El Vy Review: Return to the Moon

El Vy

Return to the Moon

El-VY-Return-to-the-Moon-Artwork

When people think of Ohio indie rockers the National, they probably think of sort of sad, existential music. With all the theatrics the Dessner brothers are able to drum up and lead singer Matt Berninger’s deep baritone voice, the National’s sound is wholly distinct but also full of melancholy. But sometimes with all that heaviness you just need a spritzer. Matt Berninger’s latest project with Brent Knopf of the playful, dynamic Texas band Menomena is that just right change of pace: a quick, relatively light record that makes the most of Berninger’s soulful vocals but especially his sense of humor.
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LxL’s Best Albums of 2012

Top 20 Best Albums of 2012 including El-P, Jack White, and Fiona Apple

2012 turned out to be a pretty great year in music.  I think all three of us would agree the offerings in 2012 were deep in really good albums, without many albums rising to the level of true greatness.  That being said, I think I would rather have a pool of 60-80 really good albums come out in a year than 9-10 great albums.  Around here, we like variety, and we certainly got it this year.  There was a surprisingly surge of good hip-hop released in the second half of the year (Killer Mike, Nas, Meek Mill).  There was the long-awaited return of all-timer female singer songwriter types (Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Regina Spektor).  And there were also several much-anticipated sophomore wide releases (Sleigh Bells, Tame Impala, Beach House, Twin Shadow).  All in all, there may not have been a lot of perfect albums this year, but it was still a great year in music.  Enjoy the top 20.
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Menomena Review: Moms

Menomena

Moms

Menomena, Moms, album, cover, art

Menomena’s Moms may be one of the most phenomenally difficult albums for me to write about, due mostly to the fact I am not a musician myself and there is just so much going on that I am completely overwhelmed.  Fortunately, this is the good type of overwhelmed.  The type of overwhelmed where there could be utility in reviewing each and every song down to its bare bones.  Alas, no one wants to read a 2000 word review, and I don’t particularly want to write one, so please accept the next 500 or so as my inferior explanation of why I believe Moms to be firmly in the conversation for best album of 2012.
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Top Ten Thursday: 2010 Albums in Retrospect

As we gear up for the conclusion of another memorable year in music and our upcoming 2011 Best-of lists, we thought it would be fun to turn back the clock to a year ago, and look at the greatest albums of 2010. However, as hindsight is crystal clear, we have adjusted our rankings based on how we feel now, so some albums that may not have made our list last year that grew on us may show up here and vice-versa.

1. Kanye West-My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Cover Art

The polarizing rapper’s magnum opus; a sort of wonderful ride through the psyche of the conflicted artist. MBDTF challenges the idea of what a hip-hop record is with songs like “Runaway” and “Lost In The World”, and also has its fair share of big-time hits with songs like “Power” and “All Of The Lights”.
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