It’s December, time for yet another of those year-in-review lists. When reading what follows, keep in mind that while I may have awesome taste in music, I’m 56. So I can only be so cool. (Do people still say ‘cool’?)
Album of the Year: B Boys, “Dada”
This album is so good that when I saw the B Boys were opening for Parquet Courts at a club in Brooklyn, I talked Ruth into taking a bus down for the show. The B Boys were just as good live as they were on the album, but the real eye-opener was how much better Parquet Courts are live than they are on record.
Album of Last Year That I Didn’t Get To Until This Year: New Model Army, “Winter”
It’s amazing that though Justin Sullivan and his crew have been doing this for over 30 years, they can still come up with one of their best albums.
Album of How Did I Miss This Back In the Day?: The Long Winters, “When I Pretend To Fall”
Lovely. From 2003. I discovered this via Jim Connelly’s Certain Songs blog.
Honorable Mention: Finn Riggins, “Benchwarmers” (EP)
From 2012. I first heard both this and Dada in record stores during our trip to Portland, Oregon. Good times all around.
Honorable mention: Manicured Noise, “Northern Stories 1978-1980”
A compilation album from the late Seventies Manchester band released in 2006, which means I missed them twice. Jonah Jenkins played “Metronome” for me (and everyone else) one Sunday at Spins (thanks, Jonah!)
Album Underestimated At the Time: Tom Verlaine, “Flash Light”
I was a big Television fan, and I loved Tom Verlaine’s early albums, but didn’t like this one much when it came out. This year, when I listened to it again while updating my MP3 collection, a number of songs jumped out. Or maybe it’s just that Massachusetts legalized weed. Whatever.
Disappointing Album of the Year: Taylor Swift, “Reputation”
My enjoyment of “Red” and “1989” made me feel like I wasn’t totally disconnected from what’s going on among today’s young’uns. But Reputation has surgically removed everything that made Tay-tay interesting, leaving just another modern pop album.
The Anti-Taylor Album: Lorde, “Melodrama”
This followup, I liked. Jack Antonoff produced this. He also helped with one of the tolerable songs on Reputation, FWIW.