I'm a birthday candle in a circle of black girls

Today's album is easy. I listen to it all the time. If you read this blog with any regularity, you know I love The National. In fact, their most recent album tops my list of best albums of the year. So what are the other nine, you might ask? Here they are:

Alligator - The National: Great nighttime listening as you drive through a city. The lyrics really do it for me here. They have a subtle humor and swagger that I can't resist.

I'm Wide Awake It's Morning/Digital Ash in a Digital Urn - Bright Eyes: These two albums were released in the same day and I really can't decide which one I like better. It's Morning is very folky and sweet but Digital Ash has some great songs that shouldn't be overlooked. Ever since my road trip this summer, it reminds me of driving around Fargo at night.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: I turned around on these guys in a big way this year. I didn't believe the hype until I saw them in concert. It's the best album I've ever owned that has completely unintelligible lyrics.

Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947 - Michael Penn: A "concept" album where the theme doesn't overshadow the music. Michael Penn is so underrated these days. "Walter Reed" is one of my favorite songs of the year.

Make Believe - Weezer: Old Weezer is back! A little less emo and a little more rockin' this album was perfect this summer. It gives me hope for their future.

Twin Cinema - The New Pornographers: Pop deliciousness. I've always sort of ignored The New Pornographers. Not anymore.

Plans - Death Cab For Cutie: In lieu of a new Postal Service album this year, I had to content myself with this album. "Marching Bands of Manhattan" is really nice and some of the whininess can be overlooked.

Picaresque - Decemberists: By far my favorite album title of the year. It reminds me of my high school literature class! I always call the Decemberists pirate rock and Picaresque takes a journey through time as you meet people like Eli the barrow boy. Definitely not for everyone.

This Bird Has Flown - Various Artists: Indie rockers like Ben Lee, Sufjan Stevens and Low do a track by track tribute to The Beatles' 1965 album Rubber Soul. They should keep it up! I'd love to hear what they'd do with Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's, too.

Blinking Lights and Other Revelations - Eels: A sad, sad album. So sad, in fact, they needed two discs. If you can make it through, though, there are rewards to be had.


Kelly said...

A cool thing about your list is that quite a few of those artists played Cincinnati or nearby this year. The National, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and New Pornographers all came to town, the Eels were in Indy, and the Decemberists and maybe Death Cab for Cutie were in Columbus.

I know you saw National and CYHSY - did you go to anything else?

Eileen said...

I had every intention of seeing the Decemberists this year but I got a lte start on a trip back from Milwaukee so I didn't.

I think the New Pornographers were playing on a night I had to work so I missed them, too.

Michael Pennis pretty high up on my list of people I've always wanted to see live (also, Radiohead) so I'll have to catch him sometime.

Gosh Kelly, you're kind of bumming me out.