top ten albums
10Norah Jones: Little Broken Hearts
This album almost definitely doesn’t belong on my top ten list, but I just want so much to like Norah Jones. Come Away with Me wasn’t terrible at all, she’s a little bit jazz and a little bit country, plus her late dad pretty much gave birth to world music, so she should be good. But album after album, I find she’s always managed to take all of these interesting genres and blend them into Easy Listening. Finally, working with Danger Mouse, she breaks out of that box a little and makes an album unlike any she’s made before.
09Cate Le Bon: CYRK
She’s Welsh and weird (if that’s not redundant to add). I like the dissonant mix of gentle folk and freak-out psych on this record.
08Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
A profound and subtle reflection upon a youth in Compton from an introspective and talented rapper.
07Alt-J: An Awesome Wave
Go Leeds University, my study-abroad alma mater and meeting place of “Alt-J”, whose style of electric folk and odd vocal tone (something like a cross between Adam Sandler and Bon Iver) took a little getting used to but soon had me singing along.
06Killer Mike: R.A.P. Music
8-bit music, featured on several tracks on R.A.P. Music (notably “Don’t Die”), serves as a great vehicle for transporting me back, emotionally, to the late 80s. But Killer Mike is not nostalgic and he isn’t playing video games.
05Sharon van Etten: Tramp
It’s hard for me to put my finger on why I keep listening to this album again and again. There’s nothing mind blowing here, just solid songwriting.
04Chromatics: Kill For Love
When I saw Drive, I knew I wanted to be a cool as Ryan Gosling was in that movie, but I didn’t know how and I don’t like violence. Listening to this album in the car at night is how.
03Grizzly Bear: Shields
An emotionally rich and compositionally sweeping album.
02Tame Impala: Lonerism
Tame Impala’s debut made it to the number one spot on my 2010 list, and Lonerism made a good case for a repeat. All the elements that made Innerspeak such a hit for me are present in spades. These songs are both exciting and chill, both simple and layered.
01Fiona Apple: The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do
This world isn’t bullshit, not anymore. The music is sparse yet fun and perfectly balances against Apple’s voice, which ranges from as sweet as honeysickle to as raw as blood in the throat.
similarity to overall top ten: 60.5%, 7 matches
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