Monday, 14 December 2009

Top 20 Albums of 2009

Despite Paul's best attempts at moderation, I have decided to almost totally ignore his request for brevity, as it has been an excellent year for music, and I definitely need to post a top 20 of albums released in 2009. In a nod to Paul, however, I shall restrict myself to 4 word reviews of each (not including hyphens!) with an attempt at NME/old style Melody Maker summaries, rather than my own verbose leanings;

20- Placebo- Battle For The Sun- "Return to form singalong".

19- Howling Bells- Radio Wars- "Australian folk-rock meanderings".

18- Animal Kingdom- Signs & Wonders- "Old-fashioned happy pastoral Indie".

17- Florence & The Machine- Lungs- "Queen of the Underground".

16- The Boxer Rebellion- Union- "Anyone Can Play Guitar" (I mean this in a good, early Radiohead way, rather than a bad, "You're actually shite" way). And yes, I know I broke my own 4 word rule.

15- The Horrors- Primary Colours- "Gillespie fronting The Telescopes".

14- I Concur- Able Archer- "Wilco meets Wedding Present".

13- A Place To Bury Strangers- "Mary Chain with Buzzsaws".

12- Dinosaur Jr- Farm- "Grunge grandfathers' excellent slackfest".

11- Caspian- Tertia- "Smouldering US Post-Rock finery".

10- Redjetson- Other Arms- "Interpol/Mogwai hybrid departure".

9- Punk TV- Loverdrive- "Russian electronic shoegazing sensation".

8- White Lies- To Lose My Life- "Manufactured New Romantic reinvention".

7- Mono- Hymn To The Immortal Wind- "Morricone infused Japanese Post-Rock".

6- Engineers- Three Fact Fader- "Beautifully constructed semi-ambient (eh?) soundscapes".

5- 93 Million Miles From The Sun- 93 Million Miles From The Sun- "Loop/Ride Doncaster Space-Rock".

4- Daniel Land & The Modern Painters- Love Songs For The Chemical Generation- "Slowdive inspired Sonic Cathedrals".

3- The Twilight Sad- Forget The Night Ahead- "Cathartic, romantic Glaswegian thunderstorms".

2- Bombay Bicycle Club- I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose- "Vibrant explosions of tuneage".

1- Silversun Pickups- Swoon- "The Invention of Grunge-Gaze".

You may commence taking the


  1. Coming up next, the top 100 tracks of 2009!

    Only joking, although I might have to squeeze in a Festive Firty..

  2. Ah ha you forgot TPOBPAH serves you right

  3. Not forgotten, just didn't make it in. Would have been in the top 25, along with Muse, The Longcut, Nine Black Alps and Jeniferever, probably. There are 3 or 4 great tracks on "The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart" (for those still trying to decipher TPOBPAH), with "Stay Alive" being my favourite, but there is also quite a lot of 3rd division sub-Primitives drivel..

  4. Christ, I really need to get up to date with music and find out who half of these folks are......(apart from Silversun Pickups and Twilight sad - yes, I am down with the cool kids after all)

  5. Dont worry Rich M, I hadnt heard any of those albums and there were only 5 of the artists named that I suspected were bands. Of those 5 Placebo are the only ones that I might recognise in any form whatsoever.

  6. Boxer Rebellion - "Shite, in a they're actually shite sort of way".
    White Lies - "Shite, in a they're just shite Duran Duran sort of way".
    Placebo - "pretty good, but the last one was much better"
    Silversun Pickups - "didn't bother as everyone knows that "Mellon Collie" is the best Smashing Pumpkins album"
    Florence - "got to be the album of the year, once all the polls are collated and subjected to Paul's vague and mysterious counting system"
    Muse - would have made your top 25 ???!!!! "Unspeakably shite, in a none-more-shite sort of way"

  7. Not so Innocent Man, that's just mean spirited and you should at least publish your own first before turning into the child catcher.

    Have you been on your own with the children?

    GO and have a lay down and then approach life in a positive frame of mind. there there!

  8. What's mean spirited about it? I thought it was a humorous critique!

    Working on my list...and I'm sure people will be equally frank (and humerous!) in their comments.

    Me and the kids were abandoned for last week. Stephen was "Director of Cooking" (he's done Foodtech, so was easily the most qualified), Claire was "Director of Waste Management" and also "VP of Dishwasher Clearing" and I was CEO and Head of Security.

  9. Excellent so you got to lock up at night....splendid effort

  10. I am now really looking forward to your list Andy. As for "Mellon Collie.." being the best Smashing Pumpkins album, you have quite clearly gone mad, unless of course you enjoy the recorded sound of Billy Corgan disappearing up his own rectum for the first of many times. "Siamese Dream" by a country mile, and where the SSPU copyist accusation is a bit nearer the mark.

  11. I repent! I've slept on it and I've seen the light. And I will be more positive.

    So, Boxer Rebellion and White Lies if your're reading, I apologise for being beastly about your albums. At least you tried.

    I apologise to you too, Silversun Pickups, for my general indifference. I'm sure you'll come good...indeed, your new album is probably a massive step forward from the the first one (after all, second albums tend to be so much better than the first). So, well done.

    Placebo: I actually said I like your album, but will try to be more effusive in my tops list

    And you, Florence, your album is fantastic. We actually got off to a bad start with "Kiss With A Fist" but, as nothing else sounds remotely like that, I think you may very well have delivered the album of the year.

    To everybody else on Rich's list: Well done. I haven't heard your album so can't comment, but that's just ignorance on my part.

    Finally, Rich - I'm sorry if I was beastly. And if I made you cry, I'm sorry.

  12. Sorry, forgot Muse: Your albums shite and I know you know better.

  13. There were a few tears, yes. The cruelty of your initial words will haunt me forever. But a heartfelt apology such as the one above brought another set of tears, only this time of joy. May you have a quite wondrous Christmas..and I await your collection of spandex-clad 4th division pub-rock and murderous, winsome, rural backwater Americana with a new-found set of optimistic ears.