My Top Albums of 2009 ~ BitterSweetLife

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Top Albums of 2009

Someday I'll actually complete a Top 10 albums list in the year it refers to, and all of you will be shocked and disoriented. But until that day, I'll continue to write these posts in January.

I enjoy most genres, with a couple exceptions, but that said, this list gravitates toward the indie side of the tracks, and reveals my deep-rooted love for more straight-up indie rock. But Top 10 music lists are all subjective in varying degrees, so take it for what it's worth. Suggestions or commentary? Lay it on me.

This list originally appeared on Twitter/Facebook, but this blog version will include my honorable mentions as well. Bonus, right? Here we go:

15. Bomb in a Birdcage by A Fine Frenzy, catchy, pretty pop reminiscent of Feist.

14. Before The Frost...Until The Freeze by The Black Crowes, gritty rock infused with soul.

13. Other Lives by Other Lives, epic, beautiful, acoustic melancholy.

12. Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective, bouncy, eclectic, playful indie.

11. Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear, "rustic, ethereal pop-folk?" Possibly. Intriguing? Definitely.

10. Together Through Life by Bob Dylan, warm, breezy, bluesy, with lots of accordion & wry humor.

9. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix by Phoenix, energetic rock + keyboards + synth = ridiculously catchy pop.

8. Middle Cyclone by Neko Case, pitch-perfect, wistful, indie folk from poetic singer/songwriter.

7. Noble Beast by Andrew Bird, wildly creative lyrics and melodies sung with humor, verve & sweetness.

6. Give Up The Ghost by Brandi Carlile, achingly heartfelt, get-stuck-in-your-head folk-rock.

5. Kingdom Of Rust by Doves, sprawling, textured urban rock that's tough but shows lots of heart.

4. Fantasies by Metric, new wave indie with electro-pop flair, tight vocals and a killer vibe.

3. Hospice by The Antlers, hushed, heart-wrenching, indie rock that pulls you into a spectral story.

2. It's Blitz! by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, electronic disco-rock dances, rocks & reflects with sublime poise.

1. Wilco [The Album] by Wilco, brilliant, poignant, driving indie rock that hits on all cylinders.

Honorable mention: Fate by Dr Dog, Lost Channels by Great Lake Swimmers, Manners by Passion Pit, Hello Hurricane by Switchfoot, Wait for Me by Moby, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart [self-titled], The Long Fall Back to Earth by Jars of Clay.

Unsortable: No Line on the Horizon by U2. A great rock album that, in my opinion, more than lived up to its advance billing. Despite its unsexy mainstream-ness, this album should have appeared on my list somewhere, but...I forgot. And the "Top 16 Albums of 2009" doesn't have the same ring.

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John B. said...

There's some good music on this list, Ariel. I also like Metric, and I'd kinda forgotten about Grizzly Bear when making my own list--I own their music virtually, and I confess that I was favoring music for which I own actual CDs when I was making my own rush-job of a list. I think implicit in that observation is a whole post (or three) about how we obtain music these days and how those means shape our thinking about it, but I'll save that for my own blog (and, perhaps, my unsuspecting students this semester).


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife