Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Best of 2009: Top 30 albums
Contrary to popular belief, the full-length album format is not in agony, at least considering the amount of quite-good releases during 2009, so much so that I actually had some difficulty in shrinking this list to just 30 entries. Again, there was a general lack of categorizations, which is something expectable in an age when almost every music ever made is easily accessible to everyone. Thus the only tendency is actually having no preconceptions towards all kinds of music styles. Really all kinds.
30. Oneida - Rated O (review)
29. Rihanna - Rated R (review)
28. Jeremy Jay - Slow Dance (review)
27. Patrick Wolf - The Bachelor (review)
26. Girls - Album (review)
25. Move D & Benjamin Brunn - Songs From The Beehive (review)
24. Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport (review)
23. Grammatics - Grammatics (review)
22. Japandroids - Post-Nothing (review)
21. Theophilus London - This Charming Mixtape (review)
20. Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms (review)
19. Sunn O))) - Monoliths & Dimensions (review)
18. Fever Ray - Fever Ray (review)
17. Drake - So Far Gone mixtape (review)
16. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart (review)
15. The xx - xx (review)
14. Muse - The Resistance (review)
13. Discovery - LP (review)
12. Frankmusik - Complete Me (review)
11. Memory Tapes - Seek Magic (review)
10. Julian Casablancas - Phrazes For The Young (review)
9. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion (review)
8. frYars - Dark Young Hearts (review)
7. The-Dream - Love vs. Money (review)
6. Passion Pit - Manners (review)
5. Zomby - Where Were U In '92?
For a few moments, Zomby freezed his natural evolution inside dubstep codes and invented a parallel universe that brought us back to a very specific period in time (1992). Sounding like a lost rave classic loaded with infectious drum'n'bass beats, we didn't know if this was a nod to the past or a sign of the future to come. It didn't matter anyway: everything sounded so damm powerful that it was impossible to stand still, as if there was no tomorrow.
Zomby - Tears In The Rain (mp3 via Neonized)
4. Erik Hassle - Hassle
Let's be honest in here, there's a bit of a boy-band member in Erik Hassle: the clean production, the ultra catchy melodies... And let's be even more honest: there's also a lot of emo in Erik Hassle: the recurrent topics about falling in love and being in pain because of that. But there's also something unique which takes his universe much (much) higher: his sincerity, so big that it ends up melting even the coldest heart. This is perfect pop music with no shame to touch us, and all the better for it.
Erik Hassle - Bitter End (mp3)
3. jj - Nº 2
The 2009 summer soundtrack of a few people including myself, there is a lightness in these songs that ends up being almost ethereal. Whispered melodies, subliminal influences (techno, house, balearic, hip-hop, folk) and a sense of intimacy as if we were enjoying a private beach party with only our closest friends. To top it all, there's also that sweet melancholy which seems an exclusive attribute of Sweden's best music.
jj - Ecstasy (mp3 via Abeano Music)
2. Jamie T - Kings & Queens
An amazing collection of contagious songs, all of them sounding like life-changing anthems, that is what Jamie has achieved with his sophomore album. In a constant state of emergency, Kings & Queens is a full-speed journey into the world of someone like us, a guy with whom we can totally identify with, all supported by the biggest amount of sonic and lyrical hooks per minute that we've seen this year.
Jamie T - Spider's Web (mp3 via AWmusic.ca)
1. The Horrors - Primary Colours
With their second album, The Horrors let some light in their universe, which until then was a very dark and closed one... and we all had a win with that. External influences were also broaden to unusual styles like krautrock, motorik rhythms or, yes, sixties pop, to enrich even further their ambitious psychedelic vision. And then there were the songs themselves, with a new found melodic sense that was a surprising but very welcome new element.