All in Music

As this is the last issue of The Hofstra Chronicle of, not only the semester, but of the year 2010, I felt that we should make sure we ran the obligatory "best of the year" list. The following is a list of, in this assistant editor's humble opinion, the best albums of the year 2010.

The holidays are just around the bend and soon we'll all be at home setting up our Christmas trees or Chanukah menorah or what have you. So while you're drinking your eggnog or hot chocolate and setting up for all sorts of festivities, you'll need an equally festive soundtrack. Here are a few suggestions from my personal catalog of holiday favorites:

Pink Friday, Nicki Minaj's debut album has sold 375,000 copies in its first week. It comes in second of all-time for a female rapper, losing to Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill. It also comes in second in sales this week to Kanye West's powerhouse My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

But Nicki Minaj is at a really great place in her career. She's sitting on that precipice between being "that girl rapper from Young Money that wants her p--y on your sideburns" and a breakthrough hip hop artist that could carry top 40 hits.

Since Greg Gillis, or his moniker, Girl Talk, released his first pulsing wonderland album of mash up music, the album's legitimacy has been questioned. With his new release, "All Day," Girl Talk proves once again that his Frankenstein is too creative and too well crafted not to be considered music.

"Feels so good being bad / There's no way I'm turning back." Rihanna's new studio effort, "Loud," begins with an idea that she has beaten to a pulp, but it works. We know she's bad, we know she's so hard, and we know she's a rock star. This time around, she's a dance queen that wants to feel like she's the only girl in world, as the better part of "Loud" wouldn't be out of place at your typical dance club. I'll take anything over the depressing mess that was "Rated R," her much-criticized previous effort.

Rock operas have become a lost art in the musical era of Gagas and Weezys. Ask anyone under the age of 25 what a rock opera is, and their response will most likely be "That thing that the dude from ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall' did with the puppets." A better example would be Pink Floyd's The Wall, one of the top five best selling albums of all time in the U.S., and Roger Waters reminded us all of just why that is when he performed the entire album at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on November 3rd.

UnderOATH shouldn't be a band. The pop-screamo wave of 2006 is over and most of their peers went with it. The rest of genre now is glorified hair metal for angry tweens, irrelevant butt-rock or some horrible mix of the two. On the band's newest album they take their last real step away from the sing/screamo/electronics-go-clickity-clack formula they made popular in the mid-2000s.

Released a little less than just two months after "Hurley," Weezer's "Death to False Metal" might have some people scratching their heads. What is this thing, and why did they release it now of all times? What's even more curious is that this release directly coincides with the release of the deluxe edition of Weezer's best album, "Pinkerton." So what exactly is the purpose of "Death to False Metal?"

                   Taylor Swift's third album, "Speak Now," has songs that will break your heart, melt it, spark a fire, or just remind you why you started to love her in the first place. "Speak Now" comes out at the perfect time when I was really craving some new Taylor. After two years, I was expecting something they blew my mind, and I was rewarded for my patience.

Chances are you are not the kind of person who, at somepoint in your life, has clamored for a heavy metal rendition of the History Channel. Apparently though, some people are, and Hail of Bullets was happy to provide. Their debut, "…Of Frost and War," set the scene with a decidedly poetic retelling of the second World War, specifically the struggles between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.  This time, with "On Divine Winds," they've flipped the pages of their textbooks to the Eastern stage of history, chronicling the Pacific front of World War II as well as the Second Sino-Japanese War.