Monday, May 3, 2010

Prom Night 2010

My friend Jeff has been talking about what a huge year 2010 was going to be for music since this time last year. Actually, I remember him mentioning that The National was going to be releasing a new one at Christian's birthday party in early March. There has been many a heated discussion as to what the best album of the year is so far. Yes, I realize that it's barely May and yes, I realize that it's rather childish to be so passionate about what, in fact is, the best album so far this year, that you throw your drink into Jeff's face and tell him that he should have been a blow job, but we aren't hear to discuss manners, I'm just telling you what happened.

Anyway, The National, Broken Social Scene, The New Pornographers, Stars, Arcade Fire, and others all have albums dropping this year. Surely one of these established heavy-hitters has got to top the lists at the end of the year. So far, both Jeff and I have been underwhelmed with the typical highly anticipated releases. Broken Social Scene's "Forgiveness Rock Record" is solid, and my girlfriend is in love with the National and hasn't be disappointed with their offering. Jeff is holding out that Stars will explode and crush him with their ultrahigh gravity songs.

It's too early to say anything so far. In fact, I'm a big fan of making best of lists after a 365 day cooling off period. So if it wasn't for the excitement of something new, I'd be writing about the best of 2008 right now. However, Aloha's "Home Acres" has really been doing it for me. They are such a great band, lying somewhere between prog and thoughtful pop. "Home Acres" really trims the fat as there isn't much, or any, filler. The dynamic of the record is thought full and "Ruins" ends the record on one of those epically high notes that makes you want to turn the record over and immediately listen to the record again. I wish they would come to Minneapolis sometime.

Do you like to dance?

The good people at Aloha's record label, Polyvinyl, also released a Norwegian band called Casiokids this week. The album isn't just a dance record, although it does have those hip beats that the young kids really go for. The record is also considerate enough to play like a regular pop album complete with reach-out-and-grab-you-singles, more intimate hip swayers, and songs that reveal their greatness with multiple listens.

Here is a little taste of Casiokids and Aloha: