10 Albums to Check Out

Below is a list of 10 albums I think musically open people will appreciate. This is NOT meant to be a top 10 by any means, just a few suggestions for anyone looking to check out some new tunes. The list is fairly diverse, ranging from indie and hard rock to hip hop and instrumental/electronic. Each one is good in its own way, so give them a chance. Happy listening.

  1. Runnin’ Wild- Airbourne (no deep lyrics here, just guitar-driven hard rock with AC/DC-esque vocals. roll down the windows and turn up the stereo)
  2. Man on the Moon: The End of Day– Kid CuDi (really well put together hip hop album. lyrics, beats, and production are all top-notch)
  3. Rubber Factory– The Black Keys (dirty, heavy, sexy, bluesy, distorted guitar-driven rock)
  4. Boys and Girls in America– The Hold Steady (great brooklyn-based story-telling alt rock with a unique vocal style and catchy piano/keyboard. lyrics are full of drugs, girls, and memories of youth)
  5. Baby Darling Doll Face Honey– Band of Skulls (bluesy indie/alt band with both male and female vocalists. solid album, but the first few tracks and the last track are the best)
  6. I Started Out With Nothing And I Still Got Most of it Left– Seasick Steve (great blues from a crazy old homeless guy. a lot of singing about drinking, riding in boxcars, and being poor)
  7. BlakRoc- BlakRoc (collaboration of the Black Keys with various hip hop artists, including Mos Def, RZA, and NOE. some songs are better than others, but overall really cool and creative album)
  8. Ratatat- Ratatat (great instrumental/electronic/rock album from the Brooklyn-based duo that did the backing beats in CuDi’s “Pursuit of Happiness”)
  9. Broken Bells– Broken Bells (Danger Mouse and James Mercer, the singer from the Shins, combine to produce a dreamy, spacey, melodic, yet catchy album)
  10. Them Crooked Vultures- Them Crooked Vultures (this rock supergroup consisting of Dave Grohl, John Paul Jones, and Josh Homme, came up with a solid debut album that seems to be both a throwback to ’70s hard rock and a progressive experiment at the same time)

A Few Early Summer Albums We’re Looking Forward To

There are a ton of great albums being released this summer, but here are a couple we are anxiously awaiting the May release dates for:

Stone Temple PilotsStone Temple Pilots

Release: May 25th, 2010

The first effort from this 90s mainstay in over 9 years, the self-titled album has been anxiously awaited by many STP fans for a long, long time. It’s good to see Scott Weiland getting himself back together and making something happen. The album promises a varied sound, with psychadelic and heavy blues riffs coming from guitarist Dean DeLeo and lyrics reflecting Weiland’s numerous struggles over the past decade. It will be interesting to hear what the STP boys come up with after such a long hiatus. Tour dates have been announced to promote the album as well. Keep an eye out.

The Hold SteadyHeaven Is Whenever

Release: May 4, 2010

The Hold Steady recently lost their famously mustache-clad keyboardist, Franz Nicolay, and so their familiar keyboard and piano sound will be giving way to a more guitar-oriented sound on the new album. Guitarist Tad Kubler said this about the new album: “I think this is a much more dynamic record than anything we’ve done. I feel as though the last four records, with the exception of the odd track here and there, have been pretty much loud rock albums.┬áThis album is sonically more diverse. And I really believe it exposes new elements of the band that we hinted at on other records but weren’t able to fully realize until this one.” We’re anxiously awaiting the new sound here at Kicknote. In the meantime check out the new tracks “Rock Problems” or “Hurricane J“, and be on the lookout for tour dates in your area. The Hold Steady put on an awesome live show, don’t miss it.

The Black KeysBrothers

Release: May 18, 2010

The new album from the Black Keys promises more of the same dark, raw, heavy, distorted guitar-driven blues-rock that fans have come to love and expect from the group. Danger Mouse produced the track “Tighten Up,” which can be heard streaming online. Another track from the album, “Next Girl” is also floating around the internet. If you like the Black Keys, it seems like you will love the new album. We’re extremely psyched for it, and will be checking out the Black Keys in Central Park this July. More tour dates coming up as well!