, so maybe that last one was a bit of a stretch, but just because this is only my fourth post of the year doesn't mean it can't be a doozy of one. The "Top 20" post is a must every year, and 2010 saw some fantastic releases by both newbies on the scene and veterans we've grown to love. So with that, I give you my top twenty of the year:

20. The Golden Filter Voluspa
This New York electronic duo produces an ethereal sound unlike any other. Unique, pulsing drum beats, string samples and lead singer Penelope Trappes' haunting voice make this an album worth getting freaky too. If Heaven ever had a dance mix, this would be it.
Highlights: Dance Around the Fire, Look Me In the Eye, Stardust

19. Parlor Hawk – Hoarse & Roaring
This folk rock group out of Utah came out of nowhere, and absolutely blew me away with their sound. The poetic lyrics and beautifully composed melodies make this one of those albums you want to get lost in.
Highlights: Home, Every Bone, Flowers

18. Ratatat – Lp4
What can you really say about this duo? Talented musicians? Yep. Catchy as shit tunes? You bet. The perfect party music? You bet your ass it is. No one does ass-shaking, face melting instrumental jams like these guys. Ratatat, we thank you.
Highlights: Drugs, Neckbrace, Bob Gandhi

17. Cee Lo GreenThe Lady Killer
Only Cee Lo Green could make something that exudes 60's era funk and soul so well that you can't help but smile when you hear it. Is it that voice? Those beats? Who cares. This album is so slick and smooth that after listening to it, you might feel like you just got knocked up.
Highlights: Bright Lights Bigger City, Fuck You, It's OK

16. Fitz & The TantrumsPickin' Up The Pieces
Following on Cee Lo's ode to the oldies, Fitz & The Tantrums bring the classic Motown sound in a big way. With their soul/funk/rock sound and pitch perfect harmonies, you could swear you were listening to the new Tom Jones album.
Highlights: Breakin' The Chains of Love, Dear Mr. President, Winds of Change

15. Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More
This folk rock group from London, England has been garnering tons of attention and accolades, and it's clear why. Each song takes on a life of its own, building and building until they take off and soar. It's pretty obvious these guys will have quite a career ahead of them.
Highlights: The Cave, Winter Winds, Awake My Soul

14. Kid Cudi – Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
One of the most creative and talented guys on the hip hop scene right now, Cudi doesn't just push the boundaries, he pretty much tears them down. Encompassing different styles of music and themes, with plenty of help from some of the indie scene's stars, Kid Cudi continues to dominate.
Highlights: Scott Mescudi vs. The World, REVOFEV, Erase Me

13. Broken Bells – Broken Bells
Can Danger Mouse do anything that isn't successful? Brian Burton, aka super producer Danger Mouse and James Mercer, the lead singer of indie darlings The Shins have teamed up for an unexpectedly fantastic album, with hooks and beats you want to hear over and over again.
Highlights: The High Road, Vaporize, The Ghost Inside

12. Yeasayer – Odd Blood
With their previous release, we heard a sound that was vaguely tribal and organic, yet pulsed with a beat that made you nod your head with joy. Odd Blood does that and then some with, dare I say, even catchier hooks and beats. Is it possible? Listen for yourself.
Highlights: Ambling Alp, Madder Red, I Remember

11. Interpol – Interpol
These veterans on the indie scene may have outdone themselves on this release. Lead singer Paul Banks' voice is as good as ever, and the band, with new members making their presence heard, have crafted an exceptional album. Harkening back to their roots, that dark, droning sound so many of us have grown to love is ever present.
Highlights: Success, Summer Well, Lights

10. The WalkmenLisbon
Another stellar release by these indie darlings, Lisbon flows with a dreamy quality. Hamilton Leithauser's voice is as strained and powerful as always. Conceptualized over a lengthy stay in Portugal, the album evokes all of the energy and tone that one could discover in a town like Lisbon.
Highlights: Angela Surf City, Blue As Your Blood, Victory

9. The National High Violet
Can this group release anything that's not a hit? So far it looks like they're incapable of it, which is a very good thing. With their brand of sleepy, dream-like music and insightful lyrics, they've once again claimed accolades from all over the music industry, and rightly so.
Highlights: Terrible Love, Bloodbuzz Ohio, Runaway

8. Girl TalkAll Day
Gregg Gillis, aka DJ Girl Talk, has done it again. This master of the mashup has constructed the catchiest damn album around. If you don't want to jump on a dance floor and bust a move while listening to this, you may not have a soul. Who else can successfully mix Portishead and Outkast into one seamless song that works on every level?
Highlights: Let It Out, Jump On Stage, Make Me Wanna

7. Arcade FireThe Suburbs
Ah yes. What year end "Top Albums" list would be complete without the darlings of the indie music world amongst the highlights? That is, IF they've released an album that year. Luckily, this year we were graced with yet another classic in the making, and it has everything you could ever ask for, including soaring vocals set amidst their brand of richly layered instrumentals. What's not to like?
Highlights: The Suburbs, Ready To Start, We Used To Wait

6. Kanye WestMy Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Okay. You're right. Yes, he's an ass. Yes, he's a self-absorbed douche. But dammit, if you don't agree this man is a master at his craft, then we have nothing left to talk about. With some of the most creative, influential and groundbreaking hip-hop being made today, Yeezy truly begins to shape not only a genre, but an entire movement in music.
Highlights: POWER, Monster, Runaway

5. Local NativesGorilla Manor
This Cali indie band debuted this year to a huge response. With hyperactive percussion and hooky-as-all-hell melodies and vocals, this group of guys took the indie music scene over like a firestorm. Not to mention they can totally kill it when performing live. We can only hope we're graced with even finer things to come.
Highlights: Airplanes, World News, Stranger Things

4. The Black KeysBrothers
This is a review of the album Brothers by The Black Keys. The consensus of this review is that the album is very, very good.
Highlights: Everlasting Light, Tighten' Up, The Only One

3. Sleigh BellsTreats
If I had to sum up this duo's debut album in one word, it would simple be *$@&%. Based in Brooklyn, NY, songwriter/guitarist/producer Derek Miller and vocalist Alexis Krauss have created the most amazing piece of joyous noise pop ever heard. From the first note on the album to the epic ending, it's an onslaught of pure excitement to the ear.
Highlights: Tell 'Em, Riot Rhythm, Rill Rill

2. The Tallest Man on EarthThe Wild Hunt
The moniker of Swedish folk musician Kristian Matsson, The Tallest Man on Earth completely owns with little more than his voice and a guitar. Echoing the sounds of early Dylan with introspective lyrics and a mastery of the guitar to boot, this guy truly does stand tall amongst his fellow folk musicians.
Highlights: The Wild Hunt, Burden of Tomorrow, You're Going Back

1. Beach HouseTeen Dream
My numero uno album of the year has to be Teen Dream. This duo's previous albums have been stellar, but their most recent is by far their best to date. With their signature hazy dream pop sounds and singer Victoria Legrand's haunting, atmospheric lyrics and rhythm, one can't help but be instantly taken away.
Highlights: Zebra, Used To Be, 10 Mile Stereo

Well, there you have it. If you happen to have never heard of some of these albums or artists, I highly suggest giving them a listen. You just might be delightfully surprised. Here's looking forward to another amazing year in music.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'm Back, Bitches!

That's right, folks. I'm back from a very long break. Why? Because that's what getting married does to a man, that's why. I don't need to explain myself to you!

I'm sorry. I didn't mean that. I love you all, and helping you waste time during your day is what keeps me going. So on that note, here's my new favorite clip from Tim and Eric Awesome Show. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go watch Celery Man and a nude Tayne have a dance off.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

You Got Served!

I have no idea how this even came about, and I don't care. Predators are poppin' and lockin', and then in walks Danny Glover to get down with his bad self. These guys could clearly stomp the yard if provoked. P-Boys for life, yo!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jay-Z :: On To The Next One

Jay-Z's new video for "On To The Next One" might just be the dopest video I've seen in awhile. It takes the hip hop video genre into a whole new realm, with stark black and white images coming at you in groups of 3's. Was that a crystal skull getting doused in black paint? A sneaker overflowing with white paint? A dude vaguely resembling the Joker? 3 bullets? 3 milk jars? What the fuck is going on? Is it high concept art? You bet your ass it is. Hova, we salute you.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Has it really been a year? It still feels like yesterday that I was compiling my best of 2008. But what can you really say about the music of 2009? There were some definite hits, and some pretty awful ones too. In a year that took from us the King of Pop yet gave us Beatles Rock Band, we all experienced this year of music in our own way. And what better way to sum it all up than to do the quintessential year end round up of great albums! These are the top 20 that really stood out for me, and made this year's soundtrack very, very listenable.

20. BlakrocBlakroc
Even though this album was very recently released, you can tell from the first few songs that this isn't just any old hip-hop album. An 11 day collaboration between the Black Keys and various hip hop artists such as Mos Def, Q-tip, RZA and Raekwon, its beats and lyrics make anyone within earshot take notice.
Highlights: Ain't Nothing Like You (Hoochie Coo), Dollaz & Sense, What You Do To Me

19. Girls – Album
A fantastic, lo-fi pop album that makes you wanna grab a six pack and your surf board and relax on the beach all day. This is how pop music should be.
Highlights: Hellhole Ratrace, Laura, Lust For Life

18. St. Vincent – Actor
Not only can she sing with a subtle beauty that few possess, but she can shred like a madwoman on guitar as well. With pixie-ish beauty to boot, Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, is a force to be reckoned with. Her follow up to the awesome Marry Me doesn't disappoint.
Highlights: Actor Out Of Work, Black Rainbow, The Party

17. DiscoveryLP
What started off as a side project from Vampire Weekend's keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij and Ra Ra Riot lead vocalist Wes Miles has slowly turned into a full-time gig of sorts. With songs like these, they don't have to quit their day jobs, but it certainly couldn't hurt.
Highlights: Can You Discover?, Osaka Loop Line, I Want You Back

16. The pAper chAseSomeday This Could All Be Yours Vol. 1
To truly grasp this band's musical genius, one only needs to appreciate the dysfunction of our society, and then imagine that interpreted into sounds. Yes it may creep the living shit out of you, but you'll be tapping your toes and enjoying every minute of it.
Highlights: I'm Going to Heaven With or Without You (The Forest Fire), The Laying of Hands, The Speaking in Tongues (The Mass Hysteria), The Common Cold (The Epidemic)

15. Neon Indian – Psychic Chasms
Another side project which has developed a life of its own, Neon Indian is the brainchild of musical do-it-all Alan Palomo. What started out as a few songs released on the internet has turned into an electronic music phenomenon, garnering attention from all over the globe.
Highlights: Deadbeat Summer, Terminally Chill, Should Have Taken Acid With You

14. The Mars Volta – Octahedron
The Mars Volta are one of those polarizing bands that people can't quite figure out. You either love them fanatically, or you simply can't stand their progressive style of music. I for one recognize their genius, and in their latest offering, they've decided to get back to doing what they do best: Eclectically rocking your face off.
Highlights: Since We've Been Wrong, Teflon, With Twilight As My Guide

13. Fanfarlo – Reservoir
This little album snuck up on me out of nowhere, and man did it ever impress. Led by Swedish vocalist Simon Balthazar, Fanfarlo sounds like an indie stew made up of equal parts Beirut, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Arcade Fire. If that sounds tasty, it's because it is.
Highlights: The Walls Are Coming Down, I'm A Pilot, Comets

12. jj – jj N˚2
Another Swedish band to come out of the gates with a surprising release is jj. Not so much for their lo-fi blend of Afro-pop and electronica, which is fantastic, but for the fact that no one knows a thing about them, including who is in the band or where they're located. Seriously. Look it up.
Highlights: Things Will Never Be The Same Again, From Africa To Málaga, Masterplan

11. Passion Pit – Manners
You would be hard pressed to not have heard at least one song by this group in the past year. With their catchy dance beats and infectious vocals, these fellas from Cambridge, Mass. should be rocking crowds for quite some time to come.
Highlights: Little Secrets, Sleepyhead, Eyes Like Candles

10. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Self-Titled
What looks like a rag-tag band of hippies and gypsies is, well, a rag-tag band of hippies and gypsies. But they also happen to be a band of merry music makers to boot, with a sound that could fit in the 60's just as easily as today. And on that note, flip that record and light another one up.
Highlights: Janglin', Carries On, Home

9. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It's Blitz!
Karen O and her boys are back this year, and they're out to make you get up and dance your ass off. With a collection of rocking dance tunes and catchy sing-alongs, they're not looking to relinquish their hold on you anytime soon.
Highlights: Zero, Heads Will Roll, Hysteric

8. Blind Pilot3 Rounds And A Sound
Originally released in 2008 to little fanfare, their debut album was re-released in 2009 to a larger audience. With unbelievably catchy, heartfelt lyrics and an unplugged, grassroots sound, these Oregon natives are finally taking off into clear skies.
Highlights: The Story I Heard, One Red Thread, 3 Rounds And A Sound

7. The Avett Brothers – I And Love And You
Hailing from North Carolina, Scott and Seth Avett have it figured out. Along with their bud Bob, these 3 guys produce some of the catchiest Americana-style music out there, with lyrics that put most songwriters to shame. If you see a year end list that doesn't feature this album, it's probably wasn't compiled by a music lover.
Highlights: I And Love And You, January Wedding, And It Spread

6. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Phoenix really has it all. Clever, if not sometimes nonsensical lyrics, catchy hooks, driving beats, all held together with that unmistakable voice. Another highly used album in all forms of advertising this year, these Frenchmen left us dancing in the aisles with smiles from ear to ear.
Highlights: Lisztomania, 1901, Lasso

5. Dan Auerbach – Keep It Hid
As the lead singer of The Black Keys, Dan Auerbach unleashes his powerful mastery of bluesy rock and roll to the masses. But with this solo album, he has a chance to really showcase his ability as a songwriter and true master of his craft. With a full backing band behind him, you can't help but feel the music in your soul.
Highlights: I Want Some More, When The Night Comes, The Prowl

4. KiD CuDi – Man On The Moon: The End Of Day
One of the few MC's that's actually impressed me in quite some time, Kid Cudi is on the verge of major stardom. With smart and original rhymes and beats, along with some fantastic collaborations with both Ratatat and MGMT, this is one hip-hop album that has legs to last for awhile.
Highlights: Soundtrack 2 My Life, Day N Nite, Pursuit of Happiness

3. The Dear Hunter – Act III: Life and Death
This may be one of the only albums to come out this year that I honestly can put in and listen to from beginning to end and truly be amazed. That's a good thing, considering it's only the third act in a six part concept album, based around the story of a 20th century boys birth, life and eventual death. Epic in scope? Very. Epic in sound. You bet your ass.
Highlights: In Cauda Venenum, The Tank, Saved

2. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
Can these guys make an album that isn't going to be regarded as beautiful in scope and visionary in nature? Didn't think so. Once again, Grizzly Bear construct a fantastic example of how music should sound. Ethereal and haunting, this is one for the ages.
Highlights: Two Weeks, Cheerleader, While You Wait For The Others

1. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
Holy hell, what an album! For something that literally came out at the beginning of 2009, it damn sure never let go of it's hold of the number one spot this year. With ass-shaking catchy beats, carefree lyrics and a generally upbeat attitude throughout, it has gone on to become not only the best album of this year, but quite possibly a landmark album of this decade. Yeah, I went there.
Highlights: My Girls, Summertime Clothes, Brother Sport

And there you have it. Here's to a another great year in music, and great expectations for 2010!

Happy listening.