Friday, December 25, 2009

Best albums of the decade

The top ten:

1. Sigur Ros: Ágætis Byrjun

2. Tool: Lateralus

3. Radiohead: Kid A

4. Modest Mouse: Moon and Antarctica

5. Arcade Fire: Funeral

6. Interpol: Turn On the Bright Lights

7. Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

8. Boards of Canada: Geogaddi

9. Neko Case: Blacklisted

10. Coldplay: Parachutes


11. Broken Social Scene: You Forgot It in People
12. The Mars Volta: De-Loused in the Comatorium
13. Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
14. Isis: Oceanic
15. Panda Bear: Person Pitch
16. Sufjan Stevens: Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lake State
17. The New Pornographers: Mass Romantic
18. The Shins: Oh, Inverted World
19. White Stripes: Elephant
20. Queens of the Stone Age: Songs for the Deaf
21. Opeth: Blackwater Park
22. Amy Winehouse: Back to Black
23. Godspeed You Black Emperor!: Lift Your Skinny Fists like Antennas to Heaven
24. Fleet Foxes: Ragged Wood
25. LCD Sound System: Sound of Silver

Honorable mention (listed alphabetically):
  • A Perfect Circle: Mer De Noms
  • Aimee Mann: Lost in Space
  • Aimee Mann: Bachelor No. 2
  • Amon Tobin: Supermodified
  • Amon Tobin: Out From Out Where
  • And So I Watch You From Afar: ...And So I Watch You From Afar
  • And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead: Source Tags & Codes
  • Animal Collective: Here Comes the Indian
  • Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavillion
  • Antlers: Hospice
  • Antony & the Johnsons: I Am A Bird Now
  • Arcade Fire: Neon Bible
  • Art Brut: Bang Bang Rock And Roll
  • Atlas Sound: Logos
  • Audioslave: Out of Exile
  • Band of Horses: Everything All the Time
  • Battle of Mice: Day of Nights
  • Battles: Mirrored
  • Beck : Sea Change
  • Beta Band: Heroes to Zeros
  • Bjork: Vespertine
  • Bloc Party: Silent Alarm
  • Blonde Redhead: 23
  • Bon Iver: For Emma Forever Ago
  • Built to Spill: You in Reverse
  • Caribou: Andorra
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah : Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
  • Clinic: Internal Wrangler
  • Coldplay: A Rush of Blood to the Head
  • Deathcab For Cutie: Transatlanticism
  • Deerhoof: Friend Opportunity
  • Deftones: White Pony
  • DJ Shadow: The Private Press
  • Doves: Lost Souls
  • Doves: The Last Broadcast
  • Evpatoria Report: Golevka
  • Explosions in the Sky: The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place
  • Feist: Let it Die
  • Gnarls Barkley: St. Elsewhere
  • God is an Astronaut: The End of the Beginning
  • Gojira: The Way of All Flesh
  • Gorillaz: Demon Days
  • Grizzly Bear: Yellow House
  • Iron & Wine: The Creek Drank the Cradle
  • Iron & Wine: Our Endless Numbered Days
  • Isis: In the Absence of Truth
  • Japandroids: Post-Nothing
  • Jesu: Conqueror
  • Joanna Newsom: The Milk-Eyed Mender
  • Justice: Cross
  • Kaiser Chiefs : Employment
  • Koop: Waltz for Koop
  • M83: Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
  • Mastodon: Leviathan
  • Meshuggah: ObZen
  • Meshuggah: Nothing
  • MGMT: Oracular Spectacular
  • MIA: Arular
  • MIA: Kala
  • Microphones: The Glow, Pt. 2
  • Modest Mouse: Good News for People Who Like Bad News
  • Mogwai: Happy Songs for Happy People
  • My Morning Jacket: At Dawn
  • Neko Case: Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
  • Neurosis: Given to the Rising
  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus
  • Of Montreal: Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
  • Porcupine Tree: Fear of a Blank Planet
  • Porcupine Tree: In Abstentia
  • Portishead: Third
  • Queens of the Stone Age: R
  • Radiohead: In Rainbows
  • Radiohead: Amnesiac
  • Rage Against the Machine: Renegades
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers: By the Way
  • Red Sparowes: Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun
  • Royksopp: Melody A.M.
  • Sigur Ros: ()
  • Spoon: Girls Can Tell
  • Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
  • Sufjan Stevens: Illinois
  • Supergrass: Life on Other Planets
  • System of a Down: Toxicity
  • The Dears: No Cities Left
  • The Decemberists: The Crane Wife
  • The Dresden Dolls: The Dresden Dolls
  • The Fiery Furnaces: Blueberry Boat
  • The Gathering: If_Then_Else
  • The Most Serene Republic: Population
  • The National: Boxer
  • The New Pornographers: Electric Version
  • The New Pornographers: Twin Cinema
  • The Ocean: Precambrian
  • The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow
  • The Streets: Original Pirate Material
  • The Strokes: Is This It?
  • Thievery Corporation: The Mirror Conspiracy
  • Ulrich Schnauss : A Strangely Isolated Place
  • Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend
  • White Stripes: White Blood Cells
  • Wilco: A Ghost is Born
  • Wolf Parade: At Mount Zoomer

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The best albums of 2009

Okay, we're done. I now present to you the best albums of 2009:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Albums that missed the cut

I present to you now the bridesmaids of 2009 -- a list of albums that failed to make the Best Albums of 2009 list. Some of these are quite good and worth a listen:
  • 3: Revisions
  • Between the Buried and Me: The Great Misdirect
  • Black Moth Super Rainbow: Eating Us
  • Brendan Benson: My Old, Familiar Friend
  • Cass Macombs: Catacombs
  • Delorean: Ayrton Senna EP
  • Destroy Destroy Destroy: Battle Sluts
  • Dethklok: Dethalbum II
  • Devendra Banhart: What Will We Be
  • Dream Theater: Black Clouds & Silver Linings
  • Discovery: LP
  • Dredg: The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion
  • fun.: Aim and Ignite
  • Ghostface Killah: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City
  • Imogen Heap: Ellipse
  • It Hugs Back: Inside Your Guitar
  • Jeniferever: Spring Tides
  • Jesu: Opiate Sun
  • Lamb of God: Wrath
  • Marianne Faithfull: Easy Come Easy Go
  • Muse: The Resistance
  • Paramore: Brand New Eyes
  • Patrick Wolf: The Bachelor
  • Peter Bjorn and John: Living Thing
  • Phosphorescent: To Willie
  • Psapp: The Camel's Back
  • Rain Machine: Rain Machine
  • Riverside: Anno Domini High Definition
  • Robyn Hitchcock: Goodnight Oslo
  • School of Seven Bells: Alpinisms
  • Shadows Fall: Retribution
  • Sondre Lerche: Heartbeat Radio
  • Suffocation: Blood Oath
  • Tegan and Sara: Sainthood
  • The Big Pink: A Brief History of Love
  • The Gourds: Haymaker
  • The Swell Season: Strict Joy
  • The Temper Trap: Conditions
  • Thermals: Now We Can See
  • Tommy Keene: In the Late Bright
  • Volcano Choir: Unmap
  • Wilco: Wilco the Album
  • Woe of Tyrants: Kingdom of Might
  • Wolfmother: Cosmic Egg

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sufjan Stevens: The BQE

Artist: Sufjan Stevens
Album: The BQE
Date Released: October 20, 2009
Genre: classical crossover, classical, post-rock
Rating: 7.4

Neon Indian: Psychic Chasms

Artist: Neon Indian
Album: Psychic Chasms
Date Released: October 13, 2009
Genre: indie electronic, electronic, alt-rock
Rating: 7.9

Jonsi and Alex: Riceboy Sleeps

Artist: Jonsi and Alex
Album: Riceboy Sleeps
Date Released: July 21, 2009
Genre: post-rock, experimental rock
Rating: 7.8

Pelican: What We All Come to Need

Artist: Pelican
Album: What We All Come to Need
Date Released: October 27, 2009
Genre: post-rock, post-metal, instrumental rock
Rating: 8.3

Moderat: Moderat

Artist: Moderat
Album: Moderat
Date Released: April 21, 2009
Genre: electronic, experimental techno, techno
Rating: 7.3

Kylesa: Static Tensions

Artist: Kylesa
Album: Static Tensions
Date Released: March 17, 2009
Genre: metal, alternative metal, indie metal, sludge metal
Rating: 8.2

Katatonia: Night is the New Day

Artist: Katatonia
Album: Night is the New Day
Date Released: November 10, 2009
Genre: metal, death metal, alternative metal
Rating: 8.0

Every Time I Die: New Junk Aesthetic

Artist: Every Time I Die
Album: New Junk Aesthetic
Date Released: September 15, 2009
Genre: metal, alternative metal, indie metal, screamo, metalcore
Rating: 7.2

Converge: Axe to Fall

Artist: Converge
Album: Axe to Fall
Date Released: October 20, 2009
Genre: metal, punk metal, metalcore, hardcore punk
Rating: 8.5

The Black Dahlia Murder: Deflorate

Artist: The Black Dahlia Murder
Album: Deflorate
Date Released: September 15, 2009
Genre: metal, death metal, metalcore, deathcore
Rating: 7.0

The Arusha Accord: The Echo Verses

Artist: The Arusha Accord
Album: The Echo Verses
Date Released: November 2009
Genre: metal, indie metal, alternative metal, progressive metal
Rating: 7.6
Very heavy and highly technical indie metal from the UK, these guys draw influences from such bands as Dillinger Escape Plan, Tool and Machine Head.

Behemoth: Evangelion

Artist: Behemoth
Album: Evangelion
Date Released: August 11, 2009
Genre: metal, death metal, blackened death metal
Rating: 7.3

Running out of time...

We're now well into December and I haven't finished reviewing all the albums for 2009 that I want to. So, what I'm going to do is post the albums anyway and skip the written reviews for some. Time permitting I will add some notes about each album retroactively.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Peaches: I Feel Cream

Artist: Peaches
Album: I Feel Cream
Date Released: May 5, 2009
Genre: indie electronic, techno, electro-techno, dance, dance punk, synthpunk
Rating: 7.6
Former elementary school teacher turned potty mouth techno-dance musician, composer and producer, Peaches has released her fourth studio album -- and it's solid. Her lyrics are sexually explicit and provocative as usual; the beats, synth pulses and grooves are highly addictive and laden with ear candy. The album's got a lot of attitude and is a ton of fun. Track highlights include "Billionaire," "I Feel Cream," and "Take You On."

Health: Get Color

Artist: Health
Album: Get Color
Date Released: September 8, 2009
Genre: noise rock, alt-rock, indie-rock
Rating: 7.1
Health is an American noise rock band from Los Angeles, California. The band has collaborated with Crystal Castles and toured with Nine Inch Nails -- and it's fair to say that their sound is firmly situated between the two. Health's dark, noisy and experimental flair is offset by its predilection for synthy, high-energy and upbeat music.

On Get Color, the band is once again loud, noisy and digitally distorted in surprisingly beautiful ways. The tracks are fun, inventive and highly listenable -- though you have to have the patience for this kind of music. Track highlights include "Die Slow," "Before Tigers," and "We Are Water."

Black Crowes: Before the Frost/Until the Freeze

Artist: Black Crowes
Album: Before the Frost/Until the Freeze
Date Released: September 1, 2009
Genre: American trad rock, blues-rock, rock & roll, hard rock, blues
Rating: 8.2
Few people have noticed, but the Black Crowes are awesome again. It all started last year when the veteran band got back together to put out the outstanding War Paint album; the momentum has been carrying them forward ever since.

Witness this year's effort: An ambitious double album of new material recorded in front of a live audience at Levon Helm's barn in upstate New York. The tracks are vintage Black Crowes with distinctive hints of The Band, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan (Chris Robinson sounds downright Dylanesque on "Appaloosa"). And the production values are exquisite; rarely does a live album sound so damn good. Add some incredible performances and strong tracks and you have an absolutely stellar album.

Given their surprising resurgence and reinstated relevancy, the Black Crowes are making a strong case for being one of the best blues-rock bands of all-time.