Thursday, December 10, 2009

Best Ten Albums of 2009

It is a rather difficult task to pick the best albums of the year as I listen to a whole lot of music. However, here I go. Some of these musicians unfortunately do not get much (or enough) commercial radio time. However, they're all brilliant performers.

10) Bat for Lashes' Two Suns. If you like the sound of Imogen Heap and Frou Frou, you'll enjoy this sound as well.

9) Ida Maria's Fortress Round My Heart. The Norwegian artist is a hip blend of new punk and BritPop.

8) Neko Case's Middle Cyclone. Neko Case is better known than some of the other acts and albums featured here.

7) Phenix' Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Favorite track: "Lisztomania." This is definitely a band to watch live. I have been listening to their music this whole week and it is not getting old. They're featured on the left.

6) Bravery's Stir the Blood. The album was released just a few days ago. While The Bravery are no strangers to controversy, when they hit the studio they seem to produce rather well-informed synth indie music.

5) Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion . I would describe their sound as Indie Psychodelic.

4) Yeah Yeah Yeahs' It's Blitz!. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have been a favorite of mine for quite some time and this new album certainly didn't disappoint. They seem to get better with time.

3) Grizzly Bear's Veckatimest. Think of this band as gothic folk Americana. These musicians seem to be attentive to the kind of musical minutiae that so many lack either the ability or intellectual curiosity to explore. See them pictured above.

2) Florence and the Machine's Lungs. The singer's voice has such color and range. While the sound isn't necessarily what I would seek after, her vocals, however, are what sold her music to me. Definitely worth a try.

1) Muse's The Resistance. Because this is not a secret.

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graph per Grizzly Bear


Unknown said...

I only know three of these bands. Have been wanting to get some new music lately so this comes at the right time. How did you find out about some of the less-known albums? I've heard people talk about Phenix but have never heard their stuff. Going to iTunes right now. Thx.

Unknown said...

Also, which ones did you see in concert this year?

Sra said...

Lisztomania has been on my regular walking-to-the-bus-stop rotation this semester. It has such a great beat, I almost can't keep myself from breaking into dance as I walk. Have you seen the music video for this using clips from John Hughes' Brat Pack films, and the tribute using people from 2009 reenacting the Brat Pack sequences? They are definitely watch-worthy. Search "Brat Pack Lisztomania" on YouTube to get them.

But I have not heard anything else on your list, including any other Phoenix tracks. I will check this stuff out, especially the Frou Frou / Imogen Heap reminiscent band.

Dana said...

Great. I needed some new music. Are Muse adding any new US tour dates, btw?

Sra said...

Listening to some of this. If you like the voice on Florence and the Machine, I think you would also like Pomplamoose's Videosongs and Kate Nash's Made of Brick.

Anonymous said...

I'm really liking Phoenix. Excellent.
Lasso and Rome are awesome tracks.

B.R. said...

-N., I find new music by reading the music publications, checking out iTunes all the time, and, most importantly, keeping in close contact with my musician friends. They're for the most part the best source. I'll continue to post in here what I find, of course.
-Sra, I had not seen the Brat Pack-themed vid., so thanks. I'm liking Phoenix. The whole albums has been a good surprise. And thanks for the recs. I have Kate Nash's stuff but did not know of Pomplamoose's Videosongs. Excellent.