If the literary device hyperbole had not existed, an art critic would have invented it. Imagine gasping for language for a cup of coffee, let alone being adept at capturing the flesh-and-blood experience of any art form. This is the greatest album of the year—and perhaps of our almost-retired decade. If a hot wind blows, can it not also be absolute truth? Deerhunter’s Cryptograms is a stunner of an album—competitive and teetering on the same precipice as Wire’s 154 and My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. Cryptograms breathes from an intoxicating peak, pioneering innocence and passionate bravado. It’s a sticky-sweet finger tap, tap, tapping on hazy futures, nonexistent pasts, an aural hymn sizzling static, drizzling wet ambience and oozing sci-fi noir atmosphere. The majority of the album alternates between shapelessness, more intent in communicating moods than directness, and weirdly/smartly skewed pop songs (“Hazel Street” and “Strange Lights”), with vocalist Bradley Cox’s voice put through desired effects to achieve an ethereal collapse of time and space. This is the sound of a band towering far above any other in the underground.