10… er, 6! Best albums of 2009

I have to qualify: I hate the radio. I see no need for it anymore. Unless, I guess, you are in a rental truck where there is no other option, what is the purpose of radio anymore? NPR, news, a ball game and, I guess a talk or game show if you are stuck, but otherwise, every time I have been forced to listen to the radio, it is the same, generic stuff that I had heard 6 years ago when I abandoned any semblance of listening to the radio.

Same with music videos. Are they still around? The last one I saw had a dancing baby, dancing in front of Beyonce…

Today, everything resides on choice. In fact with the introduction of streaming audio purchases by Apple LaLa and the launch of Vevo by Google, choice will become increasingly important in the music industry. It has to evolve or it will die.

I say all by way of saying, I don’t know what is popular. I don’t know what ‘people’ are listening to, other than friends and family who advise that they listened to something great and recommend it to me. I have been blessed that my music allotment this year was increased by some 5,000 songs, which, I have gotten 90% through as of writing this email.

So, I doubt I will match anyone’s ‘top’ list for 2009 in any way, and I will be looking forward to reading others lists – even if it is through the tears of not having listened to any of it – but with optimism for the coming year as I’ll be looking to get the albums from friends and family so I can have a listen.

One final side note: Without extensive research I would not know if these officially came out in 2009, but I do know that based on iTunes they say they do, so without further ado, here are my top 10 for 2009:

10. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix – Fortunately, I don’t watch too many commercials. Only those that I unfortunately land on while bypassing the pay of my “free” TV watching, or else I might hate these guys. I imagine if I did listen to radio that they would be on constantly. Easy to listen to. Decent to work out to. Pop-y, but with an alt-rock feel. What Coldplay might sound like if they came out now rather than 1 billion song plays ago.

9. Metric- Fantasies – A throwback album to the mid-90’s with a fresh, upbeat edge.

8. The Decembrist- The Hazards of Love– I believe, that I, like you, grew up on the tail end of rockopera… this is the best of the new Rockopera that I have heard in the past years. At points very dark, symbolic and weird, with heavy imagery, and then bring and hopeful. This is a very textured album that took many listens in order to get to the core of the statement being made.

7. Loney, Dear – Dear John – I love these guys. Love them. Lead signer is courageous with his vocals. Saw them live in SF and they killed it. There is an NPR concert that, and if it were a record, would have been worn through by my overplays. Something new pops up every time I listen to it and I feel like I have years to go before I get worn out by their mix of melody and harmony.

6. The Appleseed Cast- Sagarmatha – More rockopera. Different slant.

5. TV on the Radio – Dear Science – Probably a bit late to jump on this bandwagon, but I’d rather be on than off. Funky and quirk with a message. Plus I can put them in my car, roll down the windows, and not feel like a total dweeb when others are listening to the eclectic sounds emanating from my speakers [this is definitely a test for me in whether I like a band or not. Right up there with ‘can they play live or not’. If either answer is a ‘no’ then they are definitely out.]

4. The Secret Machines – Secret Machines – The compendium of work from this band is fantastic. Their most recent album is a tribute to their previous work and sets a new bar and perhaps new standard in the alternative rock genre [like what Radiohead did].

So, here is where my list of 10 falls apart. I don’t have enough albums from this year to have a top 10 list! To fill in and complete the list, here are the best albums that I listened to this year that did not come from 2009 but that I got to in 2009. Hopefully the music gods will see their way to getting me 2010 music during 2010 so my list next year will be more timely.

For more Personal Branding articles check these out:

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