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Album of the Year 2010

Welcome to the Album of the Year article for the year 2010! 
As always, this list is a collection of records that moved ME - records that left an impression on ME. I am a big believer in the fact that music is a personal experience, and we all have different tastes - different likes and dislikes. My only purpose for compiling this list is to, perhaps, point you in the direction of something that might move you, and also to give you a glimpse at what moved my life musically during the twelve months we called 2010. This is not about debating which albums are "better," this is simply about the music. It's always about the music here at Dr. Music's Weekly Checkup.
With that said, let's talk about my list for the past year....
 
Album of the Year
1.   Slash - Slash
2.   The Final Frontier - Iron Maiden
3.   Asylum - Disturbed
4.   Black Country Communion - Black Country Communion
5.   The Wind That Shakes The Barley - Loreena McKennitt
6.   III - Alter Bridge
7.   Paakallonpaikka - HB
8.   Insomnia - Mastermind
9.   Suite - Kevin Burke/Cal Scott
10.   Infestation - Ratt
 
Honorable mention: My Chemical Romance - Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, Joe Satriani - Black Swans And Wormhole Wizards
 
     This year was a very busy year for me on a personal level. I didn't always have enough time to write, or to research certain artists or releases like I would've liked. Therefore, there are many discs that escaped me this year. I received some great responses from some of your fellow readers though, and I plan to get to a lot of that stuff over the course of 2011. As always, your responses are priceless. Thank you!    
 
   Let's take a closer look at each of these picks........ 
 
1.   Slash - Slash
       This was a record that really covered all the bases. So many different vocalists and guests, varying from song to song, and yet the disc kept a cohesive sound and a pleasant flow. I think it was the fact that each of these vocalists was paired with a song that fit their style perfectly. Each singer sounded comfortable and absorbed within their own style. This was my favorite album of the year by a longshot, receiving a lot more spins than anything else. For the full review click here.
 
 2nd Place 



2.   The Final Frontier - Iron Maiden
       Yeah, I know. How predictable is this one?.....
       Iron Maiden is always amazing, though. This album is a little bit different in the fact that the songs are more "in depth" and have longer running times, but the simple fact of the matter is, these guys can write songs and play them just as good or better than anyone out there. A hesitate to describe this as "progressive," as the band doesn't really introduce anything unique or risky. That intent is not to "push the envelope" as much as it is to send that envelope screaming straight through your front window. I found this disc to be full of solidly written songs played by some of the finest musicians ever to grace our fine planet. Click here to read the full review.


           3rd Place                

 

 

 

3.   Asylum - Disturbed
      One could make the argument that Disturbed songs all sound the same, and I'm not sure that I would argue the point. But, I would say that the formula they've hit upon is one that kicks me in the teeth every time I hear it. And, as a longtime metalhead, I love getting kicked in the teeth! This is powerful stuff. These songs do sound similar to the band's previous work, but I don't see that as a bad thing. I think the metal world could use a few more records like Ten Thousand Fists or Believe. Consistency is a wonderful thing if you're consistently good, and Disturbed is.
 
 
4.   Black Country Communion - Black Country Communion
      Oh my.... If you're a rocker from way back, you should absolutely love this release. This is a "supergroup" of sorts, with guitar monster Joe Bonamassa, keyboardist Derek Sherinian, drummer Jason Bonham, and the great Glenn Hughes on bass and vocals. You'll find Bonamassa lend a few vocal parts here as well, but its Hughes that is totally blistering. This album is entirely submerged in the classic rock waters of yesteryear. With Bonamassa tearing it up on guitar, and Hughes sounding like a raw, hungry teenager looking to hit the big time, they emit a special chemistry throughout the record. Their love of the blues shines through on a lot of the material, but for the most part this is a heavy rock album that sounds like it was made in the 70's - and yes, that's a good thing.
   
5.   The Wind That Shakes The Barley - Loreena McKennitt 
       This is a disc that has a hurdy-gurdy player; something every list should have.
       McKennitt is a decorated Canadian artist that plays traditional Celtic music, and she does it with excellence and flair. The fact that this album was recorded at the Temple of the Children of Peace in a handcrafted wooden building north of Toronto, seems to add to the spirit and emotion that's put into the music. As she puts it, “There is a fascinating interplay between architecture and sound; visually and sonically, the Temple inspired us all.” By listening to these songs, primarily traditional reels and jigs, you can hear that each musician is deeply rooted in the sound. This is one of the best of its kind.
 
6.    III - Alter Bridge
       One might say that this is Creed, sans vocalist Scott Stapp, and that wouldn't be off base. But, the guy that fills the vacant vocalist shoes is one of the best rock singers out there. Myles Kennedy makes this thing really happen. Yes, this is chock full of well written rock songs, but they become majestic spine-tinglers with Kennedy's booming voice. Slash picked Kennedy up for two songs on the solo album, and then asked him to be his vocalist for the tour. Slash knows he's got someone magical. Hats off to Mark Tremonti and the rest of Alter Bridge as well. You don't put out three great records in a row with just a good singer. This is a great band that continues to dazzle me with solid songs that have drive and passion.
 
7.     Paakallonpaikka - HB
       Finland might not be considered the "hotbed" of popular music, but I think it's a scene that is sorely overlooked. Because of my great reader and constant friend to the Dr. Music community, Reijo Piippula, I have become quite familiar with the music scene in Finland. There have been many great bands to come out of Finland in recent years, such as Sonata Arctica, Nightwish, Apocalyptica, The Rain, Lordi, Children Of Bodom, Stratovarius, H.I.M., and many more. HB is a band that I think defines "The Finland Sound." Seering vocals, sharp productions, and bright, crisp keyboards are all prominent elements in a lot of Finnish music. That highly polished sound comes screaming forward in this release. HB is a Christian metal band that delivers their positive spiritual message in a language I don't understand, yet somehow I can "feel" their message. This is a CD full of uplifting songs, without being full of soft and mellow fluff. I would highly recommend that everyone look into some Finnish music, and this would be a fine place to start.
 
8.     Insomnia - Mastermind
       This is probably the album I'm most excited to have on the list. Bill Berends has been a friend to the Dr. Music website for many years. When I heard Mastermind on MySpace about 6 years ago, I thought their sound was powerful and inspired. I contacted them and was introduced to an EP of a few songs that might appear on an upcoming full-length album. Some five years later, this is that album. Starting back in 1986, originally engulfed by a prog rock sound similar to ELP, the band has evolved into a powerhouse hard rock act. With Bill Berends' complex guitar work and the soaring vocals of Tracy McShane leading the way, Insomnia is an album that was well worth the wait. Some great, experienced musicianship throughout this entire record.
 
9.     Suite - Kevin Burke/Cal Scott
       This is a piece of art. Violinist Kevin Burke, and guitarist Cal Scott play traditional Irish tunes. But even more than that, they have an arrangement on this album called "The Irish Session Suite." It is ten traditional Irish tunes arranged in four movements for String Quartet, and it is the centerpiece of the CD. Yes, this is a classical disc, but it plays out as a fun romp along the Irish coasts. With reels and jigs galore, this is some great lively music played by the masters.
 
 

10.   Infestation - Ratt
       This album was supposed to suck. Ratt, the 80's metal band, tried to put together a "comeback" album a few years back. That album was a disappointment, and there was no reason to believe that this latest attempt would be any better - but it is. In their heyday, Ratt had some excellent songs, with their strength coming from a twin lead guitar duo that really could play. Now, with ex-Quiet Riot guitarist Carlos Cavazo on the other side of original guitarist Warren DeMartini, that formula for success is in place once again. Vocalist Stephen Pearcy sounds exactly the same, and the songs on this disc are the best the band has written since Out Of The Cellar.
  
***************************************************************************
 
THE PATIENTS LISTS
 
Reijo P. - Finland 
1. Kylie Minogue - Aphrodite
2. Duffy - Endlessly
3. Elina Vettenranta - Kastepisara
4. Rihanna - Loud
5. Shakira - The Sun Comes Out
6. HB - Pääkallonpaikka
7. Newsboys - Born Again
8. Anna Eriksson - Garden of Love
9. Ozzy Osbourne - Scream
10. Virpi - Reloaded

Ken A. - U.S.
1. Guster - Easy Wonderful
2. Ray LaMontagne - God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise
 

Johan C. - Belgium
  
1. Turin Brakes - Outbursts
English folkrock duo surprises with the best collection of songs I've heard in 2010.

2. Robyn - Body Talk (parts 1-2-3)
If later on in life my grandchildren will ask me: "Grandpa, what did pop music sound like in 2010?" I'll give this album as a reference point. Swedish singer gives all the Kylies, Madonnas and Pinks of the world a run for their money, with her catchy electropop. 

3. Groove Armada - Black Light / White Light
All forms of music that live on the border between dance, synthpop and rock, nicely spread out on one highly enjoyable album (and one remix album). 

4. Bodeans - Mr. Sad Clown
Most suprising comeback of the year: a whole chunk of Americana, laced with strong songwriting skills

5. Vampire Weekend - Contra
Subtle, bouncy feel good pop with infectious rhythms and pure pop melodies.

6. Brandon Flowers - Flamingo
Melodic poprock that teasingly races towards the outskirts of good taste and back again.

7. Peter Wolf - Midnight Souvenirs
A very convincing new sign of a life, from a genuine Hero.

8. John Mayer - Battle Studies
The break-up record that houses a lot of well-crafted blues-rock-pop songs.

9. The Coral - Butterfly House
A lesson in:  how to make a 2010 record sound exactly like it's from 1968 - including flower power songs, west coast rock and psychedelica.

10. Eli 'Paperboy' Reed - Come and Get It 
Exercise in using all the ingredients of Stax soul records and turning them into a very fun, upbeat record.

And furthermore, 2010 brought strong (or at least: enjoyable) new work from Band of Horses, Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3, I Am Kloot, Hot Chip, Hawksley Workman, Cool Million, Freedy Johnston, Edwyn Collins, Andy Rothstein, Kings of Leon, Alejandro Escovedo and the new EP's from Thomas Dolby and Frank Turner.
 
Discovered one year too late: the strong 2009 releases from The Heavy (The House That Dirt Built), Frank Turner (Poetry of the Deed), and Langhorne Slim (Be Set Free).
80's Comeback of the Year: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Single of the Year: Kula Shaker - "Peter Pan RIP"
 
Bill Berends, guitarist for the band Mastermind - U.S. 
http://mastermindband.com/main.html)
 
Mastermind - Insomnia
 
I received an email from Bill that had a quote from a review of his band's latest album, Insomnia." In that quote was the line, "In a perfect world, this album would be a massive hit and one can only hope that the band will build up some momentum with this release.” Bill goes on to add, "But it's not a perfect world. Personally, I can't think of any (other) albums from 2010 that warranted my attention. I'll be curious to see what your readers think."  Bill did contact me again saying, "I did find one Dutch band I really like called 'Gingerpig'"
 
Ed S. - U.S. 
Best of 2010:
Sevendust - Cold Day Memory (Their best work yet)
Eminem - Recovery (His best work yet)

Honorable Mentions:
30 Seconds to Mars - This is War
Kings of Leon - Best of,
Santana - Guitar Heaven
Disturbed - Asylum
J Roddy Walston and The Business - J Roddy Walston and The Business

I also spent a lot of time this year getting acquinted with some old friends:
Iron Maiden - "My Entire Playlist"
Slayer - Decade of Aggression
Stevie Ray Vaughan - The Essentials compilation
 
Anonymous - U.S.
#1     How I Learned To See In The Dark - Chris Pureka
#2     Isle Of Manx - Harry Manx
 
Thomas Schulte - Radio personality in the Detroit area 
1              SKUFFLE - SKUFFLE  (JOEY'S JUKEBOX)
2              DISTRICT 97 - HYBRID CHILD  (LASER'S EDGE)
3              BLLD - MATERIA PRIMA  (SQUATTER MADRAS)
4              CADY FINLAYSON & VITA TANGA - ELECTRIC GREEN 
                                                         (CADY FINLAYSON & VITA TANGA)
5              MARK GROWDEN - SAINT JUDAS  (PORTO FRANCO RECORDS)
6              PROJECT TRIO - PROJECT TRIO  (PROJECT TRIO / Harmonyville Records)
 
Shawn Foxx - On-Air Personality at COOL 105.7 KOKZ-FM in Waterloo, IA
Ok - Here we go!
 
The Secret Sisters - The Secret Sisters (produced by T-bone Burnett)
Ray Lamontagne and the Pariah Dogs - God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise
Vampire Weekend - Contra
Sade - Soldier of Love
Johnny Cash - American VI: Ain't No Grave
Gorilaz - Plastic Beach
Drive By Truckers - the Big To Do
Avantasia - The Wicked Symphony
Jason Castro - Jason Castro
Ratt - Infestation
Lost Dogs - Old Angel
Band of Horses - Infinite Arms
The Black Keys - Brothers
Christina Aguilera - Bionic
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Mojo
Cyndi Lauper - Memphis Blues
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
John Mellencamp - No Better Than This
Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
Stone Sour - Audio Secrecy
John Legend and The Roots - WAKE UP!
Ben Folds and Nick Hornby - Lonely Avenue
Bruno Mars - Doo-wops and Houligans
Elton John and Leon Russel - The Union
Helloween - 7 Sinners
Brian Eno - Small Craft on a Milk Sea
You can contact Shawn at: sfoxx@cool1057.com
You can also check out the website at: www.cool1057.com
 
Patrick M. - U.S.
Kiss - Sonic Boom
How many bands from the 70's and 80's release new albums and they just stink, or have so little faith in them they barely play a song off the CD live (hello, Deep Purple)? Kiss not only put out a good CD, but they actually promoted it. I caught their tour when it came to Mansfield, Ma. in August. They played three songs from the album and it held up right there with classic Kiss.

John Mellencamp - No Better Than This
You've heard of "old school?" How about John Mellencamp recording his new album in church hall, a corner of an echo room, and Sam Phillip's Sun Studio, where a guy named Elvis used to record? John took his 13 new songs and recorded in those settings with just one microphone. You know what? It sounds great. He would have a couple songs on the radio if this wasn't on Rounder Records. But if this was on a major label, they wouldn't have let him record it this way.

Jeff Beck - Emotion & Commotion
Let me warn you. I am a huge Jeff Beck fan. I see him when he comes to Boston every chance I get because he puts out some of best music for an old fella. Do you think Eric Clapton is putting anything out worth your hard earned dollars? Jimmy Page? Almost no output unless you count the Led Zeppelin rehashes. It pains me to say this is not good. The CD sounds good, the performances are on, but it sounds so uninspired, like these were left over ideas from other sessions. The most disappointing album of 2010.

Craig D. - U.S.
No contest on AOY: Jeff Beck - Emotion and Commotion, runners-up from Filter (The Trouble With Angels) and Deftones (Diamond Eyes).

Michael C. - U.S.
I really got into Ike Reilly this last year and a lot of counter-culture underground types of music. I really dug Rise Against - Appeal to Reason.
 
Dean H. - U.S.
1. Sea Of Cowards - The Dead Weather
2. Brothers - The Black Keys
3. Baby, Darling, Doll Face Honey - Band Of Skulls
4. Ain't No Rest For The Wicked - Cage The Elephant
 
Thierry T. - Switzerland 
My top 5 would be:
1)  Yogi Lang – No Decoder
2) 
Steve Lukather - All's Well That Ends Well
3)
     Joe Satriani - Black Swans And Wormhole Wizards
4)
     Steve Hackett - Out Of The Tunnel's Mouth
5)  Bryan Ferry - Olympia 

Wayne S. - U.S. 
1) Y&T - Facemelter    A really good album, similar to the great 80's releases.
2) Disturbed - Asylum   Of course I put Disturbed on the list. I really dig this disc, and I think you can see more progression as musicians. Reminds me of how Zeppelin changed, but still
                                remained a rock powerhouse.
  Looking forward to other lists to see what I've missed and need to buy.
 
Dan Arrecis - U.S. - Singer/songwriter/guitarist for Alive Day (www.alivedaymusic.com)
 
I gotta go with Brandon Flowers' solo record Flamingo!

 
Here are a few lists from some popular music magazines:
 
          ROLLING STONE

30 Rick Ross – Teflon Don
29 The Roots – How I Got Over
28 My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
27 Peter Wolf – Midnight Souvenirs
26 Yeasayer – Odd Blood
25 Superchunk – Majesty Shredding
24 Maximum Balloon – Maximum Balloon
23 Elizabeth Cook – Welder
22 Spoon – Transference
21 Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
20 Neil Young – Le Noise
19 M.I.A. – Maya
18 Kings of Leon – Come Around Sundown
17 Beach House – Teen Dream
16 Kid Rock – Born Free
15 The National – High Violet
14 Robyn – Body Talk
13 Taylor Swift – Speak Now
12 John Mellencamp – No Better Than This
11 The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards
10 LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
09 Eminem – Recovery
08 Robert Plant – Band Of Joy
07 Drake – Thank Me Later
06 Vampire Weekend – Contra
05 Jamey Johnson – The Guitar Song
04 Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
03 Elton John and Leon Russell – The Union
02 The Black Keys – Brothers
01 Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

SPIN
 
40. Teenage Fanclub, Shadows
39. Caribou, Swim
38. Eminem, Recovery
37. The Walkmen, Lisbon
36. The Gaslight Anthem, American Slang
35. Robert Plant, Band of Joy
34. Against Me!, White Crosses
33. Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, The Brutalist Bricks
32. Big K.R.I.T., K.R.I.T. Wus Here
31. Spoon, Transference
30. The Black Keys, Brothers
29. Sleigh Bells, Treats
28. Neil Young, Le Noise
27. Glasser, Ring
26. The National, High Violet
25. Of Montreal, False Priest
24. Waaves, King of the Beach
23. Gorillaz, Plastic Beach
22. Cee Lo Green, The Lady Killer
21. Crystal Castles, Crystal Castles
20. MGMT, Congratulations
19. No Age, Everything in Between
18. Superchunk, Majesty Shredding
17. Beach House, Teen Dream
16. Drake, Thank Me Later
15. Titus Andronicus, The Monitor
14. Best Coast, Crazy for You
13. Big Boi, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
12. Yeasayer, Old Blood
11. Vampire Weekend, Contra
10. Robyn, Body Talk Pt.1
9. Kid Cudi, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
8. M.I.A, Maya
7. Grinderman, Grinderman 2
6. Janelle Monáe, The ArchAndroid
5. Jamey Johnson, The Guitar Song
4. LCD Soundsystem, This Is Happening
3. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
2. Deerhunter, Halcyon Digest
1. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Q MAGAZINE
 
1. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
2. Robert Plant - Band of Joy
3. Plan B - The Defamation of Strickland Banks
4. Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can
5. Vampire Weekend - Contra
6. John Grant - Queen of Denmark
7. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
8. The National - High Violet
9. Paul Weller - Wake Up the Nation
10. MGMT - Congratulations
11. The Black Keys - Brothers
12. Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here
13. Beach House - Teen Dream
14. Hot Chip - One Life Stand
15. Yeasayer - Odd Blood
16. Foals - Total Life Forever
17. John Legend & The Roots - Wake Up!
18. Manic Street Preachers - Postcards from a Young Man
19. Grinderman - Grinderman 2
20. Take That - Progress
21. Band of Horses - Infinite Arms
22. Corinne Bailey Rae - The Sea
23. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
24. Bryan Ferry - Olympia
25. Kings of Leon - Come Around Sundown
26. Klaxons - Surfing the Void
27. Midlake - The Courage of Others
28. Avi Buffalo - Avi Buffalo
29. Interpol - Interpol
30. Brandon Flowers - Flamingo
31. The Chemical Brothers - Further
32. The Drums - The Drums
33. Tricky - Mixed Race
34. The Dead Weather - Sea of Cowards
35. Man Alive - Everything Everything
36. The Roots - How I Got Over
37. The Coral - Butterfly House
38. Janelle Monae - The Archandroid
39. I Am Kloot - Sky at Night
40. Peter Gabriel - Scratch My Back
41. Belle and Sebastian - Write About Love
42. Tom Jones - Praise & Blame
43. Skream - Outside the Box
44. Villagers - Becoming a Jackal
45. Cherry Ghost - Beneath This Burning Shoreline
46. Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me
47. Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History
48. Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep
49. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
50. Steve Mason - Boys Outside
 
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES (Jim DeRogatis)

50. Various artists, “Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse Present Dark Night of the Soul” (Capitol)
49. Weezer, “Hurley” (Epitaph)
48. Scott Lucas and the Married Men, “The Absolute Beginners EP” (G&P Records)
47. Bryan Ferry, ”Olympia” (Astralwerks)
46. The Orb with David Gilmour, “Metallic Spheres” (Columbia)
45. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan, “Hawk” (Vanguard)
44. Wolf Parade, “Expo 86” (Sub Pop)
43. Big Boi, “Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty” (Purple Ribbon/Def Jam)
42. M.I.A., “Maya” (N.E.E.T./XL/Interscope)
41. Brian Eno, “Small Craft on a Milk Sea” (Warp)
40. Various artists, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” sountrack (ABKCO)
39. Black Mountain, “Wilderness Heart” (Jagjaguwar)
38. Octopus Project, “Hexadecagon” (Peek-a-Boo Records)
37. Sade, “Soldier of Love” (Sony)
36. Jay Farrar and Ben Gibbard, “One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Music from Kerouac’s Big Sur” (Atlantic)
35. David Singer, “Arrows” (
www.davidsingermusic.com)
34. The Bewitched Hands on the Top of Our Heads, “Hard to Cry” EP (Sony Music)
33. Rhymefest, “El Che” (
www.elchethemovement.com)
32. The Ruiners, “Happy Birthday Bitch” (Pravda)
31. Drivan, “Disko” (Smalltown Supermusic)
30. Drake, “Thank Me Later” (Universal/Motown)
29. Spoon, “Transference” (Merge)
28. Peter Gabriel, “Scratch My Back” (EMI)
27. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, “I Learned the Hard Way” (Daptone)
26. Erykah Badu, “New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh” (Motown)
25. High on Fire, “Snakes for the Divine” (Koch)
24. The Dead Weather, “Sea of Cowards” (Warner Bros.)
23. Teenage Fanclub, “Shadows” (Merge)
22. Superchunk, “Majesty Shredding” (Merge)
21. Belle and Sebastian, “Belle and Sebastian Write About Love” (Rough Trade)
20. The National, “High Violet” (4AD)
19. Neil Young, “Le Noise” (Reprise)
18. Yeasayer, “Odd Blood” (Secretly Canadian)
17. Besnard Lakes, “Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night” (Jagjaguwar)
16. Gorillaz, “Plastic Beach” (Virgin)
15. Broken Bells, “Broken Bells” (Columbia)
14. Robyn, “Body Talk Pt. 2” (Konichiwa)
13. Uffie, “Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans” (Elektra)
12. Arcade Fire, “The Suburbs” (Merge)
11. Richard Thompson, “Dream Attic” (Shout Factory)
10. The Roots, “How I Got Over” (Def Jam)
9. Best Coast, “Crazy for You” (Mexican Summer/Wichita)
8. LCD Soundsystem, “This Is Happening” (DFA/Virgin)
7. Grinderman, “Grinderman 2” (Anti-)
6. Kid Cudi, “Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager” (Universal/Motown)
5. Charlotte Gainsbourg, “IRM” (Elektra/Asylum)
4.  Salem, “King Night” (IAMSOUND)
3. Cee Lo, “The Lady Killer” (Elektra/Asylum)
2. Kanye West, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)
1. Janelle Monae, “ArchAndroid” (Atlantic) 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE (Greg Kot)   greg@gregkot.com

1. Janelle Monae, “The ArchAndroid” (Bad Boy)
2. The Besnard Lakes, “The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night” (Jagjaguwar)
3. Neil Young, “Le Noise” (Reprise)
4. Robyn, “Body Talk” (Interscope)
5. Sharon Van Etten, “epic” (Ba Da Bing): A powerful singer with emotionally transparent songs, swathed in gorgeous textures supplied by guitars, pedal steel, even a harmonium.
6. LCD Soundsystem, “This is Happening” (DFA/Virgin)
7. Kanye West, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)
8. Dessa, “A Badly Broken Code” (Doomtree)
9. Arcade Fire, “The Suburbs” (Merge)
10. Warpaint, “The Fool” (Rough Trade)
11. Das Racist, “Sit Down, Man” (Mad Decent)
12. Grinderman, “Grinderman 2” (Anti)
13. High on Fire, “Snakes for the Divine” (E1 Music)
14. Mavis Staples, “You Are Not Alone” (Anti)
15. The Roots, “How I Got Over” (Def Jam)
16. Charlie Musselwhite, “The Well” (Alligator)
17. Cee Lo Green, “The Lady Killer” (Elektra)
18. Kid Cudi, “Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager” (G.O.O.D./Universal Motown)
19. Bruce Springsteen, “The Promise” (Columbia)
20. Yeasayer, “Odd Blood” (Secretly Canadian)

METAL HAMMER

1.) Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier
2.) Alter Bridge - III
3.) Deftones- Diamond Eyes
4.) Killing Joke - Absolute Dissent
5.) Airbourne - No Guts. No Glory.
6.) Triptykon - Eparistera Daimones
7.) Slash - Slash
8.) Cathedral - The Guessing Game
9.) Parkway Drive - Deep Blue
10.) Cancer Bats - Bears, Mayors, Straps & Bones
11.) Ihsahn - After
12.) Bring Me The Horizon - There Is A Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let's Keep It A Secret.
13.) Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare
14.) The Dillinger Escape Plan - Option Paralysis
15.) Anathema - We're Here Because We're Here
16.) Black Country Communion - Black Country Communion
17.) Swans - Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky
18.) High On Fire - Snakes For The Divine
19.) Electric Wizard - Black Masses
20.) Fear Factory - Mechanize
21.) Rob Zombie - Hillbilly Deluxe 2
22.) Kvelertak - Kvelertak
23.) Letlive - Fake History
24.) Black Label Society - Order Of The Black
25.) Dimmu Borgir - Abrahadabra
26.) Accept - Blood Of The Nations
27.) Burzum - Belus
28.) Grand Magus - Hammer Of The North
29.) Volbeat - Beyond Hell/Above Heaven
30.) Coheed And Cambria - Year Of The Black Rainbow
31.) Your Demise - The Kids We Used To Be
32.) Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Oudini
33.) Scorpions - Sting In The Tail
34.) Lower Than Atlantis - Far Q
35.) Black Breath - Heavy Breathing
36.) 36 Crazyfists - Collisions And Castaways
37.) The Sword - Warp Riders
38.) Monster Magnet - Mastermind
39.) Ufomammut - Eve
40.) Kylesa - Spiral Shadow
41.) Stone Sour - Audio Secrecy
42.) Whitechapel - A New Era Of Corruption
43.) Serj Tankian - Imperfect Harmonies
44.) Soulfly - Omen
45.) Christopher Amott - Follow Your Heart
46.) Armored Saint - La Raza
47.) Ozzy Osbourne - Scream
48.) Watain - Lawless Darkness
49.) Korn - III
50.) Ghost - Opus Eponymous



 

 

 

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