Timothy Grisham is a musician and music writer. His current project is HAPPY NOOSE but he’s been in a bunch of bands.
My friend Tim is OLD SCHOOL, in that he’s super sincere, but doesn’t stand for bullshit in people or music. Actually, when it comes to music, Tim REALLY knows what he’s talking about, even if it’s how Bob Marley is a like-able poseur…
1. SPIRITUALIZED – Sweet Heart Sweet Light
If you think of the album as the end of a trilogy (as some have) or not, it is a stunning work of redemption, sorrow and hope. A plea from J. Spaceman for salvation, where earlier albums touch on this idea, the perspective shift from overcoming a near death encounter centers the ablum in a way that he has not done since Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space.
2. LEE RANALDO – Between the Times and Tides
I have always been a fan of Sonic Youth, and for the most part (despite the NYC Ghosts and Flowers album) I really enjoy Lee Ranaldo’s songwriting for the band. But this has always been a limited love as his work is overshadowed in number and attention by Thurston and Kim; so I was pretty excited to see what he could do with an album of pop inspired music of his own… and not noise. I really love the blend of acoustic pop/folk and some classic Sonic Youth-isms and when this record came out I listened to it all day for several days.
3. SWANS – The Seer
Six album sides of pure beautiful brutality. Everett True joked that who listens to this band other than critics these days; I don’t know. I guess though I’m not a “critic” I do make part of my living with music writing. But I have to say that the Swans return albums get more play with me than any of their pre-hiatus albums. This is so amazing. Listening to it on Christmas was my high point of the holidays. Sad? Not really.
4. AIR – Le Woyage Dans La Lune
Forgotten soundtrack gem from this year. Air is great, they always have been great, and probably always will be great. I really love their work, and this is an amazing album.
5. BROKEN WATER – Tempest
Some say it is borderline cover-band Sonic Youth worship, but to me this album’s production and consistency breaks down any over-simplified arguements. Besides being one of the great live bands that I have witnessed this year (or any year since their inception), I really felt closer to this album than previous work. It has a feel that resonated with me in a much more direct manner.