Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Top Ten Albums of 09
10. Franz Ferdinand- Tonight
9. Them Crooked Vultures- Them Crooked Vultures
8. Jack Peñate- Everything Is New
7. The Black Keys- BLAKROC
6. Phoenix- Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs- It’s Blitz
4. Depeche Mode- Sounds of The Universe
3. U2- No Line On The Horizon
2. Maxwell- BLACKsummer’snight
1. Dan Aerbach- Keep It Hid
I’m the type of weirdo who pays attention to the play count on itunes. These 10 albums were the ones I listened to the most. I liked some other albums but these were the ones I feel the closest to. Before this year I never listened to Maxwell and Phoenix or even heard of Jack Peñate. The rest of the musicians I had a long history with. There were some of my favorite bands that put out records that I didn’t feel where at the top their game. For example Junior Boys, Pearl Jam, Weezer, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Flaming Lips, and Bob Dylan. These albums had good songs but not the whole thing. All the ones on my list I can listen to from front to back.
I really like the mood of the Dan Auerbach album. I don’t think any of the songs are the best singles of the year but as a whole album it really works for me. I found myself driving around listening to it often. I really got into R&B in a big way this year. Specifically, Motown and 70’s soul records where in constant rotation. Maxwell is an off-shoot of that genre. He seems like one of the few people continuing in that vein. I can put on his album and get lost in the world he creates. I downloaded all his stuff and its all real good. U2 and Depeche Mode always go together for me. They are peers and have both have had good comebacks in the last few years. U2 is more hit and miss but more interesting doing it. With Depeche you know what your gonna get but I like that mood so its great when they have an album with strong songs. With Yeah Yeah Yeahs I liked that they went in a more dance direction. Their last album was frustrating; this one was back to fun.
Phoenix was a band I only knew about from the song on the Lost in Translation soundtrack. I didn’t know the name just liked the song. I never did any further research. They are a great pop band with monster hooks. I have gone back a gotten other albums of theirs. They been good for a while but this is their best yet. I felt strange putting two Black Keys projects on the list but they are so different it seemed ok. Blakroc is a bad idea (rock/rap) that shouldn’t work. However, I feel it succeeds by bringing together good musicians (Mos Def, RZA, ODB). The website with the making of videos is essential if you have not checked it out. Jack Peñate was totally Chris’s baby. He came in the house yelling “I found it”. Turns out he actually had. It’s a great pop record but never boring. I doubt this dude will ever be big in the states but I dig em. Them Crooked Vultures is a dream for me. If you said who you would put in a band this lineup would be one of them (Josh Homme, Dave Grohl, John Paul Jones). It is however essentially just a really good Queens of the Stone Age album. The problem with their last couple records was a lack of input from anyone besides Josh Homme. With Crooked Vultures he finally has some worthy peers to work with. Franz Ferdinand is a band I feel won’t really get much props until you add up all the singles after their done. This is their most constant album to date. It is Great music to dance to if you real white or a hipster.
This has been an exciting year for me in music. Due to home sharing, I have gotten and listened to way more music this year (thanks to Lee & Chris). I suspect much of the unusual music I got this year will later be favorites of mine. When I talk to older people about music they say they liked bands when they where younger. I think as you age many people drift away from their friends. As a result musical interests they shared goes too. I was worried last year about loosing contact with my friends. I’m glad to reconnect with every one this year. I never wanna lose the discussion and sharing of music.