Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Top 10 Albums of 2009

This year was a pretty big year for music in my opinion. Michael Jackson's death takes the big news, but how bout the reincarnation of Blink 182, we've yet to hear new tunes but least they are back touring together.  Or the emergence of the weird yet captivating she/male that is Lady Gaga, her tunes are bound to get the dance floor going.  We never got the new Dr. Dre album, but the highly anticipated new Eminem album came out and lived up to the hype.  I've also enjoyed Kings of Leon who have had a huge breakout year and will hopefully be here to stay.

There were some band breakups in my opinion that are disastrous to my future music collection, but everyday great new artists are emerging just waiting to be heard.

Now of course these selections are totally biased but at the same time they truly are great albums, click the itunes link if you have the desire to preview or purchase the albums.

My Top 10 Albums of 2009

10. Silverstein - A Shipwreck in the Sand

The heaviest hitting album to make the list.  This band has quickly become one of my favorites over the years.   This first song comes out firing and remains that way through the rest of the album.  The reason I keep up with this band is their signature heavy metal riffs coupled with melodic rich and sometimes poppy vocals.  This album is not a new sound for the band, rather a more polished and refined sound that they've had on their previous works.  This Canadian band will always have a place in my music collection and I look forward to their upcoming works.
Silverstein - A Shipwreck In the Sand

9. AFI - Crash Love

AFI's new release makes it to number 9 on this list. This album met my expectations but did not exceed them. With such great previous achievements on earlier records, I can imagine trying to top previous albums is getting tougher and tougher for AFI, but this most recent attempt was a damn good one.  This album is very solid and the band built on their best elements from their past albums, including their heavy punk sound, fist pumping anthem sing a longs, and sweet mellow slow songs.  AFI is on top of their genre and after 18 years of existence it is great to see this band still putting out massively successful albums. On top of that, AFI, in my opinion, puts on the best live punk rock show.
AFI - Crash Love

8. Eminem - Relapse

It took 5 years to come out but 2009 marked the year of Eminem's return to the music industry. The hugely successful white rapper is one of the few rap artists I have in my music collection.  A fan since early school years, I view eminem as a very talented musician.  His portfolio backs it up as he was recently named this decades most successful artist.  He also had the largest album sales in 2009. Mr. Mathers, from what it seems has had a tough early life and even though he may be living the celebrity drug fueled life now, his musical rap/flow talent is second to none.
Eminem - Relapse

7. Wolfmother - Cosmic Egg

It may be that they are an Aussie band but when I first heard Wolfmother's "Cosmic Egg" I knew it was something special.  Having not really got into the band on their first release, I gave them a second chance on their second effort and I was hooked after the first song.  This album is very consistent and enjoyed every song. Very well could have been one of the top 3 albums on this list had not so many great reggae albums came out this year

Wolfmother - Cosmic Egg (Bonus Track Version)

6. SOJA - Born in Babylon

S.O.J.A.(Soldier of Jah Army) - Born in Babylon.  This reggae rock album was one of the best of the year from this Washington DC based group.  Born in Babylon is a great piece of artwork. The album features some heavy roots, pop reggae and great instrumentals, a great album to say the least.

SOJA - Born In Babylon (Bonus Track Version)

5. Pearl Jam - Backspacer

Backspacer is the 9th studio album from the legendary rock/alternative group Pearl Jam. This album opens surprisingly a bit heavy and fast paced. Their previous self titled record released in 2006 just seemed to be lacking certain things.  Backspacer is a phenomenal recovery and brings back some older Pearl Jam style as well as their new more mature/not as grungy sound. Lead singer Eddie Vedder's heart on fire vocals are always the main attraction on their records and good old Ed is still belting out great sounding vocals and powerful lyrics. I must admit it took awhile for the album to grow on me but when it did I knew I had another great album from one of the greatest bands in this generation.

Pearl Jam - Backspacer

4. Tribal Seeds - The Harvest

The Harvest, Tribal Seeds sophomore effort, one ups their previous 2008 self titled iTunes reggae chart topping release.  The Harvest is an impressive and vibrant album.  It shows how versatile this band is. It covers roots reggae, dub, to the harmonious island vibe sound while still encompassing the bands California reggae roots. A must listen for any reggae fan.
Tribal Seeds - The Harvest

3. Bob Marley & The Wailers - B is For Bob

B Is For Bob was compiled by the international musical legend's eldest son Ziggy Marley. It included many of Bob's most famous songs such as "Three Little Birds", "Jammin", "Redemption Song" , "Stir it Up" All but 4 of the reggae greats songs on the album have been remixed by Ziggy, and have been done so greatly without altering too much with the legends reggae classics.
Bob Marley & The Wailers - B Is for Bob

2. The Used - Artwork

My favorite band of the decade as most of you know. The Used have continued to captivate me on their recent release "Artwork". Something about this band that just clicks for me.  This album is not their best album to date but in my opinion is their most musically talented they have produced. They have combined their old sound and mixed it with their new and the outcome is pleasing.  This is from a review of the album "The Used make some adjustments in their sound and end up with an album that will require a few listens to really sink in."   I couldn't agree anymore with this statement. A few listens is exactly what it took, after that it was constant repeat of finishing the album and playing it all over again. 

The Used - Artwork (Bonus Track Version)

1. Stick Figure - Smoke Stack

Stick Figure is the music of the man, the legend, Scott Woodruff. Scott writes, plays, produces all the music for his albums, he is the one man band. His first release "Burning Ocean" was Top Ten Reggae Albums of 2008 on Itunes. If you remember, Burning Ocean came in at my #2 album of 2008. This year Stick Figure has topped my chart with his best album yet. "Smoke Stack" has already topped the reggae charts for 2009 and his fan base is rapidly growing and expanding all over the world. He has grown as a musician and this album shows it. Stick Figure is sure to keep any reggae listeners vibes alive. Listen and pick up the album today.
Stick Figure - Smoke Stack

Honorable Mentions

311 - Uplifter

Thrice - Beggars

Rebelution -  Bright Side of Life

Silversun Pickups - Swoon

My Most Dissapointing Albums of the Year

Saosin - In Search of Solid Ground,   a toss up from an honorable mention and a disappointing album. Well Ill list it as disappointing because I was disappointed after listening to "In Search of Solid Ground"  It is a great album and there are some of Saosins best songs on there, but the fact that I know they were capable of producing a much better album is why I was disappointed. It was a much more mellow, almost overproduced sound.  Saosin is still one of my favorite bands today but this album could have been so much more in my opinion.

Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown , a once great punk band, is now a theatrical performance and have lost touch with what got them big in the first place.

Until next year, enjoy the music and keep the beat goin

1 comment: