- Tom Waits - "Orphans" As good as everyone says. If not better. Weird. Eclectic. Pitchfork called it a "shadow best-of." That's pretty true.
- The Thermals - "The Body, the Blood, the Machine" Angry, tuneful, witty. What else does one need?
- Justin Timberlake - "FutureSex/Lovesounds" This album is made up of only good things. Like sex. And Michael Jackson when he was cool. And Prince. I listen to it all the goddamned time.
- Neko Case - "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood" I can't stop listening to this album. Her voice is so good. The songs make weird, unexpected turns.
- The Gothic Archies - "The Tragic Treasury" Took me a few listenes to really enjoy it. And not every song is great...but what's great is great in all the ways I want it to be. Witty. Dark. Rhyme-y. Stephin Merritt is made of smart.
- Sufjan Stevens - "The Avalanche" "Oh, it's just leftovers?" True. But so is that Turkey sandwich on the day after Thanksgiving. And they are both FUCKING AWESOME.
- Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan - "Ballad of the Broken Seas" I feel like I shouldn't like Mark Lanegan. Pretentious, meet portentous. Now make a baby: it's Mark Lanegan. "What a cute baby!" -k
- Thom Yorke - "Eraser" Thom sounds lonely. In a good, pretty way. Maybe he misses Radiohead. Nah, he's just sad.
- Arctic Monkeys - "Whatever People Say I am" So, so good. Did this come out last year? Whatever. They deserve all the love they've gotten.
- Mountain Goats - "Get Lonely" Yes, it's sad. And it's not quite as good as The Sunset Tree. But it's still really good.
- The Scissor Sisters - "Ta-Da" Maybe I shouldn't like this. And maybe I shouldn't eat all the leftover Halloween candy. But I do.
- Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - "Rabbit Fur Coat" Pretty voice + Good songwriting = Very Good. Bonus: Twins!
- Yo La Tengo - "I am Not Afraid of You and I will Kick your Ass" I loved the title. Then I just kinda liked the album. Now I quite like the album. Not sure how this is going to wind up.
- Decemberists - "The Crane Wife" Haven't listened to it enough. But when I do, I enjoy it.
- Solomon Burke - "Nashville" Sometimes I like you. But then sometimes you're boring. Be less boring.
- The Black Keys - "Magic Potion" I like the songs, really like them, but can't remember any of them. Know why? 'Cos they sound like all the other Black Keys songs. It's time to make like the White Stripes, Other Rock/Blues Duo, and start experimenting.
- Drive By Truckers - "A Blessing and a Curse" Some really good songs ("Aftermath USA," Gravity's Gone"), but too many that don't do enough for me.
- Tenacious D - Soundtrack It makes me laugh more than it should. And some of the songs are so spot on that it's amazing. And Dio sings on the first track. But it's still not an album.
- The Raconteurs - "Broken Boy Soldiers" Did I like this as much as I thought I did?
- Howe Gelb - "Sno Angel Like You" Haven't listened to it enough, but enjoy it when I do.
- Outkast - "Idlewild" Ridiculously uneven. Pretty damn weird, too. And yet, enough of it sounds enough like Outkast to make me happy.
- Gnarls Barkley - "St. Elsewhere" I loved you. But we drifted apart. It's not you. It's me.
- Bruce Springsteen - "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions" I tried. It's nice and all. It runs on...Folk Power!
- Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Show Your Bones" I liked the first one a lot. This one, kinda "meh."
- Sparklehorse - "Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain" Haven't listened enough. Not as good as "It's a Wonderful Life," but good. I think. Maybe.
- The Hold Steady - "Boys and Girls in America" I like you, but I'm not in like with you. But I'll give you another try.
- Bob Dylan - "Modern Time" You set the bar too high on "Love and Theft" (and "Blood on the Tracks" and "Highway 61 Revisited" and...). This album is good...but definitely not great. Actually, not even sure on good. I haven't listened to it in over a month, except for "Nettie Moore."
- CSS - "Cansei Se Ser Sexy" I do not understand the appeal of this band
- The Strokes - "First Impressions of Earth" Do better. I still enjoy the other two albums against my better judgment. Make me like this one, too. And not just "Juicebox."
- Scott Walker - "The Drift" This album makes me want to cry. In fear. Why do people like this? Terrifying. Like crying-while-eating scary.
- Flaming Lips - "War Against the Mystics" I happily listened to this for a while. And then it started annoying me. And then it just seemed loud and bad. Is this how the rest of the world feels about the entirety of the Flaming Lips' output?
- Nellie McKay - "Pretty Little Head" I gave Nellie McKay the benefit of the doubt last time. And then this happened. When it's not boring, it's annoying. Go make a real album, hippie! (Note: Nellie McKay isn't a hippie.)
- Destroyer - "Destroyer's Rubies" Why are you so loved?
- Pearl Jam - "Pearl Jam" Sounding like you did ten years ago does not a "return to form" make.
- Jerry Lee Lewis - "Last Man Standing" Should be like Johnny Cash's American Recordings. Instead, it's like Santana's duets albums. Poop.
- Elvis Costello & Allain Toussant - "The River in Reverse" Good intentions don't make good albums.
- Neil Young - "Living with War" See: "The River in Reverse"
- Christina Aguilera - "Back to Basics" You, madam, are no Justin Timberlake.
- Beck - "The Information" I cannot hum, remember, or quote a lyric from a song on this album. It makes me sad to say that. Now I have to go listen to "Midnite Vultures" and cry while dancing.
TV on the Radio - "Return to Cookie Mountain" Everyone loves you. I listened to you again last night. You leave me cold.
Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler - "All the Roadrunning" Pretty. But sleepytime pretty. Someone's mother loves this.
David Gilmour - "On an Island" You are not Roger Waters. And now, you sound like his dad. Or my dad. Or...if Jimmy Buffet had played guitar on "The Wall," he'd make an album like this. Basically: there aren't enough bad metaphors to describe how lame this album is.
- Various - "Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys" Do you need an album of pirate songs? No. But should you download Baby Gramps "throat singing" on "Cape Cod Girls"? Probably not, either. Why is John C. Reilly Singing on this? And, not badly?
- Various - "Plague Songs" Songs about-kinda the plagues in Exodus. Cody Chessnutt's "Boils" is a keeper (refrain: "BOILS!"). As is Rufus Wainwright's Katonah [if only for shouting out the Taconic Pkwy]. Westchester in the HOUSE! Whoops.
- Various - "Harry Smith Project Live" Uneven and probably unnecessary. But watch as David Johansen's version of "James Alley Blues" trumps Wilco's. Also: Nick Cave approaches his scariest with "John the Revelator." Not as scary as Scott Walker's "Drift," but scary. Oh, and Lou Reed's "See that my Grave is Kept Clean" is great.