4. Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Kasabian suffered from the sophomore slump with 2006’s Empire. But third album West Ryder… is also the band’s best effort yet. The energy is finally contained — in a good way. On a song like “Fire,” it’s easy to wish you were seeing the band live. And finally, Kasabian have made a complete album. There’s just not much filler here. An interesting instrumental (“Swarfiga”) is about it. It’s a band that might not ever break the United States. Which is unfortunate, because Kasabian is easily one of the best proper rock bands left in the world.
5. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion
A Pitchfork fad? Nope. This is Animal Collective’s eighth LP and it’s experimental bliss. Everything sounds like it’s from another planet. One of those albums you must look up the lyrics to just to know what’s going on. For the first time, it sounds as though Animal Collective knows exactly what they’re doing. Precisely. Down to every note. Complete confidence. On first listen, many will think “this is weird.” Only a short time passes before it usually turns to “this is amazing.”
6. Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You
Forget Talyor Swift. Lily Allen is 50 times more interesting and a 100 times more entertaining. Case in point: It’s Not Me, It’s You. Lead single “The Fear” shows Allen’s blunt honesty as she sings, “I want loads of clothes and f***loads of diamonds,” all in that soft British accent. But the album is far deeper than honestly. Allen added some electropop to her second LP, adding to the catchiness of her debut Alright, Still. She even does politics. “Kabul S***” might not make you think for hours, but it’s easy to relate to. “F*** You” is even better, with Allen sounding ever so polite while telling a certain former president what’s what.
7. Metric – Fantasies
It doesn’t get much more slick than this. From “Sick Muse” to “Gimme Sympathy,” it’s hard to see why a bundle of songs here didn’t take radio by storm. Nonetheless, Fantasies deserves to mentioned with the best of the year. On a song like “Blindness,” Metric know when to hold back, letting vocalist Emily Haines take the spotlight with lyrics to sing that are more interesting than on any other Metric album.
Bat for Lashes – Two Suns
Pearl Jam – Backspacer
Discovery – LP
Silversun Pickups – Swoon
Jet – Shaka Rock
The Decemberists – The Hazards of Love
Muse – The Resistance
U2 – No Line on the Horizon
Noel Gallagher – The Dreams We Have as Children (Live for Teenage Cancer Trust)
Steel Panther – Feel the Steel
The Lonely Island – Incredibad