Collective gasp: ‘X&Y’ is not the best album of the year

No matter where you went this summer, when you heard about new music, you heard about the brand new Coldplay album “X&Y” and how it was the greatest thing released all summer, if not all year. Well, I’m here to tell you that it was not the best thing released this summer. I know some of you are gasping in disbelief right now, but it’s true. Here are some of the best albums to be released this summer, starting with an album that easily betters “X&Y.”

Idlewild – “Warnings/Promises”

While first formed in 1995, it would not be until 1998 that they would release their first LP, “Hope Is Important.” In short, this was pretty much a punk record with plenty of frantic melodies and screeching vocals. Six years and three albums later, Idlewild’s sound has taken a 180 degree turn, instead relying on a stunning combination of electric and acoustic guitars as well as meaningful lyrics and smoother song structures. As for the songs themselves, there is not a single bad song on the entire album, which is a phenomenon that rarely comes around in today’s music community. I dare all of you to find a better opening track on an album released this year than the anthemic “Love Steals Us From Loneliness.” Other tracks like the crunchy “I Want A Warning” and the ultra catchy “El Capitan” affirm the band’s all around talent as songwriters and musicians. Without a doubt this is the best record of the year so far.

– 5 out of 5 stars

The Posies – “Every Kind of Light”

It has been almost eight years since the Posies called it quits with their last LP “Success.” During the time apart, the groups two lead members/songwriters Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow have kept themselves busy with solo careers in recording, collaborating and producing. However, the two have reunited once again and the result is an album that just screams mid 90s power-pop. This is not a bad thing, as the band displays their trademark noisy distorted guitars and silky-smooth harmonies that made them a staple of alternative radio in the 1990s. On tracks like “All In A Day’s Work,” “I Guess You’re Right,” and “Love Comes,” the band demonstrates why we used to love them so much.

– 3.5 stars

Max?mo Park – “A Certain Trigger”

Hey all you punk/emo kids, listen up! Emo is dying a slow and rather painful death, and a new genre that I like to call Mod-Punk is ready to take over. The combination of post-punk and new wave that has swept through Britain is starting to grow exponentially and is ready to take over here. We’ve already let them in the door with such bands as Franz Ferdinand, The Futureheads, Razorlight, Bloc Party, the overrated Americanized version of mod-punk called The Bravery and the grossly overrated Kaiser Chiefs. Well get ready to add one more band to that list. Max?mo Park has received a lot of attention in England with their debut LP, which has even earned them a Mercury Prize nomination (which is Britain’s highest music award) and no wonder. Incredibly catchy songs full of spiky-guitars, wonderfully dance-worthy rhythms and angry and poignant lyrics not only make for a fresh sound, but help put these guys at the forefront of the movement itself. This is about as good a debut album that you’ll hear all year.

– 4 stars