This was hard, and I'm going to tell y'all straight up that I nearly copped out and picked TWO! albums as my favourites of 2010. I know, I know, but I love them both so much for completely different reasons that it was impossible to compare them.
But when hip blog co-author Amy was queried via twitter on which way to go a la "heart versus brain" the response was "go with yr heart :' ("
So, dun dun dunnn,
Owen Pallett's Heartland wins my favourite album of 2010 Awarde.
Here's a wanky instagram photo of it sitting on my shit desk.
See that blurry/lined-up face on the cover? Well, according to both popular urban bible "SongMeanings.com," and Owen Pallett himself, this album is A STORY. About that dude. Who is named "Lewis." This is where it gets a bit confusing. The setting is some fictional kingdom somewhere (complete with place names used here and there, including the titular "Heartland"). And, basically, when we are listening to Owen Pallett sing on this album, we are listening to a dialogue between Owen himself and this fictional Lewis character.
So basically I have no fucking idea either. But that doesn't really matter. These songs are insanely. Emotional. Notice up there how I said that I had to pick between a "brain" choice and a "heart" choice. The concept of Heartland may sound complicated but only it's only there if you really want to delve in to it. Since this is fast becoming a bad Pitchfork review where the music isn't actually talked about..
Heartland sounds fantastic. If you've followed Pallett's previous Final Fantasy forays, this is the next logical step from where he was going with the Spectrum EP. Horns, electronics, sometimes a bit kraut, sometimes a bit Yann Tiersen, it's all fantastic. And guess what! NO VIOLINS. Just kidding every fucking song has violin, this is Owen Pallett LOLOLOL.
He's kind of toned his voice down a bit since He Poos Clouds, not so shouty or shrill, but it works. I don't think we've heard that creepy bellow he pulls out on interlude "Mount Alpetine." Every instrument, from that jumped-up bassline in "Tryst with Mephistopheles" to the more-catchy-than-the-vocals horns/woodwinds in "Lewis Takes Action" has been so meticulously and artfully placed and timed. It's fucking fantastic.
My absolute favourite track here though is called "The Great Elsewhere." It's a turning point in the album in terms of both sound and content- shit seems to get heavy. I also think this song has a better slow build than anything Sigur Ros have ever done, so shove it, Jonsi! (Jus kidding, I luv you Jonsi!) There are sparky zinger electronics, haunting violins etc., and then BAM drum machine. Every time Owey P pulls out a drum machine I absolutely lose my shit (see: Don't Stop). And then there are lyrics about some epic battles, pirates, scars, and "face to his face, I put my hand into his" and OH MAN. It's pretty overwhelming. Listen loudly, on headphones. It's like this song is someone running off a cliff, Hyperballad style, on a stormy day. They're going to die, and it's going to be spectacular, and sad. I have it on good authority from nobody whatsoever that Katy Perry was listening to this song on repeat when she wrote "Firework" or whatever it is, take from that whatever you will.
Sorry, I'm trying hard to write about this album without sounding like a huge wanker but I LOVE IT SO MUCH
I guess in a sense I am pretty biased in that this album dropped right in the middle of My Maelstrom of Personal Problems. Long, long walks + this shit on loop = tattooed to my personality forevermore. Uhhh
MAYBE I'LL LEAVE IT AT THAT
If it wasn't for my super emotional attachment to Heartland, this next album would've been at the top of the podium (see: Brain choice)
Matthew Dear's Black City wins runner up a.k.a. #1.5
I have already written a review of this album on this blog THANK FUCK I AM SICK OF TYPING SHIT. But, I will say, this album is still soooo good. I remember when I first fired up opening track "Honey" and I was like "Man this album is going to be pretty shit," but by the the third nine minute epic track I was pretty convinced otherwise. Also I love how deceptive and soothing "Honey" is now. BLACK SITTAYYYY 4 LYF
I'm not going to write anymore blurbs, just three-word-poems for the rest of the runners up. Also, I will leave spacing between the albums to indicate how 'close' they are to each other in terms of 'rankings.' I'm so fucking conceptual.
3. Sam Amidon's I See The Sign: R. Kelly, covered
4. Antony & The Johnsons' Swanlights: "PUNCH HER GHOST!"
5. Wavves' King of The Beach: V is for
6. Deerhunter's Halcyon Digest: Bradford Cox, still!
7. Skream's Outside The Box: Who is she?
8. LCD Soundsystem's This is Happening: Live and livid
9. Sufjan Steven's Age of Adz: HE IS SEXY
10. I can't decide between Joanna Newsom, Warpaint, or Mount Kimbie. So pick your favourite out of these three.
DON'T WORRY GUYS, Amy's list will be Coming Soon, and I'm sure I will find some other shit to write about before 2011. Comic Foxhole, anyone?
Ugh, reading back, this post is basically just a handjob for Owen Pallett. SUCCESS??