themusicconnoisseur

Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

Albums 2009 Recap: Honorable Mentions

In News, Stuff You Should Know on 01/03/2010 at 3:28 am

Time to drum up another unneeded top 10 list of albums! And late to the party, for that matter, but although it’s already 2010, for my own sake I need to come to some sort of conclusion to my year in music (updates to this list may occur anyhow).

Quick explanation:  This is not my list of what I consider the “best” albums I’ve heard this year. I’ve encountered several technically impressive albums this year that have not moved me at all. I’m no intellectual machine; what follows are not the albums that I admire the most but the music that has provided the pulse and measure to my year, the music I’ve cried and danced to, the music that for reasons both explainable and unexplainable I’ve come to love. Here are my top albums of the year.

Oh, and this is actually just my first year seriously following music, so I know I have a lot of ground to make up. Take this list, friends, for whatever it’s worth:

Here’s the format. This post will have my honorable mentions. The 5 albums that almost made the list come next. the last post will feature the actual 10.

– – – Honorable Mentions – – –

I’ve heard a LOT of good music this year, so forgive me for the excess! These 8 didn’t make it into the top 10, um, 15, but they still made their mark on my psyche. With each album I’ll include the link to the Lala page for the album where you can stream it once for free.

Alphabetically by artist name:

Built to Spill – There Is No Enemy

I first heard them headlining the Pitchfork Festival this summer, and the new album is just more of the sound they’ve been perfecting for nearly 20 years.

Listen here.
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The Decemberists – The Hazards of Love

Nothing if not ambitious. Follow along with the lyrics and listen start to finish for a memorable ride.

Listen here.
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The Low Anthem – Oh My God, Charlie Darwin

The opening track, “Charlie Darwin,” is easily one of my favorite songs of the year. Listen to it now. And then find the rest of the album.

Listen here.
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Matt & Kim – Grand

This duo exudes lo-fi energy and glee bordering on insanity both on stage and on this album. The lead cut “Daylight” is another 2009-defining song for me.

Listen here.
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Memory Tapes – Seek Magic

A dream of electric noise and ambient color. You can relax and let it slide by, but it rewards the attention paid to it.

Listen here.
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Mountain Goats – The Life of the World to Come

Each song bears a Bible reference for a title, and the stories told reflect the religion-haunted American mind and encompass its hopes and nightmares.

Listen here.
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Neon Indian – Psychic Chasms

An ultimately pop-friendly mashup referencing the decade I was born in. And other decades too. Neon Indian isn’t afraid of being downright strange, but you might be too busy moving to the beat to care.

Listen here.
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White Rabbits – It’s Frightening

There’s a reason there’s a piano on the album cover. Percussive and swinging rock that gets out of the gate strong with killer single “Percussion Gun.”

Listen here.
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Stay tuned for the 5 runners-up and the final 10!

– TMC