The end of the year is time for inevitable TOP TEN lists. For some reason, I have always been drawn to these. I simply love them! So, in order to honor this tradition, I will be adding my own addition. I want to give you my “Top Ten Albums of 2009”. This is tough for me, and on any given day I could change the order . So…here you go!
10- The Dead Weather- Horehound
I sure miss the White Stripes. But as long as Jack White keeps putting out amazing side projects, I am ok with it. What a dark, weird and delightful debut. The era of girl rock seems dead, until you hear this one. It plain rocks.
Songs to hear: Rocking Horse, Hang You from the Heavens
9-The Swell Season – Strict Joy
Do you remember seeing Once and being rocked to your very core by the music???? The stars of the film record under the name The Swell Season. 2009 saw the release of their newest collaboration. It is a melancholy album, seemingly reflecting on the couple’s real life breakup. While not as raw as ONCE, it has stunning moments. It is a must have.
Songs to hear: Low Rising, Fantasy Man
8- Derek Webb- Stockholm Syndrome
This is what happens when a folksy crooner finds big beats. You get his most unusual and best release to date. You get fat bass lines, acoustic licks and solid crooning, all wrapped around spiritually deep lyrics that shake your heart to make you think. From start to finish it is totally solid.
Songs to hear: What matters More , Freddie Please
Throughout their career, Wilco seamlessly adds to and changes their sound with each new release. This self titled release finds a compelling middle course that will shake your very being. It seems that rehab makes you rethink life and acceptance. It is moving and gorgeous.
Songs to hear: Solitaire, You never Know
6-Neko case- middle Cyclone
I guess you could almost call it a “concept album” about nature and its’ power? Once again Neko croons pure alt country beauty on this new release. She portrays herself as an animal, a tornado, and a man-eater, yet all the while, exuding the soul and power of a true soul diva!
Songs to hear: vengeance is Sleeping, Middle Cyclone
5-Bruce Springsteen – Working on a Dream
Some things just get better with age. The Boss seems to have found his 2nd wind! This album has it all, long slow ballads, story tellers and arena rock. If you gave up on Bruce in the 90’s, PLEASE trust me and give this a listen.
Download: Outlaw Pete, The Wrestler, Kingdom of Days
4-Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
Grizzly Bear has been on the indie rock scene for awhile. Occasionally they would release a song that would rock my IPod with potential, but something was missing. NO LONGER! This album attacks your ears from every angle with a myriad of sounds. This is a definite must-have for the Pet Sounds loving fan!
Songs to hear: While You Wait for the Others, Two Weeks
3-U2 – No Line on the Horizon
I make no apologies for my unabashed love of Bono and the gang. History will show them one of the most important bands ever. While I have really liked their last few albums, No Line on the Horizon is, without a doubt, their absolute best since Achtung Baby (I remember skipping my homeroom period Senior year in HS to get that one). This record is full of the usual amazing lyrics, and perfect moments. A few songs actually rival for the “best U2 songs ever” award.
Songs to hear: Magnificent, Moment of Surrender
2-The Avett Brothers – I and Love and You
I don’t even know where to start here! I first became a fan after being recommended their Emotionalism album. For their major label debut, they teamed up with star maker Rick Rubin. The record has taken a different sound with much less banjo and much more piano. Don’t be scared by this. It is beautiful. I literally cannot stop listening.
Songs to hear: I and Love and You, Kick Drum Heart
1- Pearl Jam – Backspacer
This is a tough one for me, because I don’t want to be biased. But Pearl Jam was THE soundtrack band for the time in my life that impacted me the most! Although I never lost a love for them, age, time, kids, careers, and honestly subpar recordings have taken them away from me a little. So when I heard this, I was literally floored for days with emotion. I absolutely love it. It is listening to artists grow up in your ears, and touch your very soul with their reflections. From start to finish it is perfection. Get the ENTIRE record and put on repeat!
Songs to hear: You
The Fixer, Just Breathe, Got Some