1. Akron / Family, Love Is Real
The latest entry in the attempt to write the great American psychedelic folk roadtrip album, and one of the most successful I've ever heard. This album is the triumphant album of experimental folk-rock that acts like Califone, Wilco, and the Flaming Lips have been almost-making for a decade now (and that Camper Van Beethoven were almost-making 20 years ago), but it also breaks from that framework periodically, expanding into ecstatic mind-expanding jams -- jams that locate the choice middle ground between the sloppy, shambalic, "No Neck Blues Band" type and the more polished, technically-efficient, "Phish" type, and consequently are more effective than either. Mystical in orientation, singular in vision: at its best, it's like a backwoods Americana version of the Boredom's Vision Creation New Sun. Essential.
Listen: Akron / Family, "
Ed Is A Portal"