Saturday, January 2, 2010

Favorite Albums of '09

From an album perspective, I didn't find 2009 to be a superlative year for music. Quite a few albums possessed one or two gems, but few, if any, were good from top to bottom. As a result, I have limited my Best Of list to only 5 albums, with some honorable mentions thrown in for good measure.

- Joel

Honorable Mention
Washed Out - Life of Leisure
Bon Iver - Blood Bank EP
Warpaint - Exquisite Corpse
Discovery - LP
Yim Yames - Tribute To EP

5. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
You get the feeling that every note in the entire album was charted with a specific purpose. My ears were set ablaze the moment I heard the opening keys of "Two Weeks". Still, maybe the highlight of the album for me is in the middle, the two low-key jams ("Ready, Able" and "About Face"). This is an exquisite collection of songs, though, if you are like me, you may need to be in a certain mood to really appreciate them.

4. Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
For most of the year, the only track from this album I listened to was "People Got A Lotta Nerve" - and that only because I found it on a free music sampler. Fortunately, I finally gave the album a shot. Amidst the country twang, this album highlight's one of the more powerful voices in the indie world today. Listen to "Magpie To The Morning" and you'll see what I mean.

3. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
This album dropped in January, and I spent the entire year searching for the perfect analogy to summarize Animal Collective's sound. I think I've found it. AC is the Jackson Pollock of the music world. At first listen, it might seem like a hodge-podge of sound, thrown together without purpose. Yet, upon closer inspection, the music comes to life, and you realize that what makes it special is that no one ever thought to try it. Go see a Pollock painting and you'll have the same experience.

2. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Phoenix is my band of the year. They had put out two of the best singles. They had maybe the best performance I've ever seen on Saturday Night Live. They performed super cool renditions of their hits on the streets of Paris. But, I'll admit, that I didn't spend much time in this album beyond the first three tracks. Still, those three tracks were powerful enough to land this album in the number two spot.

1. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
This isn't a cool pick. But top to bottom, I listened to this album more than any other this year. I love Tracyanne Campbell's voice. I love the band's vintage sound. I love the strings that so delicately adorn each song. It's my album of the year.

1 comment:

J-Rod said...

I've never heard of any of those artists. Please enlighten me!