11. J.G. Thirlwell – The Venture Bros.: The Music of J.G. Thirlwell
“The Venture Bros.” is one of the most consistently humorous shows on television right now and you owe it to yourself to catch up with it. That said, collected here are cues and score from the show and what fun it is. Mixing 60’s-style James Bond themes, 70’s Blaxpoltation and modern electronic dance sounds, the album is full of John Barry meets Isaac Hayes meets LCD Soundsystem. Of course with a show that can take place anywhere the creators imaginations go, there is also the occasional lazy Bayou strip song and Ennio Morricone tribute. This would be a great addition to the soundtrack collector in your life.
Favorite songs: “Tuff”, “Assclamp!”, “In A Spaceage Mood”
10. Air – Love 2
“As light as…” one might say. Air has been around since 1997 and every single one of their albums takes patience to plumb the depths. The airy, simple sound is quite deceiving at first, but once you have been on a few dates you begin to appreciate the company you’re in. Love 2 is a little lighter than usual with none of the big hooks of “Sexy Boy” or “Cherry Blossom Girl”, but what is here is as beautiful as these two French guys can make it. In fact, they seem to be the anti-Daft Punk. Nonetheless, the album may be quiet, but it still ranks as one of their best.
Favorite songs: “Love”, “Be A Bee”, “Sing Sang Sung”
9. Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You
Strong, independent, foul-mouthed who speak their mind are becoming more and more commonplace in the music industry. This may be simply because the masses love shock, but it’s brought to light several greats including Liz Phair and Missy Elliott. On her second album, the straight forward Lily Allen drops the ska-lite for a pure unabashedly pop soundscape. This doesn’t mean she’s softened up. There are still her stabs at drug users (“Everyone’s At It”), bad relationships (“Not Fair”), commercialism (“The Fear”) and — to so great affect the gay community has adopted it as an anthem — racism and bigotry (“Fuck You”). Oh, she’s even finding happiness in songs like “Chinese” and “Who’d Have Known”. All this because of the help of Greg Kurstin, but we’ll wait to talk about him later in the countdown.
Favorite songs: “The Fear”, “Back To The Start”, “Fuck You”