Wednesday, February 03, 2010

11 Favourite Albums I Got in 2009

Here are my 11 favourite albums from 2009. Mind you, these didn't necessarily come out last year, that's just when I got a hold of them. The bolded ones are the best of the best:

1) Tracy Chapman, Our Bright Future - The first half of this album features some really new sounds from her, almost like folk-lounge music. The second half is a bit of a let down but the first half carries it.

2) K’naan, Troubador - On the flipside, the second half of this album is really innovative hip hop with brilliant storytelling. The first half is a lot slicker than his first offering, and a bit plain. But the second half is worth the wait.

3) Luke Doucet, Blood’s Too Rich - Took a few listens to get into, but Luke's a phenomenal guitar player and his music is a tonne of fun.

4) Joel Plaskett, Three - Oh man this guy has a gift for catchy riffs and hooks, and this is his magnum opus - a trilogy detailing his departure from, exodus away, and return to Nova Scotia. Amazing backup vocals from some of the province's finast female vocalists, sweet harmonic blend.

5) Bop Ensemble, Between Trains - Saw this "Canadian folk music super group" at Stanfest. I'd never heard of any of the members, but they are indeed super. I guess they literally recorded this between trains, so it's got a good jam feel, yet the songwriting and talent of the performers gives it polish.

6) Brett Dennen, Hope for the Hopeless - My favourite musical discovery of the year is California's Brett Dennen, lovechild of Bob Dylan, Bob Marley and Ron Sexsmith. Highly political lyrics with a folkish reggae backbeat.

7) Rolling Stones, Let it Bleed - One of those classic albums you think maybe you should own, and then you hear it and you wonder how you lived without it.

8) Martha Wainwright, I Know You’re Married but I’ve Got Feelings Too - Raunchy folk-signer who is way better than her more famous brother.

9) Mary Margaret O’Hara, Miss America - Another classic you should really, really own.

10) Metric, Fantasies - I was surprised by this album, how good it is, kind of transports me to a funkier universe while I type my missives.

11) Cat Power, Jukebox - Powerful sultry vocals covering some great but mostly lesser known American country/folk/blues numbers from the last half century.


Love Brett Dennen too. That's a great CD with really good lyrics. You should check out his live Ep.
Martha and I go waaaay back. She's extremely flexible, particularly in the lower lumbar area, as, naturally, am I. I haven't heard much of her 'work' as we tended to use those red dominatrix gag balls that became fashionable circa Pulp Fiction whenever we bumped into each other at the local haberdashers or fruiterium. The senile young lass loved duck and squid, not at the same time, I have to add, though I often wondered at her method of inhaling via straw through her nose. We sexed up a great many times. Those good times turned to sour times once Beth Gibbons snuck into the frame; Martha loves the snootch as much as any bloke I know, but she tilted her nose at the thought of passing yours truly around so that a femme from the UK could get her fill. I totally dig her album. Good choice, amigo. :D
Actually of all that you listed here I saw The Wrestler and that is my only touchstone to the past two posts.
Thanks. I'll check 'em out.

Wouldn't you know: word verification is "unsing." Kinda ominous for a music post, don't ya think?
Love Tracy Chapman,

But like Bobbie Gentry, from another musical tradition a generation ago, Tracy is,unfortunately, a one-hit wonder.
"Give me one reason to stay here" is genius.
After that, it seems mere craftmaship.

I fear she might go the way of the much overrated Diana Krall, though her husband Elvis Costello is no sleeper.

"Little Elvis" rocks on.

I hope the best for Tracy.
Hi Dan, welcome here, and I'll take a look for that live EP.

Kaufman: so the rumours were true. good to know, good to know. take good care and always use a safe word.

TWM: I'll be moving back to more creative endevours soon, but I hope you enjoyed The Wrestler.

XD: ominous indeed. NSA must have hacked my computer again ;-)

Ivan: I beg to differ. For one, she has at least two hits, the best one being Fast Car. I think Talking About a Revolution also hit the charts. But more importantly, beyond the hits is a solid body of songwriting in the great folk tradition, carried by a soulful voice. Probably the only reason she doesn't have more hits is she has always bucked the establishment a bit, kept to herself and is not all that glamerous in appearance. She just does her thing and does it well, speaks a lot of truth. You should give her album Crossroads a listen. IMHO, one of the best North American albums ever recorded.
Let it bleed. Wonderful. The rest are a mystery.

My biggest listen this year has been 'Death Magnetic' by Metallica. Its really heavy, but really melodic. Catchy.

I never thought they would top Master of Puppets. But they did.
Call me an ignorant if you like, but the only ones I know are the Rolling Stones. Getting way too old methinks.
MD: Could be age, could be nationality. 7 of the 11 are Canadian.
Toast: I used to enjoy some occasional Metallica back in the day. I'll have to give the new one a listen. But they were never as good as Voivod.
If I hear that one more lame "eee-yup" in the middle of a high note from Metellica, I think I'm going to puke.
The most overrated band ever.
Age AND nationality probably
Well that told me.

I've been telling everyone that New Kids on the Block are the most overrated band ever. More fool me.

Now I feel like a right idiot.
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