The Best Albums of 2009!
The Best Albums of 2009 (If I were the one to give out awards and such, all these would get awards)
1. Monsters of Folk, Monsters of Folk (“Baby Boomer,” “Temazcal,” “Say Please,” “The Sandman…”)
2. Neko Case, Middle Cyclone (“People Got a Lotta Nerve,” “This Tornado Loves You,” “Middle Cyclone”)
3. Andrew Bird, Noble Beast (“Oh No,” “Souverian,” “Fitz and the Dizzyspells”)
4. Jay Farrar and Benjamin Gibbard, One Fast Move or I’m Gone (“California Zephyr,” “One Fast Move or I’m Gone,” “Big Sur,” “These Roads Don’t Move,” “Low Life Kingdom”)
5. The Flaming Lips, Embryonic [with a few deletions and additions from non-album tracks] (“Watching the Planets,” “What Does it Mean,” “Convinced of the Hex”)
6. Clem Snide, Hungry Bird (“Born a Man,” “Pray,” “Hum,” “Me No”)
7. Son Volt, American Central Dust (“No Turning Back,” “When the Wheels Don’t Move,” “Roll On,” “Down to the Wire”)
8. Jason Lytle, Yours Truly, The Commuter (“Brand New Sun,” “Flying Through Canyons,” “Rollin’ Home Alone”)
9. A Camp, Colonia (“Stronger than Jesus,” “The Crowning”)
10. A.A. Bondy, When the Devil’s Loose (“A Slow Parade,” “To the Morning,” “I Can See the Pines Are Dancing”)
11. Noah and the Whale, The First Days of Spring (“Blue Skies,” “The First Days of Spring”)
12. Cracker, Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey (“Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out with Me,” “Yalla Yalla”)
13. Elizabeth & The Catapult, Taller Children (“Rainiest Day of Summer,” “Taller Children”)
14. Jill Sobule, California Years (“Spiderman,” “Palm Springs,” “San Francisco”)
15. Mark Olson and Gary Louris, Ready for the Flood (“Turn Your Pretty Name Around”)
16. Dave Rawlings Machine, A Friend of a Friend (“Ruby,” “Bells of Harlem,” “How’s About You”)
17. Great Lake Swimmers, Lost Channels (“Palmistry,” “Everything Is Moving So Fast,”)
18. Dangermouse & Sparklehorse, Dark Night of the Soul (“Jaykub,” “Star Eyes,” “Revenge,” “Everytime I’m with You,” “Daddy’s Gone,” “Dark Night of the Soul”)
19. Volcano Choir, Unmap (“Island, IS,” “Still”)
I also got albums from Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Wilco, A Fine Frenzy, Animal Collective, Coconut Records, Erin McKeown, Ian Hunter, M. Ward, Bonnie Prince Billy, and Throw Me the Statue, and a few others here and there came and went. All had things that were good about them, but in the end, I don’t go back to them much.
Wilco is a good example. “Bull Black Nova” is an excellent song, but most of the rest of the album sounds more twee than Tweedy to me. I’m really amazed that so many people are fawning over this album, rather than despairing for how far things have fallen from the amazing run of Being There, Summerteeth, and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot . . . the last two Wilco albums, especially, are a dramatic falling off in every respect but their playing. Wilco remains a wonderful band, but they’re really run out of ideas. And this Tweedy media saturation this fall all about finding humor and a spiritual center just feeds the cult of personality over song quality. That’s my little Wilco rant.
And then an Animal Collective rant: I really didn’t see what was interesting about this album. I’ve forced myself to listen to it several times, but it continues to just irritate me. It grates on my nerves.
Also, the following all came out this year as well, and I spent a LOT of time listening to them, but they seemed not to qualify for the list, as they were, well, less new. The Beatles, especially, sounded great, but in the end these are all songs I’ve been listing to for 40 years, you know? I grew up with them. they’re a part of the air now.
Leonard Cohen, Live in London
Bon Iver, Blood Bank (as it was an EP [and one of the songs was a reworking of a song from the Volcano Choir album])
Neil Young, Dreamin' Man (Live ’92)
Neil Young Archives Vol 1
The Beatles Remasters
Philip Glass, The Orange Mountain Music (Philip Glass Sampler Vol I)
Elizabeth & The Catapult, “Perfectly Perfect”