It’s been some time since I’ve done a list of top albums and it seems appropriate to end this year with a list of my favorite albums of 2009.
I will also include a few that I bought that missed the top ranking, as well as some that I still need to go out and get. The top entries are in the order of when they were released.
So with that, here’s my 2009 list:
- Lily Allen “It’s Not You, It’s Me”
My daughter introduced me to Lily Allen, who I had heard of, but had never heard her music before. So I bought this sophomore release and was hooked. Of course, the two stand out tracks here are “The Fear” and “Fuck You”, which pretty much says to other young female artists to step it up a few notches if they want to have an outstanding album.
- Depeche Mode “Sounds Of The Universe”
Most of you know I am a huge Depeche Mode fan. I’ve seen them multiple times in concert and there’s not that many songs or albums of theirs that I don’t like. This year’s release was a pretty strong effort by the band and songs like “Wrong” and “In Sympathy” made me love this band even more.
- Phoenix “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix”
I was rather surprised that this was their fourth album. Where the hell have I been? Obviously not listening to this band. Tracks like “Lisztomania” and “1901” only cement the love for playing this entire album from start to finish.
- Chickenfoot “Chickenfoot”
I discovered this album early on in the year and I was instantly hooked. You take Sammy and Michael from Van Halen, add in Joe Satriani and Chad Smith to the mix and you have some kick ass tunes. “Soap On A Roap” and “Turnin’ Left” are just the tip of the iceberg for this hot new super group.
- Killswitch Engage “Killswitch Engage”
One of the few metalcore bands that I really like released a new album this year. It’s self-titled [their second of their career… confusing to say the least] and it’s good… really good. Tracks like “Starting Over” and “The Forgotten” are melodic and hard-edged starting points to the greatness of the entire album.
- Pearl Jam “Backspacer”
Pearl Jam was one of those bands that had to grow on me. But once they did, their grunge-like sound stuck. And while their self-titled release a few years ago wasn’t one of their better releases, they redeemed themselves with “Backspacer.” Stand out tracks like “The Fixer” and “Amongst The Waves” prove they still have got the musical touch.
- Alice In Chains “Black Gives Way To Blue”
There has never been a band like Alice In Chains. So imagine my apprehension when they decide to release a new album with a new lead singer, William DuVall. Well, after many listens, this has proven to be really good. True Layne Staley fans may be bothered by him being replaced, but they should take a listen to songs like “Check My Brain” and “A Looking In View” and they may feel better about this return.
- Them Crooked Vultures “Them Crooked Vultures”
Another super group? Did we really need another one? Before you shake your head in disagreement, you may want to listen to their debut album. Dave Grohl, Josh Homme and John Paul Jones [of Led Zeppelin] make this release a must listen. Songs like “New Fang” and “Mind Eraser, No Chaser” are just a couple of the 13 tracks that make this album rock.
Down A Few Rungs
And there were some albums that I bought that just didn’t grab me or they promised more than I thought they produced.
- U2 “No Line On The Horizon”
U2 is one of my favorite bands and over their career, they have released some incredible albums. This was not one of them. Sure there were some catchy songs like “Get Your Boots On” and “Moment Of Surrender”, but overall, it was a snoozer for this fan.
- Muse “The Resistance”
Muse have proven they are an incredibly talented band. Musically, they’ve released several albums that have been fan favorites. But there is something lacking in this latest release. Sure, their trademark sound is here, but there are many weak tracks on this album that just didn’t seem as strong as they could have been.
- Green Day “21st Century Breakdown”
Green Day is one of those bands that I’ve always liked. And “American Idiot” was a great album and one that plays well from start to finish, telling a great story. But when you try to tell another story from start to finish on a new album, it may just start to feel the same. This album did just that. There were some great songs, but the melody sounded way too similar… almost like they were phoning it in. They did redeem themselves by being great in concert, though.
- Grizzly Bear “Veckatimest”
I really did try to like this album. Lots of people loved it and praised it over and over. Even my daughter talked about how great it is. But I have to be honest that I didn’t completely fall in love with it, even after half a dozen listens. That doesn’t mean I hate it. On the contrary, but just not enough to make it a top candidate.
Albums I Need To Get Still
And there are a few releases that I need to pick up still, lauded by my daughter and others.
- Silversun Pickups “Swoon”
I know my daughter has this album because she loves this band. I’ve heard a few songs from this album and liked them just as much as I did the tracks from their first release, “Carnavas.” Guess I need to get this latest release from my daughter.
- Passion Pit “Manners”
I like some electronic dance music. LCD Soundsystem is one of my favorites. So after listening to several of the tracks on this album, I put it on my “must have” list. I still don’t have it, but I’m about to change that before the year ends.
- Cage The Elephant “Cage The Elephant”
Grant Ruby, a friend and a DJ at local radio station 101.9 FM The End, has praised this album both on his blog and on the air. I’ve got one song “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” and I like it. Now I need to get the album to hear what other great songs I’ve been missing out on.
- Pet Shop Boys “Yes”
I’ve been a fan of the Pet Shop Boys since their mid-80’s debut. I’ve had most of their albums over the years and they have never strayed from being great. Thanks to Dave from Blogography’s praise, this is an album that I will eventually own.
- White Rabbits “It’s Frightening”
I really like the song “Percussion Gun” and have heard the rest of the album is just as good. I just need to go get the album and see for myself if the other tracks stand out just as great.
Best of Decade
There you have it – my 2009 list of albums that were great, not so great and ones I have yet to get. I also plan to do a best of decade list. That one is a bit more difficult to put together, but I’ll make sure it gets posted as soon I’m done.
So did I leave anything off? Put one on my list you think sucked? Comment away.