2009 was a good year for music and for me personally. To spare you the crap you don't need to know/don't care about, I'll focus on the music. Below you'll find a bunch of lists since that's what the kids seem to enjoy these days. As you can see in the picture to your left, I am already giving the look of a skeptic that you'll probably be giving me when you see my list. I apologize to all that I did not include Animal Collective anywhere here, but there's zillions of other lists on the blogosphere that will give them all the praise in the world. I'll stick with the music I like, however uncool it is. For those of you wondering how I could have missed a certain album and seriously, how crazy am I?, I'll let you know that these lists are only representative of albums that I listened to this year. If you think I missed something seriously really super awesome, please let me know in the comments. Otherwise, enjoy scrutinizing and judging and I hope you had a lovely 2009 and have a lovelier 2010!
My Top 15 Favorite Albums of the Year!
15. Alexisonfire - Old Crows/Young Cardinals
14. Thursday - Common Existence
13. Ace Enders - When I Hit the Ground
12. Every Time I Die - New Junk Aesthetic
11. Paramore - Brand New Eyes
10. Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything to Nothing
They found a way to release an album with some of the highest expectations I've ever seen from AP.net and, for all intents and purposes, met the hype with this album. While I don't think I'll like it as much in the long run as Like a Virgin..., it is still a fantastic album that can engross anyone.
9. The Dangerous Summer - Reach for the Sun
As I write this, I've already had my list done for a while and am listening to this. I really should have rated this higher, but it was a lapse in judgment at the time. So, guys in The Dangerous Summer, if you are reading this, your album was better than 9th of the year and I think you guys did an amazing job. Thanks for coming back and giving us this.
8. fun. - Aim and Ignite A swirling and magical journey of pop goodness. Instantly singable, instantly memorable and some of the most fun you'll have with music this year. These guys are in for bigger things.
7. Jim Gaffigan - King Baby
This is a funny man. Highly recommended for consistent laughs. Comedy CDs are a great bridge for making conversation with people you don't really know or long car rides. This one is one of the best.
6. Brand New - Daisy
We waited and waited and waited. It came, it was not the second coming, but it is still great.
5. Set Your Goals - This Will Be the Death of Us I got into their last release late, so right after I officially played Mutiny! to death, this album was announced and I was set for it. They gave me exactly what I wanted, with songs like "The Few That Remain" (so good) and "Our Ethos" doing the perfect amount of ass-kicking, and "Gaia Bleeds" being in Madden 09 made me listen to that song enough to the point that it's one of my favorites on the album (not that I didn't like it before). Album is a worthy follow-up and they stick to their roots and do the guest spots perfectly. An excellent driving album. I wish they made "The Few That Remain" the second single instead of "Summer Song" though.
4. FACT - FACT I'd never heard of this band before the viral marketing for their push in the US, but that doesn't matter. I was hooked, absolutely fascinated, by the whole mask gimmick and the just-who-the-hell-are-these-Japanese-guys? questioning that made me listen to them more. Even though the singer does not have the best English and the lyrics aren't up to par with many of the releases on this list, it's an album that I left in my car for months to listen to.
3. Thrice - Beggars Thrice is one of those bands that gets better and better and better. Every single thing they have done has been good if we're ignoring the majority of Identity Crisis, and Beggars is no exception. Thrice excels at everything musically. It's unfair that other bands have to compete against them with just how good they are. Every song on this album is a winner and they've officially been inducted to my Jimmy Eat World class of bands that will be good no matter what they do. Man, I love this band and Dustin, you keep writing such awesome lyrics. Keep making music, please.
2. Fightstar - Be Human I reviewed this album and gave it a high score on this site and I stand by it. How is this band not bigger and who was the ad wizard that didn't market "Mercury Summer" as a single in the US? Stupid. This band has the potential to make it in the States but it just seems further away with each release. If their last album didn't do it, this one should have. Reason #352 the music industry pisses me off. Put me in charge.
1. The Dear Hunter - Act III: Life and Death
Unfairly, this year's contest was over before it began. I started dating The Dear Hunter with their first EP, married them with Act II, and Act III: Life and Death is the continuation of the marriage. I wasn't sure after a while if I knew if I actually enjoyed this album or not, as it is more polarizing than the last album. Whatever hesitation I had was vanquished on repeated listens as I realized that not only do I love this album, but I love this band. The only misstep this album has is the beginning of "Go Get Your Gun," but it's a small oversight for the listening experience the rest of this album provides.
As Tall As Lions, Tegan and Sara, All Time Low, MUTEMATH, Closure in Moscow, The Swellers, Muse
Check Out These Songs From These Bands That Released Albums in 2009 If You Haven't Yet!
Closure in Moscow - "Sweet#Hart" (The intro guitar in this song is fantastic.)
Set Your Goals - "The Few That Remain" (Probably the song I listened to the most in 2009.)
Fightstar - "Chemical Blood" (Orchestral music with cannon-like double bass in the beginning? Sign me up.)
The Dangerous Summer - "Weathered" (Such great music, even better lyrics.)
Brand New - "At the Bottom" (They delivered.)
Alexisonfire - "Sons of Privilege" (Straightforward rock, hard to find any better.)
The Dear Hunter - "Mustard Gas" (Epic.) Manchester Orchestra - "Shake It Out" (Such a great vocal performance.)
Fact - "A Fact of Life" (Intro guitar is an insane hook, rest of the song delivers.)
Thrice - "In Exile" (We made the right call for this as a single.)
Looking Forward to in 2010...
Motion City Soundtrack, Valencia, The Reign of Kindo, Jeff Martin and Steve Padin (already heard the album, but I'm excited for you all to hear it), Something Corporate, Midtown, Lydia, Coheed and Cambria, Jimmy Eat World, Mae, The Action Blast, The Juliana Theory, My Chemical Romance, Hanson, Blindside, The Gaslight Anthem, Glassjaw, The Graduate, Good Charlotte, Ludo, Ivoryline, National Product,
Hey, This Album Wasn't So Bad!- "Swing" and "Where My Mouth Is" were songs I really enjoyed on Taking Back Sunday's New Again.
- "Pete Wentz Is the Only Reason We're Famous" and "Fold Your Hands Child" were good on Cobra Starship's Hot Mess.
Biggest Disappointment of 2009
I'm not sure but, for me, the Gabe Saporta tell-all interview we had on here that mysteriously fell through kind of sucked. At least I got to hear half of it.
Next Big Thing: 2010
Let's see...I bet you The Gaslight Anthem gets pretty big. Fingers mostly crossed that The Graduate gives us a top-notch album.
Favorites From the Past Decade!
2000: At the Drive-In - Relationship of Command 2001: Thursday - Full Collapse
2002: Midtown - Living Well is the Best Revenge
2003: Brand New - Deja Entendu
2004: Midtown - Forget What You Know
2005: The Receiving End of Sirens - Between the Heart and the Synapse
2006: Moneen - The Red Tree
2007: The Dear Hunter - Act II: The Meaning Of, And All Things Regarding Ms. Leading
2008: Forgive Durden - Razia's Shadow
2009: The Dear Hunter - Act III: Life and Death
I bolded Full Collapse because it's probably my favorite of the bunch. I really like Casey Crescenzo. Sheesh. Oddly enough, for Thrice to be one of my favorite bands, they're not on this list. Sum of all parts is greater than the individuals, I think.