BEST OF 2009 IN MUSIC

BEST FULL LENGTH ALBUMS OF 2009
It is hard to believe that Wilco, Iron & Wine, Andrew Bird and Weezer all released albums this year and none of them made my list.

HONORABLE MENTION
The Mountain Goats – The Life of the World to Come
Consistently charming. Maybe not the most adventurous thing I have ever heard but it is solid throughout.

The Avett Brothers – I and Love and You
The Avett’s are maturing and it may take time to adjust to the new sound. But after a couple of listens it is hard deny how good this one is.

Mos Def – The Ecstatic
Along with his work on BlakRoc, it was a good year for Mos.

Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
I’m not gonna pretend like I get or love everything on this cd, but I think that “Cheerleader”, “Two Weeks” and “While You Wait for the Others” were all so good that it needed to at least be mentioned.

The Antlers – Hospice
One of those cds that flows really well when played straight through. “Bear” and “Epilogue” are particularly nice. The whole thing does make me kind of sleepy though.

TOP 15

15) Strange Boys – And Girls Club
The Strange boys.
The best of the “garage rock” genre this year, for me any way. It is everything the genre should be: fun, retro, and youthful.

14) Animal Collective – Merrieweather Post Pavillion
Animal Collective
I feel like I actually enjoyed the “Fall Be Kind” ep better than this album. That being said, it is still a pretty amazing work.

13) Yo La Tengo – Popular Songs
Yo La Tengo
Yo La Tengo is one of the most consistently good bands out there, and this album is no exception. So many different sounds on one cd.

12) Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz
YYY's
This album grew on me big time. At first I only really liked “Heads Will Roll” but as I listened to it more I really started to like some of the slower tracks as well.

11) Portugal. The man – Satanic Satanist
Portugal. The Man.
This CD was a nice surprise for me. If you can get past the ridiculously bad band/album name, this seems like really good driving music.

10) The Harlem Shakes – Technicolor Health
The Harlem Shakes
This one is along the same type of line as the Phoenix and Passion Pit CD’s for me. Nothing too deep or heavy on it but the whole thing is enjoyable. “Strictly Game” is a sing a long track for sure.

9) Cass McCombs – Catacombs
Cass McCombs
Cass out did Andrew Bird this year imo. His song writing is amazing. And the cd is easy to listen to from first song to last.

8) JJ – jj n° 2
JJ (WTFuck is JJ?)
I’m not sure what or who JJ is but I think most people would enjoy this album. Their sampling of other songs is really clever and I feel like it is done more tastefully than most. Their use of “lollipop” is amazing in the song “ecstasy”.

7) Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Phoenix
Phoenix
This album is the guitar rock equivalent to Manners by Passion Pit. Also, Phoenix may be entering that realm of bands like “Spoon” who just continually make solid music even if it all does sound somewhat similar.

6) The Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
The Dirty Projectorsr
This took a couple of listens for me to get into but it was really worth it. Like nothing I have ever heard.

5) Discovery – LP
Discovery
I was skeptical when I heard the singer from Ra Ra Riot and the keyboardist from Vampire Weekend were getting together to make an electronic cd. But they definitely delivered. Sometimes they are a bit heavy handed with the drum machine and the autotune but I can deal with it.

4)Justin Townes Earle – Midnight at the Movies
JTE
Somewhere along the line country music started to suck. Im not sure when that happened because Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Sr. are amazing. Justin Townes Earle is old school without sounding like a copy cat. This is country music with balls. You can actually see how closely tied country is to folk, blues and early rock through JTE’s music. I can’t recommend this one enough. Although I’m not sure there is a huge audience out there for this guy.

3)Passion Pit – Manners
Passion Pit
Probably the most fun cd of the year for me.

2) Blakroc – Blakroc
Half of the Black Keys and Mos Def
The Black Keys and hip-hop could not go together more perfectly. Not a weak track on this one. I can’t believe they made it in less than two weeks.

1)The XX – The XX
The XX
I played tracks 2-5 on this one ad nauseam this year. The whole cd has a minimalist type vibe that really lets you hear each instrument on its own. The hardest part was picking which song I liked the most on this one. I can’t believe that this is their debut and that they are all only like 20.

EP’S
Delorean –Ayrton Senna
Bon Iver – Blood Bank
Bon Iver
Neon Indian – Psychic Chasms
Neon Indian
Animal Collective – Fall Be Kind

DISSAPOINTMENTS
Ben Kweller – Changing Horses
I really don’t think Ben can pull off the whole rugged alt-country thing. He sounds too much like he is twelve. It is all just really forced.

Flaming Lips – Embryonic
Critics loved this one. I didn’t get it. Most of the album sounded like noise to me.

Mason Jennings – Blood of Man
Ugh, “In the Ever” was soooo good. What the hell was this?

Peter Bjorn and John – Living Thing
“Writers Block” couldn’t have been a fluke. Could it?

MY LEAST UNDERSTOOD ALBUM
Girls – Album
Its not bad. But I never understood the acclaim that these guys were/are getting. It seems like kind of whiney surfer rock to me. In the words of Phuc Quach, they sound “hopeless”.

SONG

Why * songs? Because I have a filtering problem. I tried to keep it so each album only had 1 song on the list.

86)Eels – Beginners Luck

Something about this has a more soulful/raspy “Follow Me by Uncle Kracker” essence to it. I still stand by that song as catchy.

85)Sea Wolf – Wicked Blood

Even while enjoying “Leaves in the River”. I couldn’t help but think that Sea Wolf seemed destined for Twilightdom. Well that day has come. Still think they are a good band.

84)Miike Snow – Black and Blue

A nice pairing of electro and soul?

83)Vampire Weekend – Cousins

Sure “Contra” wont release till early 2010 but this more brash tune gives us something to look forward to.

82) Throw Me the Statue – Hi-Fi Goon

Another good band with a tragically bad name. While their 09 effort “Creaturesque” was no where near as good as “moonbeams” was. Hi-Fi goon was a reminder that Throw Me the Statue can still make catchy pop rock.

81) Brother Ali – Preacher


With all the racial issues that Ali brings up in this album you would think that he was black. However, he is a large pasty white midwesterner who as it turns out can really rap.

80)The Thermals – Now We Can See
Sure the thermals might sound the same in every song. And sure they might always sound like a band geared towards 15 year olds. As soon as the hand clapping starts this song off, I knew I liked it.

79)Weezer – The Girl Got Hot
Unlike many, I wasn’t terribly dissapointed with this album. Maybe I didn’t have the highest of expectations. But with its heaping doses of “ohhh oh oh ohhh’s” and fun youthful lyrics ‘The Girl Got Hot’ made me reminisce about high school, for better or worse.

78) Girls – Laura
Didn’t love this as much as most people but this track was nice.

77)The Heavy – Sixteen
Feels like it could be on the Shaft soundtrack, without being cheezy.

76) Florence and the Time Machine – Dog days are Over
She has a powerhouse voice and shows it off on this track.

75) Matisyahu – One Day
Most Matisyahu is similar. This one is nice.

74) Who Knew – Made Believe
This is a cheerful little tune. That I have grown fond of.

73) Megafaun –Worried Mind
Bon Iver’s back up band made an album. This is a sweet little song off of it.
http://hypem.com/track/896721/Megafaun+-+Worried+Mind

72) Think about Life – Havin’ my Baby
Maybe a little stupid but its fun and only number 72 so who cares.

71) Moby – Mistake
Ever hear sad Moby? Well this is sad Moby.

70) Wilco – Wilco (The Song)
I might have been looking forward to this album too much. There were some high points though.

69) Felt 3 (Slug, Murs and Aesop Rock) –Protagonists
Indie Hip-Hop dream team.

68) Awesome New Republic – Birthday
Saw them open for Neon Indian and I felt like they were actually more of a crowd pleaser.

67) Monsters of Folk –Baby Boomer
Not sure how I feel about folk Rock “supergroups”. That being said, this song is catchy.

66) Coconut Records – Microphone
I might just be a fan of anything that Jason Schwartzman chooses to do with his life at this point.

65) Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Young Adult Friction
Lighthearted poppy rock song. I might like it more if it didn’t have that fuzzy sound to it.

64) Das racist (wall paper remix) – Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell
Guilty pleasure of the year!

63) Japandroids – Wet Hair
Bro-anthem.

62) Little Pieces – One Million Feet Below
Don’t know much about these guys but the chorus is awesome in this.

61) Bomba Estereo – Feelin’
Colombian electro-dance-rock. What else?

60) St. Vincent – Save me from what I want
Feel like this album was overhyped. Good song though.
http://hypem.com/track/794356/St+Vincent+-+Save+Me+From+What+I+Want

59) Lightning Dust – The Times
Kind of sounds like Lightning Dust is playing the soundtrack for someone who is running a race or something in this one…. whatever that means. Cool vocals.

58) Dodos – Fables
Best song off of an otherwise lackluster follow up album IMO.

57) Fool’s Gold – Surprise Hotel
This song is generically foreign sounding, in a really good way. Also there are like infinity guitars being played here.

56) Minus the Bear – Into the Mirror
Lyrics are maybe a little too literal/silly. But it’s still chill.

55) Scotland Yard Gospel Choir – Sixteen is Too Young
Once played this song at least 20 times in a row. I feel like it ends before it peaks though.
http://hypem.com/track/938787/The+Scotland+Yard+Gospel+Choir+-+Sixteen+is+Too+Young

54) Strange Boys – This Girls Taught Me a Dance
This whole album makes me want to be drunk and with friends.
http://hypem.com/track/772104/The+Strange+Boys+-+This+Girls+Taught+Me+a+Dance

53) Langhorne Slim – Be Set Free
One of my favorite artists. I strongly recommend his first two albums. This is good as well.

52) PSAPP – Monster Song
Catchy and fun. Maybe too much like Feist. Probably on an Apple commercial…fuck.

51) Pufferfish – Wrecking Ball
The type of quaint folksy Americana that makes you go awwwwww.

50) Neon Indian – Deadbeat Summer
In case the title didn’t tell you, this is a summer jam.

49) Wild Beasts – All the Kings Men
Kind of trippy. Strange vocals. Can’t really explain why I like this one soo much.

48) Andrew Bird – Fitz & Dizzy Spells
If you like Andrew Bird, you will like this.

47) Cymbals Eat Guitars – Wind Phoenix
Kind of angsty, in a good way.

46) Deer Tick – Houston Tx
I feel like Deer Tick’s singing always walks that fine line of being annoying. On this track he restrains a little bit though, and it is appreciated.

45)Addeboy Vs Cliff – Beep my Beep
Guilty pleasure of the year honorable mention. It’s about as good as a song can be that relies on one relatively stupid gimmick.

44) Rural Alberta Advantage – Don’t Haunt this place
When the guy and girl start singing together this song gets really good.

43) Free Energy – Something in Common
Good glam rockish band/song. Makes me want to cruise/reminisce with a car full of bros.

42) The Mountain Goats – Romans 10:9
Really relaxing song off of what was a really strong album.

41) Mos Def (ft. Slick Rick) – Auditorium
Cool Middle Eastern vibe. Slick rick might have the cameo of the year here.

40) Portugal. The man – People Say
The unnecessary punctuation in the band name is obnoxious, but try not to sing a long to this one.

39) You Say Party! We Say Die! – Laura Palmer’s Prom
More unnecessary punctuation… Apparently there is a style of music called dance-punk and apparently this is dance-punk. If you like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs then this is for you.

38)Macklemore – The Town
Nostalgic Seattle Hip-Hop.

37) The Avett Bros – I and Love and You
The Avett Bros are growin’ up. Not sure how I feel about it.

36) Grizzly Bear – Cheerleader
Hipster central.

35) Black Lips – Starting Over
Probably will be used in some sort of nostalgic montage in an upcoming teen comedy.

34) Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – Hysteric
I used to think “Heads will roll” was the best track on “It’s Blitz”. I changed my mind.

33)The Paper Cuts – Future Primitive
Probably best enjoyed while under the influence of something.

32)MSTRKRFT (ft. John Legend) – Heartbreaker
Pretty simple song, but John Legend carries this shit.

31) Neko Case – Magpie in the Morning
When she really starts belting it out at like 1:23 I get chills.

30) Delorean – Seasun
Makes you feel like you are flying.

29)Julian Casablancas – 11th Dimension
Electronic dancy pop from Julian Casablancas. Who knew?

28) David Guetta ft. Akon – Sexy Bitch
Shut up. It’s a good song.

27) Animal Collective – My Girls
It probably had to be on here somewhere right?

26) Ghost is Dancing – Battles On
Really good Canadian band. Kind of have that big over the top “Arcade Fire” sound going on. A potentially great treadmill track.

25) Bruce Peninsula – Crabapples
Really strange. Kind of like Fleet Foxes on PCP.

24) Animal Collective – What Would I Want? Sky
It’s like two songs in one. Really easy to lose yourself in this song, especially at like 3:15.

23) Harlem Shakes – Strictly Game
I also recommend the acoustic version of this one on daytrotter.com. Oh and the music video is fantastic.

22) The Big Pink – Dominos
I annoyed my roommates with this one for a while.

21) Noah and the Whale – Blue Skies
Man, Noah and the Whale got depressing real quick.

20) Cass McCombs – Don’t Vote
Base line alone got this song on the list for me. I also like the lyrics a lot a lot a lot.
http://hypem.com/track/888755/Cass+McCombs-Don%27t+Vote

19) Yo La Tengo – Here to Fall
Epic song from one of the best bands out there.

18) She and Him – Why do you let me stay here
Liking this as much as I do might lose me some street cred, which I don’t have a lot of to begin with.

17) Phoenix – Lisztomania
I feel like “1901” overshadowed what I consider to be the best track on a really good album.

16) Mayer Hawthorne – Your Easy Lovin’
Say what you will. This shit is catchy.

15)The Antlers – Epilogue
The Antlers quickly became a favorite. This song ended the album really nicely.

14) The Dirty Projectors – Stillness is the Move
Maybe the worst music video of the year. Unfortunate.

13) Iron and Wine – Love vigilantes
I feel weird about putting a cover this high up. It’s as good as a cover as I have ever heard though.

12) Bon Iver – Blood bank
This song sounds like winter.

11)Yeasayer – Ambling Alp
Can’t wait for this album. Seems like they are becoming less experimental and more poppy.

10) JJ – Masterplan
“I’m dyin’ in this fuckin’ country ass fucked up town!” – Sample of the year.

9) YACHT – Psychic City
Next to summer jam in the dictionary there is this song. If you have a dictionary that plays music.

8) New Villager –Rich Doors
I really like everything about this. It might need to be higher on the list.

7)Discovery – So Insane
This song changes tempo so often but somehow it still works. Best drum machine use of the year as well.

6) Diamond Rings – All Yr Songs
My love for this song is almost inexplicable. I think it’s just catchy and I really like the lyrics. Ignore the music video.

5) Surfer Blood – Swim (To Reach the End)
I love this album too much. Technically the cd doesn’t come out till next year. But this single was released early. It’s actually only like the 4th best song the the cd.

4)The XX – Islands
Best song on a near perfect debut.

3)Justin Townes Earle – They Killed John Henry
Why is JTE soo cool?

2) BlakRoc- Ain’t Nothing Like You
The Black Keys even make Jim Jones sound good on this one.

1)Passion Pit – Little Secrets
Screw the pretentious nonsense. If you don’t sing a long with this chorus something is wrong with you.

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