Material Things: My Favorite Albums of 2009, #30-21

This list is proving to be mighty popular, so I won’t keep you guys waiting any longer for the next set of albums!!

30. Gordon Gano & The RyansUnder The Sun

A surprisingly (yet unsurprisingly) strong set of tunes from the iconic voice of the Violent FemmesUnder The Sun expands Gano‘s classic sound into many eclectic genres and styles without losing his trademark bite.

29. Yo La TengoPopular Songs

Not a best-of collection, per se, but a great introduction to the trio’s long strange trip of a career.  If nothing else, Popular Songs‘ closing triplet shows off Yo La Tengo‘s defining skill of playing for a really long time, but the shorter blasts of fuzzy pop are mighty sweet as well.

28. A.C. NewmanGet Guilty

On an off year from The New Pornographers, the supergroup’s director creates his own set of impressive tunes.  Get Guilty has all the wit and charm of Mass Romantic or Twin Cinema, but with a stronger sense of continuity with just one singer at the helm.

27. Mission Of BurmaThe Sound The Speed The Light

Though only a shadow of Signals Calls And Marches or Vs., The Sound The Speed The Light is a strong offering from the reformed Mission Of Burma.  Still as artsy and brutal as they were in the ’80s, the Boston trio remain an elusive bunch of creatives.

26. The DecemberistsThe Hazards Of Love

Colin Meloy‘s epic, overindulgent story might be a bit too much for even the most devoted follower.  Still, several bits of the song cycle really make an impression, particularly those featuring the fiery vocals of Shara “My Brightest Diamond” Worden.

25. The King Khan & BBQ ShowInvisible Girl

The vulgar garage duo have released a lot of music together and in other bands, but the doo-wop tones on Invisible Girl keep this project standing out from the rest.  That, and lewd songs like the reprehensible “Tastebuds,” which dares the listener to sing along with its profane refrain.

24. The Pains Of Being Pure At HeartThe Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

The debut album from this Brooklyn combo draws from a lot of beloved indie rock elements: jangly guitars, boy/girl harmonies, fresh and familiar sounding songs.  A strong effort, for sure; even the band’s b-sides are impressive.

23. The HeavyThe House That Dirt Built

An all-around eclectic collection, ranging from R&B to funk to reggae to garage rock.  Not the easiest record to pin down, The House That Dirt Built, like the band who created it, has a lot to offer.

22. Jay ReatardWatch Me Fall

With all the trouble he’s gotten himself into this year, Watch Me Fall turned out to be a rather blunt invitation from Jay Reatard.  Luckily for him, he’s got an album full of infectious power pop to keep him company between firing his band and getting beaten up by fans.

21. The Big PinkA Brief History Of Love

As morose as they are grandiose, The Big Pink really offer a brief history of 4AD Records, hearkening back to the label’s gothic heyday.  A Brief History Of Love might not be as academic as its title suggests, but it is a lusty, cocky and all-around massive album.

Ready for Part 4?


~ by E. on December 23, 2009.

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