Favorite Records of 2009 – Part One

Posted on December 11, 2009

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There are a ton of end of the decade lists and best of 2009 lists spreading across the Internet. I thought I might jump on the bandwagon for once. At first I was going to go for a whole decade list, but I’ve decided that there is entirely too much crap in the early 2000s to worry with, so I’m just doing a list for this year. The last couple of years have seen some great stuff don’t get me wrong, I just don’t want to a do a, ‘Half of the Decade’ list. Oh, and I can’t stand the term ‘Best of’; Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Therefore, I’m not going to tell you what albums were the most beautiful or best of the year. I am simply going to share with you my favorite albums, which were the best in my eyes.

I’m going to do this by category/genre; three records from each genre I’m a fan of and listen to regularly. I’ll write another post soon compromising of Metal, Comedy, and Live releases. Until then, enjoy the first three genres; Rock, Folk/Blues, and Hip Hop. Read ’em all, or skip to your favorite.

Rock

Wasn’t exactly originally released in 2009, but it made it’s digital debut this year and re-awakened my love for Clutch. Thick, groovy rock with outrageous lyrics. Love it.

Unrelenting, gigantic, and ferocious. This stomping, panting, sweaty monster is a great listen. It’s an oddball groove-rock album. In my book, all that means awesome.

You can feel the energy of this album like you can sense a bad atmosphere when you are out in town with your mates. Everything collides together, kinda’ like those zingers. Hours and hours of endless entertainment, that you can always come back to and still enjoy.

Blues/Folk

First, I would just like to say that Sara Watkins is amazingly cute. Now, onto the music. Her voice is lush, warm, and perfectly controlled; Which is the perfect fit for a cover Tom Waits’ Pony. This is her first solo album, and an instant classic in my books. Can’t wait to hear what she has to share next.

Fair warning, there is some language throughout this album. Besides that, I love putting this on whenever I’m driving alone. It’s good thinking music, if you would. It is depressing, but it boasts a survivor’s tenacity; Thinkin’ music.

Money can’t buy everything, but it comes damn close to it. To counteract this and maintain our humanity, we need to pay attention to the natural world and hold close those we love. Ideas to live by, but not always easy. An album of stories about the complications that occur when trying to maintain ourselves in the modern world. Story of my life.

Hip Hop

The Blueprint 3 has some unique production, some wild rhyme patterns, and an overall futuristic vibe; But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still just Jay-Z rapping about how great Jay-Z is… like he’s been doing for thirteen years. This is what Hip Hop is when it comes down to it, and he does it better than anyone with the wild, unique, and futuristic vibes.

Politically pugnacious hip hop. What is this? The late nineties are long gone yo’! For the past seven years, hip hop has been about how much better you were than the other hip hop artists. When I see a hip hop artist branching the genre out to other things besides being the best, I love it. Especially when it’s excellent material and carries flow as well as the ‘Great Emcees’.

I think the title is as much a nod to his criminal record as his return to writing lyrics on paper. He’s embodied literature’s most popular archetype–the survivor–by transforming his woes into a reflective, enjoyable album. T.I.’s voice is still one of the best instruments in all of hip hop, and he once again is using to say something interesting.

Feel free to rebuke my decisions; I’d love to hear what you thought were the greats from 2009. Oh, and try to pick only three from each of your favorite Genres. Tough stuff, so have at it.

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Posted in: Favorites, Music