Music Close Out – My Albums, 09

AK Shaffer

The end of the year, and the end of the decade. For audiophiles like myself, especially one who has come into his own over the last ten years, it is enjoyable to see (and argue with) all of these “best of” lists released.

I think it is quite hard to encompass the entire decade’s catalog. We all came to find music in a new way in this decade, and as technology seeps deeper into our everyday lives, so does the accessibility and disposability of the songs we carry with us everywhere. Music rounds out our emotions, the things we do, the way we feel, creating short playlists for our seasons, loves, trips, and letdowns.

While I’m not apt to knock down a top ten list of the year or decade, I’ll throw out my top 9 for 2009 favorite albums, in no particular order, with a thought as to why.

• Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Phoenix – Probably my summer record, with “Liztomania” being the ’09 version of ‘08s M83’s “Kim and Jessie”, averaging one play all summer long.

• Merriweather Post Pavilion, Animal Collective – Long will I rue the day I opted to see someone else at Sasquatch over AC. Really they have two fantastic albums this year.

• Psychic Chasms, Neon Indian – At first glance, “Terminally Chill” seemed like Nintendo music, then I heard it straight through and saw it was an album chock full of 80s-dipped gems.

• Veckatimist, Grizzly Bear – To be honest, until I saw them live I really never got the groundswell buy in. Then I did…

• High Times, Washed Out – Another in the chill-wave niche.  Sure,  it is short but puts you in a specific beachy, slap-bracelet 80s vibe.

• Logos, Atlas Sound – Two standout tracks with special guests, “Walkabout” and “Quick Canal”, might obscure Bradford Cox’s star on this finely crafted album.

• Teen Dream, Beach House – I suppose this is a 2010 release in sincerity, but since it is leaked it has to go up. Lots of questions on this one, just so overwrought with haunting, reverent emotion.

• Bitte Orca, Dirty Projectors – I’m a bit sour on this one, as I loved the album and the live show disappointed (particularly the vocals), but solid just the same.

• Blood Bank, Bon Iver – So what if there are only four songs?

Others I have not heard enough of or just right up there: XX by the XX, Manners by Passion Pit, Monsters of Folk by MOF, Reservoir and Bonus Tracks, Fanfarlo,

Photo: Panda Bear of Animal Collective (credit DG Jones, Flickr)

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