Late December and early January always brings a plethora of best of the year lists in the world of music. It being the holiday period gives me a chance to listen to some of the music that has passed me by over the the course of the year. Not that I am attempting to match any of the ‘cool’ best of 2009 lists but here are some of my favourites of 2009. Some of these I have listened to a lot, others have had such an impact on me in the last few weeks that I felt I had to include them. All bias towards artists currently in my collection and styles of music I enjoy already(just like a real music ‘reviewer’ )is fully intended, though no ranking or ordering has or will be done.
Yo La Tengo Popular songs – Some great extended instrumental space and succinct melodies
Wilco (The Album) – Another great album from the ‘newer’ Wilco lineup, Nels Cline is awesome on guitar
The Whitest Boy Alive Rules – The same instrumentation on every track it sounds like four guys in a very small club grooving it out with about 5 very very cool people dancing yet every song is unique, some great bass on this.
White Lies White Lies – I saw them on Jools Holland, quite a few Joy Division moments but its pretty damn cool.
Them Crooked Vultures Them Crooked Vultures – Dave Grohl – Drums, John Paul Jones – Bass, it could have been anyone on guitar and vocals and it still would have been great but it is Josh Homme and the result is rock and roll magic, hopefully will catch them live in a couple of weeks.
Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix – One of their first songs Too Young off United is pop genius and they’ve finally made a whole album of it.
Pearl Jam Backspacer – A Return to form, Unthought Unknown = great track.
Muse The Resistance – The first 4 songs….
Mike Snow Mike Snow – Insert Peter Gabriel and Sting and maybe some cool new producer in front of a computer.
Mayer Hawthorne Mayer Hawthorne – Weedy white guy does soul sings and plays all the instruments, you have to check this out Bubble lovers cause he so much better than the flat topped wrecker of Nina Simone songs.
Mariachi El Bronx Mariachi El Bronx – I am liking this more and more punk band does mexicana.
The Flaming Lips Dark Side of the Moon – Thank you to my friend Marty for putting this in my hands, starring Henry Rollins, Rog would be proud.
David Gray Draw the Line– Still not as poignant as White Ladder but great.
Dave Matthews Band Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King – Thank you DMB for some more great songs R.I.P. LeRoi Moore.
Bill Calahan Sometimes I Wish I Were an Eagle – This is just F…ing cool no doubt about it.
Bertie Blackman Secrets and Lies – Excellent electronic-ish release from an underrated Australian singer songwriter.
Karmakanic Who’s the Boss of the factory – Prog lovers look out, the first song clocking in at 19mins, this is early 70s Genesis meets late 70s Yes is it relevant today…who cares its well crafted and I really have no idea about them but am really getting into it.
I’ve probably forgotten some real gems, and am not sure about Animal Collective yet, or Passion Pit will have to keep listening.
My favourite song to sing this year has been that Mumford one though the album isn’t as good, I do believe punters really enjoy singing along to a song whose chorus has the F word..
‘ I really f…ed it up this time’