Rocks Off has previously lamented the dearth of critically popular acts that truly rock many times. We just can't get over the fact that adding distortion to your guitar is a virtual guarantee you won't get scads of rock critics jizzing all over you with steamy loads of orgasmic praise (unless you're Jack White). What happened? How did we get to a point where rock critics don't like music that fucking rocks
We could find only 15 reviews for Future of the Left's stellar album Travels With Myself and Another
(although, to be fair, almost all the reviews are positive), but over twice that for Animal Collective's quiet, whimsical Merriweather Post Pavilion
. It seems like everywhere we go, nobody has even heard of Future of the Left, while every douchebag with an Internet connection is tripping over themselves blogging about how awesome that Animal Collective album is. Oh, don't worry; we'll address said album at greater length a little later.
No year-end list of 2009's greatest albums sums up the problem better than the Associated Press's litany of dismal, non-rock albums that their gaggle of junior-high girls masquerading as rock critics chose as this year's favorites
Oh, you were finished? Well, allow us to retort.
10. Regina Spektor, Far
This is a good one to start out with, because it lets us make the point that just because something is quiet and of the non-rock variety doesn't mean we don't like it. Case in point: Regina Spektor. Most of the Rocks Off team adores her.
The problem is, this isn't anywhere near her strongest album, and it in fact moves away from the riskier, stranger material that drew us to her in the first place, settling instead on chipper, less challenging pop fare. Which is fine, she's still pretty good at it. But it isn't rock.
9. Allen Toussaint, The Bright Mississippi
This is a fucking jazz album. Slow, bluesy jazz with a little bit of a Dixieland inflection, to be specific. They might as well have chosen the new Backstreet Boys album, for all the relation this has to rock and roll. Fine if that's your thing, but this list was supposed to be rock
albums, you AP shitheels.
8. The Flaming Lips, Embryonic
Here it is, kids - one of two albums on this list that even vaguely wants to rock out. It starts out well with the excellent, pounding single "Convinced of the Hex," then staggers off into more typical late-period Flaming Lips noodling for two songs before picking the pace back up on track 4, "Aquarius Sabotage."
Despite their tendency in recent years to descend into prog-rock goofiness or outright adult contemporary for the offensively twee, this is actually a pretty strong album from the Lips, utilizing its quiet points and louder points to decent effect with only a few stumbles. Congrats, AP, on picking a non-embarrassing rock album for your Top Ten list.