Dave Jasmon | Albums

lewisThe queen of indie rock dedicates an entire album to beautiful folkin' soul. The Watson Twins bring further depth to Lewis' powerful femininity, and the result is a triumphant throwback.

 

 

 

dylan

 

1. Bob Dylan | Modern Times (Sony)

Where did this young whippersnapper come from? Dylan has made his best modern record, and it's as dynamic, subtly sarcastic, and beautifully imagined as any of his classic albums from decades past. No artist, past or present, can create distance, yet pull you closer and closer as well as Dylan, and Modern Times is a prime example. He's pulled himself out of the corner, and there's no looking back.

2. Arctic Monkeys | Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (Domino)

This hype is too huge for any band to live up to, let alone such a young one, but Arctic Monkeys come as close as possible. They're lively, brash, clever, noisy, and so freaking catchy. Alex Turner's age belies the power of his voice and wit, and the only problem is that this band has truly nowhere to go but down. Hopefully they won't get too big for their britches, and hopefully they haven't wasted every hook in their brains.

3. Cat Power | The Greatest (Matador)

The Memphis Rhythm band joins Chan Marshall on her greatest commercial success to date. The polarizing songwriter maintains her ephemerally attached presence, yet her vulnerability contains as much strength as any modern artist. Mourning can't be more flexible than this.

4. Built to Spill | You in Reverse (Warner Bros./WEA)

If the epic opener "Goin' Against Your Mind," fails to suck you in to Built to Spill's world of hooks, than you probably hate the rock of the Pacific Northwest (where did you learn to climb trees like that?!). To all of you Death Cab/Modest Mouse buttsuckers, you have no idea where you'd be without Doug Martsch. The spirit of Dinosaur Jr. lives on.

5. Tapes ‘n Tapes | The Loon (XL Recordings)

With determined looseness, The Loon brings a renegade spirit to a self-aware indie scene. Conventions are useless here, and we're all the better for it. My best advice is to forget other bands exist and succumb to the possibility of what Tapes ‘n Tapes can make you feel. It's lofty to mention Pavement, but the first step is a good sign.

6. Cold War Kids | Robbers and Cowards (Downtown)

A risky full-length debut, the quartet's soul-drenched rock created no masterpiece, yet remains as original a sound as 2006 provided. "Hospital Beds" is one of the year's best songs, and Robbers and Cowards presents a blend of peace and creaky reverberations that has proven rare since the Velvet Underground.

7. The Black Keys | Magic Potion/Chulahoma EP (Fat Possum)

Fully endorsed by the prior list-maker, the Black Keys are now well established in critical circles, and Magic Potion reveals a band that is more comfortable than ever with their refusal to appease executives. The fuzzy tweaks are definitive, yet the roots go deep. As a precursor to the LP, the Chulahoma EP is a magnificent tribute to Junior Kimbrough and the Delta blues that radiate throughout the Keys' canon.

8. Thom Yorke | Eraser (XL Recordings)

It's no Radiohead, and it's not bad. In fact, it's very good. Yorke seems more delicate than ever, yet the force of his spirit is undeniable. Grave at times, blissfully detached in others, here is an artist who creates sounds like no one else on the planet.

9. Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins | Rabbit Fur Coat (Team Love)

The queen of indie rock dedicates an entire album to beautiful folkin' soul. The Watson Twins bring further depth to Lewis' powerful femininity, and the result is a triumphant throwback. The sensibilities contained within reveal tones of a dying breed.

10. The Flaming Lips | At War With the Mystics (Warner Bros./WEA)

Wayne Coyne and Co. can still make some trippy, ethereal shit. Not as whole as their previous two classics, but nonetheless a fantastic display of the band's undying spirit. This sound is truly their own. | Dave Jasmon

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