Thursday, December 17, 2009

OHWNT FaveAlbums2009 part 1: #1 and 50-26

Well hello there.. welcome back.

In 2007, the first year of this here blog, I think I neglected to come up with a list of my favorite albums of that year. But it was no secret that my favorite, from about July of that year, was Yeasayer's All Hour Cymbals. Animal Collective's strong Strawberry Jam and Menomena's Friend or Foe were up there, too, but Yeasayer was above and beyond anything I had listened to that year.

In 2008 I also neglected to come up with a proper list, but I was very vocal about Department of Eagles' In Ear Park-- I was a fan of [Grizzly Bear member] Daniel Rossen's band before I had ever heard of Grizzly Bear [something which I'm obviously sort of proud of]. Fleet Foxes' self-titled album was near the top last year, as was Ratatat's LP3.

So there's a theme.. and there should be: no big surprises. If it's a contender for my favorite album of the year, chances are I've been listening to it for a good part of the year. Also, I'm not trying to like weird stuff other people don't like. Well, ok perhaps I actually am. But in the end, I'm usually not actually liking it anymore than everyone else.

Sure, I joke about still liking buttrockers Clutch and stoners Monster Magnet sometimes [which not too many indie blog readers will attest to these days] but when it comes to noisemakers like Wavves, catcallers like Joanna Newsom, pimple-faced teens Smith & Westerns, or bleep-and-blooping Neon Indian, no matter how much hype anyone gives them, if I don't like it after several attempts to see what the big deal is, then I just don't like it.

While I'm on that thought.... earlier this year I deleted all of the Neon Indian songs I had, and re-downloaded them all again, because I kept wondering to myself "am I listening to the same stuff that everyone else is? This can't be what everyone's raving about. Maybe I got some corrupt files. Maybe I got some mp3s that were improperly tagged." No, it was indeed the real [crappy] deal. What can I say? I gave it a try. And another. And still another. I just don't see the big fucking deal.

So anyway.... the two trends: no surprises and I like what's good. Pretty simple, huh? So in the spirit of this obvious statement, I'm doing my first ever [can't believe it's happening, myself] FaveAlbums list. And I'm going to do something slightly different than most blogs: I'm giving you my #1 favorite up front, because it's not really worth the suspense. It's not a big surprise. 99% of blogs and magazines and newspapers out there are all saying the same damn thing, and it's hard to refute the obvious. Trust me, I tried.

1 - Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion

I tried to will this away from the top of my list. I've never been much of a conformist [except when I'm paid to be in uniform]. I don't like being like everyone else. Ask my mom. I stopped listening to the album for days, maybe even weeks. But then the harmonies and drums and ghostly soundscapes began haunting me. Avey Tare's yelps. "In the Flowers"'s handclaps. The grinding and dodging of "Summertime Clothes". Synthstabs of "Daily Routine". The "Brother Sport" breakdown at 3:01. And, of course, the "My Girls" chorus.

Ignoring the pure brilliance of albums as wholes, I looked at ranking favorites quantitatively: giving numerical ratings to the standout tracks of each one, and then tallying up the scores. Even by looking at the stars I give each song in iTunes, I didn't need to do any counting. MPP is easily way ahead—dammit if 82% of the songs don’t have at least three stars by their names [yes, that’s 9 of 11 tracks; can you guess which two weren’t my favorites?].

Howabout the album's play count? Well, because I have two computers and got a new laptop halfway through the year, those numbers are inconclusive [and because I often leave my apartment forgetting a playlist is on repeat, the numbers are a little skewed]. However, I know like hell I listened to MPP more than anything else [even Teiam Player tracks/mixes!].

So there it is. I hopped on the bandwagon. So what? Now on with the rest.


Below are 50-26, which definitely deserve, at the very least, to be mentioned. Rankings are admittedly a little more loose here than they are on the top 25.

50 - Surfer Blood - Astrocast

49 - Universal Studios Florida Ocean Sunbirds

48 - Múm Sing Along to Songs You Don’t Know

47 - Le Loup Family

46 - Yppah They Know What Ghost Know

45 - Here We Go Magic Here We Go Magic

44 - Nosaj Thing Drift

43 - PhaseOne Thanks But No Thanks

42 - Mountain Goats The Life of the World to Come

41 - Taken By Trees East of Eden

40 - The Isbells The Isbells

39 - The Moore Brothers Aptos

38 - Washed Out High Times

37 - No and the Maybes No and the Maybes

36 - Deastro Moondagger

35 - Major Lazer Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do

34 - Simian Mobile Disco Temporary Pleasure

33 - The Kills Keep On Your Mean Side

32 - Junior Boys Begone Dull Care

31 - Bombay Bicycle Club I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose

30 - Fires of Rome You Kingdom You

29 - Magic Arms Make Lists Do Something

28 - Mumford & Sons Sigh No More

27 - Freelance Whales Weathervanes

26 - Fool’s Gold Fool’s Gold

Places 25-2 will be coming along very very shortly, don't you worry.

Thanks for reading thus far.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Come on baby, baby..