Monday, December 28, 2009

Best of 2009: 50 - 41

I've realized that if I'm going to get this list done by the end of the year (or so), I've got to write less and post more, so let's get started with the bottom of my top 50 for the year, posted in reverse order. More to come soon!

50. White Denim - Fits

After falling hard for their previous effort, I found White Denim's Fits to be a welcome return for the Texas trio. Their strange and eclectic brand of rock 'n' roll is refined and - in some ways - improved here, making for some spectacular moments and a generally great time. Definitely one of 2009's overlooked rock records.


49. Pictureplane - Dark Rift

Dark Rift, is a sprawling collection of avant-garde loops and scratchy production that somehow form cohesive and engaging songs that have certainly made the man behind the music, Travis Egedy, a one-man band to watch down the road. (More from me)


48. Shuta Hasunuma - Pop Ooga

I'm not entirely sure when the original release date of Pop Ooga was, but I'm gonna go ahead and count this as an 09 release. Japanese glitch electronica artist Shuta Hasunuma has crafted something truly unique and gorgeous here, a record that is challenging, surprising and consistently rewarding. (More from me)

Power Osci (MP3)


47. Handsome Furs - Face Control

Face Control is an album that, despite its faults, I return to time and time again. It's leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor, and the best songs on this record (especially, "All We Want, Baby, Is Everything") are among my favorites for the year. (More from me)

I'm Confused (MP3)


46. Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk

This collection of tunes from the collective mind of Conor Oberst, Jim James, M. Ward and Mike Mogis could have been a real mess, but instead it's a relatively cohesive and consistently strong set of folk-rock songs featuring some great contributions from each of the three indie superstars. (More from me)

45. Fruit Bats - The Ruminant Band

I confess, I didn't really know much at all about Fruit Bats until this year, but their latest, The Ruminant Band, is an undeniably solid and occasionally spectacular indie rock album that has given me cause to check out the rest of their catalog.


44. Wild Beasts - Two Dancers

Wild Beasts' quick followup to their acclaimed debut is just as odd and lovely as their first effort, thanks mostly in part to singer Hayden Thorpe's flamboyant falsetto vocals and a more cohesive approach to the album. It certainly establishes these boys as notable newcomers to the indie scene. (More from me)


43. Capybara - Try Brothers

Capybara deserve more credit than they've been given for crafting this enjoyably avant-garde folk album (their first record), which is hopefull a sign of even better things to come. Try Brother may have slipped well under the radar this year, but that doesn't mean you should pass it up. (More from me)

Soft (MP3)


42. The xx - xx

The xx's sparse, dark indie-pop sound made some serious waves this year, and though I'm not a big a fan of their debut as some, it's difficult to deny the strength and beauty of this record. Behind vocalists Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim, this group has shown a unique and captivating kind of magic. (More from me)


41. Sonya Cotton - Red River

It's a wonder to me that Sonya Cotton could stay so unnoticed in 2009 with this wonderful record. Red River flows gently with Cotton's soft yet strong voice and gorgeous folk instrumentation, creating a spell over the listener as it goes. This is truly beautiful stuff. (More from me)

Red River (MP3)