Posts tagged ‘The Rural Alberta Advantage’

December 28, 2011

2011 in review: Mansquatch’s favorite songs, Pt. I

Apparently 2011 was a good year for music, because I couldn’t whittle down my list of favorite songs below 50. Then again I’m not very good with that whole brevity thing (reference my personal mix post for proof), so what the hell do I know? The answer: A LOT.

50. Feist – The Bad In Each Other
Feist gets a lot of well-deserved praise for her trumpet-mimicking vocals, but her guitar skills always jump out at me when I watch her perform on TV. One of her subtle but ear-pleasing riffs introduces her masterpiece new album, giving way to horns and pounding percussion on this bittersweet folk gem.

49. The Cars – Blue Tip
After decades away, The Cars returned and sounded exactly like The Cars should sound. Though late bassist/singer Benjamin Orr left a big void, Ric Ocasek and Co. didn’t miss a beat after they dusted off their old instruments, picked up a few new ones, and affixed their sunglasses just so.

48. Neon Indian – Polish Girl
I’ve discovered that this chillwave stuff is kinda like a Totino’s Pizza Roll — if you stuff a whole bunch of processed crap inside a neat little package, it can be quite enjoyable. And yes, I am a fan of Totino’s Pizza Rolls. Them shits is delicious.

47. Foo Fighters – Arlandria
Dave Grohl revisited the old loud-quiet-loud pattern that grunge made famous, but also made sure to layer a few modern touches to distract the listener from some classically cliché lyrics. The crushing intro riff also sounds excellent as a follow-up to thrash-burner “White Limo,” the preceding track on Wasting Light (and, in most cases, on stage).

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December 23, 2011

Abbytron’s Top 20 Albums of 2011

Chances are you’ve already seen tons of Best of 2011 lists already, but as a music blogger, I of course have to throw in my two cents. As usual, it’s been a phenomenal year for music lovers like myself, and I’ve spent all of 2011 digging into new releases like it’s going outta style. While I certainly didn’t hear it all, I heard enough to have a pretty good idea of what stands out ahead of the pack. So this is just a rundown of the 10 frontrunners (plus 10 more that vied hardily for those positions) that I believe should absolutely not go overlooked.

1. Noah Gundersen – Family
Okay, so technically this is an EP. But it’s seven songs long, which to me qualifies as full enough to make my list. I mean, as you can see, I’m ranking it No. 1, and if I had to acknowledge it as an EP, then I wouldn’t be able to include it on this list at all. And that, my friends, would be a monumental shame because Noah Gundersen’s music sounds like it was made by angels. So, I said screw it, this is my list and I’m leaving it on. The Seattle musician has a little masterpiece on his hands with Family — at times cleanly rootsy and others softly dulcet. He’s a young man, but his songwriting chops (not to mention his lyrics) are some of the most seasoned and professional I’ve ever witnessed.

Nashville – Noah Gundersen

2. Timber Timbre – Creep On Creepin’ On
I don’t know what I can say about this album that I didn’t already say in my review earlier this year. Basically, if you’ve heard Timber Timbre before (especially the trio’s 2009 self-titled album), then you can rest assured that Creep On Creepin’ On is more of what you already know and love. As you can tell, Timber Timbre continues to grow and change yet still hold onto its brooding exterior through all its subtle evolutions from one album to the next.

Too Old to Die Young – Timber Timbre

3. The Rural Alberta Advantage – Departing
I’d heard of the Rural Alberta Advantage before, but it was this year that I fell in love with them. A lot of people have seemed unimpressed with Departing, the folk-rock band’s sophomore album. But it’s brought me nothing but joy, despite the tragic tales set forth by the pained vocals of Nils Edenloff. The fact is, these singable melodies about the darker sides of life and love have been occupying my ears nearly all year, and I’ve found I still can’t get enough.

Coldest Days – The Rural Alberta Advantage

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