Author Topic: So Far This Year 2009 (LP Version)  (Read 4336 times)

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Re: So Far This Year 2009 (LP Version)
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2009, 05:37:11 PM »
That Deerhunter EP is so awesome.
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Re: So Far This Year 2009 (LP Version)
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2010, 01:00:53 PM »
Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
Delorean - Ayrton Senna EP
Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Passion Pit - Manners
Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
Dark was the Night
Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Mastodon - Crack the Skye
Bibio - Ambivalence Avenue
Atlas Sound - Logos


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Re: So Far This Year 2009 (LP Version)
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2010, 05:17:07 PM »

Hipsterdog's favorite albums of 2009 were re-issues of 70's bands that you've never heard of.
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Re: So Far This Year 2009 (LP Version)
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2010, 09:17:36 PM »
Top 12 of 2009

12. BOAT - Setting the Paces

11. The Thermals - Now We Can See

10. Cymbals Eat Guitars - Why There Are Mountains

9. Real Estate - Real Estate

8. Grizzly Bear - Vecktamist

7. Atlas Sound - Logos

6. Smith Westerns - Smith Westerns

5. Japandroids - Post-Nothing

4. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

3. Girls - Album

2. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion

1. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

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Re: So Far This Year 2009 (LP Version)
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2010, 08:16:43 PM »
Top 15 Albums of 2009 [iTunes]

Edit: I'd actually put Paramore's Brand New Eyes somewhere in the bottom half of this list. Didn't hear it until recently. "All I Wanted" and "Careful" are amazing.


The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
This perfectly crafted and deeply inspired rock opera is leagues beyond anything the Decemberists have done before. It's a very ambitious project— making an epic concept album about a medieval maiden, her shape-shifting lover, a forest queen, and their fateful entanglements—but it works, profoundly and completely. Rarely do you find such strong musical or lyrical songwriting, let alone the two together—which makes for a totally immersive and truly affecting experience. An easy choice for #1.


Mew - No More Stories Are Told Today...
Like the Decemberists, Mew has finally made its masterpiece. Just on a sonic level, this is blisfully complex, always illuminating, and structurally solid. Flavors of Amnesiac/Kid A-era Radiohead run throughout the album, but Mew's sound has matured into something surprisingly distinctive and original. This work also features what I would call the most genius musical gesture of 2009—the opener, New Terrain, actually becomes another song when played backward (by design). Their inventiveness is unrelenting. Favorite tracks: Cartoons and Macramé Wounds, Hawaii, Introducing Palace Players.


La Roux - La Roux
This is a truly special album, and it would be #1 had the Decemberists and Mew not been so strong this year. I'm a sucker for a unique vocalist—and Elly Jackson is certainly that, with her blistering pseudo-falsetto and all her expressive micro-subtleties. I'm a sucker for great melodies, too, which La Roux seems to have in abundance. Their chiptune-inspired retro synth sound, merged with Elly's voice, is sublime. The production seems designed entirely to support her vocals, and it does so flawlessly. Favorite tracks: Tigerlily, Colourless Colour, In For The Kill.


Imogen Heap - Ellipse
Yet another artist who seems to have reached a creative peak with a 2009 album. The genius of Imogen Heap's songwriting and production cannot be exaggerated. Some of the songs on Ellipse are so insanely vibrant and perfectly-crafted that you wonder what mysterious powers are behind Heap's artistry. This is also one of the most durable albums of 2009 for me—I loved it at first, and still, my appreciation of it has steadily grown. Favorite tracks: Wait It Out, Little Bird, Canvas.


Múm - Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know
This band is going in an interesting direction. Their last album, Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy (which I loved), was basically an explosion of childlike exuberance, but this new effort takes a clear turn. The joy and vitality are still there, but they're hugely tempered by a general sadness—perhaps mourning the loss of childhood. They're almost returning the band's dark roots, but from a more acoustic angle. It all works beautifully in the end, with a bit of patience—repeated listens reveal considerable depth. The lyrics are actually worthwhile here, surprisingly profound, which is not only a turn, but a step forward, for Múm. Favorite tracks: Illuminated, Blow Your Nose, A River Don't Stop To Breathe.


Tyondai Braxton - Central Market
Tyondai Braxton, of the much celebrated (and perhaps overrated) "math rock" band Battles, has done something far superior with this solo project. It's a deep venture into what has been called "contemporary classical"—mostly orchestration, with some drums, guitars, and vocal sounds from the pop world. I would call it experimental rock with a classical foundation. This, by the way, is experimental music in which the experiment is actually a success. Braxton's background studying composition shines through in the absurdly complex phrasing and arrangements, which actually work to great effect. It all amounts to a surprisingly powerful and sometimes frightening musical experience. Favorite tracks: J. City, Platinum Rows.


Bat For Lashes - Two Suns
Bat for Lashes has a Björk-like voice and a Loreena McKennit sensibility, with frequently profound Radiohead-caliber lyrics, but really, her music is fairly unique. Two Suns is heavy on atmosphere with a tribal/primal/medieval theme running deeply through it, as you might guess from the cover art, but it's solidly grounded in rock/electronic production. "Glass" is my favorite song of the year, and "Daniel" has gotten a ton of well-deserved recognition. This is a truly magical album, and it would be much higher on my list with more even songwriting. Favorite tracks: Glass, Daniel, Wilderness.


Muse - The Resistance
Popular British rockers Muse have thrown their contribution onto the pile of 2009 concept albums, and it's actually very good. The Resistance is a conspiracy concept album about a great battle against world elites and global political forces. While the details get a bit nebulous, it's easy to get into the spirit of the album. Its real strength, though, is in the music. Muse is at the top of its game in terms of the rock-solid, catchy, and always fascinating sound they're known for. Detractors say Muse are taking themselves too seriously here, but the parade of Queen references suggests otherwise. While the pop songs are all pretty great, my favorite tracks are the final concept pieces: Exogenesis: Symphony, Parts 1, 2, and 3.


IAMX - Kingdom of Welcome Addiction
IAMX is actually a solo project. Chris Corner is the sole writer, performer, and producer. He even mixes and masters his music himself. This obsessiveness shows in the album's razor-sharp exactitude—even Corner's voice twists and croons with precise turns. Much of the humanity is removed from the end product, but that's sort of the point. The music is draped in an overpowering atmosphere of coldness. All the songs are strikingly melodic, with an intense focus on Corner's voice, which always delivers. Favorite tracks: My Secret Friend, I Am Terrified, The Great Shipwreck of Life.


Tortoise - Beacons of Ancestorship
If any band can be trusted to carry the progressive rock torch into the new decade, it's Tortoise. This fully instrumental album has everything prog rock should have—innovative compositions, virtuosic musicianship, and compelling sounds. There is a unifying palette, but influences are all over the place—post-rock, jazz, electronic, and even spaghetti western on one track, and noise rock on another. This is Tortoise's most developed and enjoyable album yet. Favorite tracks: Charteroak Foundation, High Class Slim Came Floatin' In, The Fall of Seven Diamonds Plus One.


St. Vincent - Actor
Annie Clark set out to make a sonically dense, cinema-inspired collection of songs about artistic desperation. (I promise this is the last concept album on my list.) She certainly succeeded—the whole thing feels like a Snow White-era Disney movie hijacked by David Lynch. The forces of good and the forces of evil fight it out in several tracks, represented by woodwinds and electric guitar, respectively. While the esoteric lyrics and Clark's enunciation can take some getting used to, there's considerable power in this music. Favorite tracks: Save Me From What I Want, Black Rainbow, The Party.


Hudson Mohawke - Butter
This is music from a different planet. Sure, there are dance/pop/hip-hop/electronic influences, but nothing else sounds like Hudson Mohawke. Many of the songs have such intense complexity and wavering tempos that, in moments of sonic tension, they sound like they're about to implode under the pressure of their own awkward energy, only to be pulled together by some transcendent melody, only to be pulled apart again by relentlessly resurfacing polyrhythms. There are some clunkers on the record, unfortunately—it sounds like no experiment was discarded—but overall it's quite amazing. Favorite tracks: Fuse, Star Crackout, No One Could Ever.


Jónsi and Alex - Riceboy Sleeps
This meditative collaboration between Sigur Rós's Jónsi and musician/artist Alex Somers turns out to be vigilantly quiet and surprisingly unmelodic. But it's not ambient, either—melodies and micro-melodies often break through the surface, wash away, and come back later. The trademark Sigur Rós crescendos have been replaced by subtle orchestral swells above a bed of gentle noise. For any of this to make sense in an album, you have to just turn off your analytical mind and let it happen. If you're in the mood, it's definitely effective. Favorite tracks: Boy 1904, Sleeping Giant.


Super Furry Animals - Dark Days/Light Years
If gentle ambience doesn't do it for you, Super Furry Animals' aggressively melodic, crunchy, playful psychedelic pop just might. Their music is so aggressively melodic, crunchy, and playful, in fact, that it should probably be consumed in small doses. Nevertheless, the brilliance of their songs is undeniable, and the hooks are in unhealthy abundance. Favorite tracks: The Very Best Of Neil Diamond, Inaugural Trams, Lliviau Llachar.


The Bird And The Bee - Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future
The lyrics are a bit vacuous, but the music is sparkling with so much transcendent creativity—subtle in some places, bold in others—that I can forgive its flaws. Their slick, mesmerizing sound is mostly creditable to producer extraordinaire Greg Kurstin, who is considered one half of the band. I wouldn't mind if he were closer to two thirds of the band, though, given Inara George's occasional intolerability. Favorite tracks: Polite Dance Song, Meteor, Diamond Dave.

Top 25 songs that didn't make my albums list.
1. "My Keys, Your Boyfriend" by Everything Everything
2. "Charlie Darwin" by The Low Anthem
3. "While You Wait for the Others (feat. Michael McDonald)" by Grizzly Bear
4. "Things Will Never Be The Same Again" by jj
5. "Ambling Alp" by Yeasayer
6. "Two Weeks" by Grizzly Bear
7. "My Body's A Zombie For You" by Dead Man's Bones
8. "Everyone's At It" by Lilly Allen
9. "Kingdom Of Rust" by Doves
10. "If I Had A Heart" by Fever Ray
11. "Another World" by Antony & the Johnsons
12. "Revenge (feat. Wayne Coyne)" by Sparklehorse
13. "In The Mall" by Weezer
14. "My Girls" by Animal Collective
15. "Bazooka" by dZihan & Kamien
16. "Blue Skies" by Noah and the Whale
17. "Scumbag Blues" by Them Crooked Vultures
18. "I Can Be a Frog (feat Karen O)" by Flaming Lips
19. "Light Through The Veins" by Jon Hopkins
20. "Help I'm Alive" by Metric
21. "I Cut Like A Buffalo" by The Dead Weather
22. "All The King's Men" by Wild Beasts
23. "Black Hearted Love" by PJ Harvey and John Parish
24. "Pod de floor' feat. VYBZ Kartel" by Major Lazer
25. "My Propellor" by Arctic Monkeys

Top 5 Covers [iTunes]
1. "Comfortably Numb" by The Bad Plus (Pink Floyd)
2. "I Want You Back" by Discovery (The Jackson 5)
3. "Crazy In Love" by Antony and the Johnsons (Beyonce)
4. "Major Tom" by Shiny Toy Guns (Peter Schilling)
5. "My Boys" by Taken By Trees (Animal Collective)

Decent Albums I Could Never Quite Connect With
The Antlers - Hospice
Dan Deacon - Bromst
The Dead Weather - Horehound
The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
Sunn O))) - Monoliths & Dimensions

Potentially Good Albums Ruined By Annoying Vocals
Fanfarlo - Reservoir
Passion Pit - Manners
Patrick Watson - Wooden Trees
Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
The XX - XX

Special Disappointments
Air - Love 2
Dzihan & Kamien - Music Matters
Moby - Wait For Me
Tegan and Sara - Sainthood
Wild Beasts - Two Dancers
« Last Edit: December 11, 2011, 02:42:08 AM by Jeremy Blackman »
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Re: So Far This Year 2009 (LP Version)
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2010, 09:10:17 PM »
Epic post.

I'm curious what makes you call Battles overrated?
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Re: So Far This Year 2009 (LP Version)
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2010, 10:29:32 PM »
Because Don Cab is better.

Was better.

Way better.
"As a matter of fact I only work with the feeling of something magical, something seemingly significant. And to keep it magical I don't want to know the story involved, I just want the hypnotic effect of it somehow seeming significant without knowing why." - Len Lye

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Re: So Far This Year 2009 (LP Version)
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2010, 12:58:51 AM »
I'm curious what makes you call Battles overrated?

Well, I just kept hearing so much about them, and I only really liked 2 tracks from the album, which got annoying after a while, so I considered it overrated. I should probably revisit it. Maybe my appreciation of the Tyondai Braxton album suggests there's more to Battles than I thought.
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Re: So Far This Year 2009 (LP Version)
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2010, 12:30:28 PM »
There may be some nasty revisions soon, but this seems to be my solid list for 2009 now having given a thorough listen to these albums and to some that did not make the list.  I'm fairly satisfied.

10 - Girls - Album
9 - Major Lazer - Guns Don't Kill People: Lazers Do
8 - Black Moth Super Rainbow - Eating Us
7 - DOOM - Born Like This
6 - Sunn O))) - Monoliths & Dimensions
5 - J Dilla - Jay Stay Paid
4 - Flaming Lips - Embryonic
3 - Lightning Bolt - Earthly Delights
2 - Japandroids - Post-Nothing
1 - Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. 2

honorable mentions
Vivian Girls - Everything Goes Wrong
Tom Waits - Glitter and Doom Live

Biggest disappointment: Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport.  Hardly a follow-up to Street Horrrrrrrrrrrrrrsing.  Just overall pretty forgettable.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 12:13:12 AM by // w ø l r å s »
"As a matter of fact I only work with the feeling of something magical, something seemingly significant. And to keep it magical I don't want to know the story involved, I just want the hypnotic effect of it somehow seeming significant without knowing why." - Len Lye


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