Thursday, December 17, 2009

Seano's Best Albums of 2009

The votes are all in. I checked myself twice and I'm ready spill my guts about the Best Albums of 2009. It was a far superior year than 2008 for yours truly in so many ways. I can only hope that the madness and momentum of motivating music continues in this next decade.

I had a half year best albums of 2009 up on this blog back in July...feel free to check the archives for that..

The Best Albums of 2009

10) U2-No Line on the Horizon -U2 gets their backwards in time, risky ambient freak on and still sell out stadiums.

9) Spinnerette- Former Distillers frontwoman Brody Dalle loses the punk and sexes the cherry on this dark dance album..most likely overlooked because of her husband's recent work.

8) The House Harkonnen-Vol 6.  If this crazy talented band ever leads Denton, TX they are gonna lay you out with their fearless riffs and fist to the grill vocals.  Seek them out! then take cover!...scary southern gamechangers.

7) Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit- Formerly one of the 3 prominent songwriters from the Drive By Truckers-Jason and Co. hit their stride and kick up dust on the dirt roads travelling from one lonely episode to another. "Cigarettes and Wine" is a standout, and just one of the brilliantly woe-d up tales on this release.

6) Dan Auerbach- Keep It Hid- One half of the Black Keys branches out(but not too far) in this slow burning romp of a sleeper. A 30 year old man from Akron cannot sound this world worn, humbled and dusty...but he does..with a grimy gleam of dark blues to boot.

5) Neko Case- Middle Cyclone-A scarred, beautiful and fearless troubadour churns out tales of love and nature put to poetry. There is no lyricist like her right now. Every album is better than her last.

4) Heartless Bastards- The Mountain- Erika Wennerstrom's voice is torn, broken and mesmerizing and we have no choice but to climb back up with her.

3) Baroness-Blue Record- This sophomore release from a strange, sometimes sludge-tastic 4-some from Savannah, turns metal upside down and empties all of the worn out parts into the atmosphere, only to patch in anything from acoustic balladry to swatches of echoing vibrato..incredibly groundbreaking for something known as metal.

2) Mastodon-Crack The Skye- A monumental change of course for this already legendary Atlanta metal troupe, taking the concept album to new heights in the loudest vein possible. Suddenly there are warm vocal melodies sustained and soaring over riffs in the story where once the nodes of singer/guitarist Brent Hinds were shredded down to black nubs adrift in the crush of speed. Some metal thing for everyone in the name of progress.

1) Them Crooked Vultures- Quite frankly, enough has not been said and never will be about this record. The hype was matched, not only because of the virtuosity and history involved, but because the songs blend many genres of hard rock unconventionally and succesfully. One rarely has heard a hard rock album this loud and SEXY at the same time. Underrated lyrics and weirdo guitar chords by Josh Homme are overshadowed by the stomp and circumstance of the relentless rhythm section. If you're not moving by 30 seconds in, you're dead.

So there you have it.  Honorable mentions include Slayer-World Painted Blood, Lightning Dust-Infinite Light, Wilco-Wilco the Album, and Clutch-Strange Cousins From The West.

Send your Huh?, Really? and NFWs to me as soon as you can.


  1. I feel so out of touch, so unhip. I am going to use my itunes gift card to get Neko Case. Thank God U2 made it on your list. I would have been devastated had it not.

    2010 is going to be a great year, it even sounds cool: twenty ten.

  2. I haven't gotten much a chance to pick up new music as I wanted to this year, but some of my picks are (in random order) U2-No Line On the Horizon, Them Crooked Vultures, Black Crowes-Before the Frost..., and Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam-Coming Up for Air.

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  4. Have ta say, for the most part, I'm with you on your picks. Can't believe you also got onto Spinnerette. What a great album that is!

    So, my picks are as follows (in no particular order):
    1. Them Crooked Vultures
    2. Karnivool - Sound Awake
    3. The Dead Weather - Horehound
    4. Spinnerette
    5. Clutch - Strange Cousins From The West
    6. The Mint Chicks - Screens
    7. Mastodon - Crack The Skye
    8. Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid
    9. Arctic Monkeys - Humbug
    10. Wolfmother - Cosmic Egg

    YourZ from YourZenMine

  5. Anonymous11:28 AM

    Very interesting picks some stuff that totally slipped by me that I most certainly have to peep (i.e. - Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit) - the year end list is the best of traditions for th epure variety you get.

    You can listen to my Top 21 picks here ( - but to see top ten, look no further then below.

    10. The Horrors - Primary colours: This band took a sharp left with this effort and suprised the hell out of me. Get lost in a texture of synths and guitar with a weird combo of freak beat and garage rock. "Sea Within A Sea" is a top 3 single of the year for me.

    9. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest: I saw GB @ Berklee earlier this year (more on that show below) and it was one of the most boring shows I've ever seen. This album though - is masterfully produced with some beautifully complex artrangements, people love to hate on these guys, but they're pretty damn good.

    8. The Flaming Lips - Embryonic: This, unlike GB, was hands down the best show I went to all year. What energy. What a scene. They attack all senses, and somehow make it not gimmicky. This album is epic, dark, and aggresive, with the weirdness that only a band such as the Lips can pull off. They have sustained the 90's and stayed relevant.

    7. Passion Pit - Manners: This is Boston (Emerson) band whose first EP was in 2008 and was basically a love letter by Michael Angelakos to his then girlfriend. The blogs then caught fire, and this album was made. Manners is a pure pop piece - and it's great. What I loved about it is that it is so 2009 - which is nice, contemporaty is not bad. This was also the most hyped show I saw at SXSW (aside from Bang Camero!) which had an impact on me, they're most likely a flash in the pan, but still, this album (esp. "Moth's Wings") is a good one.

    6. Girls: Album - The most honest and heart on the sleeve album I heard all year long. Also - the band with the greatest back story. Nostaligia drips like a wet blanket here.

    5. Here We Go Magic: Here We Go Magic - This is the band that opened up for GB and they absolutely blew me away. The production here is amazing, and Luke Temple did it all at home on a 4-Track in the year 2009. DIY is not dead.

    4. Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion - Animal Collective is something most aren't these days of RIYL - original and unique. MPP is their greatest triumph to date and they didn't give in an inch, it's acclaim is deserved.

    3. Wilco: Wilco (The Album) - This is a personal pick for me - and I think it's one of the most coheisve albums of the year, no misses on it, with the standouts of "Bull Black Nova" and "One Wing". Tweedy and Nels = Made for each other.

    2. Sonic Youth: The Eternal - This is as good as anything they ever put out, and it still rocks hard, while holding the sound they've helped scape these past decades. Not everyone's taste, but staying true to their art this long has to be admired.

    1. The XX: xx - No other album was even close for me. How 19 year old Brits can show restraint while painting R&B in a new light is something beyond me. Buy this, it's absolutely goregous.

  6. Anonymous11:46 AM

    Apologies for the horrendous grammar/spelling above - I obviously didn't self edit.

  7. An album that would have made my list along with Crooked Vultures, had I made a list, would be Porcupine Tree, The Incident. Good stuff, people.