Thursday, December 17, 2009

Best of 2009 - Albums

While our list of favorite '09 singles may have been dominated by the females, the list of our favorite albums is a little more diverse, but, definitely twangy. It was a great year for local music on our end with Naptime Shake, 100 Damned Guns, Ronnie Fauss and Bosque Brown making our list. But, there was also good stuff out there that isn't really covered on other blogs either, but, we like it.

15. Girl In A Coma - Trio B.C.
These three girls from San Antonio really know what pop-punk should taste like. Throughout this album they wear their influences on their sleeves as they move through punk, rockabilly and pop-punk not giving in to sex kitten kitch, a la The Donnas, this trio prove that they can hand with, and rock just as hard as the boys can.

14. The Low Anthem - Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
Soft spoken, folky and haunting. This album kinda snuck up on me this year. Combining harmony with dark sounds the record sounds like Fleet Foxes singing a bunch of Appalachian death songs.

13. The Naptime Shake - Blood And Panic
Noah Baily's band take twang to another place all together with the Shakes debut album. It's not often that you hear twang mixed in with ragtime and New Orleans flavor as well as classic country elements. The mixture of styles and excellent songwriting make this album a real local gem for the year.

12. Ryan Thomas Becker - Neighborhoof
Lo-fi and gritty, this album from Denton's Ryan Thomas Becker continues to show of his impressive musicianship as well as his songwriting. A bit of a step away from his side band RTB2.

11. Justin Townes Earle - Midnight At The Movies
Absolutely nothing like his dad would do, this soft-spoken album harkens back to the days of classic country before Music Row got their hooks firmly planted in country music.

10. Trouble Andrew - Trouble Andrew
Snot-nosed, electro-punk. If you have a problem with authority of any kind, then you will probably love this album. If you like your electronic music with a little bit of bad attitude, then you will probably like this album. If you already hate skaters or anyone of their ilk because they are too arrogant and assholish... you will probably hate this album.

9. Pretty Lights - Passing Behind Your Eyes
Prolly the artist I've obsessed about the most this year. His style is on par with DJ Shadow during his creative best. Samples layered over original instrumentation that is good to get any party started.

8. Ronnie Fauss - New Music For The Old Frontier, Vol. 1
Fauss combines tear jerking ballads and a bit of honky tonk into a big mash of goodness with this one. Songs about drinkin', lost love and everything in between... what else would you expect?

7. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
60's girl group pop completely reimagined by a group of pouty Scots. For fans of Chamber Pop like Belle & Sebastian, there isn't anything better. It's awesome to put on an album and your parents ask you who it is... and they like it. 'Cause everything else is just noise, ya know?

6. Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels
Hushed and gentle folk, there really isn't a better way to explain this album. Tony Dekker and crew put together a great album.

5. Jaydiohead - Jaydiohead
Are mashups getting played out? No. What about Jay-Z mash-ups? Not when they are done right... and this album has been completely done right. "Wrong Prayer" gives Jay's "Pray" a big dose of urgency when fused with Radiohead guitars.

4. Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
Like Mara Lee Miller Neko has one of the best voices in music, period. She's indie, she's twangy, she's rock all mixed up into a big bag of badassness.

3. Metric - Fantasies
Although this album came out in April, it didn't get on my radar until the last few weeks. In those few, precious weeks I have only listened to this album. Emily Haines has one of the best voices in female-fronted rock. And, their songs are hella catchy to boot. "Help, I'm Alive," "Sick Muse," "Satellite Mind" are some of the catchiest, rockin' songs of the year. I dare you to listen to them and get them out of your mind anytime soon.

1. 100 Damned Guns - Musica de Tormento
Cowtown's 100 Damned Guns are a treasure for the DFWd music scene. Sure, the scene is dominated with twang bands of one sort or another. But, the Guns blend of bluegrass, outlaw and classic country set them apart from the rest of the twang-infused brethren. I can see this band, more than any other, breaking out of the local scene and making a name for themselves either regionally or nationally... they have that much talent.

1. Bosque Brown - Baby
Mara Lee Miller probably has one of the purest singing voices on the planet. She doesn't need autotune, multi-tracked vocals... just sweet, sweet harmonies. At first listen I liked the album, particularly the three parts of "On and Off" are what really piqued my interest. Then upon further listenings I was completely in love with this album... all killer, no filler.

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