Monday, December 21, 2009

The best Albums of 2009

Allright I realize that I have been off the grid for a while and now your wondering if you should ever read anything I say after I left you like a dead beat dad you skips on your visitation weekend. However I pledge to make it up to you by giving you some good best of year lists, and really there aren't ever enough of those are there?

In this case we're starting off with the best Albums of 2009 I hope you enjoy these since I expect that you will be trying to download the torrents as your reading them.

11. (I know eleven is a ridiculous number to start with but I couldn't leave the album off my list, sorry) Handsome Furs - Face control This is an example of a husband/wife team can pull off some great rock music. Typically electronic drums just drive me crazy but this album changes that. Great lyrics as well as great arrangements make for a great album any day. If your a fan of Sunset Rudown or Wolf Parade you woe it to yourself to scoop this up. Also I would like to congratulate this band on avoiding the sophmore slump, now go make a third album.

10. Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayerm This is another band that fell out of Wolf Parade and put together a great album. Dragonslayer though is this bands fourth effort and It may be there strongest. They came far and aren't afraid to spread their wings sonically. While making straight forward alternative to even dipping their feet in prog-rock craziness they seem right at home doing anything. Truly an interesting album from a band that has a great history.

09. The Decemberists - Hazards of Love Okay if you don't dig this after the first listen give it a few. Any band that rights a fairytale rock opera is bound to raise eyebrows. With a story that vould have been written by the Brothers Grimm Colin Meloy and company put together one of the best albums of the year with songs about a shapeshifter that falls in love and what he goes through to protect his love. The album does a great job of going back and forth between slow and fast paced songs and achieves a terrific balance of the two. I would love to see this on stage rather than on the video the band is putting together but in the meantime I can just put this on. (listen to "the rakes song" and the wonderful "Isn't It a Lovely Night?")

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Decemberists - The Wanting Comes in Waves
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorEconomy

08. The Doves - Kingdom of Rust If your kind of in the mood for a rainy days type of record look no farther. With reverb drenched guitars this trio from Manchester did it again. A few years after their previous album "Some Cities" these guys made another hit. Also on some tracks including 10:03 they even sprinkled a touch of pyschedelia on the album.

07. The Horrors - Primary Colors Wow. This is a band that I couldn't have been happier with. This was another great Sophomore album, however in this case it's different. Different in the sense that the band's first album was an abortion. Please if I was this band I wouldn't bring it up at all. This is perhaps why this band actually left their previous label. Also they changed direction. No longer are they more focused on being a punk band, they've decided to change direction and become more of a post-punk band. Going away from being another crappy British punk band that brought in an occasional synthesizer and trying to go to becoming the next Joy Division is always a good plan. With great songs about telling a chick that she's better off without him(Who can Say) to seeing how life is a journey that where sometimes you need to take a different direction than most and invite others on your journey (Sea Within a Sea). Breakout tracks are "Who can Say" and "Sea Within a Sea"

If you decide to get this album be sure to get this single that was released about 5 months ago. Beautiful and it's painting a much nicer and acceptable (optimistic) view on life.

06. Wilco - Wilco (the Album) This is the sound of Wilco trying to just remake something that will get them the same success they get on previous albums like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost is Born. Clearly they haven't tried to extend their range or bring anything new to the table. Yes I may be giving them a pass for this album. However this is not taking that much from them. I LOVE those albums and aren't that worried. I'm merely excited to see what else this band is willing to do when they have the ball in their hands. That being said there are some REALLY good songs from this album. Specifically the songs "You and I feat. Feist" which is a great song about relationships and the strength you get from the other person. The darkest song though on the record though is one of the best written songs they've had about a man who had just killed someone and driving away "Bull Black Nova" which is lead by a great guitar solo which reminds the listener that this band is a rock bad first and pop-rock second, that's just if you needed a reminder.

05. Modest Mouse - No Ones First and Your Last Heres another complaint that someone may have. This isn't a traditional album, this is a collection of B-sides and basically is just an EP. However, what's cool about this collection is that they are just cuts that work as a B-side collection because they were songs that were left out of the last 2 LP's so at least the music is relevant to what they are doing currently. Too often a collection of B-sides get released over a bands catalog and the music itself is no longer cohesive to create an album of random songs with varying styles. Hoewever, Modest Mouse gets it right and releases some great songs that no fan should go without.

04. Mos Def - the Ecstatic Mos Def comes back with his strongest Hip-Hop album since Black on Both Sides here. Going away from what he was trying to do the previous albums with adding his rock band Black Jack Johnson here he goes straight to Hip-Hop. With great production from Oh No and Madlib he makes an amazing album that's also very personal. My favorite track though is one that seemingly has a beat that sounds part negro spiritual part club banger. In one word: Amazing.

03. Girls - Album Heres the great Lo-fi album of the year. this is an album for a generation that asks "what now?" Here the band doesn't answer you, what they do is basically go "yeah I'm a mess as well so I can't help you too much". Which is actually pretty helpful. On the song "Lust for Life" songwriter Chris Owens basically accepts that he's screwed up and is just fine with it. With a great mix of garage aspects but with a light nod to optimism made this a phenomenal hit. Though they can hit some lows this band accomplished alot and needs to be recognized.

02. Phoenix - Wlofgang Amadeus Phoenix No other band came with this much hype. You could really say that Phoenix is a pop act and you wouldn't be wrong. Clearly slick this band brought guitars to a euro-pop surface and made what could only be considered fun. Really this is the sound of a band coming out to take over the world.

01. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz Okay and the winner is the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Now many people complained how this great garage band turned into a dance rock band but honestly the new formula copmliments the band just as well. It was as if the band sat down with Deborah Harry (Blondie) and everyone was content with being the version of Blondie for the 21st century. While some of the songs are perhaps almost made for the dance floor however, the band is still willing to go to the same depths emotionally as they pulled off years ago with the song "Maps". Songs in particular is the anti-"Maps" cut called "Skeleton" which is the about the end of a relationship. Really haunting and beautiful this album was what stood out for me at the end of the year in what was honestly a disapointing year in music.

No comments: