Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Let's Play Favorites: round 1

On the one hand, I love making lists. However, what I hate is making ranked lists...I'm too indecisive and I've gone back and forth a million times. But, I will stand by this list, because I'm not proposing that these are the best albums of 2009, but rather, my favorites. Maybe the order isn't perfect, but by the time I figure that out, it will be 2011.

My Personal Top 10 Albums of 2009:

10. Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
Wilco: the band, the album, and even the song. While not their best album (I still go back to Summerteeth as my #1), it was a solid record and lived up to the expectations that I have for this band.
9. The Antlers - Hospice
Everyone talks about the heartbreaking nature of this album, the raw pain and emotion. It's all true. I'm obsessed with "Two" as a song, but listening to the whole album is not something I can do on repeat unless I block out the lyrics.
8. Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
I love Neko Case...I was so excited to see her twice in one year, senior year of college (once solo and once with the New Pornographers). She's incredibly charming and soulful, as is her music. The only questionable part of this album is wtf is up with those crickets at the end?
7. Andrew Bird - Noble Beast
I remember distinctly when the year-end lists came out in 2007, Armchair Apocrypha was all over the place - but I wasn't listening to Andrew Bird yet, at least not in a serious way. But I got hooked, and this is the first album that I've been able to love from the moment it was released. It also saved my sanity, as it was one of the few things that I could tolerate my former office playing on repeat.
6. Passion Pit - Manners
This album is so freaking catchy. Their live show was also fantastic, when I saw one of a gazillion performances that they did with Phoenix in NYC this year. And who doesn't want to dance when they hear "Little Secrets"?!
5. Freelance Whales - Weathervanes
I think my love and obsession with this band and album have been well-documented on this blog throughout this year. I'm excited to see them perform this Friday at the tail-end of their tour with Fanfarlo...it will be interesting to see how they've developed since the last time I saw them this summer (before the album had officially been released!)
4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz
Karen O did two great things this year (Where the Wild Things Are, ftw!) Even though this album came out at the beginning of 2009, it has managed to stay relevant and interesting in my ever-changing mind.
3. Noah and the Whale - The First Days of Spring
It's a little strange to fall in love with a band on a album that's all about heartbreak. But it's just such a beautiful album, it will work you through emotions that you might not even have.
2. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Congrats, Phoenix: you guys are EVERYWHERE now. Oh, to be French and adorable and put out an unstoppable pop record.
1. Fanfarlo - Reservoir
It feels incredibly appropriate that the last concert I'm planning to see this year is by this band that I've slowly grown to be completely in love with over the past few months. I firmly believe that every track stands on its own, and that together they are a fantastic collection of layered instruments and voice, building in both sound and intensity.

Honorable Mentions:
Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion
To be quite honest, this is the only Animal Collective album that I've ever been able to listen to all the way through, much less enjoy. In fact, I even went back and listened to some of their older albums that have been collecting proverbial dust in my iTunes collection, as a test to see if my tastes had merely changed or if this was just a remarkable album. The results of my research are that I have a 5% higher appreciation for the Animal Collective sound overall, but this album really is much more accessible, and for that I'm a fair-weather fan.
Morrissey - Years of Refusal
What can I say? As a massive Smiths-phile, it's only natural that I still find Morrissey's angst charmingly catchy. The man's still got it, though.
Electric Owls - Ain't Too Bright
These guys are very cute, and I really liked this album a lot for a few months over the summer. But they dropped off as fall set in, and I ended up leaning towards other musical styles. But it's still a really great album, and it deserves some credit.
Matt & Kim - Grand
They are just so adorably peppy and endlessly happy. It's kind of ridiculous. I loved their self-titled debut, and this is equally enjoyable.

1 comment:

  1. very much agree- there are some great albums on this list!