FAQ | Guest Book | Mission Statement | Minions | What's Coming | What's New | What's Happened


2010 Year End Best Of

Minion Name:
  Inspector Jason  
Favorite Songs:
  1. Celestica by Crystal Castles. Celestica ventures outside of the normally abrasive approach of Crystal Castles and immerses the listener in sweeping synthesizer and hypnotic beats. I read an interview with the band earlier this year where they mentioned that Celestica was the name of a plastics company in their hometown where a worker had committed suicide by jumping into a container of boiling liquid plastic and, since other workers could not stop the machine, the body melted and became part of the liquid plastic from which products were made.

  2. Nothing's Mine by Film School. The perfect shoegaze songs are still out there and Nothing's Mine is a highlight from my favorite album of 2010. This one is intense and ethereal on a grand scale.

  3. I L U by School Of Seven Bells. When I first heard I L U, my immediate thought was that it reminded me of Til Tuesday's Voices Carry. That's a compliment of the highest order in my book. Beautiful vocal harmonies swirl along to synthesizers and shimmering guitars.

  4. Sorrow by The National. I love the raw vulnerable emotion conveyed in Sorrow. This song is quite personal and it's the antithesis of all things American Idol and AutoTune. I'm a music first/lyrics second type of guy, but I do love to hear a song and think to myself, "Hey, I've felt that way before."

  5. Summer Well by Interpol. Summer Well strays from Interpol's angular post-punk ethos in favor of a majestic sound not far removed from the Simple Minds songs of the early 1980s. I actually prefer the BBC live recording of this song to the studio version, but only slightly.

  6. I'm Not In Love by Crystal Castles and Robert Smith. I'm more than a little disappointed that this CD single did not hit the stores before I completed my 2010 mix CD. The Crystal Castles cover of Platinum Blonde's I'm Not In Love is one of the less impressive tracks on a great album, but this single version with Robert Smith of The Cure at the vocal helm rises above. This song features Robert Smith's best vocals in years.
Favorite LPs:
  1. Fission by Film School. Fission is not only my favorite album of 2010, but it's also my favorite album of the past two or three years. Film School brightens up the room this time around with a collection of pop songs that are less brooding than past efforts without losing any of the band's multilayered soundscapes.

  2. Crystal Castles by Crystal Castles. Some of the songs are soothing and ethereal, while others will leave you feeling like a truck ran over you. That's the odd appeal of these strange kids. The second self-titled Crystal Castles album is sensory overload in all of the right ways. The Crystal Castles concert at The Masquerade earlier this year was one of those "I was there" moments when I saw a great band at just the right time.

  3. Interpol by Interpol. When I say that Interpol is the Duran Duran of the 2000s, I mean that as a sincere compliment to my favorite band of this past decade. Like Duran Duran, Interpol released a flawless debut album that put them on the map with tight competent songs and a visual aesthetic for style. Like Duran Duran, Interpol's subsequent albums are not quite as urgent and not quite as good, but they have never lost the plot and each release has a handful of flawless songs that move the band in new directions while reminding us of why we loved them in the first place. It's unfortunate that this fourth Interpol album is the last with the original lineup now that Carlos D departed, but I was reassured by a recent concert that convinced me that Interpol can still deliver.

  4. Voluspa by The Golden Filter. This electronic duo from New York was my out-of-the-blue new band discovery of 2010. It's difficult to remain still through songs like Hide Me, Solid Gold, or Thunderbird. Unfortunately, Ladytron did not release a new album in 2010, but The Golden Filter is probably the next best thing.

  5. Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter. This local Atlanta band stays weird and stays great. This album was a slow burn that took several listens to earn my appeal, but some of my favorite albums did not quite hit with the first impression. Nothing on this album really jumped out at me at first, but the tracks ultimately resonate.

  6. Disconnect From Desire by School Of Seven Bells. It's no small tragedy that one of the sisters has recently left the band and left an empty space where vocal harmonies thrived. Fortunately, the full band was intact for this release and some brilliant shoegaze washes out all over.
Favorite Films:
  1. The American. This is easily the best film that I've seen in a couple of years. Acclaimed music photographer and video director Anton Corbijn has knocked the ball out of the park with his second feature film and, as one would expect from Corbijn, every still frame of The American is a work of art. George Clooney has his best role to date here as an assassin and custom firearms maker who hides out in the beautiful Italian countryside for one final assignment and evokes an unlikely empathy as he tempts danger by stepping out of the shadows to find redemption. The American has the look and feel of older European spy thrillers that combine a slow buildup tension with a touch of class. Many viewers and critics found this film to be tedious, but I relished this work that puts a great story first and foremost in a subtle manner where many things are going on under the calm surface.

  2. True Grit. The Coen Brothers cast aside their quirky tendencies to deliver a flawless Western masterpiece that draws from the original novel instead of duplicating old John Wayne film. In the way of older black-and-white Hollywood movies, each and every character in True Grit is remarkable and fun to watch, even the ones that only appear on the screen for seconds.

  3. Never Let Me Go. This excellent movie, based on the Kazuo Ishiguro novel, unravels the bleakness of a science fiction dystopia with an understated brilliance by focusing on three characters as they grow older through lives of lost love, misplaced intentions, and regret. The novel disturbed me greatly and this movie adaptation succeeds every step of the way in bringing the sadness and bewilderment to the screen.

  4. 127 Hours. I'm sure that my recent forays into the sport of ultrarunning have something to do with why I love Danny Boyle's latest film that stars James Franco as real-life mountain adventurer Aron Ralston, who removed his own arm after being trapped by a boulder during a 2003 Utah hiking trip. This movie mixes Danny Boyle's trademark of lively visuals and music to depict Ralston's unspeakable struggles.

  5. Centurion. I do not understand why this brutal story of Roman soldiers escaping Pict hunters in Britain around A.D. 117 was confined to a one-week showing at Landmark Midtown instead of playing in every single major theater around Atlanta. This movie does not cater to the squeamish, but fans of Braveheart, Gladiator, and 300 would be pleased. The amazing Olga Kurylenko excels as a murderous tracker sent to pursue the Romans across harsh winter forest landscapes. This is not the most intelligent or subtle movie in the world, but every top movie list needs at least one rowdy friend.

  6. Inception. Add my name to the list of admirers for Christopher Nolan's intricate maze of dreamworld espionage. That feeling when you suddenly trip and fall in a dream to wake up shaken is explained, at long last.
Related Links:
  Return to the End Of Year Lists menu.
Inspector Jason's 2007 year-end lists.
Inspector Jason's 2008 year-end lists.
Inspector Jason's 2009 year-end lists.

Return to the top of this page. | Return to the Minion Roster. |Return to the End Of Year Lists menu.