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.
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.
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.
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.
When this album finished playing on my ipod, I wanted it to keep on going. Maybe it was just the moment (train travel can be pretty boring sometimes), or maybe it’s the fact that Yves Klein Blue are an extremely underrated band, deserving of much more than a little bit of triple j radio play and a lot of word of mouth exposure.
Musically, these guys are really interesting. 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. Their use of instruments is great too. They don’t go all out and use a whole heap of instruments that you wouldn’t expect to hear (there’s no sitar or djembe here), but they do use things like harmonica (Soldier), some slide guitar (Gin Sling) and the use of straight piano on a few of the tracks which sounds pretty refreshing (kind of reminds me of Hot Hot Heat a little bit actually).
So yeah, I think it might be love. I’d always heard of these guys and I’m freaking loving the fact I’ve gotten this album. Is killer. I’m just waiting for an album that I hate. I’m yet to review one of those…haha give me time.
In terms of favourite tracks, it’s hard to pinpoint (maybe I’m becoming too blasé about reviewing albums!). But dammit, I will. I think the piano led Getting Wise would have to be a firm face…or fave. (C’s next to the V. I could have just gone back and fixed it up but you know, this thing needs to be a bit funny.) Other faVes would be the rather rock Digital Love, the acoustic About The Future, the ska infused Summer Sheets, the rock-polka joint Polka, and the country driven final track Gin Sling. Quite a few there I know. I just like this album quite quite a bit.
To leave you with, a track. If you haven’t heard any of Yves Klein Blue before then I think Dinosaur is definitely a good introduction. Swinging rock and roll with a real focus on accents (muso talk I know. Feel free to wtf are you on about for that bit).
Yves Klein Blue – Dinosaur
Check the album out on iTunes here.
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.