Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Willy's 2010 - Honorable Mention

The Willy's are back after a basic hiatus last year with me phoning the list in. With all the absence of Blogging this year by me, this is hopefully a sign of a comeback. Life is finally at a somewhat even keel. Keep your fingers crossed (or roll your eyes).

The Top 25 are still to come.
These albums were SOOO close but no cigar....

Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Bradford Cox and co. put out one of their more accessible releases from the Deerhunter camp. Halcyon Digest was a critical darling this year (as was 2008's Cryptograms), and you'll see it on everyone's list. For me, Deerhunter is quite the anomaly. When they're are on, I love it (see: "Revival"). Other times, I'm just bored or weirded out(see: "Earthquake"), and I listen to some weird stuff that will not make any of these lists.... It's a good album, just not one of my tops.

The Morning Benders - Big Echo
Big Echo falls into a similar world/vein with Halcyon Digest above, albeit slightly different. The high points are all over this album, but in the end it was never able to really keep my full attention (I'm a gnat, I know). You owe it to yourself to check out "Promises" and "Excuses". The music is very melodic, but sometimes it's just too chill...

Women – Public Strain
You'll see a pattern forming here. Public Strain is a commendable endeavor for Women, but like the 2 albums above: not a top earner in my heart. Don't get me wrong, I own this album and respect it, but it is not one that I will parade around on my iPod at the Y. The tones coming from their guitars at times may make you cringe a bit. I prefer their s/t album from a couple of years ago, but again it can be abrasive.

The Love Language – Libraries
The LL is less than a band and more of a man. This North Carolina outfit has constructed a more complete album than their s/t debut of 2 years ago. The reverb is turned to 11 like a My Morning Jacket record. This was the closest call for me on making the Top 25. "Heart to Tell" is one of the better songs I heard this year...

Girls - Broken Dreams Club (ep)
This is a pretty good release. I think I like it better than their full length from last year.... Pretty tolerable from start to finish, Broken Dreams Club would be in the Top 25 if it was a full album. As far as EP's go, it's top of the pops this year, and totally worth bending an ear. San Fransisco's represented well, and this isn't quite the depressing heroin binge that Album was (the song "Hellhole Ratrace" was quite aptly named). Even with the song "Heartbreaker", sounds like Girls hearts aren't breaking so hard anymore.

Brandi Carlile - Give Up the Ghost
Brandi's "story" came to forefront this past year with her official "coming out". Good for her. She lets it all out here. Give Up the Ghost was a staple in Whitney's car, and by gosh it is catchy as hell. "Dreams", "Touching the Ground", "Caroline", and "Dying Day" are some highlights, but honestly it's good through and through. I give a hearty recommendation. This was a last second addition to my list as I nearly forgot it. Had I remembered earlier, it would most definitely been in my Top 25. I'm just too lazy to move things around at this point!