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Archive for December, 2010|Monthly archive page

Off Key With Eric D. presents the Best of 2010!

In Uncategorized on December 31, 2010 at 3:26 pm

20. Clinic – “Bubblegum” (Domino)

For a time, it seemed as if British indie-punk-alternative band Clinic felt satisfied in releasing the same sort of album over and over again. Case in point: every record since 2002’s universally lauded “Walking With Thee” sounds relatively similar to the one before it, both musically and, at times, thematically. Thankfully, with the help of St. Vincent producer John Congleton, the perpetually-masked Liverpool lads burst their repetitive bubble with “Bubblegum,” their sixth album. Unlike its high-strung, faster-paced predecessors, “Bubblegum” is the band’s most down-tempo effort, focusing to gorgeous effect on slow, ’60s-esque chord progressions via lightly-chorused guitars. The end result is not too dissimilar from lounge music, in fact. When considering this album’s change in direction, it’s quite pleasant to hear a version of Clinic that’s free of distortionsKey tracks: “I’m Aware,” “Baby,” “Radiostory”

19. Twin Shadow – “Forget” (Terrible/4AD)

If you’ve pigeonholed Twin Shadow as another one of those indie rock-meets-electro bands that have permeated Pitchfork for the past few years, well, prepare to be pwned. The band, essentially a one-person project helmed by newcomer George Lewis, Jr., released its debut album with this year’s “Forget.” Meandering through an 11-song set of primarily mid-tempo synth- and bass-driven songs, the record sounds like a long lost piece of 1980s output from 4AD, coincidentally the label Twin Shadow is signed to overseas. One could liken it to a chilled-out, retro beach house party that’s not soundtracked by Beach House. Sonic suppositions aside, one thing is for certain: “Forget” is definitely something to remember.  Key tracks: “Tyrant Destroyed,” “When We’re Dancing,” “Castles In The Snow”

18. Beach House – “Teen Dream”/”Zebra EP” (Sub Pop)

Following on the Beach House reference from the last review, the band themselves have one of the better albums of this year. Their third foray into the LP format, “Teen Dream” is a great deal like its two predecessors, save the greater amount of hooks and the fact that lead singer Victoria Legrand‘s voice isn’t buried by the band’s signature layers of dreamy reverb this time around. It is appropriate that “dream” is in the title as the record is a perfect slice of dream pop, warm and ethereal, and perhaps even furry. Anyway, furthering the album’s greatness is the “Zebra EP,” a piece of 12” vinyl released exclusively for Record Store Day that includes new versions of two album tracks plus two blindingly brilliant new songs that should have honestly been on the album itself.  Key tracks: “Zebra,” “10 Mile Stereo,” “The Arrangement,” “Baby” Read the rest of this entry »