Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Top Albums of 2009

Tuesday, 29 December 2009
I'm back! Hope that all of you who celebrate Christmas had a nice one and that all of you are enjoying these lazy days until the New Year.

This list was really hard to compile, and I'll probably change my mind about it within minutes after posting. It seems like every music blog and magazine has complied the Best Albums of the Year (and/or Decade) so not to be left-out (plus I feel that some albums deserve more credit), here is my short, but sweet Top Albums of 2009.

01. Manic Street Preachers - Journal for Plague Lovers

Why? Journal for Plague Lovers is on top of the list due to the fact it was the only album this year that I got ridiculously excited about and listened to all the time for weeks. As a testament to the Manics' departed-friend and former bandmate, Richey Edwards, every song on the album features his lyrics. Some of them are (intentionally?) amusing and of course, sometimes cryptic. Journal for Plague Lovers still isn't as brilliant as the Manics' 1994 masterpiece, The Holy Bible, but it is arguably their best album in the past decade.

Download (the giveaway bonus track):
Manic Street Preachers - Bag Lady.mp3

02. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!

I first heard this album in nearly its entirely while browsing through Glasgow's Avalanche Records in April. The track that grabbed me the most was "Heads Will Roll". I wasn't a fan of the YYY's previous albums, but considering I am a fan of synth-pop, it's no shock that "It's Blitz!" made quite an impression. The stand-out tracks include the singles "Zero", "Heads Will Roll" and the lovely ballad, "Hysteric".

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix).mp3

03. The Horrors - Primary Colours

Back in May I saw the Horrors support the Kills at Webster Hall in New York City. Their transformation into a, some might say, one-trick pony goth band into a credible, talented act, complimenting their sound with elements of shoegaze, was amazing. They had Primary Colours for sale at the gig before it's official release date, so I grabbed a copy and listened to it constantly for days after. My favourite track on the album is still "Scarlet Fields", although none of them are less than great.

04. The Black Ryder - Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride

After supporting acts such as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Charlatans, The Raveonettes and Brian Jonestown Massacre, Sydney's The Black Ryder released their debut album, Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride. The album is a swirl of melodic, haunting vocals and airy, heavenly melodies. The harmonica featured on album's track, "Sweet Come Down", is provided by Peter Hayes of BRMC and the downloadable track below, "Let it Go", is also a free download on last.fm and features Ricky from Brian Jonestown Massacre.

The Black Ryder - Let it Go.mp3

05. The Big Pink - A Brief History of Love

I was first was introduced to the Big Pink's music by my partner back in April, months before their debut album's release. Their demos featured on myspace were amazing (well, for demos!) and I anticipated the album's release all through their recording sessions at Electric Ladyland Studios in New York. Finally in September, A Brief History of Love was released. A solid favourite that never gets old is "Velvet", a track that deserves more credit than their "mainstream" 2009 hit, "Dominos" (even though that is a great song as well). "At War with the Sun" is another brilliant track, as is "Crystal Visions" and "Too Young to Love". Also, love the album's artwork.

The Big Pink - Velvet (Gang Gang Dance Remix).mp3

Other mentionable, brilliant albums of 2009:
The Raveonettes - In & Out of Control
Gliss - Devotion Implosion
Amazing Baby - Rewild
Girls - Album
Fever Ray - Fever Ray
The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die
Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
Super Furry Animals - Dark Days/Light Years
Logan Lynn - From Pillar to Post
Factory Kids - Factory Kids
The xx - The xx


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