Tag Archives: the hazards of love

Albums of 2009 – Lis(z)tomania!

UPDATE: Grab a convenient playlist featuring two key tracks from (almost) all of the albums featured here.

2009 has been a year when I’ve taken stock of a fair bit of older music – thank Spotify for that! – which might explain my profligacy in terms of listening to some really highly-regarded new albums. Nonetheless, in the last few weeks I’ve clawed back lost ground and taken the opportunity to investigate the hype surrounding some of this year’s gems.

In the interests of economy, I’m only listing my fifteen favourite albums; there were plenty of others that I enjoyed, but couldn’t justify adding to this list. So, as well as the albums listed below, do please go and have a listen to wonderful albums like Doves‘ triumphant Kingdom Of Rust, The Cribs‘ Johnny Marr-enhanced Ignore The Ignorant, and Atlas Sound‘s mesmerising Logos. But without further ado, and a bit more explanation where necessary, here are my offerings: Continue reading Albums of 2009 – Lis(z)tomania!

The Hazards of HMV

Today, on my first day back home from university, I ventured to the local shopping centre, in search of suitable gifts for my mother. As per usual, my travels took me to HMV where, having found two appropriate DVDs (Brief Encounter, The Last King Of Scotland), I had a scout around the rapidly dwindling music section, in search of some CDs. Predictably, I didn’t find what I was looking for, but it did stir in me the desire to list the next batch of new albums that I’m looking forward to gaining possession of – hopefully by fully legal means, in this new era of Spotify et al!

  • The Decemberists – The Hazards Of Love. As I write this, I’m listening to the band performing this album, in its entirety, at SXSW, on a specially prepared NPR Podcast, and it sounds intriguing, ambitious and enthralling.
  • The Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz! Reviews for this seem to remark upon the band’s current flirting with slower, more electronic songs. For me, it’s the latest opportunity to hear an example of Dave Sitek’s mind-bending production methods.
  • Doves – Kingdom Of Rust. Right now, I have a fixation with the album-opener, Jetstream, which sounds like Krautrock crossed with Vangelis. This album could be absolutely tremendous, marking a change of fortunes for the three-piece in the same vein as the good luck that befell Elbow, last year.
  • Dan Deacon – Bromst. Having devoted half an hour to the recent Pitchfork.tv documentary about the making of this album, it sounds like a suspiciously important work, pushing Deacon’s compositional skills into a new arena of production values and live, organic orchestration.
  • Art Brut – Art Brut vs. Satan. I’ve never really got into Art Brut, believing them to be yet another punky British band like all the others that I despise. But the curiously admiring reviews their albums have received may persuade me to check out their third long-player in greater detail.
  • Sonic Youth – The Eternal. New Sonic Youth albums are never going to re-invent the wheel in the same manner as Daydream Nation, but the chances are that it’ll be a cohesive, engaging collection of songs that add further credence to my unerring belief in their brilliance and importance.