2009: Best Albums

on Thursday, December 31, 2009
Thought I'd share thoughts on my favourite albums of 2009. I actually listened to over 75 this year, which is a massive record for me. All thanks to we7.com and Spotify Premium.

Seeing as I'd be happy to recommend about a third of those albums, I decided to list my twenty favourite albums of 2009. Albeit without a ranking order for #20 - #11 because everything kept moving around. It's all a bit arbitrary anyway. I might have titled this post as such but this isn't really the "best" albums of 2009 but the ones that connected with me.

#20 - #11 in alphabetical order
4 Or 5 Magicians - 'Empty Derivative Pop Songs'
Blue Roses - 'Blue Roses'
Frank Turner - 'Poetry Of The Deed'
Johnny Foreigner - 'Grace And The Bigger Picture'
Noah And The Whale - 'The First Days Of Spring'
Pull Tiger Tail - 'PAWS.'
Red Light Company - 'Fine Fascination'
The Antlers - 'Hospice'
Video Nasties - 'On All Fours'
White Lies - 'To Lose My Life...'

10) Grammatics - Grammatics
An ambitious operatic pop odyssey, albeit a top heavy one.

D.I.L.E.M.M.A - Grammatics - Art Rock by sentricmusic

"The blend of Owen Brinley's choirboy vocals and a raft of prog-tinged riffs is a source of promise, magic and drama." (4/5 - Uncut)

9) Dan Black - Un
Effortlessly melding electro, hip hop and pop to produce a gloriously forward-thinking album.

Dan Black - Alone by moai

"Black's chops and tunes suggest he won't stay underground" (Mojo)

8) Theoretical Girl - Divided
A bizarrely captivating mix of twee, angst, disco and haunting melodrama.

"Beguiling debut from Southend pop siren" (4/5 - Q)

7) The Joy Formidable - A Balloon Called Moaning
Shoegaze meets pop? Is this even an album? Regardless of those matters, this is an edgy collection of dynamic, bewitching tracks.

"Epic, melodic, hand-shandy pop from a band who understand the true joys of life". (NME)

6) The xx - xx
A flickering beacon of despondence, from which we must celebrate the coming of age of one of Britain's finest young bands.

"The result is sexy like early Portishead and thoughtful like Young Marble Giants--a perfectly formed debut with a genuinely new sound way beyond the sum of identifiable forebears" (AV Club)

5) Jamie T - Kings & Queens
Jamie T's second album possibly tops his debut, with a sense of underlying maturity but with that caustic fire still at its heart.

Jamie T - Sticks n Stones (Explicit Version) by theinsound

"Whether he's actually been "with Louie in the shooting gallery" or been stuck listening to "baby next door screaming all evening" doesn't matter--what does is his gripping way of telling a tale" (The Guardian)

4) Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
A heartening, soaring folk record that fulfils the early promise.

"Angst-ridden indiscretions aside, Sigh No More is a fine debut from a band that’s patiently picked up the tools of its trade, and chosen the right moment to give them full rein." (NME)

3) Passion Pit - Manners
Far from being one-hit wonders, 'Manners' brilliant demonstrated that Passion Pit could produce consistently high quality electro-pop.

Little Secrets / Passion Pit by eli_beaudoin

"At its most adventurous, Manners sounds like little else – a pop record that exists in a world of its own, carving a sub-genre niche which only fits their expansive, tonally decadent material." (9/10 - Clash)

2) Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
An astonishing record, full to the brim with irresistable melodies, hooks and riffs. The utopian future of pop.

"Just as you're really gearing up for a night on the town with Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix as your sidekick, it ends abruptly. There's only one remedy: Play it again. And Again. And again." (Filter)

1) Fight Like Apes - Fight Like Apes And The Mystery Of The Golden Medallion
The most thrilling rollercoaster ride of an album, that went painfully ignored by most critics following its January release. Frenzied, spiky synth-punk complete with hilarious pop culture references. One day I will get a t-shirt that says "YOU'RE LIKE KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN BUT WITHOUT THE TASTE!"

"An astonishing debut that encompasses melancholy and whimsy (both lyrically and musically)" (Irish Times)

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