Here it is: An obligatory list of the year’s top 10 albums according to Buffalo Music Examiner. Enjoy! Happy New Year!
10. Augustana – Augustana
Augustana traded an adult contemporary sound for light-weight southern rock on their self-titled third album. Despite disappointing album sales, which lead to the band being dropped from Epic Records roster, I throughly enjoy this release. The creative and musical progression reminds me of why I fell in love with Augustana in the first place. A few months ago, Augustana announced that some member sof the band have parted ways but the band will continue to tour and perform. Should be interesting to see where this takes the band.
Release date: April 26, 2011
Record label: Epic Records
Recommended tracks: Steal Your Heart, Hurricane, Wrong Side Of Love
Rock if you like: Parachute, Jack’s Mannequin, Austin Gibbs
Visit amazon.com to preview & purchase Augustana
For more information on Augustana visit augustanamusic.com
9. Barton Hollow – The Civil Wars
Joy Williams and John Paul White chemistry is undeniable, musically that is. The melodic chamber-pop and folk duo is not only good, they are damn good, at what they do. The Civil Wars debut full-length is both timeless and flawless. Listen to Barton Hollow and you’ll easily be transported back 100 years or so.
Release date: February 1, 2011
Record label: Sensibility Records
Recommended tracks: Poison & Wine, 20 Years, Barton Hollow
Rock if you like: The Head And The Heart, Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs, Jon Foreman
Visit amazon.com to preview & purchase Barton Hollow
For more information on The Civil Wars visit thecivilwars.com
8. Codes and Keys – Death Cab For Cutie
There’s a reason Codes and Keys received a nomination for Best Alternative Music Album at the 54th annual Grammy Awards. That reason? It’s a damn good album. Death Cab For Cutie’s seventh studio album, featuring the single You Are a Tourist, is more upbeat than past albums — focusing more on the experimental side of things.
Release date: May 31, 2011
Record label: Atlantic Records
Recommended tracks: Stay Young, Go Dancing, Codes and Keys, You Are A Tourist
Rock if you like: The Decemberists, The Shins, Manchester Orchestra
Visit amazon.com to preview & purchase Codes and Keys
For more information on Death Cab For Cutie visit deathcabforcutie.com
7. Wonderful Trouble – Mark Rose
A progressive blend of adult-contemporary pop is what you’ll find on Wonderful Trouble, the full-length debut from this Chicago-based musician. If you’re familiar with Spitalfield, you’re familiar with Mark Rose. If you have a love for hot wings, Genesis, and Mike Ditka— then you already have a love for Mark Rose. If Phil Collins and John Mayer had a musically inclined baby, that baby would be Mark Rose. Glorious? You betcha!
Release date: July 5, 2011
Record label: Self-released
Recommended tracks: Watch the Water Dry, She Doesn’t, Wonderful Trouble
Rock if you like: John Mayer, Phil Collins, Spitalfield
Visit amazon.com to preview & purchase Wonderful Trouble
For more information on Mark Rose visit markrosemusic.com
6. Ashes & Fire – Ryan Adams
After a two-year break, Adams returned to music with an album that is beautiful, polished, and undeniably one of his best. Each track is exceptionally written and the singer has never sounded more endearing. Ashes & Fire, featuring the single Lucky Now, debuted at #7, making it Adams’ second top 10 album since 2007’s Easy Tiger.
Release date: October 11, 2011
Record label: PAX AM / Capitol Records
Recommended tracks: Lucky Now, Ashes & Fire, Do I Wait
Rock if you like: Jesse Malin, Wilco, Whiskeytown
Visit amazon.com to preview & purchase Ashes & Fire
For more information on Ryan Adams visit ryan-adams.com
5. If Not Now, When? – Incubus
After nearly a five-year lapse in albums, Incubus returned with their seventh studio album. Frontman Brandon Boyd says If Not Now, When? is an “honest representation of where Incubus is right now.” Judging by many of the reviews I’ve read, a great deal of fans and critics don’t like where Incubus is right now. As for this Music Examiner? I can dig it!
Release date: July 12, 2011
Record label: Epic Records
Recommended tracks: Isadore, If Not Now, When?, Promises, Promises
Rock if you like: Silverchair, Foo Fighters, Deftones
Visit amazon.com to preview & purchase If Not Now, When?
For more information on Incubus visit enjoyincubus.com
4. Lights – Ellie Goulding
Not only is she totally adorable, but Ellie Goulding’s electro-pop indie folk debut is completely addicting. From start to finish Lights is catchy, infectious, and will have you dancing. Last year, before taking a chance at hitting it big in the United States, the English singer-songwriter took the United Kingdom by storm.
Release date: March 8, 2011
Record label: Cherrytree Records
Recommended tracks: Your Biggest Mistake, Every Time You Go, This Love (Will Be Your Downfall)
Rock if you like: Mariana & The Diamonds, Lights, Little Boots
Visit amazon.com to preview & purchase Lights
For more information on Ellie Goulding visit elliegoulding.com
3. War Paint – The Dangerous Summer
In 2009, The Dangerous Summer released Reach For The Sun, arguably one of the best albums of the past few years. Fans and critics knew that it would be a challenge to follow up such a powerful debut, but they did, and they did so with flying colors. War Paint showcases the band’s maturity, musical growth, and perseverance. The Ellicott City, Maryland-based melodic indie rock band’s sophomore effort debuted at #149 on the Billboard 200 back in July.
Release date: July 19, 2011
Record label: Hopeless Records
Recommended tracks: Waves, War Paint, No One’s Gonna Need You More
Rock of you like: Valencia, The Graduate, The Starting Line
Visit amazon.com to preview & purchase War Paint
For more information on The Dangerous Summer visit www.facebook.com/thedangeroussummer
2. Ceremonials – Florence + the Machine
Ceremonials, Florence + the Machine’s sophomore effort, is noted for having a larger, more polished pop sound than its predecessor Lungs. The album is flawless from start to finish. Florence Welch’s powerhouse vocals will send shivers up and down your spine every time.
Release date: October 28, 2011
Record label: Island Records
Recommended tracks: Lover to Lover, No Light, No Light, What The Water Gave Me
Rock of you like: Marina and The Diamonds, Adele, Ellie Goulding
Visit amazon.com to preview & purchase Ceremonials
For more information on Florence + the Machine visit www.florenceandthemachine.net
1. Little Hell – City and Colour
Juno Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter Dallas Green followed up his critically acclaimed 2008 sophomore effort (Bring Me Your Love) with the release of Little Hell back in June. Green kicked things up this time around with intense blues tinged rock n’ roll tracks in addition to his signature acoustic sound. The musician recorded a majority of the instrumentals by himself, along with contributing musicians. Little Hell debuted at #28 on the Billboard 200 and sold over 20,000 copies in its first week of release.
Release date: June 7, 2011
Record label: Dine Alone / Vagrant Records
Recommended tracks: Weightless, Silver and Gold, Northern Wind
Rock of you like: Dustin Kensrue, Chuck Ragan, Elliott Smith
Visit amazon.com to preview & purchase Little Hell
For more information on City and Colour visit cityandcolour.ca
Gospel – Fireworks, Lasers – Lupe Fiasco, Major/Minor – Thrice, Wasting Light – Foo Fighters, Proper – Into It. Over It., A Different Kind Of Fix – Bombay Bicycle Club, Vices and Virtues – Panic! At The Disco, Young The Giant – Young The Giant, 21 – Adele, Torches – Foster The People, Killing Time – Bayside, Good For Me – The Swellers, The Whole Love – Wilco, Clash Battle Guilt Pride – Polar Bear Club, Avalanche United – I Am The Avalanche, Radiosurgery – New Found Glory, Suburbia, I’ve Given You All And Now I Have Nothing – The Wonder Years, People and Things – Jack’s Mannequin, Elsie – The Horrible Crowes, Metals – Feist, No Devolución
Here are a list of record stores in our area:
Spiral Scratch Records
2531 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY, 14216
Monday – Saturday: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday:12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
FrizB’s CD Exchange
2510 Elmwood Avenue
Monday – Saturday: 12 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
1800 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14208
( Corner of Main & Lafayette)
Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
3500 Main Street
Amherst, NY 14226
Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.