1. Jack Johnson - To The Sea
  2. Guster - Easy Wonderful
  3. Josh Ritter - So Runs The World Away
  4. Band Of Horses - Infinite Arms
  5. John Butler Trio - April Uprising
  6. Angus & Julia Stone - Down The Way
  7. Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs - God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise
  8. Vampire Weekend - Contra
  9. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
  10. Kings Of Leon - Come Around Sundown
  11. Matt Costa - Mobile Chateau
  12. ALO - Man Of The World
  13. Barefoot Truth - Threads
  14. Pete Francis - The Movie We Are In
  15. JBM - Not Even In July
  16. The Black Keys - Brothers
  17. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  18. The Cat Empire - Cinema
  19. Lissie - Catching A Tiger
  20. Good Old War - Good Old War
  21. Broken Bells - Broken Bells
  22. Rogue Wave - Permalight
  23. Griffin House - The Learner
  24. Greg Laswell - Take A Bow
  25. Joshua Radin - The Rock And The Tide
  26. Benjy Davis Project - Lost Souls Like Us
  27. Dirty Heads - Any Port In A Storm (Special Edition)
  28. Iration - Time Bomb
  29. Joe Pug - Messenger
  30. Pete Yorn - Pete Yorn
All of these albums can be purchased by clicking here.

If you are interested in seeing what albums make the top 30 in previous years click here for the archive. To purchase albums on previous top 30 lists click here.

CD REVIEW: Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors "Chasing Someday"

Chasing Someday
Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors are road warriors, and although they have a fanbase that is as big as any major label act, they have never really broken out on the national scene like they should. All that is going to change in 2011 with the release of their newest, and best, album. Drew and company, which includes his wife (who takes over lead vocals on one track), have put together a collection of songs that borders on perfection. Working with a well renowned producer in their hometown of Nashville, the band has put together an album that is sure to see hit after hit after hit on the radio in the year to come. "Live Forever" has already been met with some popular success after appearing on television, but the songs "Someday," "Anywhere But Here," "Can't Get Enough Of You," and "Fire And Dynamite" all have the potential to become huge for the band. They will surely all become excellent staples of the band's live sets. Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors are a band to watch in the new year, and as one of the first albums to be released in 2011, it's destined to remain on plenty of "best of" lists throughout the entire year.


CD REVIEW: Gatlin Elms "Carry Me Home"

Carry Me Home
Maybe not a name that many have heard of, Gatlin Elms' brand of indie pop rock is both familiar and intriguing. Not many bands sound exactly like this so it's hard to nail down a strict comparison. That in itself makes this album a great one. The songs "Letting Go" and "This Is Life" could easily find their way onto any rock or pop radio station anywhere in the country. You might find yourself hearing elements of Snow Patrol or even Mat Kearney in some of the songs. Gatlin Elms is one of those unique cases where you are unable to pigeonhole them into one specific genre, making their avenues for success much wider than usual. This album is going to turn the heads that need to be turned and make new fans out of a lot of unsuspecting people.


CD REVIEW: Andrew Belle "Live At Double Door, June 26, 2010"

Andrew Belle is one of the brightest talents to emerge onto the scene in 2010. He is a superb songwriter and an equally impressive performer. Whether its in the studio or live on stage, his presence behind the microphone shows maturity and confidence well beyond his years. This latest release is another free download that Belle has given to his fans of yet another excellent show. Belle pulls out all the stops and delivers some of his best performances of songs such as the hit "Static Waves" and "In My Veins." Friend and musician Andy Davis makes a guest appearance for the song "Stand By Me," which is one of Belle's best live recordings to date. Andrew Belle is sure to continue on the same incredible path in the new year, connecting to his fans through music that every musician would be lucky to be able to create.


CD REVIEW: Pepper "Stitches"

Punk rock reggae artist Pepper is back with a short collection of new songs, adding to their intense catalogue with four new tracks that familiar and catchy. "Wake Up" and "Mirror" are destined to join the ranks of their previous hits as staples amongst the band's live shows and countless surf rock playlists. Pepper have a unique way of combining their SoCal sound with their Hawaiian roots so as not to sound like a Sublime ripoff, and on this EP they begin to show maturity along with their continued creativity. Their lyrics are fun as usual, and they musicianship is evident on the acoustic version of "Mirror" that is also included. This may just be a tease from the boys from Kona, but it definitely whets the appetite for a new Pepper full length album.


CD REVIEW: Pete Yorn "Pete Yorn"

Pete Yorn
Pete Yorn has been releasing music faster than most artists, but it's not that he's got so much new stuff that he's got to get out, it's the old projects that are finally seeing the light of day. His duet album with Scarlett Johansson was last year's endeavour, and this time it's his work with producer/musician Frank Black (Black Francis, The Pixies, Frank Black & The Catholics) that is hitting the airwaves. This is Pete showing off his rock chops more than ever before. He's released a number of album always mixing folk and rock and pop in such a way that is distinct and accessible. This time, he's embracing his rock self and showcasing his abilities to shred on guitar and write great rock songs. "Velcro Shoes" is by far the best song on the album and one of Yorn's best compositions ever. "Paradise Cove I" is the original incarnation of a song that Pete released on his most recent solo record, showing off the true bare bones nature of the song. "Precious Stone" is blowing up on the radio, and rightfully so as it is hook filled and completely jams. Frank Black's signature is all over the album, as his Pixies roots show through on some songs and the entire disc sounds like a throwback to mid nineties alternative rock. Pete Yorn may not have reinvented himself with this release, but he surely showcased that he is a old school rocker at his core.


CD REVIEW: Daft Punk "Tron: Legacy"

Tron: Legacy (Amazon MP3 Exclusive Version) [+Digital Booklet]
Daft Punk are probably one of the top five electronic artists in history. They epitomize what it means to push the envelope. Now, in combining their forces with the folks at Disney, Daft Punk has scored their first film, "Tron: Legacy." Since their music, their image, and their futurism is built from (amongst other things) the original 1982 film "Tron" it only made sense that Daft Punk put together the score. Mixing orchestral pieces with their signature robotic and electronic dance sounds, Daft Punk create a piece of musical artwork that transports you right into the world of Tron, with or without having seen the film. The band also makes a cameo appearance as DJs at a club in the film, with two tracks that they spun during their onscreen time being the most amped up of the set, "Derezzed" and "End Of Line." Daft Punk are the definition of what it means to be a musical pioneer, and this new venture into the scoring of films that they have become is sure to be just the first in a long line of films which they will put their musical signature on. Both the movie and the soundtrack are amongst the best of the year in their respective categories.


Merry Christmas 2010!!!

from THISisMODERN.net

CD REVIEW: Coldplay "Christmas Lights"

Christmas Lights
Coldplay has dabbled in Christmas music before, but only covering well known and classic tunes. This is their first endeavour into creating their own timeless piece of holiday magic and they have delivered something that will surely be on Christmas playlists for decades to come. Mixing holiday imagery through the lyrics with Coldplay's signature Brit rock sound, the song is as good as any original song they've released to date. Many great bands have created songs that have become instant holiday classics, and Coldplay has finally created theirs. This is a song that will be covered by many in the future, just as Coldplay covered holiday classics in the past.


CD REVIEW: Various Artists "Gift Wrapped II: Snowed In"

Gift Wrapped II: Snowed In
Back again with another collection of great holiday tunes, Warner Bros. Records has released the second in their series of Christmas compilations. This time The Flaming Lips are back and they are joined by everyone from Devo and the Goo Goo Dolls to indie rockers Everest and Tegan & Sara. Covering the classics and showcasing original holiday tunes is the theme once again, as we are greeted with yet another compilation of holiday songs that is better than most of the holiday music we are forced to listen to in elevators, in shopping malls, and even on our own car radios. Warner Bros. Records has set themselves up to be true purveyors of fine holiday music, and hopefully this will become an annual treat.


CD REVIEW: Various Artists "Gift Wrapped: 20 Songs That Keep On Giving"

Gift Wrapped: 20 Songs That Keep On Giving
Holiday compilation CDs are always fun, and this collection takes a new spin on that classic idea. Warner Bros. Records put together a great collection of holiday tracks all in one spot for their fans. Featuring new songs and updated holiday classics, the album has inclusions by The Flaming Lips, Tyler Hilton, Relient K, Jeremy Lister, and even alternative rock superstars R.E.M. This is not your grandma's Christmas music, but it may be just what you need to get through the holiday season with your sanity. Might as well have bands you like singing the songs you're going to hear a thousand times anyway.


CD REVIEW: Dave Barnes "Very Merry Christmas"

Very Merry Christmas
Dave Barnes is sometimes underappreciated as an artist. Take note however, as his talent is showcased to the max with the release of his first ever Christmas album. Mixing originals with classic and revamping some popular holiday hits, Dave Barnes pulls out all the stops on this one. He takes on Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas" and delivers a version that is second only to the original (first, if you're not a MC fan). His renditions of "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and "The Christmas Song" are going to be in heavy rotation at Christmastime each and every year to come. Dave Barnes knows how to make great records, and that goes doubly for making great holiday albums as well.


CD REVIEW: Oh, Starling "Noel"

Back again for more, Oh, Starling has put a new spin on five more classic Christmas tunes. Yet again, Dan and Jessica have proven that two is truly better than one in some cases, and when love and artistry comes into play, music is elevated to a whole new level. They pick up where their previous EP left off, and have delivered yet another excellent collection of holiday tunes. Staying away from creating originals, the duo are possibly the best at consistently reinventing the Christmas classics. It's looking like this is bound to become an annual thing, so looking forward to next year's EP should be very exciting all year long.


CD REVIEW: Oh, Starling "Joy"

Oh, Starling is husband and wife duo Dan Craig and Jessica Sonner. When they aren't busy making incredible music on their own they combine their talents to create some incredible holiday music. Part of the booming Colorado music scene, these folk artists take five classic Christmas tunes and reinvent them with their own personal styles. Any fan of Christmas music needs to add this collection to their annual playlists and allow Oh, Starling to assist in brightening your holidays.


CD REVIEW: Matthew Mayfield "Maybe Next Christmas"

Matthew Mayfield makes a lot of music. This EP is his adventure into the holidays, featuring the title single, which is a heartfelt, yet less than cheery, song about love around the holidays. It's one of those songs that is inevitably classic, but not one that puts you in the holiday mood. You will find yourself craving his voice and his lyrics around the holiday season, as you surely can cuddle up under a warm blanket and lose yourself in his voice. The EP also features a small collection of his other songs, highlighting his incredible songwriting abilities. Matthew Mayfield has embraced the web and new recording technology and truly is giving us all the music that he can possibly create.


DVD REVIEW: "Dear & Yonder"

Dear & Yonder
Woodshed Films is known for putting our very artists surf films that feature some of the best surfing and music outside of the spotlight. For the first time, Woodshed Films is releasing a film that showcases the female aspect of the surf community. Picture any of their other films and remove the guys. What is surprising (or maybe not) is that much of the surfing is better than what you may have expected. The soundtrack is also excellent, featuring bands in total obscurity to indie bands like Vetiver and more well known artists like Band Of Horses. The film is beautifully shot and follows some up-and-comers and legends, showing that girls can do anything that guys can. And they even can show it all off in artistic films too!


CD REVIEW: Tina Dico "A Beginning, A Detour, An Open Ending"

A Beginning, A Detour, An Open Ending
This release is actually a collection of music contained as 3 EPs in box set form rather than one continuous album. That being said, each of the three mini collections have their own sound and feel, making it as if Tina released them separately. As a whole, the collection of music portrays a musical journey, hence the title. As a one time guest vocalist for electronic artists Zero 7, Tina has managed to make quite a name for herself, and although she's not as big in the states as she is overseas, this collection of music shows her range of talent and dedication to her craft. It's the first album that she has released that really showcases artistry rather than just pop singing and songwriting, and that in itself makes the album intriguing and exiting.


CD REVIEW: Zac Brown Band "You Get What You Give"

You Get What You Give
Zac Brown Band always flirts with the mix between country music and jam band rock and roll. On his newest album, his mixes everything up in a huge way, showing off all his many musical facets. Guest appearances are made by country superstar Alan Jackson and hippie extraordinaire Jimmy Buffet, showing Zac's range, as well as his ability to have fun playing music. While this album may feature much more country than rock as compared to his critically acclaimed debut, it does feature one of his best songs ever written, "Who Knows," which is as fun in the studio as it is live. The song, clocking in over nine minutes, shows off his true core as an epic jam rocker. Zac Brown Band are part of a new generation that is blurring the lines between country and rock, and if you can get rock fans to listen to country and vice versa, you have found yourself a successful career path.


CD REVIEW: Nelly Furtado "The Best Of Nelly Furtado"

The Best Of Nelly Furtado (Amazon MP3 Deluxe Exclusive Version)
When it comes to female artists, there are not many who's music spans so many different genres. Always in the realm of pop, Nelly Furtado's music ranges from folk to dance to hip hop to bubble gum pop. She's made guest appearances on many of her friends and colleagues' albums, but it's still her own music that defines her. From her smash debut single "I'm Like A Bird" to the song that made her a household name, "Promiscuous," all her hits are included on this incredible compilation. Even a few newly recorded goodies make the cut as well, such as the very danceable "Night Is Young." With this collection, any listener, whether a fan of hers or not, can really get a sense of who Nelly Furtado is as a musician and performer, appreciating every twist and turn along the way.


CD REVIEW: Jer Coons "Jeremix v1.0"

JERemix - EP
Jer Coons is an indie pop artist that doesn't take his craft lightly. That's why, without major stardom, he has released an EP of remixes of some of his songs furthering the playfulness of his already potent brand of pop rock. His songs "Speak" and "Legs" get a new treatment which elevate Coons' already fun lyrics and music to a new level without taking away from the original recording. Jer Coons is a master of indie pop rock and has proven that it's not all about making great music, but also how you deliver it to your fans.

New Release Tuesday

New music out today worth checking out:
  • Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - III/IV


CD REVIEW: John Craigie "Leave The Fire Behind"

John Craigie is an oustanding musician in his own right. That being said, he has decided to release, for free, a collection of cover songs that could be quite possibly the best cover album released by a single artist. The songs that he sings defined a musical generation from the mid-nineties, and showcase some songs that were one hit wonders, some that took bands from obscurity to popularity, and some that remain to this day the signature songs that those artists ever released. The ten songs on the album are covers of classic 90's alternative rock tunes by Everclear, Gin Blossoms, Counting Crows, Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day, 4 Non Blondes, Marcy Playground, Blind Melon, The Wallflowers, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. He has stripped them all down to their essence, giving us the rawness of the lyrics and the magic of their music on acoustic guitar. John Craigie is one of those guys that not many know about, but after hearing what he can do with some classic songs, you'll be blown away by his original stuff.

To download "Leave The Fire Behind" for free click the CD image in this review.


CD REVIEW: The Black Keys "Brothers"

Brothers (Amazon MP3 Exclusive Version) [+digital booklet]
From obscurity to the center of it all, this year the Black Keys have become the "it" guys for blues rock. Taking over the slot once filled by the White Stripes, it seems that dirty bluesy rhythms, crunchy guitars, and straightforward stripped down syncopated drum beats are all any one needs to get by. They will make an appearance on SNL in the new year and they have been prominently featured in Cadillac car ads, so it's a definite thing that they have been or will be part of your life. The first five songs on the album drag you in and rock your world. "Tighten Up" has been all over radio and shows off the rock edge of the band, with emphasis on Dan Auerbach's mad guitar skills. "Howlin' For You" might be the bands best ever, with a killer hook, catchy lyrics, and great beat (not to mention the fact that it's everywhere on TV). "She's Long Gone" and "Next Girl" feature some of the guys' most clever lyrics to date. Who knew that two guys could make so much noise and make it sound so beautiful.


CD REVIEW: Black Eyed Peas "The Beginning"

The Beginning
Black Eyed Peas have morphed an incredible amount over the course of their careers. In the middle of it all, they added Fergie and took their conscious hip hop into a whole new direction, gaining a wide variety of new fans and taking the pop world by storm. This new album continues right where the last one left off and takes the band further into the realm of electronic pop and hip hop. The entire album is danceable, and features Fergie and Will.i.am in much more prominent lead rolls. They continue to push the envelope and connect to their fans through familiarity (their first single, "The Time (Dirty Bit)" features a hook that is stripped right from the film "Dirty Dancing"). Black Eyed Peas always have something new up their sleeve and it seems that they are keeping the fans always on their toes.


CD REVIEW: Various Artists "Yo Gabba Gabba: Music Is Awesome, Vol. 2"

Yo Gabba Gabba Music Is Awesome! Volume 2 (Amazon Exclusive Version)
Back with their second installment, the gang at Yo Gabba Gabba has put together another great collection of original tunes by the cast and their "Super Music Friends." This time Weezer, Jimmy Eat World, Hot Hot Heat, and MGMT add their spin to some new kids tunes, and kids will recognize more of their favorite cast singalongs. Long car rides, trips to the doctor, and rainy afternoons inside will all get a huge relief with the broadcasting of this album, and kids will fall in love with some great indie rock bands in the process. Mom and dad can rest assured they won't be pulling their hair out while their children enjoy some music time with this CD.


CD REVIEW: Various Artists "Yo Gabba Gabba: Music Is Awesome"

Yo Gabba Gabba! Music Is Awesome
Yo Gabba Gabba is not one of those kids shows that only kids can love. The thing that sets it apart from every other kids television program is that each episode features special guest appearance by well known celebrity personalities, as well as music by some of the best bands (indie and otherwise) in music. The bands showcase their fun side by performing a kids song in their own unique styles. This album combines some of those selections by bands such as The Shins, The Roots, Chromeo, and Money Mark with music sung by the lovable characters. Parents and kids will be able to enjoy this music together and the kids will surely grow up learning that great music doesn't have to come from the Disney Channel.


CD REVIEW: Various Artists "This Warm December: A Brushfire Holiday, Vol. 1"

This Warm December: Brushfire Holiday's Vol. 1
This album is by far one of the best collections of Christmas music out there. Featuring a track from each of the artists on Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records, and two from Jack himself, the album boasts an incredible array of original, traditional, and covered Christmas music. The entire disc is mostly mellow, but its perfect for the season, even if the title suggests a lack of snow and the probability of no white Christmas.


CD REVIEW: Various Artists "Ten Out Of Tenn Christmas"

The Ten Out Of Tenn compilations are always full of great music by great artists from Nashville, Tennessee who don't always get the love they deserve for their talent and hard work. Well, the artists who brought us the stellar Vol. 2 of the collection have put together a very cool collection of Christmas music. Produced by K.S. Rhoads, one of the performers on the CD, each Ten Out Of Tenn, Vol. 2 artist contributed either an original Christmas song or their rendition of a Christmas favorite. Altogether, it's a pretty outstanding collection that is sure to keep you in the spirit of the season.

New Release Tuesday

New music out today worth checking out:
  • Daft Punk - Tron: Legacy Soundtrack
  • The White Buffalo - Prepare For Black & Blue


CD REVIEW: Chris Trapper "It's Christmas Time"

It's Christmas Time
Chris Trapper has always been a storyteller, and is known for showcasing his very down to earth and relatable life stories through his music. This collection does just that, with a bit of a spin: it's all about Christmas. Chris' cunning lyricism shine throughout the entire disc which is both sentimental and comedic at times. Each song tells a story and as a listener it is easy to connect with Chris and his cast of characters. Christmas music like this doesn't come around too often.