1. Falling Up- Fangs! - Way more experimental and airy than their previous stuff. They started out as an immature but catchy rap rock outfit and have morphed into something much more creative. In this way, they're a lot like the Christian Linkin Park. The songwriting is too powerful. The album is based on a story that the main singer is writing. It takes a few listens to "get", but then you'll love it. Highlights: "Lotus and the Langorous", "Streams of Woe at Acheron", "Goddess of the Dayspring, I".
2. The Prodigy- Invaders Must Die- The title track and leadoff song begins this fast-paced intergalactic, apocalyptic adventure. The energy level doesn't let up until the very end. I'm going to see these guys at the end of the month, and I'm very excited. Highlights: "Invaders Must Die", "Thunder", "Colours".
3. Eminem- Relapse- His flow is unmatched. Other good rappers may have, at best, 3-5 lines in each verse that make you shake your head. Eminem gives you line after line of pure filth and never lets up. That, and he is literally insane. Just listen to Track 4, "Insane" and you'll see what I mean. He's gone from rapping about homophobia and killing his mom on the then-controversial The Marshall Mathers LP to getting raped by his own step father and kidnapping and eating victims Jeffrey Dahmer-style on Relapse. God help us all. Highlights: "3am", "Medicine Ball", "Beautiful".
4. RED- Innocence and Instinct- A powerful collection of mainstream Christian rock songs that are much more questioning than most of the other stuff in the genre. I don't see this style continuing much longer, so this may be the pinnacle for this sort of Tooth & Nail record. Highlights: "Fight Inside", "Mystery of You", "Never Be the Same".
5. MSTRKRFT- Fist of God- They basically tried to commercialize their genre, and they went a little overboard. The beats are almost too good. They get pretty repetitive. That's not to say I won't party to this stuff and techno headbang by myself in my car. Highlights: "Bounce", "Vuvuvu", "Fist of God".
6. Flo Rida- R.O.O.T.S.- Yes, it's over produced. Yes, he cops beats. But it's so infective and fun! Highlights: "Finally Here", "Mind on My Money", "Never".
7. A Love Like Pi- The Atlas and the Oyster- They have their own style. It's melodic electro-pop-rock, but not the annoying, overplayed kind you can find on purevolume's front page every day. It's original and crafty. These guys are going places, but only if they want to. Highlights: "The Oyster", "The Atlas", "Innocent Man".
8. Asher Roth- Asleep in the Bread Aisle- He impressed me with this. When it comes to white rappers, Eminem is for Type A's and crackheads. Asher Roth is for Type B's and potheads. Highlights: "La Di Da", "As I Em", "Lark on My Go-Kart".
9. Silverstein- A Shipwreck in the Sand- They haven't morphed much in their style over their four studio albums, but they have gotten better at what they do. This one is much more powerful. Nobody's gonna say that Silverstein sold out with this one. Highlights: "A Great Fire", "Vices", "I Am the Arsonist".
10. Papa Roach- Metamorphosis- They may tell themselves that they're in it for the music, but they're as label-tailored as it gets. The new Hoobastank album is the same way, but the new Papa Roach actually has some quality tracks. Highlights: "Change or Die", "I Almost Told You That I Loved You", "Had Enough".
I gotta give shout-outs to: Kelly Clarkson- All I Ever Wanted, Holiday Parade- Tickets and Passports, A Day to Remember- Homesick, And Then There Were None- Who Speaks for Planet Earth?, Julien K- Death to Analog.
I'm currently listening to: The Audition- Self-Titled Album, Madina Lake- Attics to Eden, Peaches- I Feel Cream.
I'm looking forward to: Family Force 5, Taking Back Sunday, Marilyn Manson, AFI, Brand New, Linkin Park (hopefully), Chester Bennington (hopefully).