December 26, 2009
Runners up, Novel of the Decade:
Harry Potter Series, By J.K Rowling
The Da Vinci Code, By Dan Brown
Thud!, By Terry Pratchett
Novel of the Decade:
Angles and Demons, By Dan Brown
Runners up, TV Series of the Decade, Drama:
TV Series of the Decade, Drama:
Runners up, TV Series of the Decade, Comedy:
Flight Of The Conchords
TV Series of the Decade, Comedy:
The Mighty Boosh
Runner up, Best Animated Series Of the Decade:
The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy
Best Animated Series Of the Decade:
Runner up, Best Movie of the Decade:
The Lord Of The Rings
Best Movie of the Decade:
Runner Up, Best Artist of the Decade:
Best Artist of the Decade:
Runner up, Best Song of the Decade:
At The Bottom - Brand New
Farewell To The Fairground - White Lies
Nothing Ever Happens - Deerhunter
Best Song of the Decade:
Stockholm Syndrome - Muse
Runner up, Best Album of the Decade:
Origin Of Symmetry - Muse
Sawdust - The Killers
X & Y - Coldplay
Best Album of the Decade:
The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me - Brand New
This year marks a special occasion, as we have an abundance of 'Best of the '00s' Music lists as well. Creating a definitive list of either this years or this decades albums by myself seems redundant and time consuming, and the end result would be a hodge-splodge of my favourite albums and missing many decent albums (as well as rap and R&B, two genres, try as might, I cannot get into) that I've heard are great, but are currently still in my extremely large 'too check out' list. So I've devised a more practical and impersonal approach: I'm simply going to observe a varying range of 'Best-Of' lists and, using a very inaccurate polling system, present the 'consensus' of best albums.
So today is my 'Best of '09' list, restricted to a puny 15, but I'll tack on some sort of 'Honourable Mention' type-thing within the next couple of days.
So, without further ado, here are the best albums of two-thousand-and-nine.
Gosh, who didn't this one coming, huh? No, it takes a special sort of album to be presciently labelled as the 'Best Album of the Year' only two weeks in. Talked at length for the entire year, this is one hell of an album. Lush layering of a seemingly endless supply sounds, this album finds the rare and happy middle ground between experimentation and pop sensibilities, maintaining enough obscurity to regain 'hipster' cred, whilst being accessible enough to earn Animal Collective a scourge of new fans who arrived late (like me). Really, what is there left to be said about this album?
December 07, 2009
Despite being released in January, Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavillion is still being talked about, and will easily top almost every single one of the upcoming "Best of '09" lists tentatively due out next month. And for good reason. MPP defied expectations, and simultaneously defined and expanded the sound of a band that appears to wear the metaphorical crown of Indie.
So to follow up such a masterpiece with a five song EP where the first track transforms into a full-on Hobbit dance-fest? Madness? Ingeniousness? In Animal Collective's case, I'm going to have to go with both. This is a band who tries out every idea the conceive without ever looking back. And time and time again these ideas that sound so failure prone on paper just seem to work. Can you imagine a band deciding to suddenly switch a song that has been swirling away in its psychedelic tapestry and spaced out vocals to an upbeat, PanFlute jig? No, neither can I.
This first track 'Graze', despite shocking at first, turns into such a wonderfully bizarre yet uplifting track and is an unexpected EP highlight. But it pales in comparison to the second track, 'What Would I Want? Sky.' Beginning with that trademark Collective washed-out sound of electronic scrapings and rolling looped vocals chanting 'Believe", then transforms into the warmest and most likable song of the album, and is one of my favourite Animal Collective tracks.
The rest of the five tracks don't quite match this peak but that is not to say they are terrible. 'Bleed' feels more foggy and intermission-like than a song, while 'On A Highway' is a slowed down lamentation on touring. The closer 'I Think I Can' is a long one (just over seven minutes) and it brings back the bouncing warmness of the second track, to its success.
Being the second outstanding release this year by the band, we have evidently found them at a creative and artistic peak, and us hardcore and casual Animal Collective fans alike are more than happy to enjoy the view and snapshots taken with them.
Standouts: Graze, What Would I Want? Sky, I Think I Can