2. Neil Young – Le Noize – Veteran iconoclast starts his 6th decade as a recording artist with his most committed batch of songs in a very long time.
3. Hold Steady – Heaven is Whenever – Their 5th full-length finds this Brooklyn band more powerful than ever and Craig Finn continuing to evolve as both a singer and lyricist.
4. Torche – Songs for Singles EP – Heavy Metal with hooks and brains and heart.
5. Hotrats – Turn Ons – A throwaway covers record by two thirds of now defunct Supergrass that is as pleasurable a listen as any record this year.
6. Figgs – The Man Who Fights Himself – What I initially suspected to be stop-gap measure by these veteran rockers has grown in my estimation to be one of their most accomplished and mature (in a good way) records yet.
7. Ted Leo & the Pharmacists – The Brutalist Bricks – Like the Hold Steady, Ted Leo has reached a point in his career where he can stop worrying about defining himself and concentrate on perfecting his craft. Artful, bittersweet pop-punk.
8. Maserati – Pyramid of the Sun – Instrumental rock as hypnotic and mesmerizing as anything I heard all year.
9. Spoon – Transference – Only songs this solid can hold up to the type of bare bones arrangements Spoon continues to perfect.
10. Ryan Adams – Orion – Hyperactive multi-hyphenate songwriter composes his ‘Sci-Fi Metal Rock Opera’ and stumbles upon his best batch of songs in many a year. A damn fine joke
All this music and more is available at Amazon!
Please click here for your music gift giving needs, Music at Amazon!
Sal Cannestra is a New York City native who relocated to Philadelphia in 2006. He has been writing about rock’n’roll music since 1984 for various publications. He also plays in the bands The Gerunds (www.thegerunds.com) and The Thirteen (www.myspace.com/thethirteenphilly)
Check out Sal’s blog here: http://thesecretchild.blogspot.com/