Tag Archives: music

Macro to Micro, Pt 1: 10 Ace Albums of 2010

I can hardly believe it’s been a year since the last countdown (especially considering those posts got the most continuous hits even today), but here we are.  I’m looking forward to counting down the best albums released during 2010, are you?  But first, a quick nod to those that should be part of someone’s top 10, but just didn’t cut it here (in most cases, they are spectacular, but for whatever reason, I just didn’t listen to them as much):

Belle & Sebastian | Belle & Sebastian Write About Love
Plain White T’s | Wonders of the Younger
Katy Perry | Teenage Dream
David Byrne & Fatboy Slim | Here Lies Love
Goldfrapp | Head First
Kanye West | My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

10.  LCD Soundsystem
This is Happening
Released: May 17, 2010
Favourite tracks:  All I Want, I Can Change


9. Marina & the Diamonds
The Family Jewels
Released: February 15, 2010
Favourite tracks: Hermit the Frog, Mowgli’s Road


8. Hurts
Happiness
Released: September 6, 2010
Favourite tracks: Wonderful Life, Better than Love

 

7. Kylie Minogue
Aphrodite
Released: June 30, 2010
Favourite tracks:  Heartstrings, Get Outta My Way


6. Kelis
Fleshtone
Released: May 14, 2010
Favourite tracks:  Scream, Brave

 

5. I Am Arrows
Sun Comes Up Again
Released: August 16, 2010
Favourite tracks: So Long Ago, Green Grass

 

4. Caro Emerald
Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor
Released: January 29, 2010
Favourite tracks:  Stuck, A Night Like This

 

3. Uffie
Sex Dreams Denim Dreams
Released: January 29, 2010
Favourite tracks:  Difficult, Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans

 

2. Vampire Weekend
Contra
Released: January 11, 2010
Favourite tracks:  White Sky, Diplomat’s Son

 

1. Robyn
Body Talk
Released: November 22, 2010
Favourite tracks:  Get Myself Together, Stars 4ever, Dancehall Queen, Indestructible, (Cry When You Get Older)


Micro to Macro, Pt. 3B: 10 Most Definitive Albums of My Decade

Though I thoroughly reveled in working through the bottom 15 albums of my list (and just because they’re not the Top 10 doesn’t suggest they aren’t amazing, because they are!), but now I’ve come to the top 10–only albums of exceptional quality are allowed here.  I’ve been looking forward to reliving these for quite some time.  So here we go:

The Top 10 Definitive Albums of My Decade

TEN | PET SHOP BOYS YES (2009)
Pet Shop Boys - YesI’ve never tired of PSB, even though they didn’t keep the album greatness going during the late 90s and early 00s, but they came back with this exceptionally strong album, chock full of potential singles with good hooks and bouncy rhythms.  Love, etc has to be one of their best tracks ever. So as I did on the 2009 list, let’s celebrate being affirmative, shall we?
Top 5 tracks, you ask?
5.  All Over the World
4.  Did You See Me Coming?
3.  Pandemonium
2.  More than a Dream
1.   Love Etc

NINE | BECK GUERO (2005)
Beck - GueroBeck, This is the second of your albums I’ve chosen as part of my top 25 as it totally restored my faith in the your music.  The few albums between Odelay and Guero really didn’t turn my crank.  Sorry, but I’ve bottled this up for too long;  it’s the truth.  They just didn’t meet the expectations, however unjustified, I’d placed on your albums.  However, with this and the masterpiece that was its companion, GameBoy Variations, you showed me that I was wrong to give up.  And you’ve made killer albums ever since.  Just sayin.
Top 5 tracks, you ask?
5.  E-Pro
4.  Rental Car
3.  Scarecrow
2.  Que’ Onda Guero
1.  Girl

EIGHT | GOLDFRAPP SUPERNATURE (2005)
Goldfrapp - SupernatureI was introduced to Goldfrapp primarily through the creation of Supernature.  Before that, I’d only heard the name and seen the distinctive album and singles covers at HMV.  Quite a pity really given what fantastic albums both Black Cherry and Felt Mountain also are.  Probably because it was my first, I’ll always have a sentimental place in my ears for this album over all others.  Almost every track gets me excited, especially when percussion kicks in and the trademark ‘ethereality’ surrounds the electronica.  Allison’s next effort would be a return to the debut sound, so I’m hoping the next will come back to the edge of Supernature.
Top 5 tracks, you ask?
5.  Ride a White Horse
4.  Koko
3.  Satin Chic
2.  Number One
1.  Fly Me Away

SEVEN | KYLIE MINOGUE X (2007)
Kylie - XThis is one of those rare albums (at least of artists I like) where potential tracks started leaking eons before the album was conceived.  One after another after another made its way onto music forums all over the internet.  After all was said and done, X (aptly named because of what fans had coined the collection of leaked tracks as her upcoming tenth album) had 25 released and unreleased leaked tracks!  What’s even more impressive is that none are complete duds.  Thanks to that fact alone, X is my favourite Kylie album and earns its special spot at #8 for this decade.
Top 5 tracks, you ask?
5.  All I See
4.  In My Arms
3.  2 Hearts
2.  The One
1.  Like a Drug

SIX | FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS (2008)
Flight of the ConchordsI’m late to the bus on this one, but better late than never as they say.  I’d heard about this show from a bunch of people whose opinions I respected and then it seemed to pop up everywhere in conversations.  I always felt left out, but despite having the Internet at my fingertips, not enough to ever bother downloading the series to figure out why it was so popular.  Then a friend lent me the DVD and ok, I got it.  Catchy songs, kooky storyline, hiliarity ensuing…but it’s really not until my colleague’s iPod repeated these songs endlessly at work day in and day out that I truly realized how brilliant the lyrics were.  Or maybe I’m just bugging out from it being etched in my brain.
Top 5 tracks, you ask?
5. Inner City Pressure
4.  Foux De Fa Fa
3.  Boom
2.  A Kiss is Not a Contract
1.  The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room

FIVE | FIONA APPLE EXTRAORDINARY MACHINE (2005)
Fiona Apple - Extraordinary MachineIt’s still unbelievable for me that I actually found this album.  Normally I’d have just overlooked anything by Fiona Apple.  Definitely my loss.  With this one though, I got caught up in all the leaked tracks and drama surrounding its release throughout 2004 and 2005.  I was so into each of the demo or first versions of the tracks for this album that when the reworked versions appeared on the album itself, a slight let-down ensued.  However, over time I’ve grown to love both versions of every track and it’s only boosted this album further and further up in my appreciation.  Now that I’ve praised her, has she released anything since?
Top 5 tracks, you ask?
5.  Waltz (Better than Fine)
4.  Better Version of Me
3.  Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song) / Used to Love Him
2.  Not About Love
1.  Extraordinary Machine (1, 2, 3)

FOUR | LA ROUX LA ROUX (2009)
La Roux - La RouxMy top pick for albums this year went to this one–a fantastically complete pop record with ear-catching lyrics, melodies and hooks.  For a freshman effort, she’s got to be proud of being such a solid group of songs.  If I were to make a first record, I think I’d like it to be along these lines.  Plus, she has funky hair.  Hell, track after track of catchy pop music?  Who wouldn’t want to produce such a thing?  Oh, maybe my nephew.  He likes hard rock.  But anyways, big ups to La Roux!
Top 5 tracks, you ask?
5.  As If By Magic
4.  Bulletproof
3.  Fascination
2.  Tigerlily
1.   Armour Love

THREE | FISHERSPOONER ODYSEEY (2005)
Fischerspooner - OdysseyAlthough I’d heard of “Emerge”, I can’t say it was really on my radar at the time I was searching for something new to listen to early 2005.  iTunes was open so I thought, ‘hey, try this preview thing out and see what you get’.  So I did.  I looked in the Electronic section and clicked on this album because of the pretty colours.  The first song I randomly chose was “Cloud” and thankfully iTunes uncharacteristically used a mesmerizing 30-seconds of the song to hook me.  Two minutes later, that album was mine.  Don’t love the album before or after it, but Odyssey is hardcore, pop, stiff and commercial embracing each other.  Oddly, my favourite track isn’t technically on the original release.
Top 5 tracks, you ask?
5.  Get Confused
4.  We Need a War
3.  Never Win
2.  Cloud
1.  Down Up

TWO | DRAGONETTE GALORE (2007)
Dragonette - GaloreIf I had to pick my favourite of the three albums of the 00s (that caught my ears), which stemmed out of leaked demos, then revised versions (also leaked), then full albums, it’d have to be the first release from my-home-and-native-land electropop band, Dragonette.  Their superb electroclash style started from their self-titled EP in 2005 (man that shaped up to be an awesome year for music!) and culminated with Galore in 2007 (the only tragedy being that not every track from the EP was included). Listen to  “I Get Around”,  “The Boys” and everything in between; seriously check out this album.  It’s worth it.  There isn’t a bad one in the bunch.  They’re all stellar.
Top 5 tracks, you ask?
5.  Gold Rush
4.  I Get Around
3.  Another Day
2.  You Please Me
1.  True Believer

ONE | MADONNA CONFESSIONS ON A DANCE FLOOR (2005)
Madonna - Confessions on a Dance FloorAnyone who knows me could probably see this or something like it coming with bells and whistles blaring like a coming train.  So a surprising choice for #1?  Probably not.  Madonna said goodbye to the children’s book writer image she’d carried for a couple years and finally put together a collection of continuously mixed songs revamping disco with the electronic tools available today and out came this masterpiece.  It’s the only Madonna album that I love from start to finish, although I do replace the album version of I<3NY with the rock version to make all perfect.  This album epitomizes pop music.  Let’s leave it at that.
Top 5 tracks, you ask?
5.  Jump
4.  Let it Will Be
3.  Forbidden Love
2.  Hung Up (1, 2, 3)
1.  Like it or Not

Let me just end off with saying that I adore pop music.  I hope you do too.


Micro to Macro, Pt. 3A: 25 Definitive Albums of My Decade (#25 – 11)

It somehow doesn’t seem the same as it did in 1999 or 1989.  Those were monumental decades both of my youth, but also in my musical development.  And then there’s the lack of succinct terminology for this decade.  It isn’t the ”80s’ or the ’90s’ or the ‘zeros’ and the British-coined ‘naughties’ just doesn’t work in Canadian English.  So when it recently dawned on me that this decade was almost through, it felt a little anti-climactic, like the proverbial “meh” that has defined alot of my reactions to 21st century music.  We as a whole have been exposed to more music in the last 10 years thanks to the sheer volume available at the click of a button (a big ‘thank you’ to Napster for setting up the initial model for internet-available music), so amidst the cacophony of crap, there also has been a surprisingly good number of gems put out, or so I’ve realized after having prepared my list.  That said, here are the first 15 of 25 albums that made the first decade of the 2000s listenable for me.  Make sure you click on the “favourite songs” titles to see special performances or versions of my favourite tracks!

25 Definitive Albums of My Decade

TWENTY-FIVE | WILCO YANKEE HOTEL FOXTROT(2002)
Wilco - Yankee Hotel FoxtrotIt wasn’t until almost halfway through the decade that I’d ever heard of Wilco. Then one day I woke up and realized they’d released four albums this century, not the least of which is this 2002 album, which incidentally is on almost every Top 10 list of that year and every other Top 20 of the decade. I recently went to a concert of theirs for the first time–thanks to a good friend who not only introduced me to their music but is also their biggest advocate as far as I know–and when it came time for Jesus, Etc., it was all about the crowd singing it all.  I’ve been in concerts where this has happened before, but only at this did the crowd seem this impassioned, and the music surrounded me and I was impressed.
Favourite songs:
1. Jesus, Etc.
2. I am Trying to Break Your Heart
3. I’m the Man Who Loves You

TWENTY-FOUR | ROISIN MURPHY RUBY BLUE (2005)
Roisin Murphy - Ruby Blue Thanks to a long lost poet, I learned of Róisín’s solo career.  I hadn’t really heard too many pop albums that used technology along with everyday objects for rhythms, so the innovation she brought with what might have seemed a less-than-commercial LP is exactly what drew me to it.  And then there is, of course, one of the sexiest songs ever, Rama Lama (Bang Bang), which knocked me off my feet, especially when matched up with zombie choreography in a So You Think You Can Dance number in 2006.  Her next release would be a pretty good follow-up, but like so many, it’s the freshman outting that takes the cake.
Favourite songs:
1. Rama Lama (Bang Bang)
2. Night of the Dancing Flame
3. Ruby Blue

TWENTY-THREE | PHOENIX ALPHABETICAL (2004)
Phoenix - AlphabeticalGood beats, loungy rhythm, cool & laid back sounds – there’s not much else this first album from Phoenix needs in order to earn a spot on my countdown.  Parts of the album bring me back to the days of the Gandharvas, so there’s definitely a bit of nostalgic love going on.  I can’t say I’ve loved their follow-ups even half as much, so it’s a good thing this one has 5 or 6 masterful tracks on it to keep my love on.
Favourite songs:
1.  Victim of the Crime
2.  Run Run Run
3.  (You Can’t Blame It On) Anybody

TWENTY-TWO | BRITNEY SPEARS BLACKOUT (2007)
Britney Spears - BlackoutHey!  Don’t hate.  Even I’m surprised that anything by psycho Spears made my list, but when going through all the albums in my playlist from this decade, you can’t escape the remarkably large number of great pop songs included.  When almost everything else about the album reeks of indifference (videos:  drunken utter crap, coverart:  possibly the most amateur and ugly in the history of album artwork), she or someone who wasn’t fucked up all the time put together almost unbeatable number of catchy tunes together in one place.  So it must be true that when singers are at their lowest personally, their best music gets made–even if they can’t remember making it.
Favourite songs:
1.  Gimme More
2.  Ooh Ooh Baby
3. Outta This World

TWENTYONE | DAFT PUNK DISCOVERY (2001)
Daft Punk - DiscoveryYes, their first album defined electronic music, but it was in the 90s, so… So what?  This second effort eclipses their first in almost every song (minus perhaps the unmatched Around the World).  From the time the album leaked to the rightful release, the hooks and technological use of vocals enthralled me with each listen.  And what was smart on their part?  Each video was actually a cut from the anime movie, Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, and each video showcased not the artists, but the extraterrestrial band continuing the mystery of who Daft Punk actually were.
Favourite songs:
1. Digital Love
2. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
3. Voyager

TWENTY | BECK MODERN GUILT (2008)
Beck - Modern GuiltBeck is the first of three artists to have made my top 25 list with more than one album–that’s how good I (and my playlist count on lastfm.com and iTunes) think Beck’s albums are.  This one came out only last year, but there are so many great tracks, reminiscent of earlier days and which work so well live.  I must admit that I’ve always thought his vocals were killer too.  And he can harmonize.  And he plays guitar.  And he makes trippy lyrics.  And he can dance.  And…
Favourite songs:
1. Gamma Ray
2. Walls
3. Modern Guilt

NINETEEN | VAMPIRE WEEKEND VAMPIRE WEEKEND (2008)
Vampire Weekend - Vampire WeekendI don’t even know how to describe this music when I am faced with the challenge of interesting others in it so they’ll become fans too.  “Indie” is too general.  “Folk” is too corny.  I just don’t know what to call it exactly.  There’s enough variety in rhythm to not call it anything I guess.  Whatever you choose to say about it, this album is a refreshing break from hardcore -insert top 40 genre here-.  Definitely one of my proudest discoveries of this decade.
Favourite songs:
1. A-Punk
2. Oxford Comma
3. The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance

EIGHTEEN | FATBOY SLIM PALOOKAVILLE (2004)
Fatboy Slim - Palookaville
Norman Cook has always produced some of the bounciest electronic pop music with some of the most extremely memorable samples and vocalists there are.  After a bit of a harder-hitting album effort prior, Palookaville returned to the sound made famous in the 90s with You’ve Come a Long Way Baby and I fell in love again.  This time around, he remixed highly recognizable bands like Steve Miller Band and tracks like “Signs”.  Now the only question is, where the hell is the new record, Norm?
Favourite songs:
1. Put It Back Together
2. The Joker
3. The Journey

SEVENTEEN | BJORK VESPERTINE (2001)
Björk - VespertineBjörk is weird.  We all know it.  But she’s beautifully weird and maybe if there are more like her in Iceland, it must be a fantastically mesmerizing atmosphere in which to live.  And all this weirdness lends itself to some unique (and often unrecognizable English) phrasing and imaginative brilliance.  Vespertine lacks the predominantly rhythmical pop sounds of earlier albums, replacing them with harps and angelic harmonies, but that’s what separates this album and makes it worthy of masterpiece titling.
Favourite songs:
1. It’s Not Up to You
2. Hidden Place
3. Unison

SIXTEEN | MADONNA AMERICAN LIFE (2003)
Madonna - American LifeFor the longest time, this was my favourite Madonna record and probably my favourite record overall.  Obviously I still think it’s awesome, but have come to appreciate a later effort of the Queen’s more.  What I’ve always loved with this album of edgy coverart is the variety of speed, sounds, electro and acoustic parts found throughout the eleven tracks.  No matter how terrible some of the lyrics appear to be (repeating the word ‘bad’ in Love Profusion must have been intentional;  I mean really), Madonna continues to produce some of the best melodies out there.
Favourite songs:
1. Intervention
2. Mother and Father
3. Love Profusion

FIFTEEN | ROBYN ROBYN (2007)
Robyn - RobynWho knew she’d be back a decade after Show Me Love?  And with such a masterpiece album to boot!  The album is a cornucopia of beats and potential urban lingua franca.   From beginning to end, I was blown away by how catchy and varied the tracks are.  Plus, they didn’t really sound like much else on the market at the time, though a year or two later, Britney Spears did come out with ‘ground-breaking’ stuff that intentionally or not, played off of tracks from Robyn.  Bom-diddi-bom di-dang di-dang diggi-diggi!
Favourite songs:
1. Who’s that Girl
2. Should Have Known
3. Cobrastyle

FOURTEEN | BASEMENT JAXX ROOTY (2001)
Basement Jaxx - RootyIt’s Basement Jaxx who introduced Bollywood dance to North American mainstream familiarity thanks to Romeo and look where that style of dance has taken off to.  It pops up everywhere now.  Though the album sounds almost tame now in comparison to the more hardcore Kish Kash, there were a lot of releases and potential singles from it that kept my ears happy for hours and hours.  A good album back in the day (can’t believe that phrase now applies to 2001!)!
Favourite songs:
1. Romeo
2. Broken Dreams
3. All I Know

THIRTEEN | KYLIE MINOGUE FEVER (2001)
Kylie Minogue - FeverWay to make a splash comeback into North America, Kylie!  Sure, it only lasted for one single, but it made the idiots who’d been stuck on hip hop and rap realize that you weren’t just a one-hit wonder–something us intelligent folk had known along.  More than this, girl knows how to put together a pretty video!  Single after single, video after video, remix after remix (one of which produced by a group who appear later on this album list!), she couldn’t make a wrong move with this album.  Commercial solidity!  Plus, it has a few special (and forbidden) memories attached to it for me.
Favourite songs:
1. Come into My World
2. Can’t Get You Outta My Head
3. Love at First Sight

TWELVE | EELS SHOOTENANNY (2003)
Eels - ShootenannyI have always adored Eels.  “They” reminded me of Beck (vocally) and the Beatles (melodically) and what better mixture could there be to create fantastic music?  None, of course.  I chose this album over his other list-maker, Hombre Lobo, because of the number of tracks that I are just so powerfully beautiful and meaningful.  Plus, the cover is just so raw, like he doesn’t care.  Or like he cares too much?
Favourite songs:
1. Somebody Loves You
2. Love the Loveless
3. Wrong about Bobby

ELEVEN | LILY ALLEN IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOU (2009)
Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's YouWelcome to 2009!  This is the first of three albums from that other list I made for the end of year to appear on this decade-long countdown.  Having almost made my Top 10, this album is a clear indication of the caliber of music released this year–much great stuff!  What more can I say about Lily’s second effort?  Every song is catchy and fun to sing along with.  She makes telling someone off and despairing in post-coital frustration something that almost sounds cute in a pop song.
Other favourite songs than the 3 I mentioned before:
1. Never Gonna Happen
2. 22
3. Not Fair

Wow.  This has been a most excellent musically nostalgic journey for me and hopefully for you.  Thanks for riding the train with me.  If you’re not ready to get off the train, let’s go to the Top 10!


Micro to Macro, Pt 2: 10 Ace Albums 2009

After a fun evening of list making yesterday, I looked forward all day to enlightening you all with my picks for albums of the year.

10.  Charles Spearin | The Happiness Project | Released: February 10, 2009
Charles Spearin - The Happiness ProjectSimply for the conceptual brilliance that is the linguistic aspect to this album, I had to include it in the top 10, even though it’s not something I listened to as much as some others I dropped off the list (apologies Wilco & Shakira).  Each track takes an aspect of vocal inflection and reintroduces it as melody, emphasizing how much we rely on intonation to give our speech meaning.  Beyond occassionally recognizing this melodic tone myself, I’ve never seen this done as an album before.  Innovation = 10.   To get a pretty good overview of the project, watch this short film. Standout tracks:  Mrs. Morris (listen), Anna

9. The Boy Least Likely To | The Law of the Playground | Released: April 14, 2009
The Boy Least Likely To | The Law of the PlaygroundI came across this album because the name of the band drew me in with its incomplete thought.  This technique often doesn’t pan out, but I’m glad to say that I was as cheerful as the bouncy tracks on this beautiful pop album.   And the first track I picked to celebrate it suited my pup incredibly well. Standout tracks:  Every David Has Its Goliath (watch), Faith (ok, so this isn’t on the album, but I just came across it and wanted to share.  It’s a good George Michael cover after all.)

8. Dragonette | Fixin to Thrill | Released: September 29, 2009
Dragonette | Fixin to ThrillI can’t say enough about Dragonette’s first foray into the album industry, so when news of a follow-up started floating around the forums, I was ecstatic.  But unlike the first, this one dropped all of a sudden so I didn’t have quite the same amount of time to enjoy each track before the next leaked.  And with a less than stellar title track and first single, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tad bit disappointed.   That said, there are moments of sparkling electropop jousting out from the mediocrity of a more accessible release.  Standout tracks: Gone Too Far (watch), Easy (listen), Pick Up the Phone (watch)

7.  Morrissey | Years of Refusal | Released: February 16, 2009
Morrissey | Years of RefusalWhat can I say?  I’m a sucker for Morrissey’s brand of tragedy.  He’s one of probably a handful of artists I’ve followed fairly consistently since high school and this album has a lot of what first drew me to him (ie.  isolation, lovelessness, an incredibly vivid way with lyrics, etc), not to mention such a voice that envelops me and brings me into his universe.  Standout tracks:  I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris (watch), You Were Good in Your Time (listen), Something is Squeezing My Skull (watch)

6. Eels | Hombre Lobo | Released: June 2, 2009
Eels | Hombre LoboEels are another band from back in the day that, like Morrissey, left my scope of vision for a while in the early 2000s only to come back with a vengeance this year.  The whole werewolf motif seems pretty big this year and E did it before Shakira, so give it up for Fresh Blood.  Of course, the album’s full of Beatles meets Beck, which can never be a bad thing.  Standout tracks:  Fresh Blood (watch), Prizefighter (watch), Beginner’s Luck (listen)

5. Depeche Mode | Sounds of the Universe | Released: April 20, 2009
Depeche Mode | Sounds of the UniverseYet another eternal favourite that came out with an album reminiscent of greater days, Depeche Mode’s latest proved that they can make an album produced as well as the greatest ever, Violator, again.  With electro that doesn’t so much as try to keep up with the commercial club dance crap of today, but rather hits it back like in the 80s (which now that I think about it, may be today’s pop trend), Sounds of the Universe reconfirmed my love.  Standout tracks:  Peace (watch), Corrupt (watch), Jezebel (listen)

4. Frankmusik | Complete Me | Released: August 3, 2009
Frankmusik | Complete MeDemos, then EP, then full LP release.  That’s how to manipulate me into listening to your songs enough that I love them all and want more.  Fiona Apple did it in 2005, Dragonette did it in 2007, and now Frankmusik has done it in 2009.  It all started with one version of Confusion Girl and I was hooked.  I’m a sucker for songs being reworked for album release!  So it just leaves me wonder, who will grab my attention in 2011?  Standout tracks:  Confusion Girl (watch old / listen new), 3 Little Words (watch), Done Done (listen)

3.  Lily Allen | It’s Not Me, It’s You | Released: February 9, 2009
Lily Allen | It's Not Me, It's YouI have to be honest, despite the massive media push of her first album, Lily Allen was never really on my radar a couple years ago.  Then one day, on a friend’s Facebook page, I noticed The Fear linked and gave it a shot.  Boy, did I make a good decision.  This is one of the most complete  albums from start to finish with not only raunchy opinions masked in cleverly light-hearted pop riffs, but it’s also incredibly catchy.  Standout tracks:  Him (listen), Fuck You (watch), The Fear (watch),  22 (watch)

2. Pet Shop Boys | Yes | Released:  April 21, 2009
Pet Shop Boys | YesA year of comebacks?  You could say that based on my list, I suppose.  And Pet Shop boys are no exception to the joy that was 2009.  They last had a stellar album with Very and back they are.  With only a couple of fillers, Yes is a solid mix of commercial dance and soulful vocals.  One of my favourite tracks from this year isn’t even on their album, but one of the singles.  What does that say?  It says we’ve got one hell of an album.  Standout tracks:  Love Etc (watch), Building a Wall (listen), Pandemonium (watch),  Did You See Me Coming? (watch)

1. La Roux | La Roux | Released: June 29, 2009
La Roux | La RouxDear La Roux, You are the best.  Your album rocks.  I love every single track, which is a rare event;  I don’t think it’s happened since Madonna.   Tall shoes to fill.  You probably won’t, but you’ve started off on in an excellent pair.  Big ups to your freshman effort.  I look forward to your next outting.  Advice:  don’t go all rock trying to break the mould.  Love, Tyson.  Standout tracks:  Armour Love (watch), Tigerlily (listen), Fascination (listen), Bulletproof (watch)

Thanks for going on this musical journey with me.  It was my pleasure.  How will these albums stack up with those on the next entry:  Albums of the Decade!


Micro to Macro, Pt 1: 10 Stellar Songs 2009

The end of the year always brings out the statistician in me.  I’m a sucker for them anyways, but every December, those countdown shows on TV  always inspire me to make lists.  And this year, we’re ending a decade, so it’s all the more special.  On that note, the next four blog entries are going to be about one of my favourite past-times:  MUSIC.  We’ll go from micro to macro, so get ready for some listening pleasure!

Kfbunny’s Choice: 10 Stellar Songs of 2009!

10.  Him | Lily Allen (listen)
Sure, it’s from an album of massive popularity from an artist you either love or hate, but it’s not one of the singles.  Still, it’s my favourite and it’s about Jesus.  That’s got to be worth some points for being in my top 10.

9. She Wolf (Deeplick Club Remix Radio Edit) | Shakira (listen)
As soon as she’d mentioned that she’d been listening to electro lately, I was all on trying out her latest album.  Turns out, it was a good call.

8. A Very Sad Song | The Sound of Arrows (listen)
Ok, so I missed the boat a little on this group, given this song actually came out on an EP in 2008.  But I love it so much!  And I just discovered it this year.  And…and… So sue me.

7.  I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris | Morrissey (watch video)
Inevitably we all get older.  And that end hasn’t eluded the once coolest lead singer ever, Morrissey, either, but I’m elated that this highschool crush of mine still puts out beautiful tracks like this one.

6. Celebration (Benny Benassi Remix) | Madonna (watch video)
Hmm.  I take it back.  Madonna is still in top form  in her videos, fairly monotonous though they may have become.  Still, this greatest hits song kicks the album version’s ass and features Lola.  Now that’s a Mom for ya.

5. Love Etc | Pet Shop Boys (watch video)
I gotta say, I loved this lead single even before I saw the flying bird-men of backing vocalist, Chris Lowe in the graphic heavy video.  It’s just so catchy.  PSB at the top of their game, finally.

4. Amour Love | La Roux (listen)
Never did I have such hope for the return of pop music than I did when I first heard La Roux’s debut album!  From start to finish, it gave me hope and this song jumped out right from day one.

3.  Vanilla Twilight | Owl City (listen)
I love 90210.  There, I said it.  And that’s how I first heard about this band.  Sure, it’s a bit too commercial for my normal liking, but it’s just SO DAMNED PRETTY.

2.This Must Be the Place | Miles Fisher (watch video)
When I saw the video, I was blown away with how well done it was to resemble that movie… Then the song is catchy AND he has a great voice.

1. I am Not a Robot | Marina & the Diamonds (watch video)
Can this girl make a bad song?  Nope.  Her videos are pretty sweet too.  This song speaks to my emotions as she sings through her emotions.   Plus, I am not a robot.  Of course, “only a robot would make such an assertion” (T. Iveson).

I hope you’ve thoroughly enjoyed hearing music I’ve loved.  Ready (or not),  next up:  Best Albums of 2009!


%d bloggers like this: