Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Top Albums of 2009

It's here! It's here! My top albums of 2009! Though I had quite a busy year with the wedding and stalled a bit in hearing new music, with the help of my friend Rick I pulled through in the last half of the year and found some GREAT music. Well, great to me!

There is always a disclaimer before such lists, because of how haughty some people get regarding one's own opinion. Just remember that I haven't had a chance to listen to every release of 2009 (i.e., Say Anything), which may be because I don't have lots of time and it's not my job to listen to music all the time. These are my personal favorites of 2009, and I wouldn't expect anybody else's list to look exactly the same - the beauty of differing opinions. What are your top ten releases of this year?

01 fun. / Aim and Ignite
I think anyone who loved The Format has to love this album, and I love love love love it! It makes me laugh and bop my head from side to side. Upon first listen I wasn't sure exactly how I felt, but now I'm obsessed with it! Favourite songs: At Least I'm Not as Sad (As I Used to Be), Be Calm, I Wanna Be the One ($5.99 via Amazon mp3)

02 Metric / Fantasies
A truly fantastic effort; while I've always loved Metric, I think they just 100% proved themselves to be a cornerstone of my music library with Fantasies. This was the hardest album to pick the songs apart, as I love each and every one of them. Favourite songs: Help I'm Alive, Sick Muse, Twilight Galaxy, Gimme Sympathy ($5.99 via Amazon mp3)

03 Florence + the Machine / Lungs
WOAH! was what went through my head after hearing the first song on the album, "Dog Days Are Over," and that sentiment continued throughout. I am in love with this woman's voice and her fun and sometimes kooky sounds. Definitely my fave discovery this year. Favourite songs: Kiss with a Fist, I'm Not Calling You a Liar, Dog Days Are Over ($7.99 on Amazon mp3)

04 St. Vincent / Actor
Again, another album in which I was hooked from the very first sounds. Her voice sounds delicate at times, and her songs are quite mesmerizing. It's interesting, never bland, and always lovely. This album's been on repeat for most of December. Favourite songs: The Strangers, Actor Out of Work, Laughing With a Mouth Full of Blood ($7.99 on Amazon mp3)

05 Paramore / Brand New Eyes
Yes! Finally Paramore grew up a bit and made the album I was hoping for! I liked Riot! okay, but there were only a handful of songs I liked compared to this album where each song sounds full - whether it's full of anger or happiness or vulnerability. There's only one skipper on this one (it has a breakdown and vocals like an Avril Lavigne song); the rest of the songs are a great achievement for this young band. Favourite songs: Misguided Ghosts, Where The Lines Overlap ($7.99 on Amazon mp3)

06 Dashboard Confessional / Alter the Ending
Of course Carrabba's showing up on this list! The guy (and his band) continue to grow; his voice may still be the same, but his themes are getting heavier. With the double-disc full band/acoustic packaging, there are some songs I prefer one way or the other, like I have for most of his discography - and if there's one thing this guy knows, it's his fans. Favourite songs: Get Me Right, Even Now, Water and Bridges, Hell on the Throat ($10.99 on Amazon mp3)

07 The Avett Brothers / I and Love and You
I don't even know what to fully make of these dudes, as I don't know much about them at all, but I do know that their album rules and it's a bit folky but different and it makes me smile a lot. I dare you not to smile during "Kick Drum Heart"! Favourite songs: Kick Drum Heart, January Wedding, The Perfect Space ($9.99 on Amazon mp3)

08 Neko Case / Middle Cyclone
You know how sometimes you like something so much that you know there's no way you'll be able to describe it's amazingness in any way for people to understand it? You have to tell them just to listen? Listen to Neko! This album is an epic beauty. Favourite songs: This Tornado Loves You, Vengeance is Sleeping, Middle Cyclone, Prison Girls ($5.99 on Amazon mp3)

09 Mandy Moore / Amanda Leigh
I had no idea this was going to end up being in my tops when I heard she was coming out with an album! However, upon listening and then getting to meet Mandy, I am a huge fan. Her voice is sweet and not overblown and this was on repeat for a good chunk of my summer! Favourite songs: I Could Break Your Heart Any Day of the Week, Bug ($5.00 on Amazon mp3)

10 Band of Skulls / Baby Darling Doll Face Honey
To be honest, Lily Allen occupied this space for most of the time writing this post. I was wavering between her and Band of Skulls for a while and then I re-listened to them both today...sorry, Lily, I just love this trio's sound! There are some great hip-shaking songs on this album! Favourite songs: I Know What I Am, Honest ($5.99 on Amazon mp3)

Honorable mentions:
Lily Allen / It's Not Me, It's You
Brand New / Daisy
Them Crooked Vultures / Them Crooked Vultures
Yeah Yeah Yeahs / It's Blitz!
500 Days of Summer soundtrack
Phoenix / Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Stars of Track and Field / A Time For Lions
Monsters of Folk / Monsters of Folk
M.Ward / Hold Time

I'm not going to lie, this year some of my favourite musicians put out albums that I just never warmed up to, and felt a bit disappointed by:

Tegan and Sara / Sainthood
Muse / The Resistance

BUT I'M SO EXCITED FOR 2010!! Because I'm highly anticipating:

Motion City Soundtrack / My Dinosaur Life (um, yes, I've heard it, but we're going by release dates! And I'm ridiculously excited for everyone to hear it on January 19th!)
She & Him / Volume Two (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

There it is! Again, I ask, what are your top ten?! Are you totally with me on some of my choices?


  1. Good list, good list, as I'm sure will see there are quite a few similarities with mine, and almost everything up there was on the list I was working from... but seriously how did All the Pretty Girls not make your favorite (sorry favourite) tracks on Aim and Ignite? Oh and great call on Kick Drum Heart.

  2. You don't know how excited I got when I saw you posted your top 10. I agree with SO MUCH on this list. I actually just heard Fun. for the first time last week and felt so behind because I LOVE THE FORMAT. I had NO idea Nate was the singer until I heard them. I LOVE "At least I'm not as sad..."

    Additionally the new Say Anything isn't anything stellar so take your time in listening to it. I have a theory Max makes better music when he's sad - and apparently he's happy now?

    I am anxiously waiting for the MCS record!

  3. My top ten is Thrice, The Dangerous Summer, fun, Manchester Orchestra, Brand new, The Dear Hunter, Therefore I Am, Eye Alaska, Thursday, and well Monty Are I. Although that number 10 spot is interchangable with a lot of albums, Metric or Paramore maybe.

    Anyways, have you reached out The Dangerous Summer's Reach for the Sun? You might like that. I personally think it's absolutely great, I can't get tired of it and that for me clearly marks my favorites.

  4. I didn't know there was a new metric or st. vincent, gonna have to check those out... even though st. vincent can't take a shot like sara quinn can haha.

    I was really hoping my debut lp would make your list, I put a lot of work into those soulful parodies.

  5. I've never heard of Fun but I took a listen and wow I love them!

    The Muse album took some time to grow on me but now I love it.

  6. With the exception of Florence and Mandy I've not heard of anyone else on your top ten list. Actually I lie. I HAVE heard of Paramore but don't know anything they've done.

    I've actually ordered "Amanda Leigh" since quite a few people in the blogosphere have mentioned it. I'm going to have to check out the people on your list though since I trust your judgement - you got me into Dragonette after all and "Galore" remains one of my favourite albums over a year later!

  7. i'm pretty sure fun. is my #1 too! the rest of my top 10 would look something like this: the avett brothers, mariachi el bronx, dead man's bones, portugal the man, blind pilot, manchester orchestra, edward sharpe & the magnetic zeroes, and the decemberists maybe? i'll probably change my mind on some of those within the next few minutes....

  8. I have heard many great things abou florence and the machine, need to check it out.
    Metric is great

  9. hm. i imagined AAR would've landed in the honourable mentions, at LEAST.... and, yeah. that's how we spell honour up here.

  10. Rick - every year when I post this list, I look forward to your impending comment! And I loved all the songs on fun.'s album - All the Pretty Girls is fantastic!

    Kristen - woooooo! YEAH! And yes, Max is happy all married and stuff, shit happens. (jk jk) Also, saw that Kay Hanley retweeted you. WAY. COOL.

    Jessica - Nice list! I've heard many, many things about the Dangerous Summer - will have to check them out, thanks!!

    Aileen - YAY! Wait. Where's your list?!

    Adam - I think you'll dig them both!! And alas, your LP was not in contention as I haven't heard it. DUDE.

    Ginny - awesome!! fun. is just plain FUN!

    Amber - aren't they awesome?!

    Paula - YES! So glad you still love Galore! Mandy's album isn't as cheeky - it's more laidback and sweet. It's quite lovely, for sure. Also..."bug" is about her and Ryan Adams and I LOVE THAT.

    Christina - Nice! I really need to hear Dead Man's Bones (Ryan Gosling's band amirite?!), and I have Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes but have yet to listen to them!! EEP!

    Chele - I think you'd love Florence! Happy new year lady! xo

    Dan - NIIIIICE!

    Tobes - AAR came out Dec 16th 2008!! Can't be counted. And, sadly to say, if it was, it would be in my disappointments category...

  11. Mandy! Her album is absolutely phenomenal! She's so calming but still upbeat and can just fit into any mood and work perfectly.

    A recommendation for you, if I may, is the band Parachute's "Losing Sleep". It's got a very Dashboard Confessional mellow feel to it but what really stands out are the vocals. The tracks 'Blame it On Me' and 'She Is Love' especially.

  12. Great list, lady!
    I've been a huge fan of Metric for a while so I was so excited for Fantasies. I was not disappointed; it's such a great album. I'm going to respectfully disagree about Muse - it took me a few listens to really get into it but now I love their latest album. Other faves of 2009: Love the Future by Chester French, It's Blitz by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King by Dave Matthews Band.

  13. wow wow wow, shocked to see mandy moore in here! but i agree, what an album it was! i saw her at joe's pub and she has certainly grown up and has made her own sound, well, her. and not to mention ryan adams was in attendance. (be still my heart). she sang 'bug' and looked at him the entire time and smiled such a middle school crush smile through the whole thing. (again, be still my heart).

  14. Also, shockhound's top 50 albums of the year are all currently on sale till the 12th. Most of yours are on there and cheaper than amazon. So pfffftttt :)