Thursday, January 27, 2011

Top Five Albums of 2010 - Honorable Mentions (part two)

*This is part of a series of posts, please refer to the parent post for context*

Continuing from yesterday, a couple more for the honorable mentions list.

HM#1 – Punch Brothers Antifogmatic
A friend of mine recommended this album, and I wasn’t quite sure if it would be my speed. It was described to me as a “bluegrass” album, which is fun once in a while, but certainly not my normal musical landscape. But Antifogmatic isn’t so much bluegrass as classically inspired. Fantastic arrangements with solid instrumental touches throughout the tracks. Lyrically, it’s interesting with clever turns of phrase on the theme of the things that keep our brains in a fog – love, lust, alcohol, work, life, etc. It skips around with strong variance of style between tracks, which makes for a bit of a disjointed listening experience. Other than that, it’s musically fascinating.

Favorite Lyrics:
  1. "Keep your feet wet, and your eyes dry, ‘cause you’re only as good as your last goodbye."
  2. "Forming a ring round a bonfire built on a line in the sand between me and us."
  3. "But it seems that whoever has thrown her away has forgotten the trash under the sink, or was it a joke meant to buy her some time?"
Favorite Tracks:
  1. You Are
  2. Rye Whiskey
  3. Don’t Need No

HM#2 – The Young VeinsTake a Vacation!
I was a big, big fan of Panic at the Disco! – even when their second album took a bit of a trippy Sargent Pepper turn. It wasn’t much of a surprise then when two Panic members (Ryan Ross and Jon Walker) left the band to form the Young Veins and embarked on a 60’s throwback album. This was probably my favorite bubble-gum beach album this summer, probably because the songs are reminiscent of The Beach Boys or early Beatles pop. The songs are short and to the point with simple hooks (and even simpler guitar work). For that reason I like it and tire of it at the same time – the songs don’t have much staying power and start to sound the same after repeated listening. It’s pretty accurate for the time period they’re going for, so if you like that style, you’d enjoy the album. As a fan of the story approach to songwriting, I’d prefer there be a more consistent narrative theme throughout the album which is why it appears here in the honorables.

Favorite Lyrics:
  1. "A wedding ring is just a thing that weighs you down and occupies your finger."
  2. "Euphoria is a risk on the floor."
  3. "I swear this like a sailor – love is not a favor, I find it's just a concept that we live inside."
Favorite Tracks:
  1. Take a Vacation!
  2. Change
  3. Lie to the Truth

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