Favorite Albums of 2009


3. Jan. 2010, 0:04

#10. The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
This album reminded me a lot of their 2004 EP, The Tain, which also has tracks that seamlessly blend together into one - as well as their "harder" sound". I don't like it as much as their two previous albums, but I have to admit, it has an epic quality about it.

#09. Regina Spektor - Far
One thing I love about Regina Spektor is that she's not afraid to experiment with unconventional song structure and vocal stylings. While Far continues her move into increasingly popular and accessible music, she still retains these qualities.

#08. God Help the Girl - God Help The Girl
This is a soundtrack album for a musical film that Belle & Sebastian's frontman is writing - to be released sometime in the indefinite future. This album sounds like the movie will be a throwback to French New Wave of the 1960s. In typical Belle & Sebastian style, it can be best described as precious and adorable.

#07. Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Outer South
This is very much an ensemble album, several of the songs are not written or preformed by Conor Oberst. This is unfortunate, because those songs he wasn't involved in weren't all that good. However, his stuff on this album is good enough to keep it in my top ten.

#06. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Their sound reminds me a little like the Strokes - they have some great guitar and a beat that's really great to dance to. I'm generally not a big fan of synthesizer in music, but these guys use it to great affect. In short, this album is just a lot of fun.

#05. Antony and the Johnsons - The Crying Light
I can almost guarantee you won't like Antony's other-worldly voice when you first hear it - I didn't. It's very much an acquired taste. But now I think his is the most incredible voice I've ever heard. I recommend starting with his 2005 album I Am a Bird Now, but this is a very good follow-up.

#04. Elvis Perkins in Dearland - Elvis Perkins in Dearland
Elvis Perkins' previous album had a melancholy, folksy, Americana sound - perhaps reminiscent of mid-19th century bluegrass. This new album continues the same sound, but spruces it up with a full complement of drums, horns, organ, and other period-appropriate instruments. This guy is a seriously talented musician.

#03. The Raveonettes - In and Out of Control
Their 60s pop sound works nicely with their deceptively dark lyrics. When you combine it with their noisy feedback, it's like a mix between Jesus & Mary Chain and the Shangri-Las. This album has more pop then their previous stuff and I'm really liking their direction - it's probably my favorite album of theirs.

#02. M. Ward - Hold Time
I am a huge fan of M. Ward's old-fashioned, folksy sound seeping with blues and country influences. While it's not the flawless album that Post-War (2006) was, this is still a very strong effort.

#01. The Legendary Tiger Man - Femina
This is a rather obscure choice for my #1, but bear with me. I feel fortunate to have stumbled upon this album and want to share it. Femina has a sparse, stripped-down blues sound driven primarily by some awesome guitar riffs. Per its namesake, each song on this album has a guest female vocalist resulting in a distinctly different sound for each song. Not every song works for me -- there are a few misses -- but it's still an amazing and unique

Honorable Mention:
Au Revoir Simone - Still Night, Still Light
A.C. Newman - Get Guilty
Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
The Boy Least Likely To - The Law of the Playground
Loney, dear - Dear John


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