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.
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".
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".
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".