Saturday, December 26, 2009

Top Albums of the Year 2009

2009 was a bit of lull for me in regards to albums. There wasn't any one (well maybe one) that simply blew me away on first listen. But some did creep in after many repeats. Here are my top 10:

Honorable Mention: Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer - A "side project" to Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown third album continues down where Spencer Krug's previous ventures left off. The album is probably the most accessible yet.

10) Generationals - Con Law - I saw these guys at Garfields only after catching a few songs on 91.3 (thanks Cindy). While I thought they were good in concert the album is that much better. Motown sounds over pop gems with a bit of Belle and Sebastian mixed in.

9) Black Moth Super Rainbow - Eating Us - The local Pittsburgh act went with producer David Fridmann and made their most enjoyable album for me. Starting with "Born on a Day the Sun Didn't Rise", the lp bowls you over with synth sounds and booming drums. Have seen them twice now in concert. It's a different experience, but an enjoyable one.

8) Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz - A bit of a different sound throwing in some new wave into their bread and butter.

7) Old Canes - Feral Harmonic - Great lo-fi diy album that stretches the home made recordings. See my album review here.

6) Built to Spill - There is No Enemy - One of my favorite bands in the late 90's who made "indie" a brand name. This is their best lp in what seems like a long time.

5) Rurual Alberta Advantage - Hometowns - I went to see The Lovely Feathers at Garfields and these guys were the headliners. Never had bothered to even listen to them. Of course when I did they ended up in my top 10 for the year. Hailing from Canada, they get compared to Neutral Milk Hotel a lot and for good reason.

4) Mr Gnome - Heave Yer Skeleton - The sophomore follow up to Deliver This Creature doesn't disappoint. Why this duo doesn't get more hype I don't understand. Based out of Cleveland the duo are a mix of Portishead and Bjork with some prog rock. Great follow up to one of those "under the radar" bands.

3) Bat For Lashes - Two Suns - Natasha Khan follows up her breakthrough Fur and Gold with this ambitious follow up.

2) AA Bondy - When the Devil's Loose - I hyped this guy up a lot because I truly enjoy him. This was in my player forever (and is still in the mix). Checkout my review here.

1) Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix - A French band making a splash in the US market? Believe it. A fifth album breakthrough that is probably at the top of everyone's list in the mainstream and underground. The dance pop rock outfit made catchy melodies making it easily accessible to everyone.

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