I had never listened to this band until about two months ago, and I didn’t like this record all that much on first listen. But something about it kept pulling me back and eventually it got to the point where I love almost every track on the album. The music is often fun and catchy but the vocals behind are loaded with passion and angst. It makes for a terrific and memorable mix.
I only came across The Republic of Wolves about a month ago. I’d heard the comparisons to Brand New and Manchester Orchestra thanks to their debut EP, but their debut full-length, Varuna, clearly shows a band with their own identity. It’s a stunning record that seamlessly goes back and forth between the melodic and the loud and crushing. But what really pulled me into this record was its creativity and ambition. It’s incredible that this band is unsigned
Valencia is the biggest stand-out pop-punk band I’ve heard in years. The lyrics are clever and passionate, Shane Henderson’s vocals are full of overwhelming emotion, and the instrumentation is second to none, making for ten memorable tracks. I don’t listen to much pop-punk but these guys are shining stars in an otherwise cookie cutter genre
American Slang is just fantastic. The Gaslight Anthem has actually stepped up a notch, Brian Fallon’s vocals have somehow improved, and my sticking point from The ’59 Sound, the lyrics, really hit home personally this time. Any other year, this would have been my clear album of the year. If you like any type of rock, especially old-fashioned rock n’ roll, you need to hear this album.
Whatever you may think of his personality, Kanye has given us an absolute masterpiece. He tries things many artists wouldn’t even dream of, with everything from Black Sabbath samples to orchestral instruments to an Elton John piano solo. The lyrics are a constant battle between his ego and his insecurities, and you know what? It all makes for an album that is indeed dark, twisted, and most of all, beautiful.
- Chiodos – Illuminaudio
- Drake –Thank Me Later
- Neon Trees – Habits
- States – Line Em Up EP
- Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops and Hooligans
- The Menzingers – Chamberlain Waits
- Happy Body Slow Brain – Dreams of Water
- Jimmy Eat World – Invented
Best Album Art
- Circa Survive – Appendage EP
Best Live Show
- Mutemath @ The Aragon Ballroom in Chicago 4/16
Most Anticipated For 2011
- Panic! at the Disco
- Saves the Day
- The Dangerous Summer