01 January 2011

twenty-ten in sound

Another crazy year in music for me. You know...it occurs to me that I still define normal (or typical) by the past. It's 2010 and time for me to realize that the music world of my college days (i.e. shopping in record stores and buying CDs) is just that -- a thing of the past -- and no longer the norm. So from here on out, I vow to just tell it like it is. I bought very little music again this year. I grab a few MP3s from various blogs and if something really speaks to me, I look into it further and do the digital download thing if so warranted. I still very much like a physical CD (and the album artwork that accompanies it) to hold in my hand, so I try and grab the "real thing" for those bits of music that are lifetime listens.

Enough of this small talk, let's get to the sounds of twenty-ten. Follow the link to the MP3s, and grab them quick because the links expire in 7 days. [And should you happen to show up on the 8th day (or after), just drop a comment or email and I'll be happy to refresh the links.]

Sufjan Stevens . Futile Devices
From Sufjan's new album, The Age of Adz, which continues to see Sufjan experiment with new layers of sound to complement his fragile and honest voice. I will always go to songs like Futile Devices, but its a really strong album from beginning to end for the simple fact that although Sufjan walks right up to the edge of a cliff with his experimentation, he never jumps off.

Derek Webb . Our Father In Heaven
Feedback is the album from which this song emanates -- it is truly a worshipful piece of art. Webb continues to push the envelope of how an artist who creates for the glory of God should be defined. What he created here is a classically composed, instrumental electronic album based on The Lord's Prayer. And in the age of the digital single, Webb gives us beautiful packing for the CD, complete with stand-alone (i.e. removable) art -- prints of photos and paintings -- that were specifically commissioned for the project. Without a doubt, Feedback is my album of the year.

Jónsi . Kolniður
Jónsi, frontman of the band Sigur Rós, branches out on his own to create a cosmic soundscape of a song that is equally-impressive as that of his band. Like a good movie that you never want to end, this track builds and builds, only to leave you hanging in the end (but in a good way).

Mumford & Sons . Awake My Soul
These guys got a lot of indie press this year. I can't buy into their whole album, but this song is an introspective foot-stomper (just wait till the end).

Katie Herzig . Beautiful Inside
I honestly don't know anything about this artist -- its just some quality, intelligent indie-pop.

Shad . Yaa I Get It
A new blip on my radar screen. This is a fine example of quality, underground hip-hop. Here's a guy who converses about topics other than girls, rims, bling and chasing the Hollywood lifestyle. So refreshing to the ears.

Dexter . The Future
A DJ/Producer that crafts one of the finest songs from others' samples since DJ Shadow. I remember the first time I heard it, and playing it on repeat for an hour or so -- its infectious!

Sleigh Bells . Kids
I spend a lot of time thinking -- whether it be at work or life in general. This song is the soundtrack for when I need a bit of downtime that requires no thinking whatsoever. Big beats. Grimy guitars. Distorted vocals. Yes, please!

Janelle Monáe . Tightrope
Again, not a whole lot of thinking required here, Monáe channels her best James Brown to bring a breath of fresh air to pop music. It was my song of the summer!

Cracker Jackson . Potty Time
Putting all my cred on the line here with this one...but as a new dad, I just had to throw this one on here. You may recall me giving this album some love earlier this year. It happened to come out around the time Tian was born. So in those first few weeks, when this song would randomly play, it just lifted our spirits, earning its way onto this small collection of year-end songs.

Previously: 08 IN SOUND . 2007 In Song . Six for '06

1 comment:

Tim said...

nice list.

Feedback has been an album that has grown on me the more i listen to it.

Sleigh Bells... spot on description. i just purchased that from iTunes.

Jonsi's album has been one i've put off purchasing... i figure i'll pick it up some day.

i'll have my list up in an few days.