Tuesday, December 8, 2009


It's that time of year, y'all. I've been making these "top 10" lists for as long as I can remember. I was THAT kid. It's also the end of a decade, so yep, you'll be getting a "best of the 2000's" list from me soon as well. Also keep an eye out for a general IWTDI year wrap-up & forecast for 2010 right here on this website very soon...

But let's get to it! Let me preface by saying two honorable mentions that I didn't "get" at first but I'm just now starting to like more are Grizzly Bear and Dirty Projectors. Also, the best album I heard in 2009 actually doesn't come out until January 19th- Motion City Soundtrack's new album "My Dinosaur Life". Oh and the best movie I saw in 2009 was Inglourious Basterds- actually it's in my all-time top 10. OK!


#1. U2 "No Line On The Horizon"

For me, any U2 album is an EVENT, and this one happens to easily be the best they've released since 1993's "Zooropa". "No Line On The Horizon" definitely wasn't a singles record(apparently that one is coming in 2010), but each song sets its own mood- and the greatest moments are certainly the most daring, which hasn't necessarily been true of U2 over the past decade. I am very biased on this one- any year U2 releases an album, it will be in my top 10- but it's been a loooong time since these dudes have seen the #1 spot. "Cedars Of Lebanon" features what are some of Bono's greatest lyrics ever, give it a listen:

#2. Phoenix "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix"
Who doesn't love this album? What's there not to love? This is a triumph for a band that has been making some great pop singles under the radar for a number of years. Now they've made a perfect pop record. There's not a lot to say to do it justice, just listen:

#3. Bear In Heaven "Beast Rest Fourth Mouth"

This album kinda sounds like the soundtrack to murdering someone in the dead of winter on an icy, frozen-over lake. But they totally deserved it, so it's not TOO dark, dig? Joy and pop and mystery mixed with icy cold synths that creep you out JUST enough. I am currently in love with this record- it hasn't left my car CD player in weeks.

#4. Polvo "In Prism"
Polvo basically inspired my first band to do what we did. Who would've thought that 12 years later, they'd come back and make their best full length ever? Yep, I said it. Nothing will ever top "Celebrate The New Dark Age"- my #2 album of all time- but that's an EP, so "In Prism" wins the LP category. There's some lulls on this album, but songs like "Lucia", "The Pedlar" & "A Link In The Chain" are some of their best ever. We got to play with Polvo earlier this year, so yeah, that's another thing on the list of "things I've done that the 16 year old version of me would never believe".

#5. Delorean "Aryton Senna" EP
There isn't a ton of info out there about this Spanish indie dance-pop band, but this is one of the best EP's I've heard in quite a while. Dear Delorean: please make a full length like this NOW.

#6. Paramore "Brand New Eyes"
Yeah, ok, settle down. I didn't think I'd ever put a Paramore album on a top 10 list either(although I've always thought that they write great singles), but "Brand New Eyes" is a classy album, with some real emotion and intensity crammed into simple powerpop-punk tunes. I even really enjoy some of Haley Williams lyrics on here. Fun fact: I believe this is on Joe & Curt's top 10's as well- plus even James said he really enjoyed what we made him listen to in the van on tour, which is...surprising. They've released two of the last songs I would've released as singles so far, but what do I know? This video looks pretty dumb at the onset, but watch 'til the end- shit gets fucked, y'all!:

#7. Set Your Goals "This Will Be The Death Of Us"
They don't make pop punk bands like this anymore, and that's part of what drew me in to Set Your Goals. It's like it's 1995 for these dudes. There's a lot wrong with this record- largely in some questionable lyrics(and the album needs about 90% less "gang vocal" overdubs)- but the utter lack of pretense(dig the video below) and awareness of current trends or fashions- makes Set Your Goals very endearing. Fun Fact again: these guys most likely make Rachel, Curt AND Joe's top 10 lists as well.

#8. Dananananaykroyd "Hey Everyone"
This Scottish six-piece are doing what so many mathy indie rock bands have done for the past decade or so, but they bring a strong sense of melody and kinetic energy that few possess. "Black Wax" is one of the best singles of the year:

#9. Animal Collective "Merriweather Post Pavilion"
Way too much has already been said about this album. You already know about it. I liked it. That kinda surprised me. That is all.

#10. Micachu "Jewellery"
Micachu creates a perfect blend of noise and melody that makes for some extremely catchy abstract pop music. "Golden Phone" wins:

Thanks for reading, y'all! I think it should be obvious I am not trying to get a job at Pitchfork doing this shit. I put no effort into these descriptions- I just want you to go listen to this music- and I want you to tell me YOUR top 10!!! Comment away with them, please!



Patrick said...

Okay, I really had to drag the lake for this list, but here goes...

Patrick's 10 Most Played of 2009:

I Was Totally Destroying It - Horror Vacui
fun. - Aim and Ignite
Erin McCarley - Love, Save the Empty
Regina Spektor - Far
Metric - Fantasies
All Time Low - Nothing Personal
Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3
Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You
New Found Glory - Not Without a Fight
Asher Roth - Asleep in the Bread Aisle

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