The Year in Review :: Part Three: Quandary

In which indierocket! editor Patrick ruminates upon albums he didn’t pay enough attention to this year. More...

Against Me!, New Wave (Sire/London/Rhino)

Hey, signing to a label doesn’t mean you’re a sellout! Just about everything this Florida agit-punk quartet’s put out since ...is Reinventing Axl Rose has been filled with killer, sharp-tongued, fist-pumping anthems, and New Wave is no exception. Mostly, I didn’t listen to this because I gave it to a friend of mine.

Black Francis, Bluefinger (Cooking Vinyl)

Dear Mr. Charles Kitteridge Thompson IV: As a rabid Pixies fan, you know I love you. But I just didn’t get around to listening to Bluefinger. I’m sorry. But it’s not like Bluefinger is Teenager of the Year or anything, is it? No harm, no foul, right?

Bowerbirds, Hymns for a Dark Horse (Burly Time)

No, I don’t like freak-folk. But I like Phil Moore and Beth Tacular. (Plus I was a huge fan of Moore’s other band, Ticonderoga. Plus, Bowerbirds’ freaky folk is married with California sunshine-pop to a delightful degree.

Dälek, Abandoned Language (Ipecac)

I never watched Doctor Who. I also failed to listen to Abandoned Language. Serendipity? Perhaps. But I liked Absence.

Steve Earle, Washington Square Serenade (New West)

Steve Earle is awesome. Jerusalem is badass. ‘Nuff said. That said, I didn’t listen to this.

Earth, Hibernaculum (Southern Lord)

I like Earth. I daresay I love Earth, based on the little I've heard. And, if nothing else, I respect the hell out of the legendary Seattle drone-metal group. But while "Ouroboros is Broken" set the standard for drone-metal in 2007, that was the only track I heard from Hibernaculum.

The Field, From Here We Go Sublime (Kompakt)

Sing me Swedish techno: This made so many year-end lists that I’ll probably regret not listening to it.

Interpol, Our Love to Admire (Capitol)

I wasn’t a fan of Antics, so I avoided Interpol’s third release. But I loved Turn on the Bright Lights, so I feel bad about it. Dig that cover art, though.

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, 100 Days, 100 Nights (Daptone)

Chalk this one up to a classic case of “Hey, I loved that one song, but I never listened to the whole record.” The title track is a modern soul tour de force, but that’s all I know.

LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver (DFA/Capitol)

Given its position on just about every year-end list ever, I’m actually ashamed to have not heard this entire record. As such, I have to keep it out of the big list, despite the unquestionable awesomeness of “North American Scum” and “All Your Friends.”

Lupe Fiasco, The Cool (Atlantic)

This one was a lot simpler: It came out in mid-December, and I just haven’t had time to digest it yet. But if it’s anything like Food and Liquor, it’s getting the shaft by being stuck on this list.

Madlib, Beat Konducta Vols. 3-4: In India (Stones Throw)

I’m sorry, I was too busy listening to the Yesterday’s Universe disc.

Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (Epic)

Hey, “Dashboard” was pretty cool, wasn’t it? And that guy from The Shins was on it a lot, right? Maybe I just really want this to be good.

The National, Boxer (Beggar’s Banquet)

Another record I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t listened to all the way through, mostly because it topped several of my friends' lists.

Okkervil River, The Stage Names (Jagjaguwar)

Ditto. And I really like Okkervil River's first record.

Sigur Ros, Hvarf/Heim (XL)

This mostly good, sometimes boring Icelandic post-rock band kind of pushed me away with Takk... and flew too far under my radar this year, despite a heavy push from my boss.

Stars of The Lid, And Their Refinement of the Decline (Kranky)

Refinement received so many comparisons to Eno and Glass that I’m genuinely surprised that I didn’t listen to this.

Kanye West, Graduation (Roc-A-Fella)

Here’s my theory: Dropout was A New Hope; Late Admission was Empire. Therefore, Graduation is Jedi — not as good as either, but still a nice way to wrap things up.

The White Stripes, Icky Thump (Warner Bros.)

Yet another case of a band with a disappointing follow-up (Get Behind Me Satan) to a record I adored (Elephant). I hated The Raconteurs, too. But the single was banging. Perhaps I gave them one too many A-list sneers this year. Should’ve listened to this one; I generally enjoy The White Stripes.

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