I can’t really say what the best music of the year is. I haven’t listened to every album that has come out, and I’m no music critic. What I can do is say which albums captured my ears enough to listen to over and over. Luckily, Last.fm keeps track of all the music I listen to, so it’s easy to see which albums those are. In a few days I will post my most listened-to albums of the year. But today, here are some albums that probably would have made that list, if they came out or I’d gotten them earlier in the year. This only includes albums that were released in 2009 in North America.
Aqua – Greatest Hits: It’s so disappointing that Aqua’s big comeback was just 3 new songs on a greatest hits album. Oh, but what songs they are. Back to the Eighties sounds just fresh enough to exist today, while keeping Aqua’s awkward, slightly out-of-touch-with-reality lyrics. Every night I pray that Aqua will release another full length album.
The Prodigy – Invaders Must Die: Another 90s band still kicking ass in the 00s, The Prodigy continues to make insanely high-energy dance music that’s useful for when you need that extra motivation at the gym, or you’re cutting an action movie trailer.
See also: The Crystal Method – Divided By Night; MSTRKRFT – Fist of God; You Say Party! We Say Die! – XXXX
Chris Cornell – Scream: Then there’s how not to make a comeback. Chris Cornell’s — yes, the same one who fronted Soundgarden and Audioslave — Timbaland-produced, guitar-free pop collection is a platypus of an album; so disjointed and ugly that it really shouldn’t even exist. But in my humble opinion, it goes so far into terrible territory that it ends up in awesome land.
Lady GaGa – The Fame Monster: More WTF courtesy of Lady GaGa. The Fame Monster is a little 8-song blast of sugary pop with an edge to it. It’s like a tiny dessert that’s finished before you tire of its sweet-bitter richness.
See also: Lights – The Listening, Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma.
Weezer – The 8-bit Album: A collection of Weezer songs done in the style of, or with the technology of, 8-bit video games. Weezer’s genius in crafting strong pop songs is highlighted by the fact that they’re still fun to listen to when stripped down to bleeps and bloobs.
See also: Weezer – Raditude, Jaydiohead – Jay-Z x Radiohead.
Gavin Castleton – Home: A concept album telling a story of love during a zombie apocalypse? YES PLEASE.
See also: other quirky independent pop: e.g.: The Fiery Furnaces – I’m Going Away, Islands – Vapours, Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career, Andrew Bird – Noble Beast.
Ramona Falls – Intuit: Raymi tossed a video from this album onto one of her posts, and I instantly fell in love with it. Such beautiful, dark, fresh, epic music. Even though I have no idea what they’re singing about most of the time.
See also: Placebo – Battle For the Sun.
Oh and this video is incredible:
I’ll be back in a few days with the albums I listened to most in 2008.