Home > Uncategorized > Revisionism: This list goes to 11.

Revisionism: This list goes to 11.

Well, this is embarrassing. After writing an epic 4-page post as my valiant return to the “blogosphere” (N.b.: I hate that word), I realize that I have made an omission. A major, embarrassing omission. Like, my second-favorite album of the year. Seriously.


My excuse: I used my iTunes as a reference in creating this post. However, I neglected to tag this album with the year. Therefore, when I filtered for 2009 albums, this album did not come up.

With that said, I will first present the amended list (now expanded to 11, because, well, this list goes to 11), and I will then proceed to say a few words over the album that I fell in love with so much that I had completely forgotten that it only just came out a few months ago.

  1. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
  2. The xx – xx
  3. Yo La Tengo – Popular Songs
  4. Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
  5. The Flaming Lips – Embryonic
  6. John Vanderslice – Romanian Names
  7. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
  8. Vic Chesnutt – At the Cut
  9. The Mountain Goats – The Life of the World to Come
  10. Antony and the Johnsons – The Crying Light
  11. St. Vincent – Actor
I resisted the hype for the longest time. I didn’t know anything about them, but the blog hype and pitchfork adoration was enough to turn me off. I was just not interested. Over time, however, the mysteriously sparse cover started to pique my curiosity. Because they are distributed by Beggars Group USA, a label group whose webpage I visit frequently due to their distribution of the Mountain Goats, I was being constantly confronted with that oddly alluring cover. Finally, one day, I listened to a sample clip from the song “VCR” on the Beggars Group page.

Within thirty minutes, I had ordered a copy of the album from the label.

I don’t know what I was expecting from the xx, but whatever it was, it certainly wasn’t what I got. For all the hype, they seemed oddly unfashionable. The most immediate reference point I latched onto was Young Marble Giants. Subsequent listens revealed shades of the Cure and the Chameleons, some New Order/Joy Division basslines and atmospheres, Interpol-esque guitar lines. The vocal delivery is low-key and somewhat detached, but in a compelling way, as if the detachment is not true disengagement but a defense mechanism. Some of the songs simply ooze with sexiness, and the ones that don’t writhe with an uncomfortable sexual tension between the vocalists that draws you in to the drama. This young band has created a surprisingly fragile, delicate, deliberate, and well-crafted album that somehow feels like a moment that will burn out quickly. As much as I love this album, this seems like a band that perhaps only has this one album in it before it falls apart. If that is indeed the case, then I feel grateful to have been here for it.

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