Best Of 2009—Albums: By Julie Finley

Published on December 16th, 2009 in: Best Of Lists, Music |

gemma ray lights out zoltar

This year was actually a MUCH better year than last year, in regards to album releases. Lots of anticipated stuff (at least for moi) came out, and made me quite positive and hopeful. Last year I was starting to wonder why I still bothered to pay attention, but this year made me bite my tongue. The only thing this year lacked regarding music? There weren’t enough concerts worthy of attendance; it seems those who released stuff that I liked didn’t play anywhere I could get to!

Rowland S. Howard, Pop Crimes

This album has turned out to be my favorite album overall from this entire year, truly! It was long overdue, and I’m so glad the Rowland got it together before the end of the decade. I know it was really challenging for him, as he is sadly in a tremendous state of poor health. I hope that this isn’t the last album he ever does, but if it is. . . it was an excellent one!

Adanowsky, El Idolo

For an album with lyrics that I can barely make sense of (because my Spanish & French are VERY rusty), this album blew my mind! I didn’t need to know the languages to appreciate how good this one was. Every song is exquisite, and extremely catchy. The minute I stumbled upon Adanowsky, I have been a deer in headlights. He’s just so cool that it can make one envious!

Jarvis Cocker, Further Complications

This album really grew on me like a fungus! I liked it immediately, but I really played the shit out of it this year (much more than Jarvis’s previous album, actually). The song “Homewrecker!” is such a balls-out rocking tune, although I didn’t touch too much on it in my review earlier in the year. It evokes a very Stooges’ Funhouse-feel. The album rocks and I rolled from laughter from the very hilarious lyrics. It is fabulous!

Patrick Wolf, The Bachelor

This young lad never ceases to amaze me. There are a few so-so songs on this album, but the good ones more than make up for it. One track that truly grew on me over this past year was “Damaris.” It is so beautiful: the layered strings and choir conjures mystic imagery. I was looking forward to this album, and it delivered!

JG Thirlwell, The Venture Bros., The Music of JG Thirlwell

JG was definitely going to show up somewhere in this list, and out of his multiple projects released this year, I liked this one the best. In fact, this just may be his best instrumental work ever! I am not a fan of The Venture Bros., but I am obviously a longtime fan of Mr. Thirlwell, so there was no way I was going to pass this up. Needless to say, I loved it!

Bettina Köster, Queen of Noise

I will be doing a more thorough review of this album in the next few weeks, but so far, this album by the ex-singer of Malaria! (the yang to Gudrun Gut’s yin) is kicking so much ass, I cant believe it!

HTRK, Marry Me Tonight

I will admit, I started off hating this album (well, not hating, but it didn’t grab me right away). I am still not 100% convinced of this band’s bravado, BUT I will say this: there are some goddamn addictive songs on this album! I will expound on this further with a review at some other point.

Gemma Ray, Lights Out, Zoltar!

I stumbled upon this little gem with the help of my partner, who said, “I heard this chick on NPR, and I swear to god, I think she’d have your mark of approval!” Curiosity was piqued, so I sought her out, and although I am still letting this album sink in, musically it’s incredible! She’s got a great voice, good lyrics, and the music is lush, layered, and perfect, not to mention pretty unique, too!

Honorable Mentions:

Foetus, Limb
Not my favorite Foetus album, but my favorite Foetus album packaging!

Bat for Lashes, Two Suns
This will be on a lot of “best of” lists, and even though I didn’t like every song on it, the ones I did like are fabulous!

Gudrun Gut, Apples And Pears EP
Good songs, but it’s an EP, therefore it’s short!

Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds, Dracula Boots
Fun album overall!

Pissed Jeans, King of Jeans
Obnoxious and sludgy. . . and that’s exactly why I dig it! Good for those that miss the early ’90s stuff like The Jesus Lizard and Cop Shoot Cop. Plus they have a great name!

La Roux, La Roux
Finally. . . a NATURAL red-haired pop singer that doesn’t act like a skank! Plus, the music is cute & catchy! La Roux is for those who want a new guilty pleasure, but don’t want it to be Lady Gaga. (I think those who liked Yazoo would probably love this.)

For more of Popshifter‘s Best Of 2009 lists, go here.

One Response to “Best Of 2009—Albums: By Julie Finley”

  1. Popshifter » HTRK, Marry Me Tonight: In Memory Of Sean Stewart:
    May 30th, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    […] So once the linkage was clear, it piqued my interest and I decided to give HTRK a listen. The various press I read about the band clouded my first impression of them, however. At first, I thought they were as shallow, phony, and fashionable as shit like The Kills, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt, and over a few weeks, they truly grew on me! So much so, that Marry Me Tonight turned out to be one of my favorite albums of 2009. […]

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