Our Critics' Year-End Top Tens: Daniel Hopkins Hails The Walkmen's "Less Is More" Approach on the John Congleton-Produced Lisbon
Clubs editor Daniel Hopkins' favorite album of the year was actually made in our own backyard.
10. Phosphorescent -- Here's To Taking It Easy
9. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti -- Before Today
When Ariel Pink released Before Today, he shattered all of his own rules, and by moving away from the murky, lo-fi noise-pop of his earlier records, he rewarded his listeners with some of the biggest choruses of the year (see "Round and Round").
8. Vampire Weekend -- Contra
7. Deerhunter -- Halcyon Digest
6. Here We Go Magic -- Pigeons
5. Twin Sister -- Color Your Life
4. Arcade Fire -- The Suburbs
On The Suburbs, Arcade Fire have performed a miracle, offering up 60 minutes of music that rarely bogs down the listener's attention span. Don't underestimate that accomplishment, either: They've managed to create an album for a generation addicted to singles.
3. The National -- High Violet
2. Beach House -- Teen Dream
1. The Walkmen -- Lisbon
On Lisbon, The Walkmen proved that they are the kings of "less is more," stripping their production (courtesy of Dallas' own John Congleton) back to a few microphones, some audio tape and little else. In doing so, they proved their songwriting strong enough to stand on its own.