Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Luke's Best Music of 2009

Well, seeing as how I haven't done this since 2007, I have some music to cover.

Let's quickly hit the top 9 of 2008.

Bon Iver
I doubt I can say anything original about this album. It's wonderful. Trust me and every other music critic ever.
City and Colour
A little emo, sure, but dang this guy writes some tunes that are up my alley. Plus his name is Dallas. I would bet 98% of all songwriters named Dallas are awesome.
Dear and The Headlights
This album didn't hit me at first, but like Oregano's* it was worth the wait. Try not to be happy while listening to the end of "I Know"
Fleet Foxes
Yet another in the series of great musical artists that are not afraid of beards. At all.
Fleetwood Mac
I "discovered" these guys personally (note the quotes) in 2008 and listen to them all the fracking time now. Chain keep us together!
The music that birthed the music that birthed the popularity of Glen Hansard and The Swell Season. Whatever it takes works for me because everyone should love this album.
Jason Mraz
This dude seems to be approaching male diva status, but his tunes still rule. And for the record, "I'm Yours" came out in 2005. 2005! July, 2005! Why is it a hit now?
Kings of Leon
I got this album a little ahead of time and then a year later everyone else realized it was good. Not KoL's best, but KoL's less-than-best is way way way better than a lot of shite out there.
Sigur Ros
They don't speak a lick of English! And I don't care!

2008 was the year of the podcast for me. Adam Carolla, Kevin and Bean and others dominated a lot of my iPod time so my overall exposure to new tunes may not have been what it once was. I auditioned (listened to at least once) 1,984 tracks in 2008 as opposed to 2,231 in 2007.

ANYways, some other tunes that didn't make the album cut that I love ...
  • AC/DC - It's A Long Way To The Top - My efforts to honor the classics continue with even more AC/DC.
  • Adele - Hometown Glory - She likes it in the city when two worlds collide ... and so do I.
  • Coldplay - Lost? (Acoustic) - The piano-only version of this song is killer.
  • Hushpuppies - You're Gonna Say Yeah - Good lookin' out, Guitar Hero 5. Without you I certainly never would have heard this fantastic running song.
  • Kanye West - Paranoid - Easily my favorite track off the acclaimed 808s & Heartbreak. Unfortunately this album did not approach Graduation's overall excellence for me.
  • N*E*R*D - You Know What - This song has my strongest recommendation. I have no idea when it came out or if any of the other songs on this album are good, but WHO CARES! This song is gold.
  • Saul Williams - List of Demands - Thanks to Nike for putting this in their SPARQ ads because I enjoyed both of Saul's albums quite a bit even if the dude is a little out there.
  • Samuel L. Jackson - Stackolee - This track off the Black Snake Moan soundtrack is fantastic. Easily the best song you'll hear featuring the phrase "I put 9 of my bullets in his mother f'ing chest!"
  • The Ting Tings - We Walk - This was my personal fav off this album featuring many other more commercially successful tunes.
And with that, on to 2009! This year my total music auditions fell drastically (from 1,984 in 2008 to an almost unforgiveable 1,131 tunes in 2009) but oh well. I was still able to discover 4 ridiculously good albums and some other not so shabby options.

The Untouchables
I absolutely could not leave these off the list.

Frightened Rabbit
One of two bands from Scotland that ruled this list. Credit goes to Ando for being ahead of the curve on this one. I almost feel guilty for not catching on more quickly. They're that good.

It's hard to imagine another band that improves on every release as much as these cats do. Also I just realized my top tier features absolutely no American bands. Europe FTW!

We Were Promised Jetpacks
These dudes opened for Frightened Rabbit and immediately became the best opener I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot - Ray LaMontagne, Martin Sexton and others). Fast strumming is back!

Kings of Convenience
I had some majorly high hopes for this long overdue album and they were met. This album is like taking a bath in happiness. Just wonderful wonderful times.

Must Haves
The next tier of greatness.

Kevin (the K in K-OS is for Kevin) comes through again. Just check out track 1 and tell me you're not in. "No one knows what you're doing!"

The Rural Alberta Advantage
Guy on guitar and vocals, guy on drums, girl and vocals and everything else comes through with the surprise album of the year. "Edmonton" fit in quite nicely with my road trip video in case you haven't seen it.

Tegan & Sara
Speaking of consistency, these ladies come through like Phoenix with their 3rd great album in a row. And if Petros likes them, what else do you need to know?

The Temper Trap
The Aussies get a hit on the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack and the rest of the album ain't too shabby either.

TV On The Radio
I was sad to find out that Klosterman doesn't like these dudes (via an off-hand mention in his latest book), but I don't care. "Love Dog" is one of my most played tracks of the year.

The Whitest Boy Alive
Erlend Oye (of Kings of Convenience fame) hits another home run with his other band. Love me some "Courage" off this album.

Bloody Likely
I'm pretty sure I like the albums below, but haven't spent enough time with them to give them my full recommendation. However my initial impressions and other critics' high praise has me surmising these albums are legit.

Manchester Orchestra
Marc Broussard
Mute Math
Passion Pit
Snow Patrol
The Swell Season
Tina Dickow
Third Eye Blind

And finally my favorite tunes of 2009 (limiting my selections to one song per artist) ...
  • 1901 - Phoenix - Can you believe he says "Fold it" and not "Fallin'" in the chorus? Me neither.
  • Edmonton - Rural Alberta Advantage - What IF I'm only satisfied when I'm at home? A question I've asked myself many times before this great song came around.
  • Me In You - Kings of Convenience - The title by itself might conjure some giggles, but just roll this track and then enjoy your lowered heart rate and raised smile.
  • Roll Up Your Sleeves - We Were Promised Jetpacks - So difficult to choose just one track off this album. I think I've had stints with 4 different songs named as my favorite. I'm settling on this one for the fantastic riff and sing along fun.
  • Love Dog - TV On The Radio - "Something slow has sparked up in me" just like this song slowly builds to greatness.
  • Old Old Fashioned - Frightened Rabbit - Another very tough choice. So many choices with these cats.
  • Love Lost - The Temper Trap - Do you feel weird when track 1 is your favorite? Like you're not paying enough attention to the full album? Well I don't care, this is a great track 1.
  • Courage - The Whitest Boy Alive - Show some courage ... like Erlend says.
*It's worth the wait!