Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cheeseboy's Top 40 albums of 2009

Yes, I have had a lot of time on my hands recently.

Yes, I really did listen to this many albums this year. In fact, I had to narrow the top 40 down from a list of more than 100 new albums.

Yes, you should care, unless you don't, in which case, I don't care that you don't... but you should.

No, I in no way consider myself a "music guru", but I like what I like, and this is what I like. Also, I realize that most lists like this go from 40 to 1, but I wrote it and THEN realized that and there is no way I am going to go back and do all that work. So, if you want the 40 to 1 format, scroll down and read backwards.

So, without further ado, here are the top 40 of 2009 (and the top 3 EPs):
  1. The Sounds – Crossing The Rubicon

Got this album early in the year and I still listen to it constantly. Not a bad song and some will have you dancing on the phone book. Not that my opinion matters, but these guys (and girl) simply rock and made the best album of ’09!

  1. Passion Pit – Manners

Almost made it #1, but I found myself tiring of it after the 800th listen just a smidge. No other album this year is better to jog to though.

  1. Metric – Fantasies

From top to bottom, Metric’s best album and the 3rd best of the year.

  1. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion

Perhaps the most musically stunning album of the year. I thought about putting it #1 as it probably deserves to be, but I just couldn’t.

  1. Empire Of The Sun – Walking On A Dream

Holds the best song of the year, plus several other good ones.

  1. The Rural Alberta Advantage – Hometowns

Chalk full of pleasant surprises.

  1. Silversun Pickups – Swoon

If you were a fan of The Smashing Pumpkins…

  1. We Were Promised Jetpacks – These Four Walls

Not a truly great song on the disc, but one the CD has a 100% guarantee of likeability

  1. Islands – Vapours

A late addition to the list, they land in the top ten. This album is amazing. Every song a joy. Every morsel delicious.

  1. Mew – No More Stories Are Told…

Arena rock for the indie lover. These guys could sing the phone book and I would still wonder why everyone says, “you could sing the phonebook.” Who are all these people singing the phone book?

  1. Discovery – LP

Not what I was expecting when I imagined a Vampire Weekend/Ra Ra Riot merger project, but good nonetheless.

  1. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

One song, 1901 dominated the airplay, but this album stands on it’s own. There are plenty of other great songs on it.

  1. Julian Plenty – Julian Plenty Is… Skyscraper

The former lead singer of Interpol may have made a solo album better than any of the bands.

  1. Say Hi – Oohs & Aahs

This album came out early in the year and I almost forgot about it. Upon further review, it still rocks.

  1. John Vanderslice – Romanian Names

The man just knows how to write great songs.

  1. Ramona Falls – Intuit

Smooth, luxurious melodies meant for a relaxing Sunday afternoon.

  1. Andrew Bird – Noble Beast

I am not a huge Andrew Bird fan, but I have to give him credit, this album is his best and has to be in just about everyone’s top 20.

  1. White Lies – To Lose My Life

English alternative mixed with a touch of eletronica = great songs.

  1. U2 – No Line On The Horizon

Hated it at first, then it grew on me.

  1. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest

Sometimes a bit too experimental for my taste, but this album rose above that.

  1. Bell X1 – Blue Lights On The Runway

Somewhat of a disappointment considering the hype I had created in my own mind for this album, but still solid.

  1. Sunset Rubdown – Dragonslayer

Both Sunset Rubdown and Handsome Furs have an interesting sound with tangy vocals.

  1. Handsome Furs – Face Control
  2. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

Listened to this album at least 20 times and I can’t tell you a single lyric.

  1. Fanfarlo – On The Wing Now

A suggestion from my friend Spencer (amongst others on the list) He seems to have a knack for finding good music.

  1. The Juan MacLean – The Future Will Come

Great music to Jazzercize to .

  1. White Rabbits – It’s Frightening

Very solid rock album all the way through with a couple brilliant songs.

  1. God Help The Girl – God Help The Girl

If you actually are taking this list seriously and happen to pick this album up, you may want to tease me endlessly. It is cheesy, corny and sounds a lot like Mama Mia on crack. Nevermind all of that… I am fascinated by it and can’t get enough. I have no idea why.

  1. Matt & Kim – Grand

Happy music that is unbelievably fun to listen to.

  1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz

I’ve seen many have this #1 on their year’s best list. This is good, but in my eyes, they are a second rate version of my #1.

  1. Eulogies – Here Anonymous

Nothing more than a collection of great rock songs.

  1. BLK JKS – After Robots

Edgy, harmonic, raw, ubber cool.

  1. Weezer – Ratditude

I am a sucker for anything they put out, but I would place this one in the good, not great category.

  1. Dan Deacon – Bromst

Pounding beats, great fun.

  1. Why – Eskimo Snow

Clearly, not their best effort, but their lyrics are so incredible, it is worth listening to.

  1. Pearl Jam – Backspacer

Their best album in years. (Minus Eddie Vedder’s solo album two years ago)

  1. The Avett Brothers – I And Love And You

Superb easy listening harmonies.

  1. Telekinesis! - Telekinesis!

Smooth punk.

  1. Regina Spektor – Far

Regina is back with her most consistent album from beginning to end.

  1. Dark Was The Night: A Red Hot Compilation

I hate compilations, but as compilations go, this one was pretty darned good.

3 Good EP’s

  1. Death Cab For Cutie – The Open Door [EP]
  2. Modest Mouse – No One’s First, And You’re Next [EP]
  3. Blitzen Trapper – Black River Killer [EP]


Ike said...

Well - I only have heard of 14/40 bands - let alone heard the music from the bands I know...and I'm sure that's more than most of your other readers.

That's right Abe - you are officially a music snob. No doubt about it. That's okay - I'm a music snob too.

Hey I'm sure this is an oversight but you forgot to put Blind Pilot's 3 Rounds & a Sound on here. I went to the concert a few weeks ago and it was seriously in my top 10 concerts of all time. I just got their new EP (came out a few days ago) - has 2 new songs on it. I'll get you a copy somehow.

Thanks for the thoughtful list... I'll for sure check out quite a few of these. Feel free to burn me another DVD soon.

Cheeseboy said...

Thanks Ike. Yes, a music snob I am. That Blind Pilot album is amazing and would have been in the top 15 for sure. Unfortunately, iTunes tells me that that album was released in 08 and not 09 and was technically not eligible for this countdown.

Anonymous said...

Am I living on a different planet ? There is only 1 band that I have heard of on this list; and actually have some of their music! (U2) Until I saw that name I wasn't sure if the album title came first or the artist was listed first !

lindsey v said...

Your list makes me feel exhausted. Like I'm behind on the music scene and I have a lot of catching up to do. I think of all the time it takes to research all these bands and I'm drained of all energy. Good for you for finding the time though.

Tammy said...

I'm with Larry H and Lindsey. Obviously I know Weezer and I really like Modest Mouse but the rest of them are not bands from the 80's :)