Attack & Release by The Black Keys : This album was an immediate hit for me. It is hard not to draw comparisons to The White Stripes. White Stripes + Black Keys = piano keyboard? This is a great blues/rock album. Favorite tracks "I Got Mine" and "Strange Times."
The Seldom Seen Kid by Elbow : I really did not like this album at first. It really took several listens for it to grow on me. I think part of the problem is that I really do not like the first song "Starlings." The album is really quite good besides that song. In particular I like "Grounds for Divorce."
Accelerate by R.E.M. : Wow, R.E.M. is still going! I bought every R.E.M. album when they were released, starting with Document in 1987 and ending with Reveal in 2001. That's eleven years and eight albums. Reveal was not good. I did not buy Around the Sun in 2004. I was quite skeptical when I heard about the release of Accelerate, but it is a good album. I really like "Living Well is the Best Revenge" and "Accelerate".
Consolers of the Lonely by The Raconteurs : I love the White Stripes, but I really did not like the first album The Raconteurs. It was underwhelming. This one is much better. I still sometimes wish that Jack White would just take over and turn it into a White Stripes album, but it's usually a "this is good but ohh, how it could be better" kind of thing. Favorite songs are the title track and "Old Enough."
Vampire Weekend by Vampire Weekend : This album took awhile to grow on me, too. It was one of those albums that sounded much better in my car than on headphones. Pitchfork says they are pop not rock. I don't agree. I think they are a little too clever to for pop, and maybe too catchy for "alternative"? Who knows. It is a fun and original album. Favorite songs "Campus" and "Oxford Comma."
The Slip by Nine Inch Nails : Oh, NIN released an album? Well actually they released Ghosts as well, but I must admit that I haven't listened to that much since I downloaded it. The Slip is amazingly good. The only bad thing is that by releasing so much music, Trent Reznor is making it seem too easy. For me, this album really clearly defined the post-Fragile NIN sound. It obviously started with With Teeth, but The Slip has made it crystal clear. Best tracks "1,000,000", "Discipline", and "The Four of Us are Dying."