Sunday, December 6, 2009

[BEST OF 2009] (# 50-26) 25 good albums from 2009

blog 2009/12/06 - [BEST OF 2009]  (# 50-26)  25 good albums from 2009

And it begins!  CPI here, counting down the best 50 albums of the year... finally!
We covered other good albums from 2008,
We covered the best in comps, collections, mixes and live,
We covered the ebst in experimental music,
And we even looked at awesome beats with a recent mix of mine,

But now we're down to SERIOUS BIZNESS!

As I mentioned in the first introductory post, I'm going to avoid full rankings and just spread love the way it is supposed to be spread:  Through ill-defined hierarchies that create homogeny despite the intricate needs of the component parts!  Hierarchies of love... tra la la la!

So here we have the first 25 albums, basically 50 through 26 on the top 50 list.  Next post will be 25 thorugh 11.  Then the best 10 as it's own post.  The albums here have been placed in random order, thanks to my fling with Excel.
To appeal to your desire for something, anything, tangible to connect with, I have included 2 songs from each album.  That's right, 50 songs here, 3 hours and 19 minutes of primo 2009 ish.

25 GOOD albums of 2009 in RANDOM order (# 50 -> 26)

Taken by Trees - East of Eden
Califone - All My Friends Are Funeral Singers
DJ Cam Quartet - Diggin'
Mastodon - Crack The Skye
Amy Milan - Masters Of The Burial
They Might Be Giants - Here Comes Science
Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
The Mountain Goats & John Vanderslice - Moon Colony Bloodbath
K'Naan - Troubadour
Roll Deep - Street Anthems
Shackleton & Applebim - Soundboy's Gravestone Gets Desecrated By Vandals (2 CD)
Bruce Peninsula - A Mountain Is A Mouth
Talk Normal - Sugarland
Alela Diane - To Be Still
La Roux - La Roux
Zu - Carboniferous
Aceyalone - Lonely Ones
Dinosaur Jr. - Farm
Why? - Eskimo Snow
OST - Where The Wild Things Are (Karen O and the Kids)
Thao with the Get Down Stay Down - Know Better Learn Faster
Florence and the Machine - Lungs
Healamonster & Tarsier - Cupcake Cave
Samantha Crain - Songs in the Night
Belleruche - The Express

A few words from our sponsors...

Taken by Trees - East of Eden:  The whispy-voiced singer of The Concretes is back with this fabulous new project.  She mixes a variety of interesting percussion patterns to her traditional folk song stylings.

Califone - All My Friends Are Funeral Singers:  Like the best of indie folk, like Iron & Wine or Jose Gonzalez, Califone have the game locked down.  Impeccabley paced albums, heart-felt lyrics, and a surefire entry on to your next love-filled mixtape.

DJ Cam Quartet - Diggin':  A lot of old-timer downtempo producers (remember the 90s?  Way back when?) fell in to a pit of rehashed mediocrity, but up comes DJ Cam with some new ish that is truly worthwhile.  He gets in on the bigger-band trend ala Bonobo, and it works to smooth effect.  Cam knows his place and this is assuredly marketed towards that adult contemporary chill groove market, but have no shame folks, as it is smooth sipping goodness.

Mastodon - Crack The Skye:  As one who doesn't listen to much metal, it would take this unholy fusion of the 1990s (Ozzy Osbourne meets Soundgarden meets Alice In Chains) to get me totally hooked.  An epic hardrock/metal masterpiece.

Amy Milan - Masters Of The Burial:  This Canadiana gem grew on me steadily.  A smokey festival side-stage affair, there is a quiet intimacy throughout that will make this album the perfect after-dinner remorse soundtrack.

They Might Be Giants - Here Comes Science:  Context is everything, and to have a children's album this good sets it far and above the "you must be this awesome to ride" filter.  I am at the age where I need to by the wee-ones some awesome music, and the trio of TMBG "Meet..." series are essential for kid gifting.  And on top of that it's about SCIENCE.  And science is awesome.  Bonus points for introducing concepts of alternative energy, the scientific method, how science discards disproven knowledge, how evolution works, and so many other great topics.

Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion:  A decent album.  Not the best album of the year, but a good album.  Fuck you and the hipster you rode in on.  You know who you are.

The Mountain Goats & John Vanderslice - Moon Colony Bloodbath:  This EP was a bit more obscure than the amazing Mountain Goats LP, but it is worth seeking out for any and all fans.  The Vanderslice tracks are pretty awesome too, and definitely my favourite things in his entire catalouge.  A must for any Mountains Goats fan.  Everything we love above them is there to squish and savour.

K'Naan - Troubadour:  K'Naan's sophemore album is as smooth and sexy as his first, but just with some more big-budget production finnesse.  The same kind of content, but he puts enoughs twists on the same-ol-same-ol, and does it in such a classy way that you just don't care and groove along.

Roll Deep - Street Anthems:  Retrospective of the grime supergroup, this album hits in all of the ways the average grime album can't.  The weakness is sliced away leaving a stream of classics.    OK, I guess this should have been in with the reissue best of list, but ah fuckit, I'm not perfect.

Shackleton & Applebim - Soundboy's Gravestone Gets Desecrated By Vandals (2 CD):  2009 was a solid year for Skull Disco, but there ethereal take on dubstep still gets the cold shoulder from most of the world.  For those of us that grew up on Scorn and Badawi, this collection of tracks and remixes is an unmissable sonic world.

Bruce Peninsula - A Mountain Is A Mouth:  If you're ever locked in a scary cabin in the woods with robed culty farmers, I bet they're playing this record.  It's haunting and engaging, and the call-and-response chorusing has an eery chill-inducing effect.

Talk Normal - Sugarland:  I feel weird at how I just couldn't get in to the new Sonic Youth or the Horros LP, but then Sugarland came along and WOW, THIS IS WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR.  It reminds me of Sonic Youth and Lydia Lunch's Death Valley 69, but extended to a full album of totally awesome.  If Sonic Youth bores you these days, Talk Normal will fill that static-shaped hole in yr heart.

Alela Diane - To Be Still:  This woman has an old nashville voice aged in wisdom far beyond her actual years.  The whole album brims with the confidence and skill of her voice, but also doesn't overshadow the classic folk songwriting.  With a touch of twang for good measure.

La Roux - La Roux:  Ruling the year in the world of electro-pop, no one did it quite like La Roux.  This album is this year's ROBYN.  The songs are undeniabley genius, and the sheer mass of incredible remixes by a who's who of the underground has propelled her difficult hooks to hipster-cachet bliss.

Zu - Carboniferous:  Italian progressive metal.  On Mike Patton's Ipecac label.  And it sounds exactly like that description would imply.  If you're like me, and you probably are, that gets your heart racing and makes your palm sweaty.

Aceyalone - Lonely Ones:  Acey takes on doo-wop and produces a ridiculously fun mini-album.  Only a pothole or two to be found, but you ignore it because it's just squeal-good fun.

Dinosaur Jr. - Farm:  This album is a miraculous miracle of miracluloid proportions.  Like:  holy shit.  You'd expect some rockers that semi-retire, age a bunch, and then come back during their mid-life to not quite be as good... BUT NO!  THIS ALBUM ROCKS!  It is a stellar entry in to Dinosaur Jr discography and a testament to how awesomely we all should age.

Why? - Eskimo Snow:  At first I had dismissed this album, but it was in the changer in the car and came on a few times.  After a while, the wall of words sunk in to me and there was a joyous moment of listening through and not hearing the cacophony, but the interwoven sweat and joy and pain that was all running amok.

OST - Where The Wild Things Are (Karen O and the Kids):  I haven't even seen the movie, but this had to make it on to the list somewhere.  Sometimes things get here thanks to their context, and my god, if this is a movie soundtrack, kudos to the producer for letting it be so.  A freak folk accomplishment of vigour and innocence.

Thao with the Get Down Stay Down - Know Better Learn Faster:  Just check the cover out:  This gal's not fucking around, she does PINATA PARTIES.  That's my kind of party.  And I'm oh so glad I was invited.  This album weeves between a twee pop makeup session and a Team Dresch rockout and a hipster kid pose-off.  An accomplished balancing act at that, and more fun than a carcass of candies.

Florence and the Machine - Lungs:  The lineage of British singers that is being followed here is a staggering one:  Annie Lennox most certainly leads it, as well.  This work honours those roots and mixes in a modern songwriting flair that just puts a smile on my face.

Healamonster & Tarsier - Cupcake Cave:  Who likes Cupcakes?  Everyone, right?  Can you imagine a CAVE FULL OF CUPCAKES?  Well, that's how delish this album is.  What initially came off as a general electronica-pop album revealed itself to be a clever pop album that reminded me of the early days of Bjork.

Samantha Crain - Songs in the Night:  she borrows from that traditional nashville sound, but rocks it oh so hard.  I want nothing more than to go to a bar and drink heavily while this bands rock me all night.  The slower folk is amazing slower folk.  The rockier stuff rocks my pants off.  Can't go wrong.

Belleruche - The Express:  She doesn't stray too far from her winning formula, but knocks out another banger of a soulful downtempo LP.  In the age of the glamorous soul chanteuses, Bellereuche shows them how maximal soul can be packed in to a tight bit of funk, without biting Celine Dion pop chops.


Aceyalone - Lonely Ones ft Bionik
Aceyalone - What It Wuz ft Bionik
Alela Diane - Every Path
Alela Diane - Take Us Back
Amy Millan - Bruised Ghosts
Amy Millan - Day To Day
Animal Collective - No More Runnin'
Animal Collective - Summertime Clothes
Appleblim & Peverelist - Circling
Belleruche - Backyard
Belleruche - The Duck
Bruce Peninsula - Drinking All Day
Bruce Peninsula - Shutters
Califone - Funeral Singers
Califone - Giving Away the Bride
Dinosaur Jr. - Over It
Dinosaur Jr. - Pieces
DJ Cam Quartet - Everybody Loves The Sunshine ft Inlove
DJ Cam Quartet - Quincy
Florence And The Machine - Between Two Lungs
Florence And The Machine - My Boy Builds Coffins
Healamonster & Tarsier - Cupcake Cave
Healamonster & Tarsier - Daxmosphere
K'Naan - Somalia
K'Naan - T.I.A
Karen O and the Kids - Animal
Karen O and the Kids - Rumpus
La Roux - Fascination
La Roux - Quicksand
Mastodon - Divinations
Mastodon - Oblivion
Roll Deep - Eskimo Vocal
Roll Deep - Remember The Days
Samantha Crain & The Midnight Shivers - Bullfight (Change Your Mind)
Samantha Crain & The Midnight Shivers - Devils In Boston
Shackleton - The Branch Is Weak (Geiomix)
Taken By Trees - Greyest Love Of All
Taken By Trees - My Boys
Talk Normal - Transmission Lost
Talk Normal - Uniforms
Thao with the Get Down Stay Down - Body
Thao with the Get Down Stay Down - Cool Yourself
The Mountain Goats & John Vanderslice - Lucifer Rising
The Mountain Goats & John Vanderslice - Sudden Oak Death
They Might Be Giants - Electric Car
They Might Be Giants - Meet the Elements
Why_ - January Twenty Something
Why_ - This Blackest Purse
Zu - Axion
Zu - Ostia

Ohhhhh shit!  Grab some extra panties, we're just getting started!

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