It's not uncommon to be swept away by a new album, but new albums often lose their appeal after a few good listens. How many of us have bought a new lp based on some good reviews and a few catchy singles, only to discover a month later that the album was just a novelty, and like too much sugar, any further indulgence makes you puke? With that in mind, I think a better way to measure the quality of an album is its staying power. After a month of listening, how do you feel about it? How about six months? Twelve? Heaven forbid you listen to an album longer than a year!
It's 2011. What albums from last year are you still listening to? Hopefully there is at least one album in your that made it past the holiday season.
Here's my list of albums from last year that I still listen to pretty regularly.
From least to most:
10. She & Him - Volume Two (a good one to listen to with the mrs.)
9. Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me
8. Surfer Blood - Astro Coast (sometimes you just need some good surf rock!)
7. Beach House - Teen Dream (this would be higher on the list, but I don't actually own it. I do stream it pretty often though.)
6. Sufjan Stevens - Age of Adz
5. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
4. The National - High Violet (early in 2011 this would have been #1 or #2, but then I got less moody and got married)
3. Vampire Weekend - Contra (my wife likes this album a lot. we listen to it quite a bit.)
2. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest (i have often left this album in my car for a week at a time.)
1. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening (seriously, I can't get enough of LCD Soundsystem.)
There probably aren't too many surprises here. It's kinda a list of essential hipster albums of last year (minus Kanye and Big Boi, probably). If you've missed out on any of these albums, however, I highly recommend them. Buying last years albums is also not a bad choice if you have a used record store nearby; people often trade them in for the new releases. Don't count on being able to find really popular albums used, though. Good luck ever finding a copy of Merriweather Post Pavillion used in Utah.