1. Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
It lacks some of the poignancy of The Animal Years, but it's more adventurous. I never tire of listening to it.
2. The National - Boxer
Elegant, moody, urgent
3. The Avett Brothers - Emotionalism
The first seven songs are so good I sometimes never make it to the second half of the album.
4. Bruce Springsteen - Magic
The production is a bit too polished for my liking, but the songs are quintessential Springsteen.
5. Okkervil River - The Stage Names
A blend of eclectic, eminently catchy music and deft wordplay
6. Band of Horses - Cease to Begin
Thanks to Andy Dunham for recommending this one.
7.Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
This one has grown on me. The album took on a new life after seeing them in concert a few months back.
8. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
The finest indie-pop export from the city I used to call home.
9. Ola Podrida - Ola Podrida
Kester Smith mentioned the band on his blog a while back and their name alone prompted me to check them out. But the "they" is really just one guy, David Wingo. The album is some of the best spare, folk-pop I've heard in a long while.
10. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
I find some of their songs downright cringe-inducing, but so many others are undeniably compelling.