Top Ten Albums of 2009
Yep here’s an obligatory top ten because I spent time putting these together for bma and I figure, why not share with everyone else?! Sadly my number 1 is pretty much not even anyone else’s top 50! Miike Snow people! Maybe I love it too much? I don’t know. I just think it hits all the right buttons and it’s a very different kind of music. It’s electro but it’s not as saccharine as, say La Roux or Passion Pit. It’s not another outstanding FOLK album like 2008’s Fleet Foxes. Miike Snow’s debut is a pretty unique album for 2009 so if you haven’t got it yet, get on that.
10. Cicada – Roulette
I’d been waiting for this release for ages! The album treads the same path as La Roux and Little Boots but in a less obnoxious manner. Surely Roulette will gain more recognition in 2010.
9. Röyksopp – Junior
A sure sign of a worthy “album of the year” is how long it is loved and remixed for. More recently Tricky Tricky remixes have surfaced, refreshing and “dancing up” the sound.
8. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
Their most accessible work yet but by no means their best; this one blew Animal Collective out of the water.
7. Little Dragon – Machine Dreams
It’s unlikely this album will make it into any other “Top Ten Albums of 2009” lists but while it at first sounds a bit blah, after a few listens it’ll hook you. This album is great for cleaning your house while shimmying.
6. Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
Given the previous work by this band, led by Dave Longstreth, you wouldn’t expect something as melodic as this. Composition has always been Dirty Projectors’ forte but there are some catchy pop elements this time, and beautiful vocals.
5. Florence + the Machine – Lungs
Kate Bushian, beautiful, sad, playful… This album has lasting value.
4. The xx – The xx
It’s impressive for 19 year olds to produce an album which works as both a chill-out and dance album. Smartly exposing themselves via blogs and remixing songs by people like Florence and the Machine, The xx deserve all hyped accolades for this.
3. Bertie Blackman – Secrets and Lies
Wow, what an accomplishment! Bertie’s folk was always a little close to ordinary, with the exception of some stand-out songs. In collaborating with two producers, one song at a time, a slick and overlooked darkly electronic album comfortably sits alongside comparisons with Goldfrapp and Björk.
2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!
Yeah Yeah Yeahs have established themselves firmly in the rock scene, retaining their following and slowly drawing more and more new listeners. The potential outweighs the delivery even though the outcome is so rewarding.
1. Miike Snow – Miike Snow
On first listening you might not notice that one of the guys that make up this duo co-wrote Toxic for Britney Spears. That’s because the production of their own work is beautifully electronic. Heavy on the piano, varied in mood but working well as a whole, this new act has remained number 1 as my “most loved of 2009.”
There are, of course, those musicians I myself missed in 2009. In the last couple of weeks I’ve really gotten into this Melbourne singer, Grand Salvo (aka Paddy Mann), and a band from Sweden called jj. The former is nice and folky but not boring the way folk music can be sometimes. The latter is very chilled out, uplifting and eclectic and a good accompaniment to gin and tonics in the sun. And even though I’m hearing them for the first time their latest work is by no means their first! Where have I been? In fact jj are already set to release the follow up to this year’s release, jj n° 2.