Top 10 albums of 2009 - Martin Turenne


Everyone’s a critic; that’s an old saying, but it’s especially fitting in an era when everyone has a soapbox and nobody pays for music. Too bad, then, that we’re nearing the end of the worst decade in pop history. In the wider historical sense, even the records below are merely very okay.

Depeche Mode
Sounds of the Universe
Just another Depeche Mode album—an immaculate collection of songs imbued with enough psychological depth and musical sophistication to utterly shame the world’s many spastic-hipster synth-pop bands.

Depeche Mode performs "Wrong".

Jon Hopkins
Coldplay’s last album began as U2’s The Joshua Tree did, with a gorgeous synthesizer overture in the Brian Eno style. Coldplay’s opener was written and played by Jon Hopkins, an Eno protégé whose third album, Insides, is an object of crystalline beauty.

Jon Hopkins' "Light Through the Veins".

Rick Ross
Deeper Than Rap
The most luxurious and regal-sounding rap record since The Blueprint, this is the album Jay-Z should have made this year. The fact that the once-buffoonish Ross has the world’s best ghostwriters penning his rhymes makes him not just tolerable, but triumphant. Who would have believed it?

Love vs. Money
If R. Kelly is the king of R&B, then his crown princes are Terius “The-Dream” Nash and Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, the creators of the fluttering, rapturous sound that Rihanna, Mariah, and Kelly himself have copped. Love vs. Money is the definitive synopsis of the Nash/Stewart method, a relentlessly tuneful and euphoric testament to their genius.

The-Dream's "Rockin That Shit".

Woozy and sunburnt, Album seems like it could have emerged from a time capsule buried under the Santa Monica Pier in 1962. Over 12 note-perfect tunes, Girls gives a sense of how surf-pop might have sounded if everyone had been as fucked-up as Brian Wilson.

Girl's "Hellhole Ratrace".

Comments (2) Add New Comment
you get 1/10 on the taste-o-meter for the inclusion of the wisp disc.

so, now that i've roundly criticized everybody, i suppose i'm obligated to provide my own list....

....i can't. it's been an awful year in every possible way. i couldn't even list ten records worth listening to that were released this year, let alone a best of list. the whole decade has been like this, with a brief reprieve around 2003.

old acts have disappointed heavily. new acts have almost entirely been retro, which is by definition devoid of creativity.

i'm just thankful that this decade is finally over.
Rating: -3
Your living in the past, music is just different for you. It's pretty cool that you have acts that you like, but it's a shame you haven't found anything new.

I personally think it's been a great year for music and all these lists are great. Love the Jacques Dutronc inclusion.

Although I miss:
Andrew Bird – Noble Beast
DM Stith – Heavy Ghost
Dark was the Night – Various Artists
Bill Callahan – Sometimes I Wish I was and Eagle
Akron Family - Set Em Wild Set Em Free
Hauschka – Ferndorf
Mount Eerie – Winds Poem

Rating: -2
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