Saturday, January 2, 2010

25 Albums of 2009: 10-6

It's yucky outside. Some would say wicked slippery. In an effort to delay going for a run (and shoveling!) as long as possible, I'm back on 'my grind' as they say. Here are albums 10-6.

10 Lil Wayne - No Ceilings Mixtape

When you're Lil Wayne and you're the biggest name in hip-hop, you have absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose by releasing a mixtape. Mixtapes are for up and coming artists to showcase their skills over a familiar beat. Wayne needs no such forum. Maybe that's liberating for him and why No Ceiling sounds like so much fun. After some missteps since The Carter III, No Ceilings resoundingly reaffirms that even though he spreads himself too thin and has more demons than the New Testament, no one can touch Weezy when he is on.

Best Track - Wasted

9. The Maccabees - Wall of Arms

It's always refreshing when potential hinted at in a debut album is fully realized in a band's sophomore release. The Maccabees had shown glimpses of their talents on their 2007 release Colour It In, and were a disappointing follow-up away from being lumped in amongst other forgotten indie acts. Thankfully, Wall of Arms is a smashing success. Tighter songs, stronger hooks, an improvement in every capacity.

Best Track - Can You Give It?

8- Franz Ferdinand - Tonight

Why more people don't take Franz Ferdinand seriously is beyond me. Sure, they don't break a lot of new ground singing about parties and drugs and girls, but for my money, there aren't a lot that do it better than Franz Ferdinand. If you're looking for your artists to speak noble truths, look elsewhere. If you want to dance, you've come to the right place.

Best Track - No You Girls

7- The XX - XX

I've really come around on these young Brits. Thoroughly unimpressed by the first song I had heard from them, I got the album and found it to be far subtler than I had given it credit for. Who knew a detached guitar part, a steady drumbeat and back and forth vocals could make for such simple, effective and dare I say sexy songs.

Best Track - Basic Space

6. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes - Up From Below

Part hippie, part cult, all awesome. The album sounds like a 40 year old relic unearthed from a time capsule, but features enough modern nuances for the album to feel fresh and accessible. Some may fault it for being too saccharine and cutesy in spots, but I ate it up.

Best Track - 40 Day Dream

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