(Update 12/21: A Slacker Radio station featuring the artists in this best of list can be found here.)
Like many, I enjoy the end of year ritual of reading “best of” lists. It’s a nice way to expand your musical horizon, catch something you might have missed, or reconsider an opinion on an album you may have misjudged.
My list of 11 is unranked and unreasoned (see considering the best of). It is simply my favorites of the year, in alpha order, along with some that fell just below that first cusp.
If pressed, I’d probably point to Atlas Sound’s Parallax as my favorite of the year. It was a late year release and is in the rotation a lot at the moment. What sticks out about the album is that the songs sound familiar,even nostalgic, but are complex, in both layer and lyric. By adding up the sum of his last four efforts, two Deerhunter contributions and two stellar Atlas Sound solo efforts, it is easy to see that Bradford Cox is one of the best songwriters of our generation.
Usually I lose interest in seeing a film if I miss opening weekend. By then I read the reviews, feel like I can wait for the non-feature release, and move on. This weekend, I definitely came late to the party in seeing Drive.
While not a perfect film, I thought Drive was one of the best films I’ve seen in recent years. In some ways, it reminded me of Gran Torino. I’m usually a sucker for noir, and this film was stylistic, even hailed as “neo-noir.” I’d draw a comparison to the style of Brick, but that is certainly unflattering to how well Drive is done. Through setting, score, acting, emotion, violence, cinematography, and even wardrobe, director Nicolas Winding Refn gave us a brilliant story with an open ending. It will be best viewed in a theatre. You’ve probably heard many say “go see the movie” while in the theatres, and I readily concur.