Thursday, December 31, 2009

25 Albums of 2009: 15-11

Please forgive the abridged post today, but I have a New Years party to organize. I'll finish the list in earnest this weekend. Happy 2010 Errbody!

15. La Roux - La Roux

La Roux are a pretty huge deal (singer Eleanor Jackson and synth-player/writer/producer Ben Langmaid) throughout Europe, but are virtually unheard of across the pond (here). It's funny how the US/UK music scenes parallel in some respects and are starkly different in others. But that's a topic for another post. La Roux would fit right into the Lady Gaga/Beyonce music scene here without missing a beat, so she probably needs to find a new publicist/agent.

Best Track - In For The Kill

14. Fanfarlo - Reservoir

Another band I blogged about makes the list! What are the chances?!?! The thing is, when I blogged about Fanfarlo before, I had only heard one of their songs. As you can no doubt tell from its placing on this list, the whole album is stellar. Lead singer Simon Balthazar's voice has Zach Condon's flutter, but with less bravado, and the orchestration relies heavily on the violin and the trumpet, but still manages to distinguish itself from Beirut by not being afraid to work in some drums and electric guitars when the situation calls for it. The best measure of a unique act is not being able to peg their sound, and I can confidently say that about Fanfarlo.

Best Track - Harold T. Wilkins or How To Wait A Very Long Time

13. Wilco - Wilco (The Album)

There's not much to say about Wilco that hasn't already been said. One of the best rock bands to come out of the US, responsible for the brilliant album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot that launched a thousand blogs. In the years since, the label "Dad-rock" has become affixed to Wilco. Unfair or not, Wilco decided to have a little fun in 2009, releasing the self-titled Wilco (The Album) that offered some of the most accessible music of their career and enough experimentation to satisfy critics and fans. "Dad rock" or not, it sounds good to me.

Best Track - I'll Fight

12. The Veils - Sun Gangs

Sun Gangs is The Veils most intimate album yet, but they still have a flair for the dramatic. Maybe it's Finn Andrews warble that adds a layer of desperation and urgency to his lyrics. They've come a long way in 5 years, hopefully Coldplay-level success isn't too far behind.

Best Track - The Letter

11. Pictureplane - Dark Rift

Pictureplane is the electronic alter ego of 24-year-old Denver-ite Travis Egedy. Egedy originally made a name for himself through remixes, but has since cut out the middleman and started chopping and clipping bits from other songs, and then proceeding to bury everything until only tiny glimpses of the source material remains. It's all very exciting. It's hard to explain, so I'll stop trying and just link to "Goth Star" below, which samples Fleetwood Mac's "Seven Wonders". Enjoy.

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