I was not terribly impressed with the musical output from 2009, but after compiling my Top Ten CDs from 2010 I discovered a bunch more that were better than most of last year’s list.
Since I could only offer ten selections for the official KPL Top Ten page, I present ten more great CDs from the past twelve months.
11. Lady Killer by Cee Lo Green
12. Body Talk Pts. 1 & 2 by Robyn
13. Adrift by The Red Sea Pedestrians
14. Majesty Shredding by Superchunk
15. Of The Blue Colour of the Sky by OK Go
16. The Guitar Song by Jamey Johnson
17. Transference by Spoon
18. I Learned the Hard Way by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
19. Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine by Various
20. Maya by M.I.A.
When it comes to music my heart is with the ladies, particularly indie/rock ladies who write their own songs and aren’t afraid to experiment with sound. My penchant for women in rock began in middle school with the discovery of my perennial favorites Tori Amos and PJ Harvey. In college came my serendipitous discovery of Kate Bush, whose album The Dreaming (available via MeLCat) perfectly epitomizes the weird, experimental sound I like so much. More recent favorites of mine include Regina Spektor, Neko Case, and The Fiery Furnaces (though Matthew Friedberger in this brother/sister group writes the music, I love lead-singer Eleanor Friedberger’s vocals). I am especially fond of Bat for Lashes; her melodic voice and storytelling tendencies remind me very much of both Tori Amos and Kate Bush.
My latest discovery is Florence + the Machine. Florence Welch’s voice is soulful, while her lyrics range from catty to literary to contemplative. Lungs, Florence + the Machine’s debut album, topped the charts in the UK for weeks in 2009, and although it didn’t make a dent on the US charts, I’ve heard a number of their songs pop up in movies and television shows. If you’re fond of any of the musicians that I’ve mentioned, I recommend giving Florence + the Machine a listen.