It hasn’t been an amazing year for music, but surely an entertaining one. Lots of new acts jockeying for position amongst the wily veterans, and plenty of debate even as early as June over love ‘em-or hate ‘em titles such as King of Limbs and James Blake’s eponymous debut and where they belong in the year’s final canonization of greats. Honestly, I can’t remember a year in recent memory when I’ve found so many hyped records I’ve disliked or been entirely disinterested in. Cults? Pass. Tyler, The Creator? Garbage. The saviors from musical banality have consistently been experienced groups who know what they’re doing and get praised for their music and not being arrested in LA and starting riots.
The Decemberists discard the costumes and dispense with the theatre slipping into more familiar musical threads on album number 6.
No longer young bucks American supergroup The Minus 5 release their eighth album of beautiful stories, pretty melodies and career-defining songs.
North America's finest show their charitable side with this awe-inspiring collection. Just call it "No Alternative Part 2".
EMI/Rough Trade, 2009 [7/10] Where once The Decemberists were a modest modern rock band, albeit outsiders with literate leanings that rarely leaned toward rock's excesses, they have gradually extended their artistic aspirations into the musical stratosphere with band leader Colin Meloy seemingly unable to find satisfaction as a storyteller within the 4 minute realm, thus
Rough Trade, 2008 [6/10] Colin Meloy. You either love him or you hate him. At times I've found myself wanting to do both. He's the perennial literate geek come celebrated indie star. He's charming and ruggedly handsome, self-assured and intelligent, with a Morrissey fetish that is second to none. When he speaks in that rich