So many albums to review, so little time. This year I've listened to way too many albums than I can review fully, so I've put them all into one big bundle, doing short reviews for each--like ww_adh did--to get it over with before the last quarter of the year.
Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown (5/5). Green Day's eighth album was definitely a very formidable effort. It's surely a contender for best album of the year. Fueled by a lengthy 18 tracks, the album provides a compelling story line, sectioning into 3 parts--each part administering an alternative era of rock. A nice follow up to their modern masterpiece, American Idiot. Best: Know Your Enemy, 21 Guns, Murder City, ¡Viva la Gloria!, Before the Lobotomy, 21st Century Breakdown
Agnes - Love Dance Pop (4.5/5). Swedish Pop Idol winner, Agnes released her third (first worldwide) album--a top notch, quality pop album, which fulfills its title to the fullest. It's jam packed with upbeat dance-pop, like the old school dance flavored lead single "Release Me" or the rejoyceful, synth covered "Look at Me Now." It has everything you would expect from a solid pop album. Best: Release Me, On and On, Look at Me Now, Love Me Senseless, Big Blue Wall, How Do You Know
Little Boots - Hands (4.5/5). With such well crafted modern sounding, '80s influenced synth styled dance tracks, what's there not to like about Little Boots debut and with all the hype surrounding her at the beginning of the year, it sure doesn't disappoint. The is verges on pop perfection, from the pounding electronic lead single "New in Town" to the more stripped down closing track "Hands." Best: New in Town, Stuck on Repeat, Mathematics, Hands, Symmetry, Earthquake
La Roux - La Roux (4/5). Elly Jackson may not be a great singer, but that doesn't stop pop duo's La Roux's self titled debut from being a great piece--filled with some fantastic pop production and although Jackson's vocals can be earsplitting at times, that doesn't stop tracks like "In for the Kill," "Bulletproof" and "Quicksand" from being splendid moments on the album. Best: Bulletproof, In for the Kill, As If By Magic, Quicksand, Cover My Eyes, Colourless Color
Colbie Caillat - Breakthrough (4/5). Colbie Caillat captured my musical heart with her debut single "Bubbly" two years ago--which lead me to also fall in love with her debut album, Coco, it wasn't perfect but it was a great album. Caillat's second album still uses that winning forumla of breezy acoustic and contemporary pop--It's not wildly better than her first, but there is some growth. Best: Falling for You, I Won't, Rainbow, Begin Again, Break Through, I Never Told You
Jeremih - Jeremih (2.5/5). I shouldn't be surprised R&B newcomer, Jeremih's self titled debut left me unsatisfied. I was actually expecting it. It has a handful of good tracks, like the lead single "Birthday Sex" which is unsurprisingly the albums best moment, the breezy, click and clap "Break to Make Up" and the ballad "Starting All Over." In a nutshell: Most of the stuff on the album sound like left overs from Chris Brown's first album--added to it; a bit of vododer and sexually explicit lyrics. Best: Birthday Sex, Break to Make Up, Starting All Over