Published Jan 31, 20111. LCD Soundsystem This Is Happening (DFA/Virgin)
James Murphy is the definitive perfectionist, which is only fitting as he has been slowly working his way towards the perfect record. Only time will tell if This is Happening can still hold our fickle affections but for smart, sophisticated dance rock the man and the band are undefeatable.
Alexander Adrock, Toronto ON
I think James Murphy might have taken a lesson from the 1980s when it comes to his latest album. Through the entire album I hear musical nods to David Bowie and Gary Numan. This surprised me to the point that I had to listen to certain songs over again to make sure I was not just hearing what I wanted to hear. I confess I don't like electronic music, for the most part, the genres of industrial and darkwave being the exceptions. When I heard this album, on the recommendation of a friend, I was very sceptical. I set aside my doubts and thoroughly enjoyed this '80s pop-influenced album. It reminded me of a twist on something old to make something almost unrecognizably new.
Malik Mohammed, Windsor ON
Like any good DJ worth his weight in wax, James Murphy offers a satisfying collection of songs that pay homage to all of his noted inspirations and references that gloriously points out how these points of interest still remain arresting. LCD Soundsystem becomes a vintage Godard film; a vehicle to critique and paint its respective medium while still enjoying the reason you indulge in it in the first place.
Mauro Victoriano, Toronto ON
It seems that James Murphy can do no wrong. With each release, we have witnessed his progression as a songwriter and producer as he continues to redefine dance and electronic music, and This Is Happening falls right into that upward trajectory. If this is to be his last record, then what a way to go!
Alan Wong, Montreal QC
2. Caribou Swim (Merge)
I feel as though the dance/electronic genre can get incredibly repetitive and boring. However, Caribou always makes it a point to play with the genre and incorporate interesting and dynamic modes to make it engaging to listen to. Swim is a great album because instead of recreating his previous effort, Caribou has managed to show you pieces of the map to the journey he is creating.
Matthew Tobin, Ajax ON
This album puts Caribou on the map for good. Musically astounding yet accessible. See them live and realize they're basically jazz.
Davide Medalliano, Toronto ON
One of the most hypnotic albums not only of the year, but that I may have ever heard. Album opener "Odessa" immediately buries itself into your brain and messes around with your perception of what a great electronic tune should sound like. Before this record, I had never even so much as given Caribou a chance, but upon hearing a few of the songs here and there I felt I needed to have a listen, finally, and went and bought this album. It was on repeat in my car for weeks! This album is one of the triumphs of Canadian music, and further solidifies our stature as the country with all of the best music in the world.
Jordan Cayer, Winnipeg MB
3. Daft Punk Tron: Legacy (Disney)
Awesome, dark and forward thinking.
Yan Rozentsveig, Thornhill ON
The French duo do it again, reinventing their sound without actually seeming to do so.
Jason Widgington, Lachine QC
The sound of Daft Punk was meant for the world of Tron and every beat breathes the Tron experience.
Corey Hinze, London ON
Synced perfectly with the movie, this album stands on its own as a great, danceable, listenable record, which is rare for electronica.
Adam Brady, Keswick ON
4. Deadmaus 4x4=12 (Ultra)
A master of every sub-genre in the electro world covers much ground and leaves nothing to be desired.
Kevin Grabb, North York ON
I love the new Deadmau5 sound, the fusion with dubstep and electro-house on some of the tracks is inventive and new. But what really stands out are the original symphonic progressive tracks such as "Some Chords" and "Right This Second," which truly showcase the simple perfection of [Joel] Zimmerman's talent.
Dean Paredes, Vancouver BC
Not only is the Mau5 Canadian, but he is hands down the best of the best when it comes to the world of electronic/techno. He just continues to push the envelope and deliver nasty beats.
Eric Scharf, Ottawa ON
5. Lady Gaga The Fame Monster (Streamline/Interscope)
She has got great dance tunes, very strong and charged with emotion.
Fernando Igreda, Toronto ON
What can I say ― Gaga was everywhere. I loved the costumes, dancing, everything!
Kathryn Fung, Richmond BC