|By Tony Maniscalco
After reading Phil’s list of the best sophomore albums of the ’00s, I realized that I should have been more on the ball with putting together my version. Either our group is a little too incestuous with our music or we’re just really good at finding the very best. Either way, it looks like I’m just following his lead on 3 of my 6 choices. So before someone else gets a chance to add my others to the group…
Amy Winehouse, Back to Black. The funny thing is that I don’t think Phil and I have ever talked about Amy Winehouse, but I agree with him completely about this album. Except for the song Rehab – It doesn’t fit here and I always start the album with “You Know That I’m No Good”. The sound of this album is classically soulful, the lyrics shockingly modern. It works.
Arctic Monkeys, Favourite Worst Nightmare. Not quite as good as their debut, it’s still an amazing burst of raw energy. To me, this was their last album before they broke up the band and then reformed as something completely different.
Raconteurs, Consolers of the Lonely. Jack White and friends at their finest. Guitar, drums, and vocals that cut like knives. This band sounds like they are recording live in the studio and I love the under produced sound that they created. Better than Broken Boy Soldiers in my opinion.
Kings of Leon, Aha Shake Heartbreak. I came late to the Kings of Leon. I didn’t hear this album until most of Only By the Night had been so overplayed that we didn’t want to hear it ever again. After seeing the Kings at Lollapalooza in ’09 I went back into their catalog and discovered this gem. Self deprecating, borderline obscene, and always energetic; Aha Shake Heartbreak has what I like in my music. These Kings don’t seem to realize how good they are yet, and they are better for it.
We Are Scientists, …with Love and Squalor. Catchy and fun, this album is indie pop at it’s finest. From start to finish, this album is a good time. Musically rich and complex, this album features some of the best drumming that I have ever heard and sports a polished sound that makes the album one that I come back to again and again.
I’m looking forward to checking out Japandroids Celebration Rock. I’ve just started to dip into it on NPR.org’s “First Listen”. I need to listen to an album several times before I make any kind of pronouncement, but what I’ve heard is enough to tell me that it’s a must buy when it drops on 6/5/12.