An article by The Silent Ballet Staff


40) Library Tapes - Klosterg
Concise at a little over three minutes long, "Klosterg" is a beautiful piano piece, but it delivers an emotional punch that some tracks three times its length may fail to translate. Starting from a simple bass melody, David Wenngren constantly adds layers to the track, and it evolves to something truly memorable that lingers in the back of the listener’s brain and haunts him with its beauty long after the final notes are played. “Klosterg” is by far the album’s highlight, and probably one of the best in Wenngren’s career so far; it has definitely earned the distinction of one of the year's best. (Mohammed Ashraf)

39) Jaga Jazzist - One-Armed Bandit
If Jaga Jazzist set out to do only one thing with One-Armed Bandit, surely it was to show that there is no one else making music quite like this ensemble. The band plays a mix of sophisticated and energetic music, where spontaneity is a main ingredient, yet melodies are catchy and common. The title track is perhaps the best example of this approach, as a slew of instruments are called upon en route to carving out one epic musical odyssey. Although appearing to be a complex piece, the track never loses its accessible front. Jaga Jazzist has always been a fluid force in its career, morphing from album to album in order to fill different niches and show different perspectives, but, in terms of singles, it doesn't get much better than "One-Armed Bandit". (Jordan Volz)

38) Hans Zimmer - Waiting for a Train
Zimmer’s soundtrack to Inception has been getting almost as much press as the movie itself—which is to say, quite a lot. “Waiting for a Train” is undoubtedly the highlight of that remarkable score—the cornerstone that functions as the entire album in miniature. With nine and a half minutes at his disposal, Zimmer has time to build things up slowly. The tension is incredible, and we feel the construction, coalescing, and inevitable collapse of Nolan’s dream world. By the ninth minute, the violins are screeching furiously in the background and the end has to be nigh, and then—nothing. The dream has ended; but non, je ne regrette rien. (Tom Butcher)

37) Matthew Dear - Slowdance
Rhythmic, accessible, and enjoyable, Matthew Dear’s “Slowdance” contains all the hallmarks of what makes electro-pop great to listen to: a catchy beat, good lyrics, and amazing production. With its danceable yet reserved sound, "Slowdance" achieves a tight sonic balance that matches its craftsmanship. The song’s becalming beat and imaginative lyrics work well with each other to capture Dear's mellow atmosphere. Engaging vocals and a hypnotic rhythm allow "Slowdance" to maintain a musical accessibility that would appeal to all fans of music, but especially those of electro-pop. (Tom Meagher)

36) The Knife - Colouring of Pigeons
Once the realization hits that it would definitely not be a follow-up to Silent Shout, The Knife’s Darwin-inspired collaboration, Tomorrow, In A Year, turns out to be a staggeringly literate and impeccably conceived opera—its narrative cohesion is evident even for those who don’t know Puccini from Bohemian Rhapsody. While an eleven-minute track that includes mezzo-soprano flutters may not seem like a traditional single, “Colouring of Pigeons” is the payoff moment in a record that demands much of its listeners. It hermetically melds the previous operatic conventions with the deep bass riffing and arresting voice of Karin Dreijer-Andersson, and it makes calling the album a “side-project” sound like dirty words. (Bryan Parys)

35) PVT - Window
After a variety of albums, lineup changes, and intention-wandering, PVT's Church With No Magic showed an undeniably tight and mature sound. The record as a whole showcases the band's exuberant ability to stretch single bleeps into full atmospheres that range from gritty, basement anthems to airy, dream-like melodies. “Window”, however, is an unapologetic gem of a dancey single that would make both Dan Deacon and Gary Numan proud. Built around polyrhythmic layers of Richard Pike’s vocals and a blitz of percussion, the song is as confident as it is catchy, making it the perfect addition to any party mix. (Bryan Parys)

34) Talons - St. Mary
Hollow Realm, the second album from UK’s Talons, is a full-on, unrelenting attack of noise that envelopes the listener with joy and amazement, akin to one's first experience with rock music played at very high volumes. Opening track “St. Mary” is a fierce statement of intent, an aural assault akin to a war cry at the start of battle. There is a lot packed into the eight-minute duration, from the initial ambient hum and urgent string section to the math rock melodies, right up until the frenzied jazz-mental finale. It takes a particularly talented band like Talons to pull it off with the greatest of ease. (James Ould)

33) Sophie Hutchings - Seventeen
“Seventeen” is a piece that does not pull any punches when it comes to its emotional power—building up intensity from the initial solo section forward, guiding the listener through a journey of Romantic introspection, suddenly stumbling upon a forgotten memory of youth as lived by the composer, and succumbing to the sheer power and velocity of teenage dreaming. There is no overtly oppressing rationality driving the piece to a modernist halt; its memorial nature demands no reining in of expression and desire. That the piece is eleven minutes long and has no filler speaks of the virtue of Hutchings, both as a composer and as a player, driving the music forward at all times without ever losing any spark of creativity. It is definitely a track that will not be easily forgotten. (David Murrieta)

32) [The] Slowest Runner [In All the World] - Zoe Machete Control
The thirteen-minute lead track of [The] Slowest Runner's We, Burning Giraffes presents an elaborate blend of control and release. An introduction, consisting of melodic piano and start-stop drums, swiftly bows to a subdued bridge of guitar and violin. The other instruments wander back into the room and chat for a while. As they make small talk, the roof begins to rise. Oh, here comes that tempo change - we are in it now. By the six-minute mark, we are really rocking. But then - wait, is the track over? Not until another series of pulleys and weights lifts the miasma to its feet and makes the boys start whoopin' and hollarin' like frat boys on furlough. Can post-rock be both serious and fun? Yes, and "Zoe Machete Control" proves it. (Richard Allen)

31) Lorn - Cherry Moon
The title “Cherry Moon” may mean different things to different people, but many can agree that this is one of Lorn's best tracks. Accessible as it is, it still maintains a cathartic appeal as it soars and descends amidst focused, catchy beats. The producer flexes his technical skills by coating the track with a smooth, glossy finish befitting of the music's easygoing spirit. Perhaps the highlight of Nothing Else, “Cherry Moon” combines the beautiful nature of epic-sounding synthesizers with equally amazing break-beats. Accessible, cohesive, and enduring, this track has it all. (Tom Meagher)


Top Albums: 100-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51 | 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

Top Tracks: 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1