What did I listen to in 2010?

I buy CDs. No, really.

Devo, Something for Everybody

This album is really pretty good, but it was somewhat overhyped, even though the overhyping was by design. It's also useful for finding out which pieces of music software consider all MP3 files as part of a single album, just because those albums have the same name, even if the artist is different and the files are in separate directories.

Laurie Anderson, Heartland

Ms. Anderson apparently had a hard time completing this album, but eventually made it through the creation process with the help of her husband Lou Reed. It's a great story of artistic collaboration, and this is a great album. Laurie is in the golden years of her art, when she has the resources, connections, and experience to create basically whatever she can imagine. This wide open vista must present some confusion for her, but hopefully she can pull a few more albums out of the world.

Massive Attack, Heligoland

This band's albums have always been a little more collage-like than their radio play in the US might indicate, but this album is all over the map. I still can't tell you if I actually liked it very much or not. I've probably only listened to it about five times.

Hans Zimmer, Inception

This soundtrack is actually designed to be a closed loop, a Penrose staircase of an album that rises and rises every time through until you're right back where you started. If you enjoyed this film (and I did) you will enjoy this soundtrack (and I do). Hans Zimmer is the current star of the film score artform, and for good reason.

Various Artists, Scott Pilgrim

This soundtrack album was released in a very annoying form. There's the severely truncated red cover album, and the blue cover album that contains what should have been all the other tracks included on the red cover album. The blue cover album is only available on vinyl and MP3. How could you decide to make a movie that has music as a major focus, and not make the full soundtrack more accessible? The full collection is a great soundtrack, with lots of incidental music from the fight scenes and lots of great rock from the performance scenes.

The Orb, Metallic Spheres

A classic 1970's style progressive album from the classic 1990's style dub/electronica band, delivered in 2010. It is two giant tracks of rambly awesomeness.

2011.01.03 at 11:00am EDT