Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Obligatory End of the Year Post

Well, it's the last day of 2009 and I am legally required by the Blogosphere to acknowledge that in the form of some all-encompassing, clever wrap-up that encapsulates what this year was all about. But posts like that are a dime a dozen, so let's just cut to the chase. What is your pick for the best album of 2009?

Mine is "It's Blitz!" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I'd always liked this band, but their transformation from a noisy alternarock band into a sleek, electronics-driven dancefloor juggernaut was amazing not only in its bravery, but also in its execution. It's rare to see a band pull off this kind of dramatic change in such a skillful way and although I've listened to it non-stop all year, I never seem to get sick of it. So what's your selection?


Atom and Czad said...

Is it really any contest? Even though it came out toward the latter end of 2009, I must say Compass. Assemblage 23. Easily best album of this year for me. Definitely the best among all electronic/industrial/synth driven releases. That much is for damn certain.

Also a top favorite for me has got to be the debut album of Street Sweeper Social Club. I'm a long time Tom Morello fan and his guitar work is phenomenal on this record. That along with Boots' rhymes makes it a top pick for me this year. It's RATM meets The Coup. Easily a must have for any fan of hard rock or hip hop.

Anyway, Happy New Year Tom!
Hope you have great success in 2010.

John said...

+1 on Compass, great album.

Also; F.A.Q-Whitechapel, Hearts of Black Science-The Star in the Lake, Noyce™-Un:Welt, Sleep Slid In-The Open Diary

Thanks for all the Logic tips and tricks and effort throughout '09 Tom, look forward to more in '10!


paulw said...

Just found your blog (and discovered Assemblage 23) a few weeks ago, and wanted first to say thanks for your writing and for your music.

There were a lot of great releases this past year, but the one that impressed me the most is the contemplative and haunting release from David Sylvian titled "Manafon".

"Manafon" is a beautiful and stunning work of art created by some amazing musicians. Unfortunately it probably will not be heard by many people as it demands the listener's attention and requires repeated listening to fully appreciate its beauty.

A documentary DVD titled "Amplified Gesture" was included with the deluxe version of the album. The film interviews the musicians involved with "Manafon" and is a very interesting look at improvisational music. I gained a new respect and appreciation for improvisation after watching the film.

If anyone is interested in learning more about "Manafon", there's a dedicated web site at which has samples of all of the album tracks and an excerpt from "Amplified Gesture".

mangadrive said...

After much hatred at first and a lot of dismissing, I came back to Invaders Must Die with a much less serious attitude and found a great album. Its not The Prodigy's best work, but I found some really moving beats and crafty work by my fave band once the dust settled. Plus I only paid a few bucks for it off Amazon, so all in all it was win!

Tom said...

Thanks for your kinds words about "Compass" y'all.

aL said...

I found the latest VNV album to be one of the strongest of the year. I was personally disappointed by the previous album, "Judgement", as not sounding inspired enough, but "Of Faith, Power And Glory" had some songs that were so good, they drove me to tears.

"Compass" was also a very strong release. I hope it's okay to admit that I like it quite a bit better than the previous couple of A23 albums.

Outside of this genre, I was very impressed with The Big Pink's "A Brief History Of Love". If you dig old Jesus & Mary Chain, check it out.