Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 Countdown: #6

We're in the home stretch! Welcome back to the final week of In The Round's 2011 countdown of best albums. I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas yesterday and is about to hit the pavement today for some sales and post-holiday gorging exercise. This countdown has been a wonderful opportunity for me to re-visit some of the golden soundtracks to my life during a very interesting year, and hopefully you've been able to secure a few new purchases out of the mess of musical reflection too. The two artists who are going to kick off the final week were without a doubt on most people's wishlists these years - with their innovative contemporary rock, heaps of instruments, memorable vocals and cute front men. Coincidentally, they proved to be a real problem for me at this past summer`s Bluesfest - when they both played at the same time. Very upsetting moment. Here we go:

Hey Rosetta!

HEY ROSETTA! - Seeds: Newfoundland indie rockers Hey Rosetta!'s third studio album, a product featuring their coined layers of instruments behind Tim Baker's heartwarming voice - brought something a little different to the table this time around. It was equally as genius as their previous releases which won them places in every Canadian's hearts, but it was older, wiser and spoke profound lessons about growing up (hence the title) which seemed beyond their years. Comforting coming-of-age messages about a sometimes nasty world and paintings of silver linings throughout the melodic and orchestral collection make this one of the most beautiful albums of the year, in my mind - which is probably why it was shortlisted for the coveted 2011 Polaris Prize. Highlight songs: "Welcome", "Bandages" and "Yer Spring"

This is also one of my favourite videos of the year.

The Keys

THE BLACK KEYS - El Camino: As definitely the most recent release mentioned in the countdown, The Keys tossed this flashy blues gem on to the airwaves less than two months ago. As the seventh studio album from Pat Carney and Dan Auerbach, everyone`s favourite sweaty blues-rock pair on the market, El Camino not only has the coolest album title since sliced bread, but it consistently delivers the same quality of scorching and upbeat getaway songs we fell in love with during Attack and Release and Brothers. Rapid fire percussion, glamorously soulful guitar riffs and pop vocals that could sear the rubber off an El Camino`s tires - this album is another taste of bluesy garage-rock rarity that we really (really) can't get anywhere else. Highlight songs: "Run Right Back", "Little Black Submarine", "Sister"

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