15 more favorites from last year, to go with the 10 local albums listed below.

  1. Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion
  2. Dirty Projectors, Bitte Orca
  3. Sister Suvi, Now I Am Champion
  4. Shrag, Shrag
  5. Bibio, Ambivalence Avenue
  6. Atlas Sound, Logos
  7. Animal Collective, Fall Be Kind
  8. Maayan Nidam, Nightlong
  9. Abe Vigoda, Reviver
  10. DJ Koze, Reincarnations – The Remix Chapter 2001-2009
  11. God Help the Girl, God Help the Girl
  12. Sonic Youth, The Eternal
  13. Durutti Column, Love in the Time of Recession
  14. The Juan Maclean, The Future Will Come
  15. Mountains, Choral
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dirtyprojectorsThey say you can’t judge a book by its cover. But with the Dirty Projectors’ new “Bitte Orca” (ok, not a book but a record, but anyway), maybe you can.

On the front, there’s the lovely portrait of Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian. And who could deny that their wonderful vocal performances are a big part of what makes the songs on “Bitte Orca” so immediately compelling?

And then, on the back, there’s David Longstreth, face to face with none other than Friedrich Nietzsche. Well, I know what I’d say if I was face to face with Nietzsche, but what’s Longstreth’s message? And what about the title, Bitte Orca, what is that supposed to mean? And what do we make of the first “single,” “Stillness is the Move,” presenting us with a series of top-40 platitudes?  And how about the other lyrics, such as “You represent/saying ‘I’m real’/but is that what you meant?” from “No Intention?”

Those, I’d say, are the two sides that make “Bitte Orca” so brilliant. Sounds great, right from the start. But it’ll take years of scholarship to unpack it all.

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Nice article in the NY Times, too.