The 10 Best Albums of 2009
I had a hell of a lot of trouble getting this list together. Relistening to albums, figuring out which ones to cull from my list. I rediscovered some great great discs though. And my top 10 will be just below…for you!
But first off, I feel as though there are a few albums I should give a small shout out to. Although these discs didn’t make my top 10 list, they did make my shortlist (a list that ended up being not very short at all)…and man it was difficult trying to cull that down.
So, in no particular order, the honourable mentions list is:
Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
Passion Pit – Manners
Bertie Blackman – Secrets and Lies
The Little Stevies – Love Your Band
Bluejuice – Head of The Hawk
Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More
Tiga – Ciao
Without further ado though, here it is. The MAAMF Top 10 Albums of 2009:
10. Lisa Mitchell – Wonder
I think people in general were a little skeptical about Lisa. Her first two EP’s were nice and soft and had that folkpop kinda sound, but people were a little “well there’s a lot of folk-pop singers out there…and this one came from Australian Idol, so I think we’ll say no”. I think Lisa proved them wrong when she released Wonder. It’s a great collection of songs. You can check out a full review of the album here as well as one of the standout’s from the album, So Jealous, just below.
9. Jet – Shaka Rock
I think a few were pleasantly surprised when they heard this, the third record from Melbourne rockers Jet. I read somewhere that whilst it’s not an amazing album, it is still a great solid rock ‘n’ roll album. Call it a come back record or whatever you like. It’s still good. And so is the second official single from the album Hearts On Fire.
8. Yves Klein Blue – Ragged & Ecstatic
These boys, in my opinion, put forward a great album that seemed to go largely unnoticed, especially in terms of reviews and hype etc. They’ve put together a great album, with nice piano lines and a really good mix of styles. You can tell there’s a whole heap of influences in their music and their sound isn’t strictly dictated by current radio, or even current western music. The track Polka is an obvious example of this for sure. Check out the full review here as well as the first single from the album, Getting Wise.
Yves Klein Blue – Getting Wise
7. Miike Snow – Miike Snow
I’ve just done a search for them on the blog to see what i’ve written previously…and turns out they haven’t been mentioned. At all. Easily one of the most hyped albums of the year (and thankfully one that lives up to the hype), it is such a great collection of well crafted and well written pop songs. It would seem the Sweedes have this in the bag! Check out one of my faves from the album, Cult Logic, just below.
6. The Bloody Beetroots – Romborama
I remember speaking to a friend and we had our usual conversation about what we’re listening to. I raved on and on about these dudes. This album hits hard. And kinda doesn’t give up. Same thing with Miike Snow though, I haven’t mentioned the guys before on the blog. Am a little perplexed by that because this kicks and pushes and all that. I think the reason I like it so much is that you can tell the guys are from Italy. There’s something about the instrumentation, the melodies, the chords, the playfullness that reminds me of Italian lessons in Primary School. Fave off the album would have to be the lesser known Warp 7.7 (Warp 1.0 got played a hell of a lot as it was one of the singles taken from the album.
The Bloody Beetroots – Warp 7.7
5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!
When I first heard Zero, the lead single from It’s Blitz, I loved it. However, as I wrote for my first ever album review for this blog way back in April, “I’d grown accustomed to Zero…it’s thumping sound and Karen O’s distinct vocals made it a really cool, catchy song. But after being played all over the shop…it was starting to sound a little less amazing. However, after hearing it in the context of the full album, it makes sense to me again. That seems to be one of the great things about this album. It flows really well and has enough of a mixture of sounds to not make it sound repetitive or boring.” And i’d have to agree. I now love Zero. Great song. And it’s a great album too.
4. Jack Penate – Everything Is New
I don’t know how many people would put this in their top 10. I get the impression young Jack flew under the radar for a few this year, which is a pity, because Everything Is New, is just that. It’s all a bit new. His first Album, Matinee was firmly rooted in the Britpop genre. This album sounded completely different. The man reinvented himself almost…and a bloody good job of it he did! Although it comes in at just over 30 mins, it’s the move to a more soulful sound that gets me. One of the best off the album would have to be So Near…and you can check that out just below.
3. Jonathan Boulet – Jonathan Boulet
I only bought this a few weeks ago and only reviewed it just over a week ago…but man. When an album leaves you a little taken aback you know it’s a good one. Mr Boulet does this. And pretty fucking well too! The dude possesses some great song writing skills. I don’t really know what he reminds me of. It’s a little all over the place, but I think that’s what’s good about the album. There are obvious standouts like A Community Service Announcement and 321 Ready or Not. But then there’s also every single other track. They all have this great ease about them all. There’s just something about an artist that seems to not really care about what people will think of his music. Or at least gives that impression. And for that fact, this album easily gets my number 3 spot.
Jonathan Boulet – 321 Ready Or Not
2. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Well…I actually thought this would get to number one. It almost goes interchangeable with the first but number one just tips it at the post (I bet you’ve scrolled down already to check it out. Cheeky bugger!). I remember writing that as soon as I heard this album, I knew it would be a contender for album of the year. I was right about that! It may be just a tiny bit too short (it clocks in at a little over 36mins), but I think the fact that every song on this album is such a great pop track makes the length seem irrelevant. It was definitely a hype album. Just looking on The Hype Machine now and Phoenix are the second most blogged artists. I don’t know when the hype will end! Totally deserved though…and totally deserving of the number 2 spot.
1. The Temper Trap – Conditions
wow. This is it. TTT provide my best album of 2009. It’s such an impressive debut. I remember writing back in July when I reviewed the album that it reminded me of Motorace. They sound absolutely nothing like Motorace I know, but I think it’s just their ability to fill out songs. And it’s probably also that Motorace produced a bit of an Australian classic album in Five Star Laundry, and I think The Temper Trap have done that too. It’s extremely difficult to fault in my opinion. All the tracks are great. They all provide something different. And to all those haters out there (trust me, every review I read, someone has posted about how they suck and are corporate produced shit or something like that), cool. We’re all entitled to our own taste. I don’t know what the guys ever did to you but you don’t hear me whining about how I don’t like some stuff! Anyway, this is meant to be an album poll. I’m pumped to be seeing these boys at The Forum down here in Melbourne in a month or so. Should be amazing. Solid awesome great Australian record…and Me, And All My Friend’s top album of the year.
The Temper Trap – Science Of Fear
Leave Them All Behind III
ok. so this is a pretty decent compilation. It’s from the Aussie label, Modular. The release has two discs, one mixed and one unmixed. I’ve crapped on about this release before…you can check that out here.
The mix cd is done by Andee Frost, a member of the Bang Gang Deejays. It’s good good good and has a really nice track selection. Canyons, Van She, Knightlife, The Golden Filter, Bag Raiders etc etc etc. All pretty darn sweet. The disc crams 23 tracks into an hour and 20 mins though, so there’s only a bit of some tracks…but yeah, i guess that’s the same for any mix. Only having 2:02 mins of the 7:27 min epic Blue Snakes was a bit of a let down though. And, whilst i’m on the not so amazingly great points, the mix does seem to end kinda abruptly.
But yeah, all in all, it’s a gooooooooooooooooooooood, nice, hey, it’s even a little dope, mix.
That’s only half of it though. The second disc, the unmixed one, has opened me up. Not in a medical surgical way…oh, and not in a sexual way either (just to clarify there ok?). It’s opened me up to new tracks, new artists. Being a music blogger, you realise how much shit is out there and you are constantly realising that you’re never going to be at the forefront of what’s happening…purely because what’s new changes every second. But then you get a good compilation…such as this one, and you begin to explore the work of artists you may only know the name of because you read it on a blog somewhere.
Anyway, I degress. Some of the stuff on disc 2 i love are the opener, What You Need by Tiga (never thought i’d get into this dude), Skeleton Boy by Friendly Fires (this has been a fave for a while), One More Chance (Alex Metric Remix) by Bloc Party (niiiiiiiiiiicccccccccceeeee), Tonight’s Today by Jack Penate (know nothing about this dude except that i like like like this track), Counterpoint by Delphic (soarer), and 15 to 20 by The Phenomenal Handclap Band (fuuuuuunnnnnn!!!!!).
Anyway, there’s some good tracks here, all compiled from Modular’s extensive catalogue.
To leave you with, the one i knew nothing about, but now wish i knew everything about.
(Check out Mr Penate on MySpace, and buy the compilation here at JB)
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.