Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Every single year, I write an "album of the year" list. I get the impression that no one cares, or even looks at it... But, oh well, here we go again.

This year was much like last, as far as music goes for me. I had a very hard time coming up with a list of ten albums that really made an impression on me this year... And I actually still haven't decided if I'm going to make an entire list of ten in this blog.

This year, my album of the year is The Positives by Person L. Now, I'm a little hesitant about making this my AOTY due to the fact that it was released just under a month ago, but honestly, this is the only album that was released this year that really impressed me.
I heard this album described as Radiohead for idiots... Which, quite frankly, is perfect for me. I feel this is album is much more accessible than anything I've ever hear come from Radiohead. Instrumentally, this album can be compared to bands such as Radiohead and Explosions in the Sky, but it the catchy, rhythmic, almost poppy hooks to the songs put Person L is a league of there own that really impresses me listening over and over again.
In my opinion, what really makes this album stand out is it's sporadic genre shifts from song to song, or even from stanza to stanza in some songs. The album starts off with Hole in the Fence, a almost entirely instrumental, powerful ballad. This ambient mood stays with the songs until you begin to listen to track four, Goodness Gracious, an ode to rock and roll. Throughout the rest of the album you experience hooks that are reminiscent to 50's jukebox rock, recent pop punk, and even some blues.
Another thin that pulled me into this album was the simple, almost minimalistic, lyrics. I've been hearing rumors about a revolution/Have you got the crowd to back it up? Is concerning when read in a blog, yet somehow very powerful and convincing when belted by Kenny Vasoli. And lines like, There's no room here for the darkness to crowd this space/There's been a burden that needs resolution to take it's place is sung with enough intensity and emotion to catch anyone's attention.
Overall, I obviously think this is a great record, and my best guess tells me that it's going to have a decent amount of lasting ability. I highly recommend it to anyone that is dumbfounded when they listen to Radiohead, yet likes the basic structure of there music. I also recommend this album to anyone that likes good old fashioned rock and roll. It's a great album.
*Final verdict = 8/10

(Continued) Top Ten Albums of the Year:

2. As Cities Burn - Hell or High Water
I feel like this album was insanely underrated. But, I've got to admit that I didn't expect such a great album to come out of As Cities Burn. It's a shame the band departed shortly after it's release. The lyrics are powerful however, instrumentally, it took me a while to get into this album.

3. Bradley Hathaway - A Mouth Full of Dust
I expected big things from this album, I wasn't disappointed... too much. Now, I am a person that loves raw recording and minimal amounts of producing, but this album took it to an extreme. It was recorded in the basement of an old country house, and some of the songs reflect that negatively. But, of course, Bradley is an amazing song writer, and his lyrics made this album memorable.

4. Trophy Scars - Bad Luck
I never expect anything less than great from Trophy Scars. I think this was a great follow-up to there 2007 release. It's progressive and the concept is captivating and intriguing. I honestly haven't been able to listen to this album as much as I'd like, but after only a few listens, you'll know it's greatness.

5. Fun. - Aim & Ignite
This was just a fun album (pun intended). There really isn't a whole lot of depth album, but it really is a lot of fun to listen to! The songs are very catchy, and some songs feature a full orchestra. When members of the Format, Steel Train, and Anathallo come together to start a project, you really can't expect anything less than greatness.

6. P.O.S. - Never Better
I didn't really get into rap music before this year. The reason for that is because of the cliche, unoriginal lyrical content of most rap music. But, late last year I discovered P.O.S., I completely changed my view on rap. "Rap with meaning" is what I like to call it. This album has a few gems on it, but there are also a lot of tracks tacks that I skip when listening to this album.

7. Princess Dinosaur - 2009 Demos
Yeah, this isn't technically an album... And that's why I didn't make it #2. I've been waiting for Nic Newsham (Gatsbys American Dream) to release something that caught my attention. The Electricity Demo was my #2 top played tack of the year, right under Something by the Beatles. I think that deserves some recognition.

8. Ace Enders & a Million Different People - When I Hit the Ground
This album was kind of a let down for me. But, as an Early November fan boy, I had extremely high hopes for this album. This release did supply a few great songs, but the songs that I did like from this album were all previously released, either in demo for or in the release of the Secret Wars EP last year.

9. Therefore I Am - The Sound of Human Lives
I really did like this release, but it was most for four or five songs off of the album. These guys are some of the most genuine people I've ever seen perform, and that gave me more respect for this album. I do recommend this album, just don;t expect to listen to it from front to back without skipping some tracks.

10. Punchline - Night Lights
This album just released today actually. It's a b-sides albums, so it wasn't anything I havent already heard before. You've got some acoustic tracks, some compilation tracks, and a few new tracks. All the songs are great, but I've had access to most of them in the past, so I wanted to give everyone else a fair chance at the list before I included Punchline.