Top 10 albums of 2011: Jenny Charlesworth
If this were about top songs, I’d be the laughingstock of the Straight’s music department. Not only would Britney Spears be getting a shout-out, so would Rihanna and Drake. For the sake of my street cred, thank Christ almighty we’re looking at long-players.
Dum Dum Girls
Only in Dreams
A 20-something girl singing about her dead mother doesn’t exactly scream “record of the year”. But nothing tops Only in Dreams. Pack leader Kristin “Dee Dee” Gundred pushes through the pain with earworming hooks and fierce vocals. There’s no wallowing here, just a badass babe who’s hell-bent on showing off her garage-rock diploma.
The Black Keys
There’s a chance this record sucks. Most of us are so doped up on the duo’s down ’n’ dirty blues-rock that it would take a guest turn by J.D. Fortune to make us cry foul. But I’m hoping it’s more than El Camino euphoria that’s making booty-shakers like “Run Right Back” and “Lonely Boy” sound so good.
It’s no wonder Bradford Cox recently suffered a nervous breakdown. Between his Deerhunter gig and Atlas Sound solo project, there’s hardly time to kick back in the La-Z-Boy. He might have dodged the meltdown had he half-assed Parallax, so let’s applaud Cox for sacrificing his sanity in the name of whipping up more cockeyed pop.
The Whole Love
Jeff Tweedy and I haven’t always seen eye to eye but he certainly got my attention with the manic album opener “Art of Almost”. How can you write off a record when it starts so full-throttle? Somehow, even the outrageously over-the-top “Capitol City”—a heavy-handed ode to the Beatles—will worm its way onto your playlist.
The next time you get into an argument about whose turn it is to take out the trash, turn this on, real loud—do it mid-spat if you have to. There’s no greater “fuck you” than the drugged-out drone rock this San Fran quartet churned out for West.