Grinderman - Grinderman 2It is as evil and engaging as anything Nick Cave has ever released. Nick Cave never tries to hit it lucky. He knew what he wanted this album to sound like, and he produced it. You want rock n roll, you got it!
The Roots - How I Got OverI was never able to believe the hype on The Roots until the release of this most coherent and soulful of hip-hop albums. Never shy of social commentary, The Roots combine the attitude of my favorite 90s hip-hop groups with the best production value this decade has to offer. Listen to it through a couple of times and you'll feel the urge to spin it again and again. It just works.
The Black Keys - BrothersStraightforward, no-nonsense, back to the basics, dirty, garage blues. A real rock record for the 21st century if I've ever heard one. These guys are always consistent and they deserve all of the critical acclaim and huge shows they've received this year. Never overrated.
The National - High VioletMournful and honest as always, The National produce dark melancholy as music like no other group is capable of. All of their albums can cut into me as I listen through, but with an increase in production and unbelievably meticulous attention to lyrics, this album might just be perfect.
Deerhunter - Halcyon DigestCox has really gone to work this year with both his Atlas Sound and Deerhunter projects. He is a man constantly at work, and his work is constantly changing the game. This album is surely his best work yet, and it is an album that grew on me with each listen. Hot damn, this is special stuff.