Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2011: My Favorite Albums (Blair Chopin)

What can I say about 2011 that has not already been said? Nothing. So here's my 42 (I love you Coldplay) best albums of the year:

42. Cymbals Eat Guitars - Lenses Alien

Lenses Alien is just a cluster mess of potential. Once Cymbals Eat Guitars stop trying to make songs that sound like 8 minute Built to Spill and Mars Volta covers and find their own sweet spot they will be one of the best bands around. Right now they are just really inconsistent. The album has a few moments of brilliance though that make it one of the better listens of the year.

41. Bomb The Music Industry! - Vacation

Vacation is the poor man's version of Knife Man. That makes it one of the best records of the year.

40. The War on Drugs - Slave Ambient

Slave Ambient is a tough album to write about. It has excellent musicianship, great lyrics, superior flow, a few "wow" moments, but it really fails to produce any memorable songs. Slave Ambient is almost better off being just one soundtrack instead of a collection of tracks.

39. City and Colour - Little Hell

City and Colour were once the greatest fat girl band in the universe. Meaning that they used to make music that fat thirteen year old girls cried to while awkwardly staring at their Jacob Black poster. They were the kind of band that convinced those fat girls that men actually had souls, that men were looking at their heart and not their appearance, that heaven was anytime they could take a long walk at the beach, and that True Movie Thursday was the only day worth living. It always came of as so forced and fake. City and Colour were always an AIDS infected crippled homeless guys version of Bright Eyes. So when I decided to listen to Little Hell I just knew that I would probably end up listening to The National in about two minutes. But City and Colour finally made a record that was honest and was for 20 year old fat nerds instead of being for 13 year old fat chicks. They finally made a record that had more than one good track. They were no longer the AIDS infected crippled version of Bright Eyes. In 2011 City and Colour were better than Bright Eyes. I need a shower........

38. The Sheepdogs - Learn and Burn

The Sheepdogs understand that people really like the Beatles, the Beach Boys, The Allman Brothers, and The Rolling Stones. So they made a record that sounds like all four of these bands combined. Honestly this sounds like a record out of 1966.

37. The Weeknd - Thursday

House of Balloons is one of the few records that is so powerful that it makes you feel sexy. Thursday makes you feel like you are listening to just another great R&B record. I need some sex with my swagger though.........

36. Real Estate - Days

Days just doesn't give a flying jiff. We live in a world of recessions, depression, pain killers, Penn State's, and Black Friday fights over Waffle Irons (most tragically.) But with Days, Real Estate remind you that their world is more important. Its a world of relaxation, good times, happiness, and most importantly pretty damn good music. Its the most efficient apathy I have ever seen.

35. Foster The People - Torches

Foster The People give me hope that America is getting smarter about music. FTP make good music and are one of the biggest bands out their today. I hope that America is saying goodbye to the "I Don't Hook Up" type of music and will start enjoying the musical orgy that Torches and other mainstream indie have created. America is growing smarter. deytokorjobs!

34. Eisley - The Valley

I talked to Max Bemis and I wrote like thirty good punk songs. I can only imagine what happens after you bang him........

33. Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep

It is funny that this album is called Losing Sleep because it is usually the album I fall asleep to. Unwritten rule: If you save me from those awkward 3:30 AM Billy Mays infomercials then I say you are one of the best albums of the year. Oh yeah and the music is really good!

32. Yellowcard - When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes

When I was through thinking, I decided that I really want a raise.

31. Ryan Adams - Ashes & Fire
Adams still doesn't live up to the standards set early in his career but the important thing about Ashes & Fire is that Adams is no longer trying to live up to the fluff and unnecessary boldness of all of his other releases. Adams has finally chosen simplicity over boldness, he has finally chosen his acoustic guitar over his electric guitar, he has finally chose intimate storytelling lyrics over corny cliched lyrics, and he has finally chose making good music over having an interesting resume. Adams may have deactivated his Facebook with Ashes & Fire, but now he realizes that he has more friends in the outside world than he ever did online, he now realizes that he should make music for himself instead of trying to make music for the entire world, and he finally realizes just how good of a musician he can be when he decides to return to his roots.

30. Death Cab For Cutie - Codes and Keys

Remember when Ben Gibbard was married? Well this is the perfect couples record. The album features pretty awesome songs about youthful dancing, the existence of God, trees, speaking in codes, and traveling a lot. Ben Gibbard grew up before our very ears. But now we get to hear his depressing "we just broke up" songs again. Those were always better....

29. Youth Lagoon - The Year of Hibernation

The Year Of Hibernation is the soundtrack to your most vivid dreams and at the same time the soundtrack to your most grotesque nightmares. When Youth Lagoon is at their best they are making tracks that take you to fictional Utopia's with one single riff, help you find love with one mumbled vocal, and make you feel like you are "Seventeen" again with one brilliant track. But when they are off they make music that really just sounds like cryptic noise that you wake up screaming to (notice how I didn't even attempt to guess what your nightmares were.) I feel like the peaks of The Year Of Hibernation are just as good as any 2011 record but the valleys are something you wake up to a flood of piss to.

28. Thrice - Major/Minor

Thrice are one of those bands that everyone has a story about. Thrice helped this guy get through this struggle, this one girl got that one tattoo on her boob because of Thrice, Thrice are the reason that that one guy got into music, Thrice helped so and so find Jesus/Buddah/Judah, and so and so says when they heard Thrice they thought it was worst than Nickelback. Thrice are the Courtney Stodden of modern rock. It just seems like everyone has an outlandish or exaggerated opinion or story about them and they cannot seem to shut up about it. Well I have to admit that I have always been sort of Thrice neutral. And I kind of think that is the best way to be. If you come into Major/Minor expecting a spiritual and life changing experience then you are wrong. But if you come into this album expecting a damn good record, you may have found one of your favorite albums of 2011.

27. Florence and the Machine - Ceremonials

Ceremonials is nothing short of magnificent. It has gigantic choruses, gorgeous vocals, good songs, and might be the best "mainstream" album that the kids are listening to right now (get off my lawn!) But for me it is just missing some of the sexiness that made Strange Mercy a top three record (spoiler alert! Other spoilers: Pro wrestling is kind of fake.) It doesn't really have a defining moment or a song that makes me want to dance around my room in just my underwear. So maybe for the sake of humanity Ceremonials is a triumphant masterpiece, but for me it is just the 27th best record of 2011.

26. The Mountain Goats - All Eternals Deck

All Eternals Deck is a collection of brilliant "victory" anthems. Just about every song is a perfect done anthem about the healing of some wound or the overcoming of some struggle. On the first fifteen or so listens you are just completely blown away, but then you kind of get tired of The Mountain Goats and his victory songs. Maybe it was because we knew he was a winner after he cursed out those vampires.

25. Radiohead - TKOL RMX

Even though the sound of the remixes of The King of Limbs might not be that much more experimental than the actual synthesized and distorted studio album, it still serves as an effective remix album in a way that no remix album has really done before it. The contributing artists present The King Of Limbs in a way that is open: open in its sound, open in a way that every song can be interpreted, and most importantly open in the way that it sounds like many different creative artists worked on this album instead of just one. This openness leads to a remixing of the important themes and soundscapes on just about every Radiohead album: the themes and sounds that made us hate ourselves, the themes and sounds that made us feel like the world was going to end, the themes and sounds that made us question our government, and the themes and sounds that made Radiohead one of the greatest bands of our time. TKOL RMX is basically a Radiohead greatest hits album that isn’t by Radiohead. It is a greatest hits albums by artists that understand that Radiohead’s career is about more than eight songs its about eight different experiences and themes with each album. Since the artist perfectly grasp this they have not only made a remix album but an excellent and effective homage to Radiohead’s groundbreaking career. A career that might have been based off remixes in the first place.

24. The Milk Carton Kids - Prologue

Prologue, besides the fourty-one other albums on this list, is the best 2011 record you haven't heard yet. The Milk Carton Kids are just really a ball of folk potential. When they are on they are perfectly able to combine the vulnerability of Justin Vernon with the catchiness of Bob Dylan (this shows you how much I know about folk.) When they are on they are able to create anthems about loneliness and dispair that ironically fill even the darkest of voids in our soul. What sucks for The Milk Carton Kids is that they are really not very well known, so the album suffers production wise. So after you finish reading this list question why you wasted all that time on me and then go listen to The Milk Carton Kids. Like looking for a missing kid on the back off a milk carton, these guys will be well worth your time.

23. The Wonder Years: Suburbia I've Given You All And Now I'm Nothing

Remember Taking Back Sunday's Tell All Your Friends? It was the record you listened to when you were fourteen that made you cry, sing, and throw a lot of microphones. You hung on every one of Adam's words and you thought that Tell All Your Friends was the best record of all-time because it felt like your autobiography. Well Suburbia is kind of Tell All Your Friends for the upcoming generation of pre-pubscent kids who probably don't have a flip phone like I did. It has big choruses, big beefs about women, and a lot of stuff that make it the perfect record for 14 year old girls who are on their third boyfriend in three days.

22. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Belong

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart are everything Vampire Weekend is supposed to be. They are fun but they still remain honest, they are catchy but they do not force hooks down our throats, they are dramatic without being "soundtrack to Gossip Girl dramatic,) and they actually are able to put ten or eleven good songs together on occasion. Eleven actually good Vampire Weekend songs? We Belong together.

21. The Rural Alberta Advantage - Departing

The Rural Alberta Advantage are kind of the Canadian folk version of one of The National. They have those condensending witty lyrics, they constantly reference their hometown, they make really good songs on occasion, and they have a lead singer whose voice strangely makes me do the good ol "headbang dance." But like everything in Canada their version of The National just isn't as brilliant as ours. And it seems like The Rural Alberta Advantage are Departing from what made them an awesome band and going into some strange poppy thing. That's a shame. Guess I'll be singing "In The Summertime" until they snap out of it.

20. The Middle East - I Want That You Are Always Happy

The world was shocked when they heard the news that The Middle East was going on hiatus because they actually kind of thought that the actual Middle East was going on hiatus. So when they found out that it was only a band going on hiatus, they immediately stopped supporting Barack Obama and went on with the misery of their normal lives. But I have to say that losing this Middle East is something to be really upset about. This is one of the strangest albums I have listened to all year but it also one of the best. The band can create 8 minute epics like it is nothing and they can even write songs about Jesus coming to their birthday parties. So much potential was lost here. Just listen to "Blood." You'll know what I mean...

19. Frank Ocean - Nostalgia, Ultra
Frank Ocean did just about everything right. He told "bitches" to shut up when they messed with him for listening to to much Radiohead, he made a song about drugs that will probably be our generations defining song about drugs, he sampled a lot of modern and classic rock artists, and he told off all of his haters in one album. But sometimes it is hard to do these things and still make a really cohesive album. This album lacks the flow it takes to make a top ten 2011 album.

18. Cassino - The Weight of Bother
All of the new versions and new songs on The Weight of Bother are extremely well done and add something completely new to a couple of musicians that define themselves on newness and uniqueness. This EP will not define every step of your musical journey like the first two Cassino albums did. But with every new version of every old classic The Weight of Bother will make you daydream of fixing old mistakes and relationships, will make you go back and fix these old mistakes, and will make you dream of what your life could be if you just had that second, that day, that year, or even this life over again. And sometimes that is more fun than actually taking the next step in "the journey."

17. WU LYF - Go Tell Fire To The Mountain
This album kind of reminds me of a really good National Geographic special. Even though you really don't understand it you can't stop listening to it, even though you will never hear anything like this again you can't stop listening to it, even though its kind of annoying it seems to be the right kind of annoying, and even though it is different that does not mean that it was not awesome.

16. Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
Just listening to "Walking Far From Home."

15. Manchester Orchestra - Simple Math
Its not the best album of the last five years like some critics have said, but it is one of the best rock albums of 2011. Its not as deep or meaningful as Mean Everything to Nothing, but is more mature and a logical step forward for Manchester Orchestra. Its does not come off as a story about a man finding God, rather a story about a man finding himself.

Even though Simple Math is not quite what its cracked up to be it can be said that it really was never supposed to be. This was not supposed to be a classic for millions of people because it was one man's unique story put to complex music. This was never supposed to be Mean Everything to Nothing because that album seemed like it meant everything to just about everyone that listened to it. Simple Math was simply supposed to be a great rock album with a few great songs. And when you realize that you feel fulfilled and are finally able to enjoy this great album

14. Frank Turner - England Keep My Bones

I am as American as they get. I like my cheeseburgers with chicken on top, I like my ladies with kitchen utencils in hand, I like my sports teams fast and loose, and I like my URL's misspelled. But Frank Turner has created an album that is so powerful that it made me feel like I was really meant to be British. That wanker.......

13. The Antlers - Burst Apart

Hospice was so powerful that when the patient died at the end of the story we felt like we had lost one of our closest family members. The album was so heartbreaking yet beautiful, so gracious yet aggressive, so mundane yet deep, and so open yet closed at the end that it was almost impossible not to be effected by it in some positive or negative way. The concept behind Hospice was so bold and emotional that it would be nearly impossible to come up with a sequel.

But in a way the Antlers made a sequel to Hospice without really trying to make a sequel. Burst Apart sounds a lot different than Hospice and is not a concept album. But in a way that makes it the sequel. Because it shows us that the Antlers have moved on lyrically, have moved on musically, and have recovered emotionally from Hospice. It seems like Burst Apart is the next chapter in the Antlers discography and is the logical hope filled sequel. The Antlers have recovered and so have their listeners. But that doesn't mean they will ever forget such a meaningful experience

12. Radiohead - The King of Limbs

The King of Limbs is not a normal Radiohead album. Radiohead essentially stripped themselves of everything that made them Radiohead on this album. They stripped themselves of the social commentary present on Ok Computer and Hail to The Thief, the gigantic vocals presented on In Rainbows, and the catchiness of even their least catchy albums. The King of Limbs is a Radiohead album that sounds like it is made by someone else entirely. Even though we had become eerily familiar with every nuance of Radiohead's previous albums, The King Of Limbs shows a Radiohead that is desperately trying not to be Radiohead anymore. In a way it is disappointing but in a lot of other ways it shows us why Radiohead is one of the greatest bands of all time.

11. Armistice - Armistice

Armistice's debut EP makes you feel like you are on the beach even when you are just sitting at home on Facebook or the Twitter. Every acoustic riff makes you feel like the tide is coming in, every vocal makes you feel like you are running through the sand, and even though every song sounds different they all make you feel like you are near the ocean. Its sixteen minutes of the beach anytime you want it. Music doesn't get much better than this.

10. Lydia - Paint It Golden

Lydia are a pretty bland and mediocre when they make themselves just another indie band like they did on Assailants. But Lydia are at their best when they are a band of complete contradictions. Illuminate and Paint It Golden are albums of complete contradictions and are both albums that are at least superb. They are both albums that have some of the darkest lyrics yet some of the most beautiful lyrics, they are both albums were every song sounds different yet all of the songs flow together perfectly, they are both albums that would be average if they were made by any other artists but are near classics when they are made by Lydia. The only difference between the two albums is in the types of sounds and the feeling that both albums give you. Illuminate was dark piano driven chapter book and Paint It Golden is a golden painted dark yet optimistic open book. Now we just have to hope that Lydia sticks around long enough to fill this open book up with more great albums.

9. Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver

The genius of For Emma, Forever Ago was even though it was a very simple album musically it was still a very powerful album. Even if we were in love For Emma, Forever Ago broke our hearts, even if we had never been in the woods For Emma, Forever Ago made us feel like we were cavemen, even if we had never love folk we simply fell in love with the story that Justin Vernon created. Vernon created an album that was essentially the definition of being heartbroken, being self reliant, and even wanting to fill the void that I wrote about earlier.

The magical thing about Bon Iver, Bon Iver is that it sounds like Vernon is starting to fill that void. Even though he is "not magnificent," Vernon seems a lot happier than he was on For Emma, Forever Ago. Instead of leaving us heartbroken and isolated, Bon Iver, Bon Iver leaves us feeling warm and open to new experiences. Which is how someone should feel at the end of a journey as epic as Vernon's.

8. Beirut - The Rip Tide

The Rip Tide is the soundtrack to everyone of our best dreams (just our best dreams!) but like most of our dreams it needs to last a lot longer.

7. The Weeknd - House of Balloons

If you are like me you don't feel like a badass that often. If you are like me the most badass thing you do is feel your water cup up with Coke at McDonalds. But this album will make you feel like a badass with just about every song. Every song on this album is about drugs, sex, love, and alcohol. And the vocals on this album are so warm that you never doubt that the album is genuine. The album also has a cryptic feel that makes it seem like you are the one getting laid and doing tons of drugs. The cryptic feel and warm vocals on House of Balloons make it one of the most powerful albums of the year.

6. Bill Callahan: Apocalypse

It would be nearly impossible for us to take an outsiders perspective on something that is an essential part of our everyday lives. Imagine taking something you value the most: your job, your relationships, your sports team, your music, or anything else and all of the sudden having to view it from an outside perspective. The difficulty this would place on you mentally and physically is hard to grasp and the effects that this process would have on your family and friends would be impossible to comprehend. On paper this is a process that is not even worth trying. The process of being an outsider should be a process left to the outsiders and not you.

It might take us an "apocalypse" to view things from an outsiders perspective because we are often so stubborn about things we love or the things we just know a lot about. Well Bill Callahan was stubborn enough to making an album about an outsider's perspective and views about coming to America. His stubbornness led him to creating a near masterpiece and one of the best albums of 2011. Sometimes its good to be an outsider.

5. TV on The Radio - Nine Types of Light
Nine Types of Light is composed of ten different songs that will ironically shine ten different types of light into your life. If you are feeling depressed listening to "Keep Your Heart" will make you feel like dancing, if you are angry "You" will make you feel like you are not alone while making you smile at the same time, if you are hopeless "No Future Shock" will give you hope for the future by repeatedly saying their is no future, if you are lonely "Killer Crane" will give you something to cry with and smile with at the same time, if you feel ugly "Will Do" will summon your inner St. Vincent and make you feel sexy again, and if you feel tired "Caffeinated Consciousnesses" will be your musical ten cups of coffee. These are a few examples of the light that Nine Types of Light will bring into your song. And the brilliance of this album is that no matter how depressing of a topic they are singing about, no matter how depressing the lyrics are, and no matter how heartbroken you personally are each song on here still manages to bring some light into your life. Nine Types of Light is an album composed of ten songs that will make you feel alive again. And that in itself is a light that absolutely no one wants to go out.

4. Andrew Jackson Jihad: Knife Man

I honestly thought punk was dead. Pop punk peaked in the early 2000's, blink-182 was old and washed up, the skating generation had become the iPad generation, and music as a whole was becoming more and more politically correct with every passing day. Was a great punk album in 2011 simply just illogical?

Andrew Jackson Jihad made punk logical again with their 2011 album Knife Man. The album serves as a sarcastic social commentary for just about every aspect of the 21st century American's life: mental illness and struggle, race, loneliness, love, technology, death, politics, and religion. The album is one of the most funny yet serious punk albums I have heard in my lifetime and this in itself makes it one of the most effective punk albums I have ever listened to

3. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

Show me a male fan of indie music that doesn't have a huge crush on Annie Clark and I will show you a gay fan of indie music. There is no way not to completely fall in love with the sexy atmospheres that Clark creates on Strange Mercy. The choatic instrumentation of just about every track matches her beautiful vocals perfectly, her lyrics are metaphorical and blunt at the same time, and her music gives us something to dance to and something to cry to at the same time. Clark swiftly combines influences from just about every genre to give us the feeling that she is almost "too good to be true." Its funny because the album seems like it is almost too good to be true itself.........

2. Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost

I am not really sure if Father, Son, Holy Ghost was meant to be a cohesive album or if it was just meant to sound like a textbook on the history of modern music. Christopher Owens has created an album where just about anything is possible and just about everything is borderline genius. "Honey Bunny" is a Beach Boys sounding love song with a soulful breakdown, "Alex" is a sarcastic Nirvana like grunge song, "Die" is the metal song that most metal musicians are not talented enough to make, "How Can I Say I Love You?" serves as the albums country/folk campfire song and not surprisingly is one of the albums worst songs, "Myma" is the "cry for help" song, "Vomit" is the albums desperate love song that still has the bad ass feel of a six minute and thirty second version of Radiohead's "Talk Show Host," "Just A Song" is a combination of just about every genre and every song that Owens has created, "Magic" sounds like a corny fun. song, half of "Forgiveness" is a beautiful religious ballad and the other half sounds like something taken out of a Jimi Hendrix live show, "Love Life" is mainstream ballad that still has a soul, and "Jamie Marie" is a great closer. Father, Son, Holy Ghost makes it seem like Christopher Owens has the whole musical world on his guitar string and the result is a poppy, soul, jazz, rock, grunge, and everything but hip-hop masterpiece that we call Father, Son, Holy Ghost.

1. Destroyer - Kaputt

Kaputt was released on January 25, 2011 and is still my favorite album of 2011. Why is this important? Because it shows you just how good Kaputt is. In 2011, we tend to say the most recent thing is the greatest thing, when really it is just the most recent. We live in an age of borderline scatterbrain immediacy where Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback ever, Lady Gaga is the biggest pop star ever, the iPhone88.5 is the greatest phone ever, and whatever girl/guy (for our three female readers!) you are banging is the "best you ever had." Being biased towards the most recent events and episodes in your life isn't even a bias rather a natural reaction to the circumstances that matter to you that time.

This is why when critics make end of the year music lists they tend to favor whatever "good" albums were released in November and December instead of the albums that were released in January and February. Music lists often come down to what the critic is "digging" the most instead of coming down to what was actually the best album. It comes down to what is the hippest pick for album of the year instead of what is the most logical pick for album of the year.

So since January I have been in a constant state of trying to dethrone Kaputt for a more hip and more current album, but I have never actually been able to do it. Everytime I listen to Kaputt I find a new not only to dig it but to fall head over heels in love with it. It is like a hot girl that has a great personality, a girl with a great personality that loves sports, a girl that loves sports that also loves music, and a girl that loves sports and music that actually loves you. So while you may have traded your Charlie Sheen obsession for a Herman Cain obsession, while you may have traded your baseball pants in for basketball shorts, and while you may have swap your confirmation for your dancing shoes, Kaputt has remained the best record of the year throughout all of this drastic change and all of my attempts to trade it in for something "hipper." It may not be the most hip record of 2011, but it is the most flawless. And there is nothing more hip than being flawless. It is why those "WWJD" bracelets have lasted like 12 years. Here are the four reasons why Kaputt is the best record of 2011:

A. Moments

I cannot think of an album this year that has produced more memorable moments than Kaputt in a very long time. The silent chaos that is the opening of "Chinatown," the brilliant opening vocals and backing vocals on "Blue Eyes," the space guitar riff that somehow matches Bejar's mumbled vocals in "Savage Night At The Opera," the eight minute and twenty-five second musical orgasm that is titled "Suicide Demo for Kara Walker," the genuine U2 feel that "Poor in Love" gives you, the brilliant lyrics to the title track "Kaputt," how "Downtown" is an anthem without even trying to be, the sadistic yet beautiful breakdown to "Song For America," and the epic drunk rambling that is "Bay of Pigs." Every song on this album has a moment that makes it something memorable if not something incredible. And the brilliant thing about Kaputt is that you will find a new moment on just about every listen.

B. Instrumentation

Whenever you hear the band name Destroyer you probably think of a over-caffeinated cross between Nickelback and Slayer. In most worlds you would probably be correct, but you are not even close to being correct in the world of Dan Bejar. This is the sort of album that relies on soft guitar riffs, soft drums, trumpents, horns, saxophones, and synth's to produce a contradicting state of heaviness. While the album may have a "Its 1983 and I need something to listen to while I take a bubble bath" feel it still is able to come across as current and it is certainly unique. Every song seems to mix jazz, rock, and indie perfectly. The album is almost a chaotic utopia of every influence possible and this is one of the reasons that the album is so damn good

C. Lyrics

Bejar combines the honesty of the National's Matt Berninger with the social commentary of Conor Oberst with the symbolism and imagery of Thom Yorke. Every lyric seems to be a reflection on life in America, his personal life, and his most morbid thoughts. Every song on Kaputt is autobiographical yet a form of social commentary, is morbid yet uplifting, and is ferociously calm. Every song has at least of verse of brilliant lyrics and just about every lyric on this album is at least simple enough to being memorable.

D. Theme/Quality

I have told you before that this album basically defines America without actually trying to define America. It defines the constant contradiction that is American culture and American life with every riff, every two minute jam session, every witty lyric, every song, and every memorable moment. It is an album that is open for interpretation yet is clearly a biography of just about everyone's American experience. Just about every lyrics on this album could be about an American falling in love yet it also could be about that love falling apart, ever song on this album could be about the fragile state of America yet it could also be about why America is the greatest country in the world, every riff on this album could be a weird way of social commentary yet it could just simply be a riff, and this whole album could just be an album about Bejar's life or it could be summarizing the peaks and valleys of just about every American's life. The brilliance of Kaputt is that it is so open that it allows you to come up with a definition for it. It is the kind of openness that serves as the perfect social commentary on the walking contradiction that is American life, it is the openness that allows the album to be autobiographical without being pretentious (happy Casey?) and it is the kind of openness that makes this album the best album I have listened to all year.

Make sure to check back next year when Armaggedon happens in the middle of my post.......


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