10. Tortoise – The Catastrophist
The band that is somewhat responsible for inventing but most certainly responsible for defining post-rock offer this release in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of their lionized oeuvre Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Some of it is characteristic Tortoise, some of it is like Beacons of Ancestorship in which the band added synths to their sound and some of it is new such as the incorporation of vocals.
9. Hiromi – Spark
This Japanese jazz prodigy reasserts the importance of the trio on this unrestrained record.
8. Weezer – The White Album
While some may think Weezer lost credibility beginning with Green Album, there is no denying each color field LP after Pinkerton has made a significant statement as does this one. Overall the album is an acceptance that Weezer’s glory days are gone…the recording features songs written for youth from a parental perspective. Musically, the sound is as vibrant as Blue Album.
7. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of their debut record, Tribe got back together to create this fury of an album along with the help of Jack White and Andre 3000 among others. Sadly, founding member Phife Dawg died before the album came out which points to the fact that this will be the band’s last recording ever.
6. Diarrhea Planet – Turn to Gold
The greatest band with the worst name offer a more produced release where metal and punk mix in a thrilling way.
5. Shearwater – Jet Plane and the Oxbow
The sociopolitical elements of this album and its 80’s throwback sound suggest the times we are living in are not far removed from the aforementioned decade. On this album Shearwater top their previous best work, Rook.
4. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
This Detroit underground rap star’s new album on Warp features a plethora of the electronica elements for which the label is known for along with some more traditional hip hop production both of which are discoursed over. These aspects combined with the dour and ominous lyrical themes make it an extremely interesting listen.
3. Motorpyscho – Here Be Monsters
Following a celebratory reissue of their masterwork, Demon Box, Motorpyscho released this record. It features their trademark blend of psychedelia and hard rock but is at times lighter than past releases.
2. Bullion – Loop the Loop
The British producer offers his best offering since his mash up of J Dilla and the Beach Boy’s Pet Sounds. Unlike that release this, his first proper album, features actual instrumentation that culminates as eccentric and avant-garde electronic pop.
1. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Thematically the album is about alienness, climate change, separation with one’s partner and nullity which all are tied in by the consummate cant title (take that Nietzsche). New ideas are sprung into the music such as drones, samba, political folk, the use of two drummers (this had been done live with The King of Limbs put hadn’t been put on a recording), flamenco, krautrock, minimalist guitar lines, vintage production, an array of unused classic electronics, omnipresent strings and choir vocals. Not to mention Colin Greenwood’s bass has never sounded as great as it does here.