This is part of Creative Loafing Tampa's new issue, The Year In Music. See and listen to the rest of our top albums here.
American Football, American Football (Polyvinyl) Fans of old-school emo had a great year, and part of the elation surely came at the hands of Polyvinyl Records, which finally released a follow-up to American Football's (also self-titled) 1999 debut. That 17-year-old record matured into a sacred tome for the genre, and expectations for something new continued to grow as the band — led by Mike Kinsella — announced tour dates and festival appearances over the last couple years. “LP 2,” as it's come to be called, lived up to its older sibling in every sense. The Chicago-based outfit didn’t sacrifice an ounce of vulnerability. Math-y guitar riffs and sullen horns still weave their way in and out of the arrangements. And while the 1999 album was rooted in the suburban angst of a much younger man with no thoughts of becoming a parent, American Football’s second finds Kinsella, 39, facing how he’s grown up on songs like “Everyone Is Dressed Up” where he sings about being “forever lost in time’s currents.” —Ray Roa