Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Charlie T's Best of 09 | Albums

Here are my favorite albums of 2009, ranked in order, 1-10. I wanted to do a box score for every album, but my soul is not strong enough. Look for the Album Box Score to get a much needed re-birth next year. In the meantime, enjoy this list.

1 - AVETT BROTHERS - I And Love And You
This almost didn't make it as the top album until Kanye took me aside and said, "Fanfarlo is good, but the Avett Brothers had one of the best albums of all time." I really think this album has considerable staying power and timeless qualities.

2 - FANFARLO - Reservoir
This album made the hardest charge at the end of the year than any album this year...and that included some very stiff competition. Laura Gibson, The Swell Season, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Lots of great stuff. And like I said above, this album had all the makings of a number one, but I gave the nod to The Avetts.

3 - THAO AND THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN - Know Better Learn Faster
A strong follow up to a spectacular album last year. I still regret missing her shows every time she comes through town. Please consult with my important schedule next time...pls.

4 - DARK WAS THE NIGHT - Various Artists
The Dirty Projectors easily had my favorite song on this all-star compilation. The tune is great and it has lyrics written by David Byrne...in the 70's. Bon Iver had a monster song as well. Lets not forget great tracks by Arcade Fire, The Books, Feist and Ben Gibbard, The National, and My Brightest Diamond. Every time this double disc makes it back onto the player, there is another gem that begins to sparkle. Most recently, Yeasayer.

5 - HARLEM SHAKES - Technicolor Health
I rarely do this, but I bought this album based on the album art alone...and loved it from day one. The band had broken up by the time I heard it for the first time, which is a shame, but sometimes the best career move is death.

6 - MEGAFAUN - Gather, Form, and Fly
Like I mentioned in my live show list, this album would have been nowhere near my ears if it wasn't for seeing them live in Portland. Amazingly enough, the album does a good job of capturing the completeness of the live show.

Just when I think this album and its quirkiness has finally done me in, another part makes its way to the surface and gets me. Most recently, from the song Useful Chamber, the repetitive singing of "Bitte Orca, Orca Bitte" with a killer guitar lick mixed in.

8 - GRIZZLY BEAR - Veckatimest
I was talked into this album by the local record store owners. I really didn't want to get it, but they are so nice. The selling line was, "Its like a creepy Beach Boys album." It took about 5 times through but it finally caught on. I had tried in the past to get into their other stuff, and it failed miserably. I still can't get into Yellow House or Horn of Plenty, but Veckatimest is going to stay with me.

9 - THE SWELL SEASON - Strict Joy
This spot was reserved for Wilco (The Album) until about two weeks ago. The Swell Seasoners have unseated a end of year list staple for me. They managed to make an album almost as good as the Once Soundtrack, but they didn't remake the Once Soundtrack which now gives them a a wide open future. What they did is not easy to do by any means, which is why the landed on this list.

Maybe what got me into this album was the extended time I spent in New Orleans this year. Maybe it was my deep love for James Brown and the shades of "the hardest working man in show biz" that is found all over this album. Maybe it was both. Either way, they are both great reasons to like such a quality album.

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