Our Critics' Year-End Top Tens: Noah W. Bailey Picks Swedish Crooner Joel Alme's Waiting For The Bells As The Year's Best
In this week's paper, you may notice a piece including some of our DC9 writers' choices for best albums of the year. But, space being limited, we couldn't run all of our writers' lists. So, thanks to the power of the Internet, we're doing just that, right here.
In-house Americana obsessive Noah W. Bailey finds a foreigner's work most charming.
10. Mavis Staples -- You Are Not Alone
9. Possessed By Paul James -- Feed the Family
Possessed By Paul James is the nom de plume of Konrad Wert, a deadly one man-band. Imagine the entirety of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music rolled into one stompin', singin', fiddlin' package.
8. The National -- High Violet
7. Laura Viers -- July Flame
6. Justin Townes Earle -- Harlem River Blues
5. Dr. Dog -- Shame, Shame
4. Cotton Jones -- Tall Hours in the Glowstream
3. Phosphorescent -- Here's To Taking It Easy
Here's To Taking It Easy isn't the first Phosphorescent LP to make one of my top 10 lists (actually, it's the fourth), and as long as singer-songwriter Matthew Houck keeps writing country songs as perfect as "The Mermaid Parade," it certainly won't be the last.
2. The Tallest Man on Earth -- The Wild Hunt
1. Joel Alme -- Waiting for the Bells
Though Alme's virtually unknown in the States--strange considering the Stateside success of fellow Swedes like Jens Lekman, Dungen and The Tallest Man On Earth--it's not for lack of trying. His second straight LP of faithfully executed Spector-esque pop combines his Swedish flair for drama with a thoroughly red, white and blue swagger borrowed from legends like Dion and Springsteen.
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