Beck – Modern Guilt
I hadn't bought a new Beck album in probably ten years when this came out. I really liked the single and was intrigued by Danger Mouse's involvement, so I picked it up. It's solid, but not great. Not as much hip-hop elements as you'd expect given the producer, more psych-pop over all. The single's still the best song, and I'm not sure I could hum any others. I guess the fact that I pulled it off the shelf says something, but perhaps it says that B artists are filed at eye-level.
Black Mountain – In the Future
Ordered this on a whim without ever having heard of these guys because they happened to be promoting it on Jagjaguwar's website when I went to order an Oneida album. It's pretty solid 70s boogie rock with a spacey edge. I didn't remember how good side three was until today; the shorter songs on the first two sides had been the ones that stuck with me. Love that Hammond B3.
M83 – Saturdays=Youth
Anthony Gonzalez, for as much time as he spends getting lost in his own ridiculously overwrought album concepts (a lot), still makes beautiful sounds and occasionally knocks out a killer single. "Graveyard Girl": best neo-shoegaze song of the previous decade? Or was it "Ageless Beauty"? Discuss.
Mercury Rev – Deserter's Songs
Rachel's – Selenography
Royksopp – The Understanding
Russian Circles – Geneva
The Smiths – Louder Than Bombs
Squarepusher – Go Plastic
Not his best album by a long shot, but "My Red Hot Car" is easily his best single, perfectly balancing all the 'Pusher signature sounds: painstakingly programmed Amen beats, slick fretless bass work and juvenile humour.
Spank Rock – YoYoYoYoYoYo
Amazing how well this holds up given Naeem Juwan's obvious limitations as an MC. Goes to show just how far attitude can take you. Attitude and a fetish for killer old-school synth noises.
Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang Forever
I've probably never listened to all eight sides of this in one sitting, but I know all of the songs because when I do listen to it I always pick a random side and throw it on. This time I tried starting at the beginning and going all the way through. Think I made it through side three. What can I say, I'm a busy man. Hadn't listened to side one in years. It's terrible. Side three remains awesome.