Our Critics' Year-End Top Tens: Merritt Martin Cherishes The Exceeded Expectations of Nick Cave and Grinderman's Grinderman 2
In-house Nick Cave superman Merritt Martin offers a varied list with a familiar player at its top.
10. Phosphorescent -- Here's to Taking It Easy
9. Dr. Dog -- Shame, Shame
8. Harvey Milk -- Small Turn of Human Kindess
7. Apples In Stereo -- Travellers in Space and Time
If you want good, infectious pop that inspires a dance-off, a wardrobe change and a replay, you'll find it here. The Apples work up an inspired set, incorporating nods to ELO, traces of Jellyfish and a healthy dose of space-age bliss for an LP that's totally far-out.
6. Titus Andronicus -- The Monitor
5. Laura Veirs -- July Flame
4. Rowland S. Howard -- Pop Crimes
3. Liars -- Sisterworld
2. The National -- High Violet
High Violet tempers fever-pitch rock with lush layering--at times, tearing through its own anxiety-ridden soundtrack with frontman Matt Berninger's screams--and somehow replicates a chapter of life in 11 songs.
1. Grinderman -- Grinderman 2
Grinderman's eponymous debut sounded exactly like a side project from exceedingly talented gents who really wanted to return to earlier Bad behavior and Birthday suits--something to be excited about, for sure. But, with 2, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Jim Sclavunos and Martyn Casey exceed expectations by offering up adventurous, sleazy and bluesy rock 'n' roll that satisfyingly experiments with control as much as it does with abandon.