My “Top Music of 2009” Lists

Well, as 2009 rolls to a close, I thought it fitting to give a run-down of my ‘notable musical items of the year’.  For the most part, these albums/artists have all been found on my “Now Playing” posts throughout the year, but I’m also adding some other categories to keep it interesting.

Here we go…

My Top 10 Albums of 2009

61XfZozztmL._SL160_AA115_[1] #10  Doves, Kingdom of Rust

This group was totally unknown to me before this year, but Kingdom of Rust was a *great* way to get to know them!  Fans of Radiohead & Muse, check it out.


#9  |  The Decemberists, Hazards Of Love

A very well put-together ‘theme’ album that weaves an interesting story line.  Good music to “zone out” to.



51F0mKrQ9cL._SL160_AA115_[1] #8  |  Jeremy Enigk, OK Bear

Not as strong as ‘World Waits’, if you ask me, but a very good album nonetheless.  I hate the album cover.



51UvkmJCPQL._SL160_AA115_[1] #7  |  David Bazan, Curse Your Branches

If there’s one thing I love about David Bazan, it’s his brazen, bold honesty, and this album doesn’t disappoint.  Not everyone’s cup o’ tea, I’m sure, but really great stuff.


31UyE4JPN7L._SL160_AA115_[1] #6  |  U2, No Line On The Horizon

Although I’ve been listening to U2 for the past 25 years, I’ve never been a rabid fan.  That said, “No Line On The Horizon” features some incredible work.


31MuYSuVGhL._SL160_AA115_[1] #5  |  Metric, Fantasies

This is without a doubt the strongest commercial release for Metric.  This album is slick, catchy, and well-done.  Seemingly overlooked by many, but it’s worth your time.



51miWWfKK0L._SL160_AA115_[1] #4  |  Thad Cockrell, To Be Loved

Mr. Joey Sanchez (of Fair) let me know about this album, and I’m really glad he did.  Wonderful, old-timey folk worship that brings a tear to your eye.  So great.


61LmFcR9lcL._SL160_AA115_[1]#3  |  The Dear Hunter, Act III: Life And Death

I literally new *nothing* about this band until this past summer when my wife and I saw them open up for meWithoutYou.  Their live performance intrigued me, but this album has blown me away.  It’s strange, dynamic, catchy, and not at all what I expected.  It’s also really, really good.  Not sure who to compare them to, so just give it a listen!


51WBw0YZBTL._SL160_AA115_[1] #2  |  Neko Case, Middle Cyclone

Wow.  Where do I start?  First of all, this album should probably be a tie for first place this year, but I had to choose someone, so I did.  It grieves me slightly, though, because this is such a wonderful album – from the opening track, to the closing “noise” that could lull you to sleep.  I love the music, the melodies, the lyrics, and the (awesome) album cover.  Hoping to see Neko Case live sometime in 2010.


51sMDGXbcNL._SL160_AA115_[1] #1  |  Silversun Pickups, Swoon

Following up an incredible album such as “Carnavas” is typically too much for most bands.  Their next release is either lacking, boring, just “so-so”, or is just outright bad.  Not in this case, though.  “Swoon” is exactly what it needed to be.  It’s not an incredible departure from their last album, but it is evolutionary in every regard — songwriting, production quality, and continuity.  Without a doubt their best work to-date, and my pick for the best album of 2009.

My Top Musical Finds of 2009

thumbnail[1] Neko Case

Yep.  You read that correctly: it’s not an album, it’s an artist.  Although I had heard her name before, I’d never listened to any of her stuff.  Upon recommendation from a friend of mine (thanks, Ken!), I picked up Middle Cyclone and gave it a listen.  I was blown away.  Not only is this album phenomenal, but so is her catalog of previous work:  Blacklisted, Fox Confessor Brings The Flood, and her album Furnace Room Lullaby (released as ‘Neko Case & Her Boyfriends).  Truly a great find this year.

41ndY2-8eQL._SL500_SS110_[1] The Hourly Radio, History Will Never Hold Me

I’ve found some wonderful artists/albums via the ‘Related’ section of the Zune Marketplace – and The Hourly Radio is one of them.  Although they’ve since disbanded, they left behind some really great albums including ‘History Will Never Hold Me’.  Not sure how to describe their sound, but it’s somewhere around Sunny Day Real Estate, Jimmy Eat World, and who knows what.  Just check it out.

51dJ2F-jcwL._SL500_SS110_[1] The Working Title, About Face

Another rabbit trail lead me to this album, About Face.  How can I describe it?  Moody, powerful, poppy (at times) and just plain good.  Sadly, their latest release, Bone Island, is receiving fairly poor reviews, but this album is great… and most definitely one of my favorite finds for 2009.

My Top Musical Disappointments of 2009

61KaJBMm6cL._SL500_SS110_[1]meWithoutYou, It’s All Crazy!  It’s All False!  It’s All A Dream, It’s Alright

Perhaps the stakes were just too high, but as one of my very favorites artists of the past decade, they seemed to do no wrong in my eyes.  As far as I was concerned, each album of theirs was better than the last.  All good things must come to an end, I guess, as their latest release, It’s All Crazy!…, just didn’t do it for me.  I enjoy most of the album, to be honest, but I have to confess my disappointment with it.  Quite simply, it’s not at all their strongest work.  There are, of course,  moments of (their typical) genius, but many more moments of feeling tired and repetitive.  I’m not sure if they’re planning on releasing any more albums, but I sincerely hope that they get back on the wagon.


Muse, The Resistance

Possibly another case of ‘setting the bar too high’, but the latest Muse release just kinda flopped for me.  It sounds like the same stuff rehashed, and it bums me out.  I’d like to see Muse enhance and grow their sound, but they haven’t.  There’s no doubt that this band is extraordinarily talented, but talented individuals don’t always make an incredible album.

51X9LgTrVzL._SL500_SS110_[1] MuteMath, Armistice

When MuteMath started recording this album, their goal was simple: “embarrass their last release”, or something like that.  Problem is, their last album was really good, and this one isn’t better.  It’s fine, but not great.  Another issue I have, though, is that one of their best tracks, Spotlight, was released several months earlier in support of the Twilight soundtrack, and thus was pretty worn out by the time the album was finally released.  Perhaps it’ll grow on me, but as it stands I tend to pass by it in my playlists.


And there you have it, folks!  Hope you enjoyed my year in music.  As always, comments/questions are welcome 🙂


4 Responses to “My “Top Music of 2009” Lists”

  1. 1 AP December 11, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Nice call on Metric, I agree it is overlooked. I have never even heard Silversun Pickups, so maybe it is time, especially since they are not only #1 here, but also in your top 15 of the decade. Neko Case is phenomenal, next you should check out her work with the New Pornographers if you have not already. Start with the song “Challengers.”

    • 2 yipcanjo December 11, 2009 at 1:38 pm

      Shame, Shame, SHAME on you for not being familiar with the Silversun Pickups! Great band, great albums.

      I’ll check out the New Pornographers, of course. Thx.

      • 3 Marcus December 12, 2009 at 12:15 am

        Hmm, I believe Jeremy Enigk’s “OK Bear” would probably be my favorite album from this year. So you hate that picture of a very young Jeremy Enigk? 😛

        Downloading Silversun Pickups now 🙂

  1. 1 Now Playing: February 2010 « Y.I.P.C.A.N.J.O Trackback on February 25, 2010 at 3:15 pm
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