2021 in music 2/10 '22
I wrote it somewhere else.
Negativity and hope, locked in an eternal struggle featuring titty twisters.
I wrote it somewhere else.
Let's start off with my album of the year: I Like Trains's KOMPROMAT. These once gloom-rockers are fucking pissed and this album is start-to-finish political criticism, from straight-up mockery of British elites to creepily anthropomorphizing social media algorithms. Their first single, "The Truth", is huge and the video is great. It is a new step in the evolution of their sound and i'd love nothing better than to travel to Europe in 2022 and attend a live show of theirs while i'm there.
Albums (alphabetically by artist):
EPs and singles: Midnight Oil's The Makarrata Project (they reunited, but just lost their bassist to cancer) is a collaboration with various Aboriginal artists, Andrew Bird's "Capital Crimes" is Bird at his most political, Venus Hum put out five new singles (plus a Christmas song) for the first time since 2009, and Elana Stone's "Permanent Limbo" is a perfect pandemic pop jewel.
1990: Soda Stereo - Canción Animal
1991: Sting - The Soul Cages
1992: Juan Luis Guerra 4.40 - Areíto
1993: David Bowie - Black Tie White Noise
1994: Soundgarden - Superunknown
1995: Garbage - Garbage
1996: Soundgarden - Down on the Upside
1997: Depeche Mode - Ultra
1998: Garbage - Version 2.0
1999: Lakuna - Castle of Crime
2000: P J Harvey - Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea
2001: Tool - Lateralus
2002: dredg - El Cielo
2003: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses
2004: Vernon Reid & Masque - Known Unknown
2005: Sleater-Kinney - The Woods
2006: Tool - 10,000 Days
2007: Battles - Mirrored
2008: My Brightest Diamond - A Thousand Shark's Teeth
2009: Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures
2010: AfroCubism - AfroCubism
2011: Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile - The Goat Rodeo Sessions
2012: Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself
2013: The Joy Formidable - Wolf's Law
2014: Snarky Puppy - We Like It Here
2015: Kathryn Calder - Kathryn Calder
2016: Garbage - Strange Little Birds
2017: St. Vincent - MASSEDUCTION
2018: The Joy Formidable - Aaarth
2019: Andrew Bird - My Finest Work Yet
2020 wrapup coming next.
So i've decided to do an Album of the Year contest among all i own. No EPs or singles, no compilations, live albums OK. Pickings are slim until the mid-80s. Unsurprisingly, some years have a winner that may not be a favorite, but it's the best of the bunch. Other years have 2 or 3 massive albums so choosing one is tough.
1956: Duke Ellington and His Orchestra - Ellington at Newport 1956 (Complete)
1957: Duke Ellington and His Orchestra - Such Sweet Thunder
1958: Duke Ellington and His Orchestra - Black, Brown and Beige
1959: Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
1962: Duke Ellington, Charlie Mingus, Max Roach - Money Jungle
1963: Lee Morgan - The Sidewinder
1964: John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
1966: Duke Ellington and His Orchestra - The Far East Suite
1967: The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced
1969: Leo Kottke - 6- and 12-String Guitar
1970: Santana - Abraxas
1971: Led Zeppelin - [untitled]
1972: Duke Ellington and His Orchestra - Latin American Suite
1973: Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
1974: King Crimson - Red
1975: Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
1976: Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygène
1977: Pink Floyd - Animals
1978: Jean Michel Jarre - Équinoxe
1979: The Police - Reggatta de Blanc
1980: Talking Heads - Remain in Light
1981: King Crimson - Discipline
1982: Andy Summers & Robert Fripp - I Advance Masked
1983: The Police - Synchronicity
1984: Hüsker Dü - Zen Arcade
1985: Soda Stereo - Nada Personal
1986: Peter Gabriel - So
1987: Depeche Mode - Music for the Masses
1988: Living Colour - Vivid
1989: Pixies - Doolittle
I dreamed last night that i saw Faith No More in concert (whom i've not yet seen) for the second time (at a venue i didn't recognize). This morning, i got a Songkick alert for an upcoming FNM concert.
I can't process this.
Speaking of new music:
In alphabetical order, 2019 releases:
There was also Sleater-Kinney's The Center Won't Hold, but it was super disappointing and, alas, prophetic.
Did you ever eagerly await an album by a favorite musician that was such a disappointment that not only did it sour you on subsequent releases, but also caused you to more skeptically analyze their previous work, as you wonder if you ever really liked it as much as you thought you did?