Joycie's Top Albums of 2009


Dic 27 2009, 0:36

20) ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - The Century of Self

18) Zombi- Spirit Animal

19) Michael Giacchino - Star Trek OST

17) Mute Math - Armistice

16) Regina Spektor - Far

15) Brian Tyler - Fast & Furious OST

14) The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die

13) Thrice- Beggars

12) Alexisonfire- Old Crows, Young Cardinals

11) InMe- Herald Moth

10) James Horner - Avatar OST
Horner is definitely one of my favourite composers and he, like Cameron, had been working on Avatar for quite some time. Inevitably I'd put both the film and the soundtrack on a precariously high pedestal, but thankfully I can say that my expectations have been met. Horner has the rare gift of being able to seemlessly draw an emotional connection between the film and the music, it's his forté, and it's something that really enhanced my enjoyment of the film.

09) Muse- The Resistance
Let's face it, Muse have a pretty impecable reputation. Since the highly acclaimed Showbiz was released in 2000 they've just been gathering speed and gathering awards and graced us with arguably the best album of 2006 in the form of BHaR. So the new album was never really going to live up to expectations was it? That album was the apex of their sound, and while the new album is a logical progression of their sound toward a more electronic vibe, the record feels disjointed and doesn't quite gell properly. Regardless, it's still excellent music and I was pleased that Muse didn't stray TOO far towards an electronic sound like so many bands have this year.

08) Paramore- Brand New Eyes
I know I'm probably going to lose cool points for putting a pop-punk band in my top 10 but sod it! Paramore are great fun, their songs are extremely catchy and just really easy to switch off and listen to. Hayley's vocals are strong, the guitars are solid, the drums make you want to get up and jump around a bit. Brand New Eyes has a pleasant dynamic to it, it satisfies my need for something upbeat and it also slows things down with thoughtful (if somewhat angsty) tracks and even throws in a couple of nice acoustic songs.

07) Mastodon- Crack the Skye
This is one of the last albums I got in 2009 and it's also one of the best. I've heard Mastodon's name floating around for a long long time but never had the inclination to check them out, thus I cant compare this to their past work. Anyway it's a great slice of progressive metal which reminds me, for some reason, of a metal version of The Mars Volta. Theres a banjo at the beginning of one of the songs. A metal band. Using a banjo. Awesome.

06) Silversun Pickups - Swoon
Carnavas, their previous album, was a brilliant record. SSPU's suffer in the same way that Muse struggled to live up to their previous offering. It's a valiant effort though, offering some really catchy riffs (especially Panic Switch), well built-up vocals and very solid and consistant instrumental performances. That's kind of the problem though... they are a little TOO consistant. The band havn't really pushed themselves beyond the Carnavas sound.

05) Fightstar- Be Human
These guys really work their socks off - three albums in as many years, while still finding the time to tour. Be Human is a dramatic and theatrical album that showcases how Fightstar can range from tender melodies to dark and raw metal. You'd think something like that would be hard to resolve, but it all comes together in a surprisingly cohesive and catchy chunk of awesomeness. I think the Busted demons are well and truly burried.

04) Bear McCreary - BSG S4 OST
Bear (firstly, what an awesome name) was at number 12 last year and has risen gracefully to number 3 this year. As I said last year, he just gets better and better, and the soundtrack for Battlestar Galactica Season 4 isundoubtably his best yet. Bear has the same gift as Horner that allows him to convey and enhance the emotion of the show, the soundtrack glides flawlessly from the opening haunting track 'Gaeta's Lament' through a rollercoaster of his diverse signature themes featuring tribal drums, gaelic instruments, piano sonatas and orchestras, wrapping things up with a series of beatifully emotive choir/orchestra pieces that perfectly reflect the events at the end of this fantastic show.

03) Finch- S/T EP
I feel like I'm in the minority when I say I enjoyed Say Hello To Sunshine more than the also excellent precursor, What it is to Burn. The band had gone beyond the safezone of the stereotypical emo punk sound toward a more technically proficient post-hardcore style, and basically this EP (yes yes, I know it's not an LP, I dont care!)
is more of the same. The EP is a perfect blend of harmony and aggression but for me it's the drumming of Drew Marcogliese that really stands out. The new album should be great.

02) Karnivool- Sound Awake
Australian progressive rockers Karnivool's latest offering really impressed me. Ian Kenny, lead vox unquestionably has one of the best voices in the business right now and his epic sustained harmonies are what really make this album special. Everything I crave is there... big guitar riffs, inventive and powerful drumming, intricate guitar wankery, a bassline as thick as a wrestler's neck, a big dollop of reverb and epic vocals to boot.

01) dredg- The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion
This album was not an instant hit with me. I was initially surprised that there weren't songs that hooked me straight away as was the case with Bug Eyes, Tankbark, Same ol Road, Sanzen for the previous two albums. After a few listens it really clicked with me, though, and quickly cemented its place at the top of my list.
Firstly, the production on this album is incredible, so much detail and texture. Gavin's voice contiues to amaze me, Dino's drumming is flawless as always, the guitar is much more subtle than other records, but finds a perfect balance with the thick bassline. The album really highlights Dredg's ability to fuse pop-rock with experimental progressive rock in a really unique and special way.

Biggest letdowns of 2009 -
Pure Reason Revolution - Armor Vincit Omnia
Porcupine Tree - The Incident
Cave In - Planets of Old
Them Crooked Vultures - S/T

Honourable Mentions -
Katatonia - Night is the New Day
Every Time I Die - New Junk Aesthetic
Isis - Wavering Radiant
Breaking Benjamin - Dear Agony
Gallows- Grey Britain


  • aleximusprime

    ETID wasnt in your top 20? You lose!

    Gen 5 2010, 16:59
  • spectre1982

    Definitely agree with your selection of dredg. I wonder though, how much of a chance did you give to PRR?

    Gen 9 2010, 22:52
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