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2010 in Review/Most Anticipated for 2011
|2010 in Review/Most Anticipated for 2011|
12/30/10 at 08:53 PM by Chris92
|2010 turned out to be an amazing year for music, for many reasons. First of all, several of the biggest names in indie rock released arguably the best albums of their respective careers: The National, Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Spoon, Sufjan Stevens, etc. (Okay I don't really mean that about Arcade Fire.) Also, the indie scene saw a slew of young bands put out solid debut efforts, namely Fang Island, Sleigh Bells and Best Coast, who are a few of my favorites. |
Secondly, it was a fairly solid year for hip-hop. New Orleans-based stoner rapper Curren$y released a pair of excellent albums within about four months of each other. Drake finally got that major-label debut out, and haters go to hell 'cause I loved it. Weezy put out a shitty album, went to jail, put out another shitty album, then got out of jail. Did you expect something different? And then there was the 800 pound gorilla in the room--Kanye West. There is of course the album--which I guess I can shut up about because you've probably heard about it--but then there were the endless guest spots, a couple of key production creds, the inspired videos ranging from about a minute and a half to about thirty-five minutes, the GOOD Friday tracks--the list goes on.
Finally, I guess it started a few years ago, but was this the year straight-up rock 'n roll became cool again? There appears to be somewhat of a sub-genre emerging that is somewhere between indie rock, pop-punk, alt-country, and mainstream alternative rock. Bands such as The Gaslight Anthem, The Hold Steady, Titus Andronicus, Free Energy, The Drive-By Truckers, Banquets (if you haven't heard of them go listen now), Ted Leo & the Pharmacists and Lucero could all be pretty fairly classified here. You'll notice all of those bands except Lucero put out great albums this year--and Lucero's 1372 Overton Park, released last year, is one of the finest examples of this genre.
What does this mean? Is this a new trend, much as garage rock saw a huge resurgence at the beginning of the last decade? (See: The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Hives, The Black Keys, The Libertines and a million other bands, mostly with "The" at the beginning of their names.) It kind of would make sense I guess. And there certainly does seem to be a trend in this direction--and it's not all good. One band that kind of became a whipping boy for this on this site is AM Taxi. They seem simply like a gimmick to me, trying to cash in on the recent semi-success of bands such as Gaslight Anthem, and that simply nauseates me. I'm sure Tom Gabel had none of those intentions, but White Crosses definitely went in the whole rock 'n roll direction, and none of it was that great--besides "Bamboo Bones," which is the best song he's ever penned, real talk. Hell, even MCR kind of tried a rock 'n roll album. And failed, naturally. Kinda unrelated, but I still think that if they'd drop the stupid gimmicks and Gerard kept his hair the same color for two albums in a row they could be a decent rock band now that they've at least halfway shed the whole "emo" craze.
One way or another, allow me to say I am very excited about the new year. In the realm of indie-ish stuff, Bright Eyes, Death Cab for Cutie, Panda Bear and The Decemberists should keep me happy for the first part of the year. The Get Up Kids are finally putting out another full-length, which is awesome. That Yeezy/Jigga collaborative album should be fairly sick, and hell maybe Tha Carter IV will be decent. "Six Foot, Seven Foot" sounds promising at least. As far as my "new-school rock 'n roll subgenre" theory goes, I don't really know what releases there will be. Drive-By Truckers are putting out a new album, but besides that...New Lucero maybe? More from Banquets? More Titus? Patrick Stickles seems like a pretty prolific kind of guy. But most likely, unless my theory is dead wrong, more new bands will begin to emerge who fit that classification--some won't be that good probably, but a lot might be. Who knows?
Oh yeah, and then there's Radiohead? New album? Please?
That's all I got. If you actually read this, thanks a bunch. Comments are always appreciated.
Currently Listening: Sonic Youth - The Sprawl