25 Favorite Albums of 2009

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24 déc. 2009, 6h02m

My 25 Favorite Albums of 2009:

25. Sun O))) - Monoliths & Dimensions // Ambient, noise; Almost simultaneously scary and beautiful at times. ***

24. Doves - Kingdom Of Rust // KOR is no Lost Souls, but it does have some pretty decent moments. ***

23. Mew - No More Stories Are Told Today... // ***

22. Delorean - Ayrton Senna EP // ***

21. Bear in Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth // ***

20. Sonic Youth - The Eternal // ***

19. Deerhunter - Rainwater Cassette Exchange EP // ***

18. 800beloved - Bouquet // ***

17. The Antlers - Hospice // ***

16. Various Artists - 5: Five Years Of Hyperdub // ***

15. Fleeting Joys - Occult Radiance // ***

14. O+S - O+S // Orenda from Azure Ray. Would probably rate this higher, but I've only been listening for a month. Very much in the vein of Cat Power, et al. Straightforward, heart-on-sleeve female singer-songwriter kinda stuff. Very well-produced. I dig it. "New Life" is as elegant as they come. ***

13. A Sunny Day In Glasgow - Ashes Grammar // Sprawling ambient/ dream pop album. Better and more coherent than their solid debut. With its vast scope and indirect approach to song structure, it really tries to eschew the concept of zeroing in on a single track. But I pinpointed the ones with some of the best moments. "Close Chorus" and "Passionate Introverts." But you really owe it to yourself to experience this spacious album in its entirety. Headphones recommended. ***

12. Mono - Hymn To The Immortal Wind // Best post-rock band in existence? i'm probably rating this so high because i saw them live and was completely floored. If you dig this kind of loud-quiet-loud instrumental stuff at all, I'd check them out. "The Battle To Heaven" is a titan of a song. ***

11. Love of Diagrams - Nowhere Forever // Noise-rock/indie rock. Got dropped by their label. A very good thing because it made them release a great album. The self-titled EP showed potential, but didn't contain anything special. Well, now they are. Think Dirty-er Sonic Youth, Sleater-Kinney, etc. Grows on you with repeated listens. ***

10. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz! // ***

09. The Horrors - Primary Colours // Joy Division, Pornography-era Cure, accessible Bauhaus, etc. post-punk throwback band. This time, album delivers. Unlike, say, The Killers and other pop bands like that, Horrors dare to use feedback and other atonal qualities to give their songs more character and definition. A band that I thought/hoped would really get huge this year and usher in a "New Ice Age," but didn't. Oh well. ***

08. Metric - Fantasies // I listened to this more this year than probably any other '09 album, which says a lot for me since I'm not even really a fan of straightforward pop music. First 6 songs are pretty impeccable. The "Waves" b-side wasn't included. If it was, this album would be top 5 material easy. The last 4 songs are spotty and don't really measure up to the first 6 IMO, but what can ya do? I'm sure you've all heard this. ***

07. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion // You've all heard this. I'm not big on Animal Collective, but I really did enjoy the even-numbered songs on this album. "Bluish" is amazing. "My Girls" is pretty nice. The odd-numbered ones got old after an initial fascination back in January. [On a side note: they really fell back out of favor with me after their latest EP though. I don't want to hear songs about smoking weed and watching construction workers pissing.] ***

06. Fever Ray - Fever Ray // ***

05. White Lies - To Lose My Life // Post-punk, new wave, brit-rock band in the vein of The Sound, Interpol, Editors, etc. The first song on this album is spectacular. Utilizes one of my favorite guitar sounds of all-time. ***

04. Yagya - Rigning // Perhaps the best ambient artist currently recording music? Eno and Aphex Twin 's best ambient work had this evocation of modern environments: airports, hospital waiting rooms, other modern facilities. Yagya is all about nature. Rigning isn't groundbreaking like his 2002 Rhythm Of Snow album, but anywhere's a good starting point with him. If you like ambient music, you need Yagya in your life. ***

03. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - // ***

02. National Skyline - Bliss & Death // Art rock/shoegaze. NatSky's first new album in 8 years. Jeff Garber was in the emo-turned-heavy-post-punk band Hum during the mid-90s. This band was formed because he wanted to record a really long song. That song didn't happen and they made some incredible art rock recording instead that sounded like they could have been answers to OK Computer or Priest = Aura. This album is less experimental than their earlier stuff, but still very well-produced and lush. Lots of good songs with interesting twists and turns. "Glimmer," "Revenge," and "Kingdom." The guitar textures of Dempsey (also from The Joy Circuit) are lovely and often evoke late 80s and early 90s indie bands. Great for headphones. ***

01. Bat for Lashes - Two Suns // The only 4-star album for me this year. And it's a good one. Kind of like Saturdays = Youth last year, but everything is sultry; sweet; and sophisticated in that very feminine way. I knew this girl had talent with Fur and Gold in 2006, but now she's truly released something spectacular. Album does seem to kinda taper off toward the middle-end, but it really doesn't. It only seems to because "Pearl's Dream" is so damn good. And not even a song as good as "Good Love" (which would be the standout on most albums) can follow it. "Daniel" is appearing in many top 10 song lists this year - and I don't disagree. But "Pearl's Dream" is still better. Hell, "Glass" would probably make my Top 20. This album is just phenomenal and I love Natasha Khan very much right now. ****

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Other albums I heard this year with star ratings:

AC Newman - Get Guilty [**]
Andrew Bird - Noble Beast [**]
Animal Collective - Fall Be Kind EP [*1/2]
Asobi Seksu - Hush [**]
Atlas Sound - Logos [**1/2]
Bibio - Ambivalence Avenue [**]
The Black Lips - 200 Million Miles (WORST album of the year)
Bon Iver - Blood Bank EP [**1/2]
Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career [**]
The Church - Untitled #23 [**1/2]
Cymbals Eat Guitars - Why There Are Mountains [*1/2]
The Decemberists - The Hazards Of Love (2nd worst)
Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca [**]
dredg - The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion [**1/2]
Editors - In This Light And On This Evening [**1/2]
Engineers - Three Fact Fader [**1/2]
Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport [**1/2] "Surf Solar"
Girls - Album

Commentaires

  • doran666

    ur trippin on lds/shrooms/vicodin/tylenol/viny/flunitrazepaml/lsd again jk

    24 déc. 2009, 6h35m
  • Acquiescence

    Great list, I enjoyed reading that. It's cool to see Doves, Mono, A Sunny Day In Glasgow and Mew get included and you've made me instantly want to go and check out National Skyline, who I've never heard of before. But I can't believe you didn't like The Sleepover Disaster! I'd have thought as a shoegaze nut you'd have lapped that shit up, but oh well...each to their own!

    24 déc. 2009, 10h11m
  • EssienPopoola

    what about Dan Deacon's Bromst? 'Snookered' must be the best track of 2009 (that wasn't made by Fuck Buttons)

    29 déc. 2009, 10h57m
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