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Showing posts from December, 2011

2011: 10 Albums I'm Glad I Bought

Though it surely wasn't reflected in my blogging frequency, 2011 found my relationship with music rebounding from the slump of the last few years.Though most new artists and I remain strictly platonic, several old flames rekindled the passion.

As has been tradition the last couple of years, here're the albums that stuck with me the most. Along with my thoughts, I've listed my personal highlights.



Adele: 21
One of those rare records that find simultaneous commercial, critical, and personal success. Though the album flirted with overexposure in the months after its release, I believe it will endure a long time.
Faves: Rollin' in the Deep, Rumour Has It, Set Fire to the Rain, One and OnlySomeone Like You

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The Cars: Move Like This
Reunion albums tend to have an air of desperation and the sweat of trying too hard to recapture past glories. Move Like This manages to avoid that completely. Ric, David, Greg, and Eliot pick back up and zip through these 10 songs as if it'…

More Songs of 2011

Here's the tracklisting and cover art for my end-of-the-year favorites mix. Click here to see the details on the first volume.



1. R.E.M.: All the Best
2. Raphael Saadiq: Radio
3. Wugazi: Killa Hill
4. Foo Fighters: Arlandria
5. The Rosebuds: The Woods
6. The Decemberists: Foregone
7. Wilco: Dawned on Me
8. They Might Be Giants: Can't Keep Johnny Down
9. "Weird Al" Yankovic: Skipper Dan
10. Fountains of Wayne: A Road Song
11. Death Cab for Cutie: You are a Tourist
12. Kaiser Cheifs: My Place is Here
13. Ben Folds Five: Stumblin' Home Winter Blues

Rock Solid: Paul Simon

"If you only own one album by Paul Simon it's gotta be [insert masterpiece here]."

Welcome to Rock Solid, where we fill in the blank. Our goal is to pseudo-scientifically determine the best, the beloved, the most classic album in an artist's catalog.

Here's how it works: I've consulted two main sources. The All Music Guide provides the professional critical point-of-view and Amazon.com offers the fan perspective (because most people who choose to review albums on Amazon are adoring fans of the artist in question). The album with the highest combined rating from both sources is the one I'll consider the best.

An artist's entire body of work is eligible, with one exception: No compilations (i.e. greatest hits).In each case, I'll also share my personal favorite album by the artist in question, as if you care.

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Paul Simon is a big baseball fan, so I'll start with a baseball analogy: Paul Simon is to songwrit…