Top 40 Albums of 2017

40. Every Valley by Public Service Broadcasting Post-rock with layered public radio announcements. Perfect for studying.   39. Wild Alee by the Talos Everyone is trying to rip off the Bon Iver thing this year. Of the imitators, I think Talos did it best.   38. Saint or Sinner by Sir the Baptist An absolutely infectious single and honest commentary on the lived experience of marginalized communities.   37. Colors by Beck After a critically acclaimed turn toward singer-songwriter introspection, party-Beck is back. 36. Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works by Max Richter Ever since Max Richter’s melodic touch scored The Leftovers’ theme, I’m now game for any of his compositions.   35. Drool by Nnamdi Ogbonnaya Drool provides a… Read More →

Top 40 Albums of 2015

40. New Alhambra by Elvis Depressedly Melodic. Rough around the edges. Biblical motifs. For the win.   39. The Helio Sequence by the Helio Sequence Percussive yet ambient. Perfect work music.   38. Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes Alabama Shakes keep marching forward with an excellent sophomore release. Bluesy, snarly, overdriven.   37. The Shape of Colour by Intervals Technical and punishing instrumental metal.   36. Positive Songs for Negative People by Frank Turner Tunes best suited for the bar on a Friday night.   35. All Your Favorite Bands by Dawes Guitar rock for the indie inclined. I do hope all my favorite bands stay together.   34. The Bearer of Bad News by Andy Shauf Why can’t… Read More →

Donovan’s Top 10 Albums of 2012

Much like last year, I am surprised at the continued narrowing of my musical consumption. Narrowing down my music to a Top-40 list a few years ago represented quite a project. Having listened to a continuous stream of music, I had no problem outlining an extensive list. Well, this year, I have added only 18 albums to my iTunes from 2012. As I said last year, this list no longer represents what I feel to be the absolute best music from 2012. I fully expect that I have missed some excellent music. Instead, this list represents a snapshot of my year. These albums sat in my car for months at a time. Most of them found their way to a… Read More →

Album Review: Silver & Gold

Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6-10 by Sufjan Stevens (Asthmatic Kitty, 2012.) Sufjan Stevens is an American singer-songwriter born in Detroit, Michigan and based in Brooklyn, New York. Stevens has released many albums of varying styles but is perhaps best known for Come On Feel the Illinoise, a concept album based on the state of Illinois. Stevens collaborates often with a variety of musicians and his work has received much critical acclaim. A Magical Time of Year, A Complicated Time of Year Isn’t December a magical time of year? The air seems to fill with the spirit of the season. People buzz around grabbing gifts, attending holiday parties, imbibing in spirits, and viewing Christmas lights. There is a… Read More →