10. Feist - The Reminder
Feists last album, Let it Die, was decent. A lot of people were impressed. The Reminder, however, figuratively destroys Let it Die. Not so much in the sense of something violent and horrible, but in the sense of well written songs ranging from bouncy to somber. Very+.
Highlights: So Sorry, I feel it All, 1234
9. Rogue Wave - Asleep At Heaven's Gate
Asleep at Heaven's Gate is Rogue Waves most polished, and longest, album. The average song length is easily over 5 minutes, quite a few a bit longer. It's not so much that those are extremely long songs, but they would be longer than the average. All of that time is well-used.
Highlights: Harmoniom, Like I needed, Lake Michigan
8. Devin Townsend - Ziltoid the Omniscient
Devin Townsend is my all-time favorite canadian. His discography is vast, his style is varied, and his music is always of high quality. These things, however, could be said of other canadians, some of which also share room on this top 10. Nay, the thing that set's Devin apart is his sense of humor. Self-depreciating, sarcastic, over-the-top silliness abounds on Ziltoid, a concept album about a time-travelling alien that has come to earth for coffee, his powers only fuel. Best described as a combination of elements of his mellow side and his madman of metal side, Ziltoid is a hilariously fun, musically interesting self-parody.
Highlights: Hyperdrive, Solar Winds
7. Pain of Salvation - Scarsick
The first time I listened to Scarsick, there was an immediate response of "what the hells is this madness?" Or maybe more of a wtf. After repeated listens, however, I discovered the secret behind it. Angry, Sarcastic, and full of spite, Scarsick is by far pain of salvations most musically diverse album. The influence of faith no more is no more apparent than in entropia and this album. Combining Rap, Disco, Metal, Rock, and whatever else seemed appropriate, Daniel Gildenlow has alienated at least 50% of his fans with this album. Musicians need to do that like this more often.
Highlights: Disco Queen, Idiocracy, Enter Rain
6. Pelican - City of Echoes
Pelican goes alt-rock/pop? No. But it is by far the most accessible Pelican album, and fans of their early crushing metal riffs may not find much to like in this. That said, for anyone else that does not find themselves burdened with such a predisposition will find a lot to enjoy. A combination of metal riffage, fantastic melodies, vast dynamic contrast, and slightly shorter song lengths save this album from being slightly boring. Not that Pelican is boring when they make longer songs-they're just much easier to digest this time around, and still maintain the quality of musicianship that they've always had.
Highlights: Spaceship Broken - Parts Needed, Far From Fields, Winds With Hands
5. Ulver - Shadows of the Sun
Ulver may have one of the most ridiculously diverse discographies in the history of music, and that is considering the vast number of musicians that make it a habbit of being different. Shadows of the Sun continues the tradition of saying "Forget you, style of previous albums!" Mostly ambient and minimalist music, it is by far one of the most ridiculously gorgeous sounding albums I've ever listened to. It manages to be engaging and emotional yet subdued and calm.
Highlights: EOS, Shadows of the Sun, Let the Children Go
4. Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez - Se Dice Bisonte No Bufalo
Omar has been releasing albums like mad for the past year or so. Just almost ever few months, he pops out another record. However, out of all of them, this is by far the best. Psychadellic Jazz-rock that noodles, builds up, explodes, jives, chugs, and even mellows out from time to time. A far cry from being the wankfest that an album with it's qualities could become, it never strays too far from the foundations of it's songs, while still managing to explore enough interesting places to make it just as good, if not better, than any Mars Volta album.
Highlights: Rapid Fire Tollbooth, Please Heat this Eventually
3. Suspyre - A Great Divide
Suspyre are a power/prog band from New Jersey. Or at least, that's what their first album is best described. They've gone for some far more grand territory, taking up the challenge of combining jazz, classical, and progressive metal into one cohesive dynamic package. It was a beautiful success. Technically featuring only 2 "songs" it is broken up into 12 tracks, at least 3 containing saxaphone parts, definitely something unique to the scope of progressive metal. And metal it is, with enough crunchy riffs to satisfy even the metallist, but also with enough variety and interesting composition to make it appeal to the more refined metalhead.
Highlights: The Singer, Galactic Backwards Movements, April in the Fall, Alterations in the Ivory
2. The New Pornographers - Challengers
What's this? Formulaic pop making it into the top of my list? What madness could posess me to do such a thing? Is it the catchiness? Is it that the song, even though basically verse-chorus-verse in structure remain musically interesting enough, with enough melody and harmony to make someone say "that's sure a lot of melody and harmony?" Is it that the songs are just super fucking good? Is it that Neko Case is one hot bitch? You be the judge.
Highlights: My Rights Versus Yours, Myriad Habour, Unguided, Go Places
1.Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - In Glorious Times
All of the desperate people are coming out tonight. I have never heard anything as ridiculously original as Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. They create completely non-traditional songs w ith unique structure, harmony, melody, rhythm, instrumentation and of questionable genre. They get close to death metal and progressive rock, but never quite go there. They range from sparse delicate section to frenzied craziness. There is something new here, and it's so damn good.
Symphony X - Paradise Lost
Kamelot - Ghost Opera
Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank