Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Top Ten Albums of 2009

OK folks, here it is, my Top Ten Albums of 2009.

10. The Mary Onettes, Islands. Reminiscent of all my fave early eighties bands, Echo & the Bunnymen/Cure. Mmmm….so good.

9. The Big Pink, A Brief History of Love. A truly odd record similar to MGMT, with some great singles.

8. The XX, The XX. A latecomer, but what an infecting record. Hypnotic and sexy.

7. Bat For Lashes, Two Suns. Very Kate Bush weirdness. Several phenomenal songs here – Glass, Daniel, Siren Song.

6. U2 – No Line On The Horizon. OK, so not as great as my initial 5-star review, but still pretty excellent.

5. The Dead Weather – Horehound. Rock and roll as it was meant to be. It seems that nobody else does this anymore but Jack. Detroit wins again.

4. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. Everytime I played this record it got better with multiple listenings.

3. Morrissey, Years of Refusal. From the spectacular opener Something Is Squeezing My Skull to closer I’m OK By Myself, Moz is settling scores. He appears to get stronger as the years go on.

2. Manic Street Preachers, Journal For Plague Lovers. Terrifying, moving, shockingly original. One of the best records of the decade. Period.

1. The Horrors, Primary Colours. I fell for every track on this record. Epic stuff.

Honorable Mention: Noah & The Whale – The First Days of Spring, Gliss – Devotion Implosion, Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!, Dinosaur Jr. – Farm, Daniel Johnston – Is And Always Was

Totally Geeking Out Over Moleskine Monthly Planner

OK, everyone feel free to totally geek out over the Moleskine Monthly Planner. Holy wow... Must...get...one...soon...

London Calling Released 30 Years Ago Today

30 years ago today, The Clash's London Calling was released. London Calling is one of the top ten records ever made, and seems to only gets stronger with every passing year. The album sounds like a greatest hits collection, with every song being perfect.

From Wikipedia:

The album received positive reviews from critics, and has since become widely accepted as one of the greatest rock albums of all time. In 1987, London Calling was ranked number 14 on Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Best Albums of the Last Twenty Years". Rolling Stone also ranked London Calling at number one on its 1989 list of the 100 Best Albums of the Eighties despite its 1979 release.[37] In 1993, NME ranked the album at number six on its list of The Greatest Albums of the '70s.[38] Vibe magazine included the double album on its list of the 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century.[39] Q magazine ranked London Calling at number four on its 1999 list of the 100 Greatest British Albums,[40] and, in 2002, included the album in its list of the 100 Best Punk Albums.[41]

Robert Christgau described London Calling as "warm, angry, and thoughtful, confident, melodic, and hard-rocking" and called it "the best double-LP since Exile on Main Street".[42] Stephen Erlewine of Allmusic wrote that London Calling was "invigorating, rocking harder and with more purpose than most albums, let alone double albums" and called it "one of the greatest rock & roll albums ever recorded".[43]

Alternative Press included London Calling on its 2001 list of the 10 Essential '80s Albums.[44] Tom Carson of Rolling Stone said it "celebrates the romance of rock & roll rebellion in grand, epic terms"[45] and ranked London Calling number eight on its 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[3] In the same year, Mojo magazine ranked the album at number twenty-two on its Top 50 Punk Albums.[46] London Calling was named album of the year by Stereo Review for 1980.

In 2004, Pitchfork Media reviewer Amanda Petrusich named "London Calling" the album's best song and wrote that "The Clash do not let go; each track builds on the last, pummeling and laughing and slapping us into dumb submission".[47] The website ranked the album at number two on its list of the Top 100 Albums of the 70s,[48] Sal Ciolfi of PopMatters called the album a "big, loud, beautiful collection of hurt, anger, restless thought, and above all hope" and wrote that "if released tomorrow would still seem relevant and vibrant",[49] and the College Music Journal ranked it at number three on its Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1980.[50]

In 2007, London Calling was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, a collection of recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance.[51]

As an illustration of the album's lasting impact, on 2 December 2009 it was featured on the BBC Radio 1 Masterpieces Series, marking it as one of the most influential albums of all time, some thirty years after its original release.

Go out and buy it right now. Seriously, go buy it, not download it. The album cover is one of the top five ever, and the sleeve is classic. A must.