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    last year: best music of 2010

    One nice by-product of maintaining this blog is it provides a space for year-end reflection. At the end of last year, however, this blog was on hiatus, so I didn't get the opportunity to go through my normal process. I did post my ten favorite albums of the year on Twitter, so if you're following me over there you may have seen them flit by. But I'd like to put my picks someplace less ephemeral, so in the name of "better late than never," I'll be firing out a few posts over the next few... weeks [?], which will discuss some of my favorite albums of 2010, in no particular order.



    Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Social Network

    Brian McBride, The Effective Disconnect

    Two soundtracks. Exhibit A is the score for one of the most critically-acclaimed films of the year. Exhibit B is for a tiny documentary that hasn't yet enjoyed wide release. Nor are the albums especially similar in terms of their instrumental palettes: McBride's album is focused on strings (and string-like drones), whereas Reznor's is more synthesizer-oriented—although the brief piano lines that cross through some of the album's central tracks could wander over to the Social Network soundtrack without anybody raising any eyebrows. For instance:

    brian mcbride 'supposed essay on the piano b major piano adagietto' by kranky

    And yet, despite their differences, the two albums make a fine pair in terms of their emotional kinship: they are both grand in a subtle, melancholy way that has almost no kinship to the crudely manipulative gestures of most contemporary film soundtrack work. Neither one has especially large ambitions, which I find part of their appeal: it's a pleasant surprise to find Trent Reznor making interesting, sad little miniatures like these...

    Soft Trees Break the Fall by nullcorp

    ...instead of big noisy bombastic anthems that try to burn down the world (although he did that this year too).



    Sunday, February 13, 2011
    5:50 PM


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