Sunday, December 27, 2009

Best 2009 Albums

2009 saw a number of good albums. These are my 10 favorite ones (alpha order):

Album: Chickenfoot
Artist: Chickenfoot
Favorite track: My Kinda Girl
I really hope this band is not going to ride off into the sunset like so many other great one-off's. Mostly I say this because I was about 1 day late to buy tickets and I missed their show. This is such a great album, all the musicians are really good at what they do and they decidedly approached this as a band, not a project. The first thing that stands out is that Satriani does not sound like his usual self. I think he wanted to sound a little less clean and more rock'r'roll. Either that or Sammy spilt Cabo all over his rack...

Artist: Fastball
Album: Little White Lies
Favorite track: All I Was Looking For Was You
Nobody does Beatles inspired pop like Fastball. They are one of my favorite bands for taking that legacy and making it sound so fresh. They are living proof that you don't need heavy synths and fake drums to make good pop.

Artist: Green Day
Album: 21st Century Breakdown
Favorite track: Restless Heart Syndrome
I've heard a lot of people say this is not as good as American Idiot. I'm not sure why there's always an urge to compare, but this is an amazing album in an of itself. If a band came out today with an album like this I believe they would create quite a buzz and GD fans would flock to them.

Artist: Hoobastank
Album: For(n)ever
Favorite track: All About You
This is such a fun album... it has that drive-a-fast-car-with-the-wind-in-your-hair kinda feel. Most songs are really good. Even though Hoobastank targets kids in their 20s with their poppy-grunge, I think even old timers will find it interesting. I do.

Artist: Hot Leg
Album: Red Light Fever
Favorite track: I've Met Jesus
Justin Hawkins can singlehandedly keep the glam alive. Songs like Chickens, I've Met Jesus, Gay In The 80's are fun and irresistable. He is over the top, right where he belongs!

Artist: Megadeth
Album: Endgame
Favorite track: 1,320
Last year Metallica and Testament, this year Slayer and Megadteh. Thrash is back, baby! All we need now is for Anthrax to come out with new material and I'll reach thrash nirvana. Anyway, Endgame is by far Dave's best album in the past 10 years. You can't find one bad track on it, it's solid from start to finish. 1,320 makes me wanna headbang. Yes, the drums break is reminiscent of Seek and Destroy... I have a theory, completely unproven: Dave came up with that break back in the pre-Kill'em All days and when Metallica used the same break in 2008 for The Day That Never Comes, he was like: "Oh yeah? Well, I'm gonna recycle it too, then!".

Artist: Pearl Jam
b: Backspacer
Favorite track: Supersonic
This is probably the least grunge album PJ ever made. It is more of a hard rock album then anything else. Very different than previous works, but just as good.

Artist: Rodrigo Y Gabriela
Album: 11:11
Favorite track: Hanuman
This year I've been in Spain and started listening more to flamenco, I think that allowed me to enjoy RyG's crossover guitar work at a level never experienced before. The whole thing is out of this planet. Look them up on YouTube.

Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Album: Night Castle
Favorite track: Night Enchanted
There is a lot of classically inspired rock and metal out there. But while most of it comes from Europe, here in the US we can now rejoice as TSO exahusted the Xmas-Metal gimmik and just now delved into endless possibilities mixing metal and classical. Tributes are paid to classical rockers such as Mozart, Bach, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Orff. Keep it coming!

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