Wednesday, November 24, 2010

(American) Gong!!!! Or, the best albums of 2010

The end of the year is near and without any further yadda yadda I'll present you (some) my favourite and absolute best albums on 2010 in no particular order (but the first). If you haven't heard them I'll suggest to update your current record collection, because 2010 was a good year for music.

Quasi - American Gong
When I heard leading single 'Repulsion' in January I classified it as the best single of 2010. This title it no longer holds (wait for it!). When I heard 'American Gong' for the first time early February I just knew it, this is the best album of 2010. This is rock n roll, this is rhythm, this is power. This is it! Best song of the album is without a doubt 'Bye bye blackbird' which is a long power rock song, it holds a lot of intelligent sound and noise in a box, rocking and pounding to roar out. Apperently this song is released as a single, or at least it appeared on a promo single which makes it the best single of 2010. And 'American Gong'? This album still holds the title of best album of 2010. Quality = quality no matter how old the record and how often you heard it. Congratulations Quasi!

Kate Nash - My Best Friend Is You
'Kate Nash V2.0' I read somewhere about this album. There's some truth about that. Nash got her inner riot grrrl out and it is sounding fabulous. She might or might not have borrowed a little Excuse 17 for teaser song 'I just love you more' but who cares. Kate Nash got out and delivered the sound to her beliefs. Her music and lyrics makes you not want to mess with this young woman but she also shows her soft and loving side which kinda makes you actually jealous of her boyfriend who she probably wrote these for. Rock on Kate!

The Thermals - Personal Life
Their 2009 album was only so-so. Not bad but not mindboggling great either. 'Personal Life' however is not just honest, it's raw to the bone. The bombastic sound of 'Now we can see' has been stripped down and the guitar, bass and drums sound almost naked. This album is pure, it still rocks and is still very much Thermals. Only better.

Kent - En Plats I Solen
Kent is the biggest rock band in Sweden ever. After ten years of making classic rock albums they changed their music adventures and took a more synth approach. Probably not bad albums but definitely not my cup of tea. Until En Plats I solen which brings amazing songs and not to underestimate the ultimate soundtrack for this summer, 'Gamla Ullevi' being the best song of this past summer, it really made me overly happy.

The Corin Tucker Band - 1,000 Years
Former Sleater-Kinney rebel releases her first solo album. For an album that's been called 'cool mom rock' and contains songs originally written for 'Twilight' (but did not make the cut) this album is pretty awesome. I'm not a cool mom (but at least a cool rock aunty in training) and I know nothing about Twilight but I really enjoyed this album. It's cool rock with a touch of Kindred Spirit, which might sound incredibly uncool to many but it's cool for me. Great album.

The Vaselines - Sex with an X
Not many bands get away with releasing their second album 20 years after delivering their fine debut album. The Vaselines however can. And this album sounds like it might just as well have been released two years later rather than 20. This is a good thing, a very good thing. This album is epic. If only Kurt was here to hear it, he'd love it too.

Pavement - Quarantine The Past
No new music from Pavement, we all know that. It's just a compilation. But if the music on the compilation is so incredibly good and powerful and actually important, it's easily one of the best releases of any year.

Marina & the Diamonds - The Family Jewels
Strong intelligent words, clever music, a voice which needs getting used to. This was a very slow grower but definitely deserves it's place in this list, she's one to keep your eyes on. Especially live these songs get their true power.

Boston Spaceships - Our Cubehouse Still Rocks
Their fourth longplayer since 2008. And why is this good? It's Boston Spaceships. Boston Spaceships. And that's all you need for a bit of out of space punk rocking. Short crazy songs from the genuis mind of Robert Pollard.

Grass Widow - Past Time
One might start to believe I'm being sponsored by Kill Rock Stars (free t-shirt is accepted) but this is another fine release. I love guitars. I love punk. But beware, they sing in united harmony. They might want to learn a new chord or two. It might be the only thing that is kind of bothering on this release, it's still pretty much nice.

Best Coast - Crazy for you
It's not that important what my opinion on singer Bethany Cosentino is of course. But there's something about her I don't like and something I can't stand. But despite that even I can't deny that she made a really nice album which stands out between all those lo-fi surfing bands that suddenly emerged.

And what's to look forward to and hopefully will make the 2011 list:
2011 is awaiting releases by The Decemberists, The Boxer Rebellion, WILD FLAG, All Smiles, Boston Spaceships, Kaizers Orchestra and who knows who else. Yummie!