A Potentially Premature Look at the Year in Music

by Jim May

I was kicking around half a dozen or so ideas for this week’s blog and it’s one of those days where all of the topics I could think of either seemed boring or would require a depth of research, consideration and time that my current schedule refuses to afford.

I started scrolling back through past entries to see if the inspiration bug might bite and discovered that it was just over a year ago that I did a piece on my love of music, including my top 10 albums for the year. A lifelong sucker for annual traditions, I knew what to post. Like last year, I’m starting with the current number 10, but am going to stop at 6 and save the top 5 for future. entry. Enjoy.

10. Wilco – “Art of Almost” from The Whole Love

I’ve never been able to get into Wilco, despite how much I enjoyed the band that kind-of, sort-of spawned them, Uncle Tupelo. I usually pick up their albums, listen to them once or twice and wonder what friends hear that I’m missing. Not so with The Whole Love. “Art of Almost” is the first track on the album and hooked me from the start. The first four minutes almost feel like Zooropa/Pop-era U2, and then things pause and the song shifts into a rocking little instrumental to close things out.

9. Glasvegas – “Whatever Hurts You Through The Night” from Euphoric Heartbreak

While Borders going out of business was a bit melancholic, it offered a great opportunity to cheaply pick up a bunch of music on a whim. I’d heard of Glasvegas, but knew nothing about them when I picked up their album based solely on it’s cover art catching my eye. I’m glad I did, as it’s a great album that’s even better if you award bonus points for them mostly keeping their Scottish accent in the vocals.

8. The Vaccines – “Wesuit” from What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?

This is the first year I really started paying to Amazon’s daily recommendations that are based on the purchasing behavior of its customer base. The Vaccines showed up a dozen or so times before I finally clicked through and listed to a couple samples. They have a great sound that often sounds like modern music applied to song structures more common in the late 50’s.

7. Foo Fighters – “Walk” from Wasting Light

I’ve never had a problem with Foo Fighters, but I’ve also never been a huge fan. They’re the kind of band that I always liked a couple songs, but never enough to get me to buy an album. The heavy attention Wasting Light received got me to pick it up to have something new to listen to on a trip I was leaving for when it came out. Just a great, straightforward rock record.

6. The Dodos – “Companions” from No Color

Another recurring Amazon recommendation that got me to pull the trigger. Catchy songs with beautiful acoustic guitar throughout.

Alright, that’s it for now. I’ll try to get the final 5 up in the next week or two. Hope at least one of the above got you to check out a new album!

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