Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt
I’ve been calling this the best Chapter Two record in PJ’s catalog, meaning any album that came after their greatest hits collection.
Dr. Dog – B-Room
I’m constantly amazed at how they can deconstruct a formula, turning a song inside out to reveal something I’ve never heard.
Kings of Leon – Mechanical Bull
Thankfully, they’ve rediscovered their strut, attitude, and muscle with Bull, an album that song after song proves itself.
Anders Osbourne – Peace
This is an album that immediately recalls Neil Young as much as Radiohead; a guitar record with intelligence and a songwriter with nothing to lose.
Haim – Days Are Gone
I’ve been lucky to watch these sisters grow from obscurity to superstars over the last couple years and all of my hopes for their debut were fulfilled.
David Bowie – The Next Day
Put this one up there with Aladdin Sane and Let’s Dance. It’s not only an instant classic, but proves that the Thin White Duke is still above the cut, and still living somewhere on Mars.
Cheyenne Mize – Among the Grey
Never one to be pinned down to one sound, the Louisville songstress takes on multiple genre’s and never quite goes where you think she might within the song.
Iron & Wine – Ghost on Ghost
One of the most adventurous songwriters in the game, Beam is pushing his tunes in directions that no other musician is considering. With Ghost On Ghost, it’s a perfect blend of jazz, folk, soul, and Americana. Not everyone is going to get it, which makes it that much more fun.
Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks
Did anyone actually believe Trent Reznor when he said he wouldn’t do NIN anymore?
Jim James – Regions of Light and Sound of God
Regions of Light and Sound of God deserves the future-soul label that it’s been given, finding a way to be both warm and chilly at the same time, sprawling with a point, sexy and adrift.