Sunday, January 31, 2010

Best of 2009

So after getting over my laziness and going over the mental list I had come up with for my favorite albums of 2009, it is with great pleasure I announce them now!

13) Junior—Röyksopp
Upbeat, dancey, and musical-start studded guest vocalists (Robyn, Lykke Li, and Karen Dreijer Andersson) all describe this album from this Norwegian electronic group. Favorite tracks: “Happy Up Here,” “The Girl and the Robot,” “This Must Be It,” and “Tricky Tricky.”

12) Miike Snow—Miike Snow
Debut album from this Swedish trio, none who are named Miike or Mike for that matter. Heard the song “Animal” and fell in love immediately. The rest of the album is just as solid. Favorite tracks: “Animal,” “Burial,” and “Song For No One.”

11) Kingdom Of Rust—Doves
I always have and will always love this Manchester group. Their 4th album is no exception. Beautiful, moving, and thoughtful. Favorite tracks “Jetstream,” “Kingdom of Rust,” and “Spellbound” (one of the greatest love songs…ever).

10) A Brief History Of Love—The Big Pink
Debut album from this London group of young lads. Milo Cordell says of the album, “Every song is a love song to some degree, about every different aspect of love... The good, the bad, the boring, the exciting, the dreams, the nightmares, the whole thing.” Young, fresh, and addictive. Favorite tracks “Too Young to Love,” “Dominoes,” “Velvet,” and “A Brief History of Love.”

9) Tonight: Franz Ferdinand—Franz Ferdinand
What if you wrote an album that described a night of partying followed by the morning after? This is what Scottish band Franz Ferdinand does on their 3rd album. Cheeky, fun, introspective and dancey. Favorite tracks “No You Girls,” “Twilight Omens,” “What She Came For,” and “Katherine Kiss Me.”

8) Julian Plenti Is... Skyscraper—Julian Plenti
First solo album from Interpol lead singer, Paul Banks. I was unsure of this album at first but after a few listens was hooked. Paul’s voice is one of my favorites and it’s hard not to get on board. Favorite tracks “Games For Days,” “Skyscraper,” “On the Esplanade,” and “Only if You Run.”

7) The Twilight Saga: New Moon—Various Artists (soundtrack)
I love pretty much every artist on this soundtrack so it is no surprise that they produced amazing tracks for this tween franchise’s second film. I hate that it is a part of Twilight history, but as long as I don’t know how the songs were used for certain plot lines I can sleep easy. Favorite tracks “Roslyn,” “Slow Life,” “Done All Wrong,” and “Meet Me on the Equinox.”

6) Horehound—The Dead Weather
Combine Jack White and Alison Mosshart and then throw in talent from Dean Fertita and Jack Lawrence and you have yourself a side project super group that blows minds. My favorite rock album of 2009 left me feeling like I wanted to punch someone or make out with them…or both. Favorite tracks “Hang You From the Heavens,” “Treat Me Like Your Mother,” and “Bone House.”

5) It’s Blitz!—Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Third album from this NYC trio made the start of 2009 and its winter blahs bearable. A dance party sound mixed in with some slower tracks made me love this album. It may not have been too huge of a departure from their previous two albums and EP, but I don’t care. Why fix something that ain’t broke? The deluxe edition of the album also had four of the tracks acoustic. WIN. Favorite tracks “Zero,” “Soft Shock,” and “Hysteric.”

4) xx—The xx
Debut album from this London group came out of left field for me and hit me like a ton of bricks. Beautiful, haunting, and sexy with a bit of electro thrown in for good measure. You just want to put on this album and have a make out session. Favorite tracks “Crystalised,” “Heart Skipped a Beat,” “Night Time,” and “Basic Space.”

3) Middle Cyclone—Neko Case
Seventh album from this red headed alt-country siren that continues her wonderful storytelling of love, loss, needing to flee her hometown, and taking care of mother earth (among other things) from a unique perspective and sometimes without happy endings. Favorite tracks “This Tornado Love You,” “People Gotta A Lotta Nerve,” “Middle Cyclone,” and “Prison Girls.”

2) The Hazards Of Love—The Decemberists
The 5th Album from this Portland band is a rock opera. One that follows the story of two lovers and a jealous queen mother from start to tragic finish. Guests Shara Worden and Becky Stark fill in as lover and queen while Colin wears two hats of lover and narrator. The rest of the band does what they do best by supporting with grand sounds and choruses and backing vocals. Amazing. Favorite tracks, “Won't Want For Love (Margaret In The Taiga),” “The Wanting Comes In Waves/Repaid,” “The Hazards Of Love 3 (Revenge!),” and “The Hazards Of Love 4 (The Drowned).”

1) Veckatimest—Grizzly Bear
I always liked this Brooklyn based band, but it wasn’t until their 3rd album did I fall absolutely head over heels in love with them. Dreamy, beautiful, and moving. I am transported to a bygone era even though the modernity is peaking through. Favorite tracks “Southern Point,” “Two Weeks,” “Cheerleader,” “While You Wait for the Others,” and “Foreground.”

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