2009 albums of the year

As promised, and surprisingly before heading back to the worky-work, I was able to do my annual albums of the year {AOTY}.  As with previous years, this year did indeed pose some challenges.  Starting from a population of over 50 albums, I reduced things down to 10, adding some honorable mentions at the end of it all. So with that, here they are, from my top 10 down to my top 1 and most favorite album of 2009.

10: Sunparlour Players; Wave north. I first heard the Sunparlour Players in 2007 with their CBC Radio 3 {hit}, if the creeks don’t rise and immediately thought that they were most excellent. Their music has a very {rootsy} type feel, banjo, acoustic awesomeness all around.  In Wave North, their 2009 album, you get much of the same; good song writing, good music, very enjoyable indeed.  My favorites include: Battle of 77, Boards, Figure it out, North, Joy in what you lack, and Nuclear


09: Immaculate Machine; High on jackson hill. There is no questioning that this band is genius in my mind.  With their very catchy, truly indie canadian sound they have quickly come one of my favorite bands.  On this album in particular, there are 2 songs that are just some of the most excellent tunes you will ever hear; being {You destroyer and And it was}.  Simply for the song You destroyer, this album is top 10 worthy in my mind.  Other favorites include: I know it’s not easy, Primary colours, You got us into this mess, Thanks me later, and Neighbors don’t mind


08: Wax Mannequin; Saxon. “Streets of Vancouver are flooded, with the blood of the sleepwalking dead…”  “Calgary’s gold is someone’s curse…” Amazing how lyrics can have such a profound effect on ones psyche.  I’ve been a fan of Wax’s for some time.  Unfortunately work prevented me from hitting the club to see him in 2009.  That said, I’m hoping to catch him in 2010 sometime.  This album was a late addition to my collection so I really haven’t fully given it its listening dues but from what I have heard, the word epic comes to mind.  My favorites include: End of me, Doin’, Volcano god, Something to hide, Broken friends, and Feelings

07: Jenn Grant; Echoes. This album is one of those albums you can listen to and just {be} happy.  Jenn’s voice happens to be one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard.  I first heard of Jenn when Mr. Burns gave me a copy of her 2007 disc and I immediately took a liking to her music.  Her 2009 album is much of the same, mellow acoustics, slide electrics, excellent vocals/lyrics.  My favorites include: You’ll go far, Parachutes, I’ve got the two of you, Blue mountains, and Where are you now


06: Shotgun Jimmie; Still jimmie. I was able to see Jimmie in 2009 when he opened for Attack in Black (and played with them after) at the exchange and let me tell you, I liked him even more after I saw him live.  There is just something about his music that speaks to me; the raw electric guitar and the raw voice; it’s all just very excellent!  My favorites include: Waist deep in the water, Province to province, Road animal, Quicksand, Dawson city, I asked cupid and Mind crumb


05: The Deep Dark Woods; Winter hours. Unique to the Deep Dark Woods is that they are a band from my home province of Saskatchewan {AND} they are a band with such great potential so as to become one of the great Canadian bands {time will tell I guess}.  I’ve enjoyed TDDW since I heard their first album (I think it’s their first) a few years back.  They were also one of the bands in my top 10 that I was able to see live {twice actually}.  I much preferred the first time I saw them but they were good the second as well.  This album is really good and I highly encourage everyone to pick up a copy and give it a listen.  Excellent!  My favorites include: All the money i had is gone, The birds on the bridge, two time loser, How can i try, Nancy, and Farewell

04: Great Lake Swimmers; Lost channels. Yet another band I got to see in 2009, GLS are quite simply put, one of Canada’s best indeed.  From the mello{w}{odic} acoustic guitars to the hauntingly beautiful lyrics and voice of Tony, Julie, and the rest of the band.  This album is just very {VERY} good and if you don’t yet have it or haven’t had a chance yet to hear it, do yourself a favor.  My favorites include: Still, The chorus in the underground, She comes to me in dreams, Palmistry, Pulling on a line, and Unison falling into harmony

03: Metric; Fantasies. Metric is just one of those bands that everyone should really like..like, c’mon eh! Wink  Fronted by the beautiful Emily Haines, who is good in her own right {solo career-wise}, Metric’s ability to write very good, catchy, lyrically-rich tunes really shines on their 2009 album.  There is not one song I dislike on this album but to be consistent, my favorites include: Gold guns girls, Help i’m alive, Collect call, Twilight galaxy, Sick muse, and Gimmie sympathy


02: Bidiniband; The land is wild. The Rheostatics are one of my favorite bands of all time.  It saddened by dearly when they decided to break up.  That said, much of their music still lives on as many of them went on to record their own solo efforts {Violet Archers, Martin Tielli, and Dave Bidini}.  This album is Dave Bidini’s first solo effort and let me tell you, much of the magic that was the Rheostatics has transferred here.  I love this album.  It is just excellent in my mind.  My favorites include: How zeke roberts died, The continuing story of canadiana and canadiandy, The land is wild, The ballad of 1969, Terrorize me now, Desert island poem, and We like to rock.  Awesome indeed!

01: Rammstein; Liebe ist fur alle da  {Deluxe album version}. Ok, now I’m sure many of my friends and family who read this might say, {WHAT} with this entry in my top 10, especially being the top slot.  But I say to these folks who {may} say this, it could not be denied that Rammstein’s 2009 album Liebe ist fur alle da is my number 1 favorite album of the year for 2009.  I was only introduced to Rammstein a year or so ago by my brother Joey and ever since then, I have become an avid fan of their music.  Be it the {dark, smart, funny, ironic} lyrics or, quite simply, the raw power and energy of their music, there is just something about this band that speaks to me.  When I first heard the single on this album, humorously titled Pussy, I was hooked.  The funny thing about the band, and this single in particular (and other similar singles the band has released in the past), some of their songs, singles especially, are simplisitc in nature.  The great thing about it is that the band knows this and openly acknowledges the humor, sarcasm, and sometimes {awfulness} in it all (as in the first single for this album).  Back to this album in particular, Pussy is a song that simply seeks to provoke a feeling, be it laughter and/or controversy; basically a song to make the music world know that they are back; it’s ingenious really and with great success they accomplished it indeed!  Moving away from this line of thought, every other song on this album is a treat.  It must be said that there are 2 versions of this album, a 10-song compilation and a deluxe version with 5 extra songs.  The deluxe version is well worth the extra coin as the extra songs provided are really some of my favorites of the album.  I will be listening to this album long past 2009.  To me, it is just one of those timeless little masterpieces you sometimes are lucky enough to stumble onto.  I like every song on this album but again to be consistent, some of my favored ones include: Halt, Donaukinder, Ich tu dir wen, B********, Liebe ist fur alle da, Roter sand, Furhre mich, Wiener blut, Mehr, Fruhling in paris, and Waidmanns heil.  All in all, a very {VERY} excellent album! 

Ok, again what a year!! Same as with last year, I have a list of honorable mentions below, which, again, I also had to reduce down to 10! In alpha order:

Honorable Mentions of 2009:

  • Attack in Black; Years (By one thousand fingertips)
  • Blue Rodeo; Things we left behind
  • Cuff the Duke; Way down here
  • Iron and Wine; Around the well
  • Joel Plaskett; Three
  • Jon-Rae Fletcher; Oh Maria
  • Julie Doiron; I can wonder what you did with your day
  • Megadeth; Endgame
  • Pearl Jam; Backspacer
  • Steve Earle; Townes

Before I end communicato, there is one last piece of musical genius I would like to mention.  In 2009 my good friend Jason released his latest album titled Twenty Seven.   For Jason this album was a long time in the making and well worth the effort.  Many of the songs deal with society, the environment, friends and family, and of course Saskatchewan.  There are many excellent songs on this album, including: The ballad of pat and grant, The story of pilot butte creek, Coffee cups, and Quit talkin’ about it (just to name a few).  Every time I listen to his album it encourages me to pick up my own guitar and play, and write, and record.  With that, I encourage you all to listen to it. If you like what you hear, let Jason know…

Well, with that, here’s hoping 2010 brings some more excellent music our way -tMac





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