Avery Island’s Favorite Albums of 2010: Albums That Didn’t Make the List

Call it the preliminary round or maybe just consider these numbers 35 and up, but these are the albums that just missed the cut-off of the 25 strong list you’ll be seeing tomorrow. These aren’t numbered in any order, so just consider these all great albums that just barely missed it; remember, if you see one that you think should be here, its probably because we didn’t listen to it.

Zs – New Slaves

You’d think that Zs would be a tough band to listen to: they’re a noise group, their influences are almost tribal, and they don’t like to mess around in the pop music spectrum. These are guys that want to make difficult music; difficult to play, difficult to listen to, and definitely difficult to discuss. But New Slaves isn’t as harsh as their earlier works would lead you to believe. Noises collide, meld, and morph as tin-like, hollowed percussion gives it all a place to combine. It’s all highly calculated and dense and more often than not, you’ll find yourself bobbing back and forth to it rather than running for the hills.

Periphery – Periphery

With a current excess of Prog-djent metal bands, its getting more and more difficult to find any that do anything to separate themselves from the pack; this brings us to Periphery, who are currently leading the charge along with Cloudkicker for prog-djent’s current internet surge. While not the most original band (and some rather worn-out lyrical and vocal turns don’t help to resolve this), Periphery make up for it with impressive songwriting and the sheer willpower of some truly awesome riffs and change-ups.

Owen Pallett – Heartland

Virtually forgotten about due to an early-in-the-year release, Heartland is the first album by Owen Pallett under his actual name rather than Final Fantasy (apparently there’s a game series called that or something). However, the formula hasn’t changed much; tongue-in-cheek dork lyrics turned epic by grand symphonic gestures and Pallett’s own concise, emotional violin play. Heartland may not be at the front of everyones’ minds, but that doesn’t mean it deserve to be.

Fang Island – Fang Island

One of our best new artist’s also happened to produce one of our favorite new albums from 2010. Imagine that! Seriously, Fang Island is a wonderful album; it’s well-paced and filled to the brim with shining guitar hooks as dual guitars rock out riffs in dedication to fireworks, high fives, and the simple wonders of just living. Wiser than you might initially think, these guys are doing what Battles did with less math and more sky-high guitar flail. If that’s not a recommendation, I don’t know what is.

Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid

Janelle Monae is one of the more interesting pop stars to come out in a while. What separates her from alien-like presences like Gaga or any generic singers like Taylor Swift is her fierce intelligence; in an interview, Monae went into the accessibility that someone of her race has to making the music that she makes. Shes right in that regard; not many black females are in the business of making indie-pop dance suites in the vein of Outkast. However, that didn’t stop her from doing just that; The ArchAndroid is quick on it’s feet, catchy, and heartfelt; easily one of the best debuts we heard all year.

Cloudkicker – Beacons

Ben Sharp is the kind of guy you root for; hes nice, hes affable, and he most certainly rocks. Wielding a ton of tech know-how and the fingers to pull it off, Cloudkicker serves as his way of giving the internet a bunch of practically free progressive metal in the vein of Isis or Animals As Leaders. Beacons is an album that sinks in slowly; every song sounds samey until you finally capture them, but once you do, they’re about as good as the genre gets. Visit his bandcamp and support the guy, lord knows we already have.

Surfer Blood – Astro Coast

Making quite a splash with their single “Surf”, it was only a matter of time for Surfer Blood to make their run for the top. Not many indie bands make it to the Billboard 200 on their debut, but with an easy-going, accessible angle based around catchy guitar-pop, its a wonder they didn’t make it higher. Astro Coast feels familiar because it is; we’ve heard it on The Blue Album, Vampire Weekend, Electric Version, and just about every other power-pop gem. After seeing them live earlier in 2010, we can say two things for sure; they rock and they’re really happy about it. So are we.

Rick Ross – Teflon Don

Rick Ross almost lost it back when we found out the drug kingpin was actually a former correctional facility worker; so I guess technically hes been in prison? It doesn’t matter, here’s what you need to know: not satisfied with ripping “Devil In A New Dress” to shreds, Teflon Don is a big-ass, pimped-out hip hop album that’ll have busters running for the hills and bitches running for Ross. With production from a virtual whose-who of big talent (J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Lex Luger, and even Kanye himself) and Rick Ross’s severe presence, Teflon Don is everything you need to hear that Ross is anything but a narc.

Yeasayer – Odd Blood

Yeah, it’s cover art is ugly as hell, but Odd Blood is an extremely pretty album. Starting off with a bit of a left-turn with the slowed-down, voice-altered oddity that is “The Children”, the parade of singles afterwards makes up for it: “Ambling Amp”, “ONE”, “Rome”, etc. Sure, its basically just a pop album, which is odd after All Hour Cymbals was an exotic psych-pop gem, but Odd Blood is an easy album to like. It may lack the significance of it’s peers, but Odd Blood is an album that’s hard to disagree with.

Curren$y – Pilot Talk II

Curren$y had a great debut in Pilot Talk, but it was the sequel that really amplified his formula to an art. Featuring the most laid-back G-funk production we’ve heard in years, it’s smooth charisma makes for a nostalgic listen. It sounds like the logical follow-up to Doggystyle and The Chronic but with more THC-induced slow-drip production notes. Curren$y himself proves to be an able rapper himself, throwing out some pretty memorable lines that perfectly encapsulate the feel of the album. “I got highed up so I could autograph the sky,” he says. Well as it turns out, Pilot Talk II actually makes it sound plausible.

1 Comment

  1. 02/24/11: Ten Albums That Didn’t Make the List « Avery Island: Musical Opinions From Music Geeks said,

    […] Avery Island’s Favorite Albums of 2010: The Albums That Didn’t Make the List LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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