Tuesday, December 15, 2009

best music of 2009

#20 Kid Cudi: Man on the Moon

a breath of fresh air for hip-hop...even though his mixtape is much stronger than this major label release, he has changed the game of hip hop for the better. check out: man on the moon

#19 Handsome Furs: Face Control
one of the driving forces behind wolfparade put out a strong album full of synth undertones and taught hooks.  check out: legal tender

#18 Jesu: Opiate
slow-core at its best.  severely distorted guitars and fuzz fill the room as one's mind wanders to early 90's pumpkins and hum.  check out: losing streak

#17 Brand New: Daisy
brand new never makes the same move twice and each album is a new listening experience that ages well with time.  plus they are channeling nirvana's in utero... check out: you stole

#16 Girls: Album
the back story of christopher owens is tragic and fascinating at the same time.  his voice and writing exude his complicated travels and his band delivers at almost every turn. a great, great listen.  check out: hellhole ratrace

#15 Volcano Choir: Unmap
unfortunately we did not get a new album from the amazing Bon Iver this year; however, their lead singer, justin vernon, guests on this spacious wall of sound.  vernon gives us Bon Iver fans just enough to hold out for their next release.  check out: island is

#14 Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Its Blitz
a powerful left turn for the new york trio.  synth replaced their previously stunning guitar work with no loss of power and attitude.  large hooks loom with concise structures....this is a good thing.  check out: hysteric

#13 Lee Fields & the Expressions
channeling ottis redding and sam cooke is damn hard.  lee fields gets damn close and it's enough to call this easily the best soul album of 2009.  the backing band are on point and lee's soul bleeds through your speakers with every cut.  check out: love comes and goes

#12 Dinosaur Jr: Farm
the 90's vets are back with another lesson in guitar, musicianship, and indie rock at its best.  never a big fan until lately, this album has been a constantly spinning in 09.  check out: i want you to know

#11 Cursive: Mamma I'm Swollen
moving away from the political focus of happy hollow, mamma i'm swollen delves back into the emotions of self-loathing, insecurity, and intercourse.  everything a good album should be about.  check out: what have i done

#10 Julian Casablancas: Phrazes for the Young
god, i cannot wait for a new strokes album.  check out: 11th dimension 

#9 Japandroids: Post-Nothing
two guys. one guitar. one drum set.  distortion.  lyrics about french-kissing french girls with wet hair and canadian pinups.  turn your speakers up to 11 and enjoy.  check out: wet hair

#8 Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion
the most accessible AC album yet.  mind-boggling structures mixed with beach boys(esque) harmonies cement the band as the leader in pushing the boundaries of music once again.

#7 Grizzly Bear: Veckamist
staggering gorgeous harmonies and arrangements.  bands should strive to make an album this breath-taking at all times.  check out: while you wait for others

#6 Dirty Projectors: Bitte Orca
with talking heads comparisons abound, one must stick only their toe into the hype machine.  however, the flurry of oohs and ahhs will entice and hypnotize.  not an easy listen at first, but one that is rewarding after multiple experiences.  check out: fluorescent half dome

#5 Discovery: LP
an album that digs up postal service's past.  all the right blips, beats, and tempo changes to make a grown man dance.  check out: so insane

#4 Passion Pit: Manners
placing two indie, dance albums in my top 5 is not typical; boy do they make the body move.......and smile.   check out: little secrets

#3 Sunset Rubdown: Dragonslayer
the other (best) half of wolfparade conjures up medieval imagery, sorcery, and lost love.  spencer krug can compose like no other.  in the fifth minute of dragon's lair i long for this album to be 12 tracks longer. check out: idiot heart

#2 The Antlers: Hospice
a dark, dark haunting album that weaves themes of hospitals, sylivia plath, and perfect white noise into a touching narrative on relationships and their core existence.  the least accessible album on this list, but the most rewarding.  new details are revealed on every listen as a new nerve is touched and exposed.  this album is not for the faint of heart nor the casual listener, but it is an exercise in the power music can hold over one's mood and feelings.  check out: kettering 

#1 Phoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus 
phoenix is a gift.  they are a band that does absolutely everything correct.  front-to-back this album succeeds and delights.  to find someone in the world that does not like Phoenix would be a long, arduous chore. this is a must buy for even the casual music listener.  it will not disappoint.  check out: 1901


  1. 1: The Antlers: Hospice
    2: Cursive: Mama I'm Swollen
    3: Matt & Kim: Grand
    4: Pheonix: Wolfgang Amadeus
    5: Dirty Projectors: Bitte Orca
    6: Passion Pit: Manners
    7: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
    8: Kid Cudi: Man on the Moon
    9: Brand New: Daisy
    10: Japandroids: Post-Nothing
    11: Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Its Blitz
    12: Where the Wild Things Are: Soundtrack
    13: The Big Pink: A Brief History Of Love
    14: XX: xx
    15: Manchester Orchestra: Mean Everything To Nothing

  2. "Yo, [top 10 picks of 2009], I, I'm really happy for you; I'mma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!"

    I can only assume he was that passionate while listening to the rest of "I am...Sasha Fierce" as well.

    Also, I noticed you both left off the new David Grey album...what's the deal?

    Cheers to discovering new things that move us!

  3. My favorite albums of '09:

    1. Stone Roses- 20th Anniversary Re-issue (nothing even comes close to this. Yes, it's a re-issue but it's also my fucking list).

    2. Phoenix
    3. Pains of Being Pure at Heart
    4. The XX
    5. The Girls
    6. Julian Casablancas
    7. Bishop Allen- Grrrr
    8. Fruit Bats- Ruminant Bat
    9. The Antiques- Cicadas
    10. Handsome Furs

    --most underrated tune of '09- "Just Breathe" by Pearl Jam

    --Best Show that Garry didn't list- Pixies at the Aragon

    --Best Acts at Lolla '09- Jane's Addiction, Snoop, Santigold, Raveonettes and Depeche Mode.

    --Most Overrated Album-- Dirty Projectors--his voice sucks and the arrangements are a mess (other than that, how was the play, Mrs Lincoln?)

    --Most Overplayed band that I used to love and I wish they'd disappear for a couple of years then go back to their roots for the next album-- Kings of Leon

    --Album I'm most stoked about in '10- Spoon

    --Potential '10 Album that I'm most stoked about- The Strokes

    As you were,
    Dan D.