I love and hate choosing rankings for music. I like to think of music as a friendly competition between musicians, so assigning the equivalent of AP College Football Rankings to albums is fun- albeit futile. In the end, my rankings are probably far less accurate than the flawed BCS system. I will give you some of my favorites, though. By all means, check out the ones you've never heard of, and re-listen to anything that's already load on your portable MP3 player.
Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective - This dreamy foray into electronic beats coupled with some of the best harmony vocals since Four Guys From Liverpool back in the 1960s, earns this album a spot on my list. SPIN Magazine did crown this one #1, though. Stare at the album cover below- it might hyponitize you in listening to it!
Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear - My buddy Eric let me know about this band and assured me they would not disappoint. In fact, they did not. If you need any convincing, just put on the song "Two Weeks" and you'll see what I'm talking about. In fact, here is the video right here- it's creepy, but it gets the job done:
The Resistance by Muse - Just assume that any year Muse releases an album, it will go in my Top Five albums of that year. These guys just don't disappoint. The way that classical music, Queen and Franz Ferdinand have influenced this album is quite obvious and it makes for an enjoyable listening experience. Here is "The Uprising"- the lead track on the album:
Wilco (The Album) by Wilco - Jeff Tweedy and Co. have been making great albums for 13 years now and I don't think I'll ever get sick of anything they ever do. This album is more accessible to the general music listener than their last three albums, but it still has an original punch that even music snobs will have to tip their hat to. Here is their performance on Letterman:
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix by Phoenix - I love this album. It is works for when you're in a bad mood and want to cheer yourself up. It works for dancing. It works for jogging. It works for sitting around and drinking. It works for any situation, and that's why this gets the official Tony B. stamp of excellence. I'm not sure what that means within the music community, but I'm giving it out anyway. Here's a track from their great, great album:
Let me know what I missed. I know there a few albums I haven't listened to just yet (the new Alice In Chains springs to mind) that I just don't know well enough to include. Either way, these albums all kick ass.