Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Albums Of 2009

Here's the second part of my year in lists - my favourite albums of the year.

This should probably come with a few proviso's
I feel guilty for not including Merriweather Post Pavillion (Animal Collective) and Veckatimest (Grizzly Bear) but I'm just not that in to you
I feel like I should have listened to Tarot Sports (Fuck Buttons) and These Four Walls (We Were Promised Jetpacks) more
In a few weeks, Beast Rest Forth Mouth (Bear In Heaven) would probably chart a lot higher

1. Röyksopp – Junior

Royksopp feels like an odd choice, but it is an album that really has so muched. Prompted to listen by collaborations with Fever Ray and Lykke Li amongst others, it seems to do master the duo's famous electro sound, and with some awesome contributions create some dark, dance-pop masterpieces

2. Magnolia Electric Co - Josephine

It was hard to work out how to place Josephine, another great album from Jason Molina, but without perhaps as much of a focal point as some previous albums, and a slightly more 'blissed out' feeling. Upon consideration, it's still better than pretty much anything else this year

3. The XX - XX

XX is certainly the hipsters record of choice - they were everywhere in Berlin earlier this year. It's rare an album and band create such an atmosphere on a record, and this album does more than that, backed up with some haunting gems with a unique (I said it) mix of sounds

4. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

From breathless start to finish, the size of tunes on this album is massive, with a beatiful interlude in the middle with the atmospheric two-parter Love Like A Sunset. Grammy nominated it as always seems a shame they haven't been able to breakthrough quite so much in the UK - Phoenix are the indie-pop band we need

5. Swan Lake - Enemy Mine

The first of two Spencer Krug contributions, despite this album being very much a side project affair, and suffering from the potentially schizophrenic contributions of numerous writes, this is a quirky Canadian indie at it's best, and filled a whole in my world for a while

Listen to 'Enemy Mine' on Spotify here

6. Rock Plaza Central - ...At The Moment Of Most Needing, Or If Only They Could Turn Around, They Would Know They Weren't Alone

Rock Plaza Central's follow up to 2006's 'We Are Not Horses' would've been hard matched to improve on that, and 'At The Moment' takes a more laid back approach, further away from the psycadelic imagery of it's predecessor. In the process it gains a level of subdued beautiful to revel in

7. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca

Truely there is like no other as Dirty Projectors' immense vocal acrobatic harmony's. Sometimes distracting, always enticing, the melody's really are like no other

Listen to 'Bitte Orca' on Spotify here

8. Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer

Sunset Rubdown's Dragonslayer, Spencer Krug's true sole side project, was a veritable mix sounds and songs, that grew with every listen and utterly bombastic live

First delivered to me in 2007 by the hands of Biffy Clyro (I plugged them as a Band For 2008), it took a while getting released, but it's riffs are the size of massive bollocks only these screams could emanate from

10. School Of Seven Bells - Alpinism

Strictly released in late 2008, before a re-release this year - one of the most intense live bands I saw this year, the sonics and songs make me warm and fuzzy inside

...and the best of the rest:

11. Tegan & Sara - Sainthood / 12. Wild Beasts - Two Dancers / 13. Fanfarlo - Reservoir / 14. Grammatics - Grammatics / 15. Sometree - Yonder / 16. Editors - In This Light And On This Evening / 17. Sonic Youth - The Eternal / 18. Bear In Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth / 19. Blue Roses - Blue Roses / 20. Riceboy Sleeps - Jonsi & Alex / 21. Micachu & The Shapes - Jewellery / 22. Monsters Of Folk - Monsters Of Folk / 23. Karen O & The Kids - Where The Wild Things Are Soundtrack / 24. Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions - Bavarian Fruit Bread / 25. Fever Ray - Fever Ray

And, finally, looking at my forever interesting Last.FM stats, my actual most listened to albums released in 2009, are the following:

1. The XX - XX
2. School Of Seven Bells - Alpinism
3. Rock Plaza Central - ...At The Moment Of Most Needing
4. Magnolia Electric Co - Josephine
5. Röyksopp – Junior
6. Swan Lake - Enemy Mine
7. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
8. Grammatics - Grammatics
9. Sometree - Yonder
10. Bat For Lashes - Two Suns

With a little note to say that Kong's 'Snake Magnet' would be at #8 in the last fm list, had I not recieved it in 2007!

Soundtrack to this post: Bear In Heaven

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