Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: Album(s) of the Year

I didn't explore much music this year so if you're a music dork, you'll probably think my list is pretty surface.

Honorable mention: The Lonely Island - Incredibad
This album exceeds my expectations of being entertaining.
I'm on a boat

25. The Very Best - Warm Heart of Africa
I remember hearing about them last year because their mixtape made the rounds on blogs, but I didn't gave them a chance til I found out that the Vampire Weekend guy did guest vocals on a trak for their new album. Needless to say, this is a great pop album with elements of another culture that keeps me engage throughout.
Favorite Song: Warm Heart of Africa

24. Meg & Dia - Here, Here and Here
"Mozart he said, 'there's nothing to composing.'" What I like about Meg and Dia are they have this bookworm quality in their lyrics. Plus they are goofy.
Favorite Song: Here, Here and Here

23. Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport
My post-rock phase is over! Still, instrumental music can still warm its way into my heart as long as its not a EitS clone. This duo from the UK makes noise into something beautiful, epic, and it transport me into a sci-fi world, but maybe that's just me.
Favorite Song: Olympians

22. Girls - Album
I hate that I love this album because the lead singer sucks shit. His voice is terrible. But like a lot of albums, a key opening track makes a huge difference. I kept playing "Lust for Life" for it's self-pity lyrics mix with this sunny 60s pop. The following tracks just seemed normal to me and it grew and grew.
Favorite Song: Lust for Life

21. Bat For Lashes - Two Suns
When I was working on my decade list, I got into Bjork and there are some elements in Bat for Lashes that remind me of her, but I feel that Bats has a better voice and she doesn't come off as artsy. Overall, the spooky atmosphere unites the whole album.
Favorite Song: Daniel


20. The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
I was such a hater when this album came out. For the most part, I believed The Decemberists were one of the best bands of the decade, releasing consistent music of the last 5-6 years. I think the only reason I hated this at first was because there wasn't any songs I can isolate and place on a mix CD. Still, I found myself listening to this without skipping and for me, that's a sign of good music.
Favorite Song: Annan Water

19. Tegan and Sara - Sainthood
No real reason except all the songs are equal in goodness.
Favorite Song: The Cure

18. Dan Deacon - Bromst
YEah! this is wacky ass music.
Favorite Song: Woof Woof

17. Passion Pit - Manners
Seems like the current tread is this electropop sound. I don't really know how to explain this. I like them, but I don't like MGMT and both are similar. I guess what does it for me is, PP has this adventurous spaceship sound that I find fun.
Favorite Song: Moth's Wings

16. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
it wasn't until I saw this video of the two females just dishing out this vocal breakdown that I gave them a serious chance. They do things differently and it finally works well on this album.
Favorite Song: Stillness is The Move


15. Balmorhea - All Is Wild, All Is Silent
When I first got into instrumental music, I loved the smokiness as it created this mood, but then every post-rock band started to sound the same. Balmorhea has kept their music crisp and I love them for it. It's very warm and sentimental.
Favorite Song: Settler

14. Emmy the Great - First Love
Her music isn't special, in fact, there's clear moments of weakness in some of the songs, but she is really wordy and I always like stories. Emmy is good at that. Part fictional, part autobiography.
Favorite Song: First Love

13. Bomb The Music Industry! - Scrambles
I actually had this album on my decade list 3 months ago, but for whatever reason, the replay value just lost me. I still think it's a great record for being nonstop energy and if you're in your mid-20s who's also a fuck up, the lyrics ring true to life.
Favorite Song: Stuff That I Like

12. jj - jj nÂș 2
Last year, Air France has this really small EP that I loved, but was too short. This year, labelmates jj made another breezy chill album. Still on the short side, but whatever, I love the feeling.
Favorite Songs: My Love

11. fun. - Aim and Ignite
This album is fun.
Favorite Songs: Be Calm


10. Metric - Fantasies

Favorite Songs: Sick Muse, Twilight Galaxy, Gimme Sympathy

9. The Antlers - Hospice
Listen to the whole album! Stupid people labeled this as post-rock so I was listening to the music and I was okay with the gloominess, but as the album plays out, it's more than the music. It's beautiful and heartbreaking.
Favorite Songs: Sylvia, Bear, Two

8. VA - Dark was the Night
I mainly wanted this album to feed my The National fix, but to my surprise, I enjoyed every single track. I honestly wasn't a fan of any other artist, but this compilation has them at their best. Even Ben Gibbard sounds great. And none of them feel like left over tracks. They all fit have this common goal.
Favorite Songs: Train Song, Tightrope, Sleepless

7. Lady GaGa - The Fame Monster
Pop is the new underground. I no longer felt any guilt after see her performance on the VMAs. Some say she's artificial and an attention seeker, yet they never give her credit. She knows exactly what she is doing and she's very passionate about it. The Fame Monster stays in the same realm of The Fame, but TFM gets rid of the filler and if this was a "most influential album" list, The Fame/Fame Monster will be #1 for shifting my taste.
Favorite Songs: Bad Romance, Alejandro, Dance in the Dark

6. Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer
I worship you Spencer Krug. Seriously, this guy makes so much music, but in way too many bands. Dragonslayer is the best thing since Wolf Parade's debut album. All 8 songs are epic within their own worlds.
Favorite Songs: Idiot Heart, Apollo And The Buffalo And Anna Anna Anaa Oh!, You Go On Ahead (Trumpet Trumpet II)


5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
I wasn't into music back when garage rock was 'in' so I never got into the YYYs, but when I first heard this album, I liked it because it was so easy to get into. It made me want to dance. And funny enough, eventually 2009 became my year where I embraced dance/pop music.
Favorite Songs: Zero, Heads Will Roll, Hysteric

4. Mew - No More Stories...
This album is an album. beginning/middle/end. I feel like I become more song based this year so I wasn't sure how to rank this album as I didn't have this eagerness to repeat songs, but once I start playing track 1, time flows real quick before I realize I'm halfway into the album. There's fast songs that makes me pumps and there's smooth ones that make me reflect. And what an ending to the album. A very rewarding listen.
Favorite Songs: Silas the Magic Car, Vaccine, Sometimes Life Isn't Easy

3. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Everybody loves the 1-2 punch of the opening two tracks. And then you stop and repeat them. That was how it was for me. Even my friends who are casual music listeners like 1901. But for those that get it, the rest of the album is quality stuff.
Favorite Songs: Lisztomania, 1901, Countdown

2. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
I have trouble finding the right words. Last year, we had Fleet Foxes who made a beautiful harmony record, but on Veckatimest, the sound is more polished and less catchy. There isn't a track that really defines the album like "My Girls" does for my number 1. I treasure albums that have no skipable songs and this album plays out like a movie.
Favorite Songs: Southern Point, Ready, Able, While You wait For The Others

1. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
Boring pick for number 1, but I can't lower it just to make myself different. MPP is the best damn album of the year because it's perfect. At least..for me. As I get older, it's harder for me to find an album that compliments the events of my life. MPP isn't one of those, but musically, it's the album that got me the most joy of the year. Having discovered them in 07, and back stepping their past albums in 08, it was really cool to know that AC weren't going to stay still.
Favorite Songs: My Girls, Summertime Clothes, Guys Eyes

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