A Note from the editor: Since doing only one Dispatch-wide list is boring as cheese, we wanted to let everyone in the office pick their favorites. Below you will find Robbie Kanner's, and I hope he can sell you on something new and awesome from the Maine and New Hampshire scenes.

When I sat down to draw up this list, I wasn't sure if I was going to end up with the most flamboyant pop top 5 or the dirtiest rock top 5. It turns out I ended up with the latter. My top 5 isn't tied up with a nice bow — it's a bit rough, unshowered, and dirty.

AH, and please yell at me about how much you love [insert your band here] and how I'm wrong.

5. Pirates Vs. Temperature by An Army Of Squirrels

After many years of anticipating, I finally have a record from Nicholas Lamberto that I can listen to on a daily basis. After a solid run w/ Lost On Liftoff, Lamberto comes out with this record, Pirates Vs. Temperature. It's dirty and gritty with a touch of generalized anger/frustration. The songwriting is well refined and has many strong pop elements. He'll never tell you he has a record out, so I'll tell you.

4. Once Again To Lillith by Vanityites

Wrapped up in alcoholism, cynicism, depression, self-loathing, hand-claps, and gang vocals comes the debut record from Vanityites. Once Again To Lillith (a play on a F. Scott Fitzgerald's dedication in The Great Gatsby, Once Again To Zelda) is dangerous. At no point should you be happy while listening to this record — its purpose is to drag you to the black depths of the sea. Alas, in all its glory, what remains is a fantastic debut record.

3. Statement Of Purpose by Too Late The Hero

Too Late The Hero has developed into a well-oiled machine in its many years of being a band. This record, Statement Of Purpose comes off as "finally arrived" piece of work. It's well thought out with less angst than previous releases. Instrumentally, it's incredibly tight and the lyrics paint pictures of dedication. They've mastered their genre-bending sound.

2. Mai, Mai by Mai, Mai

Sean Morin has finally released his most intellectual body of work. Morin has taken the time to perfect everything, including the gorgeous artwork from Kelly Rioux and Julia Wood. It is impressive to hear four different vocalists on this debut EP and still have a cohesive sound. Surrounded in elegance and beauty, this album is the cleanest of the bunch.

1. in color. by Grand Hotel

I'm a shameless lover of pop songs and this record is filled with the coolest of cool. Fronted by Kyle Gervais, in color. can force the most awkward boy to dance. It's as if this record single handedly made wearing sunglasses at night cool again. The song writing is fantastic (mostly in part to the harmonies) and Gervais' delivery has the perfect amount of personality into it. I'm on the edge of my seat for the next album. Thanks!

Honorable Mentions:

Born This Way by Lady Gaga — Yeah yeah, I know, she's not a Mainer, but I do not care. I gots a fever, and the only cure is more Gaga.