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Top 10 Albums of 2009

December 29, 2009

As it’s only logical to go along with the trend and post a list of top 10 albums from 2009, here are mine.

1. Manic Street Preachers – Journal for Plague Lovers

After the major improvement from Lifeblood that Send Away The Tigers made there was hope that the Manics newest effort would nudge them closer to their former glory and this album did just that. Using lyrics by Richey Edwards and crafting them into one of the strongest albums of the year the group managed to prove that they were still relevant, gaining coverage in NME and 5 star reviews across the board and reaching the number 3 slot in the charts. It also garnered it’s fair share of controversy of the front cover, which was painted by Jenny Saville (the artist responsible for the Holy Bible cover art) and it was claimed it looked as if the boy depicted was splattered with blood making it disturbing when in actual fact it was simply the result of the colour palette the artist works with.

The album was showcased on a UK tour that saw them play Journal for Plague Lovers in it’s entirety, displaying the full force of the tracks and conveying all of the energy and passion that they poured into doing Edward’s lyrics justice and harnessing the full force of the talent that all thought they had lost. I only hope that the next album continues to follow this trend.

2. Art Brut – Vs. Satan

Under the guidance of Black Francis as producer Art Brut’s music went from strength to strength, in keeping with the musings on Slap Dash for No Dash about how too much production renders everyone sounding like U2 (not a very cool thing to do) it is clear that the apparently no-fuss style of recording on this album is one of the main features that sets it far apart from their previous efforts, not to mention suits the style of music perfectly.

The raconteur-esque songwriting style and Eddie Argos’s instantly recognisable style of talk-singing over the excellently crafted music that forms their signature sound is used to far greater effect here then ever before. The songs are all catchy and instantly hummable, working their way quickly inside your head and refusing to leave. It is completely impossible not to listen to this album on repeat over and over again. Another triumph from Argos & Friends.

3. New Found Glory – Not Without A Fight

Some people may dismiss New Found Glory as a mistake that they attribute to them being young and not knowing any better, but if they were to cast their facade of maturity aside and actually give them a chance they’d remember what made them fall in love with them in the first place.

New Found Glory’s sound may not have changed much over the years but why should it? They’ve hit upon the perfect formula for creating short, catchy songs and continue to do so well, as is evident on this record which was seen as something of a ‘return to form’ as they have focused with even more determination than their previous effort on the genre that made them famous with direct comparisons between the title ‘Listen to Your Friends’ and ‘My Friends Over You’ from the album Sticks and Stones. It is this that makes this album all the better, evoking the nostalgia that is inevitably connected with songs that were the soundtrack to growing up.

4. Fake Problems – It’s Great to Be Alive
5. Brendan Benson – My Old,  Familiar Friend
6. Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band – Outer South
7. Kevin Devine – Brother’s Blood
8. Franz Nicolay – Major General
9. The Dead Weather – Horehound
10. Wingnut Dishwashers Union – Burn The Earth! Leave it Behind!

Honorable mention goes to

Say Anything – Say Anything

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2010 7:07 pm

    Great call on both Brendan Benson and Franz Nicolay! Surprised though by your top choice – not an album that I thought deserved the critical acclaim it was garnered with. But there you go, that’s musical tastes for you!

    • Julie permalink*
      January 8, 2010 8:52 pm

      Manics are my favourite band, even when they release rubbish albums I still love them so there was no question about whether or not they’d be top, it’s like my default top choice.

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