14. OK Go – Of the Blue Colour of the Sky
OK Go has made this list for all three of their albums. This time around they made it for their videos. I kid. This time around the band has tried to bring the funk to the mix while holding on to their alternative roots and do a great job with the balance. “White Knuckles” is the best example of this: bouncing slap bass, jangly guitars and old-school syth sweeps. Pure fun, but the best thing here is the dipped-in-the-50’s “This Too Shall Pass.” A gorgeous song full of hope. Hopefully, they continue this trend now that they are free from their record label.
Favorite songs: “WTF,” “This Too Shall Pass,” “White Knuckles”
13. Kate Miller-Heidke – Curiouser
The 29-year-old Australian singer/songwriter finally made a splash in the States with her ode to unwanted Facebook friendship requests, “Are You Fucking Kidding Me?” This turned out to be a boon to quirky pop fans everywhere. “Are You…” may be more of a novelty, but her first release (2nd in her home country) is an amazing piece of love. Her sense of humor is well matched for her melodies. Songs like “Can’t Shake It” and “I Like You Better When You’re Not Around” will make you howl with laughter and sing along. However, nothing beat what turns out to be my favorite song of the year: “Caught In A Crowd” is an apology to a high school friend that was pushed aside for the popular crowd. It’s a song so beautiful in its sincerity that you pray that it’s based on true events.
Favorite songs: “The One Thing I Know,” “Caught In A Crowd,” “Can’t Shake It”
12. Goldfrapp – Head First
“Satire is a form of homage,” is what I told someone who commented on the video for the first track from Goldfrapp’s latest album, Head First. “Rocket” is the story of a scorned woman set to mid-80′s synths straight out of Van Halen’s 1984. It’s a fun beginning to an album reminiscent of Supernature in its glam party attitude, but living in the throwaway pop history of the mid-80′s. Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory have created an album filled with fun — but ultimately disposable — songs that pay homage to a time when Thatcher was Prime Minister and the rich were living in open extravagance. Goldfrapp is a band known for change and doing it well, but they may have gone a little too far in paying homage to the music of the era this time around.
Favorite songs: “Rocket,” “Alive,” “I Wanna Life”