10. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
Sure, it didn't go over as well as Funeral (probably cause the dance elements were toned down), but this album is every bit as inspirational as its predecessor.
Arcade Fire - (Antichrist Television Blues)
09. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
This magnum breakup opus is full of intelligent lyrics and musical surprises. Little time signature variations, twelve minute songs that don't get old...go Elephant 6!
Of Montreal - We Were Born the Mutants Again With Leafling
08. Justice, †
"Cross" spawned massive summer hit "D.A.N.C.E." and endless remixes. Looking past all that, you've got a solid electro-crunch album with some dark edges. Expect these songs in the soundtrack of some sci-fi blockbuster to come!
Justice - Phantom pt. I
07. Feist, The Reminder
It's hard to accept that Feist has been adopted into the Starbucks crowd, but I have to say she put it best on the Today Show - "What we're up to hasn't changed a bit, it's just that some other people seem to be clueing in."
Feist - My Moon My Man
06. LCD Soundsystem, North American Scum
James Murphy made a run at cracking the Billboard 200 this year, and guess what? He made it to 46! Paired with the proper release of 45:33, I think he had a pretty good year.
LCD Soundsystem - Time To Get Away
05. The National, Boxer
Their most restrained album to date (no screaming!) but also possibly their most beautiful. "Fake Empire" makes me go all gushy inside every time.
The National - Fake Empire
04. Menomena, Friend And Foe
It's a shame these guys aren't more popular. Every member playing multiple instruments within the same song? That's insane! Perhaps more impressive is that it never feels like a gimmick - each addition is essential.
Menomena - Wet And Rusting
03. Studio, Yearbook 1
I discovered these guys on a trip to London and haven't looked back since. I'm not usually a fan of sixteen minute songs, but they throw in new twists and developments so often that I'm completely captivated. Now, if only they would make it to the States sometime...
Studio - Self Service
02. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Gimme Fiction was a bit of a letdown for me - I thought it was too drawn out. This year Britt Daniel and co. cut the songs down to short catchy ditties with some weirdness at the edges. "My Little Japanese Cigarette Case" reminds me of Spoon of old, and it's good to have them back!
Spoon - My Little Japanese Cigarette Case
01. Radiohead, In Rainbows
Being a huge Radiohead fan for a majority of my life, In Rainbows at #1 was an inevitability. Although less than pleased with the production (get back Nigel!), the songs are stellar and the strings that pop up in most songs add an intriguing dynamic to their constantly evolving songs.
Radiohead - Weird Fishes/Arpeggi