Thursday, December 24, 2009

Top Ten Albums 2009; Ice Grilled Beef

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to grill steaks over charcoal in -5 degree weather. It was challenging and fun because it was so out of the ordinary for me, even though it was quite uncomfortable at times. We cooked steaks imported from two countries. The Argentine rib eyes were superior to the Irish rib eyes, most of us agreed. Except for Darlene, my mother-in-law, who only sampled the Irish beef and thought it delicious. And it was delicious, just not quite as good according to those of us who experienced a comparative choice.

Which brings me to the subject of year-end lists. If you are anything like me, you love to rank and debate and get rankled over the Hype Machine and Pitchfork and and Emusic's critically weighted/subjective/user data-based lists. But the reality is: Good Music is Good Music. Since it's impossible to hear every single record released in 2009, even in this day and age, ranking the best albums is an abitrary excercise at best. In my experience, recently obtained records that you listen to on Christmas vacation (Matt and Kim's Grand) tend to be ranked artifically high while other albums that you have already played a million times (Wilco The Album) slide down the list.

All things considered, I've decided to list my top ten albums in alphabetical order this year. Great Albums have a general way of appearing on everyone's lists somewhere, whether they are tenth or first. And Good Music is good music, depending on what you've sampled, and the Irish steaks really were quite excellent, if you ask me.

David Bazan || Curse Your Branches
Eels || Hombre Lobo
Phoenix || Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Matt and Kim || Grand
Mos Def || The Ecstatic
Superdrag || Industry Giants
The Rural Alberta Advantage || Hometowns
U2 || No Line on The Horizon
Wilco || Wilco (The Album)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs || It's Blitz

honorable mentions:

David Crowder Band || Church Music
Silversun Pickups || Swoon
Grizzly Bear || Veckatimest
Jars of Clay || The Long Fall Back to Earth
Julian Casablancas || Phrazes For the Young
Switchfoot || Hello Hurricane

OK and just to nullify everything I just wrote, I must come out and say that my favorite album of 2009 is ... no surprises: PHOENIX.

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