Son Volt - “Okemah and the Melody of Riot”
I blogged about this one when it came out in July. I wasn't expecting to be blown away. Jay Farrar's last two solo albums were good, but nothing like his earlier Son Volt albums. To be honest, when I heard that this new disc was done without the Boquist brothers I was expecting another Farrar solo album. Thankfully "Okemah" sounds like something new while still holding onto that Son Volt sound circa 1995, best thing Farrar has done since "Trace".
The New Pornographers- “Twin Cinema”
I came on board late with The New Pornographers, but have been a fan of Neko Case since “Furnace Room Lullaby”. There is not a bad song on this album, great musicians and probably as close to perfect as you are going to get this year. I have heard their live shows are not to be missed.
Sleater-Kinney- “The Woods”
What is this, their 7th album? I consider myself lucky to have seen this threesome a few times in Olympia and Portland years ago, so their new one, and first on SubPop I think, was welcomed by me. Corin Tucker’s lyrics and furious guitar work are hard for some to handle, this is not a daily listen, but it has its time and place. Some of the hardest drumming I have heard in a long time, Janet Weiss resurrects Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker. Favorite track: “What’s Mine is Yours”
My Morning Jacket- “Z”
Like a big, bold red wine, can’t get enough of this one.
Paul Weller- “As Is Now”
I just picked this one up, his best since “Wild Wood”, but not better than “Wild Wood”. It’s growing on me with every listen.
Crooked Fingers- “Dignity and Shame”
Eric Bachman's best yet.
Coldplay- “X & Y”
My wife bought this for my birthday. The critics didn’t like this one, but I have to say it keeps finding its way into my cd player. We all have our guilty pleasures.
The Mountain Goats- “The Sunset Tree”
I really wanted to see TMG play when he passed through Boston, but missed out. In my opinion John Darnielle really comes into his own on “Sunset Tree”, I appreciate the production and his lyrics are brilliant.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club- “Howl”
Departing from their Brit Pop sound of earlier albums, BRMC goes bare bones and heads south. I read somewhere online that this album is “Johnny Cash meets Love & Rockets”. Good enough for me.
Daniel Lanois- “Belladonna”
I was lucky enough to find this one in the used bin at my local record shop. This was playing when my son was born in July. Will always remind me of the beach and summer.