Home Round up 09

Round up 09

by admin January 5, 2010

Round up 09

by admin January 5, 2010

With 2009 now behind us and in the books of history, The Concordian will take a look back at what this past year had in store for music. Here are our writers’ picks, and what they thought of this year’s offerings.

TOP THREE ALBUMS

1. Why? Eskimo Snow

The follow-up to last year’s Alopecia may have not had the same heavy-hitting beats and hip-hop edge, but Eskimo Snow showed that Yoni Wolf is still one of the best lyricists around using a mixture of abstract imagery and almost awkward, sometimes cringe-worthy, moments of self-revelation. Eskimo Snow is one of the under-looked releases of 2009.

2. Think About LifeFamily

A local Montreal fixture, known as all-around unbelievable live performers, Think About Life released their second album Family in late May and have not looked back since. Each sample-laden track is just as infectious as the last, leaving no doubt that it’s led to many spontaneous acts of dancing. A joy from start to finish, Family won’t be the last Montreal hears from Think About Life.

3. Japandroids Post-Nothing

The debut album from Vancouver duo Japandroids is fast-paced, hard-hitting and, at times, completely reckless take on garage rock. With just a guitar, drum set, and shared vocals, these boys lay out simple anthems of repeated choruses. Subjects can range from their drizzly hometown to worrying about “sunshine girls” over death. A great first effort that was snubbed by the Polaris Prize – it only made the long list.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

The Decemberists 8212; The Hazards of Love

On the surface, The Hazards of Love is a daring concept album, the spinning of a mythology of a hapless woman who becomes pregnant after a romp in the forest with a shape shifter. Only the Decemberists could take on something of this scale. But when Hazards of Love was delivered, it was a prog-rock opera that lost direction through overlapping narrations. Even with the jumbled storyline, The Decemberists managed to deliver a few great tracks, the ghastly “The Rake’s Song” standing out as one of the best.

GUILTY PLEASURE

Pony Up 8212; Stay Gold

The third release from this Montreal all-girl foursome arrived in June. Completely self-released after being dropped by their label, Pony Up came back with a much-matured sound and better overall song writing. Singles like “Charles,” “Making More Beneath” and “A Crutch Or A Cradle” showed the most promising progression the band has made. Hopefully, they’ll be around for another album sometime in the near future.

BEST DEBUT

Real Estate 8212; Real Estate

Born over a hazy New Jersey summer, Real Estate’s psychedelic surf pop album was released as the grip of winter was tightening. Real Estate is a mixture of songs about beaches and the Jersey Shore with mellow instrumentals. After listening you’ll be craving a bit of time in the sun.

LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2010

2010 will be brining a few hotly anticipated follow-up albums, the first of which is only a week away, when Vampire Weekend release their sophomore effort Contra. With an early leak and two singles, Vampire Weekend looks to have an album just as good, if not better, than their self-titled debut. In early February, Hot Chip drops their fourth album One Life Stand. Montreal’s Plants and Animals have completed an album slated for release sometime this year as a follow-up to Polaris Prize-nominated Parc Avenue.

TERRIFYING POSSIBLE FUTURE

The past year undoubtedly belonged in part to Lady Gaga. Her earworm-laden songs and completely bizarre wardrobe made her a pop-culture fixture. But like anything with mega mainstream success there comes a point where the copycats come out and try to capitalize on a growing trend. So far no one has been able to pull off Gaga, but there’s no doubt that in 2010 we’ll see a whole lot of “artists” try.

Staff writer Candace Roscoe takes another look at the past year.

TOP THREE ALBUMS

1. Bellini The Precious Prize of Gravity

It’s likely that this is the only list The Precious Prize of Gravity made in 2009, but here it comes in first. The album has a D.C. post-hardcore influence, with an Italian style. Sick drums, madman guitar, heavy bass, and undecipherable vocals, what’s not to love? The release also marks the addition of Girls Against Boys drummer Alexis Fleisig to the Bellini line-up.

2. Depeche Mode Sounds of The Universe

80s superstars Depeche Mode still have it. Unlike many of their contemporaries who’ve released albums in recent years, Depeche Mode still makes outstanding music. Sounds of The Universe is still relevant and great from start to finish. Synth, heavy with guitar riffs, and haunting well-written vocals, Sounds of The Universe is the Depeche we all love and crave.

3. Spinnerette Spinnerette

Spinnerette is The Distllers’ frontwoman Brody Dalle’s new band. The album showcases the punk queen all cleaned up – if that meant picking up some 90s alternative rock, electronic and stoner influences. The album is catchy and in a league of its own. Spinnerette seemingly has nothing to do with this decade and is better for it. It’s the kind of album that would sound great on a drive through the desert.

BEST DEBUT

The xx 8212; xx

Coming out of South West London, the xx is spacey indie-pop with a strong R&B influence. It’s quiet, chill, and pretty. Vocals are shared by guitarist Romy Madley Croft and bassist Oliver Sim. Their quirky duets provide easy late night listening.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

Marilyn Manson 8212; The High End of Low

Okay so he hasn’t come out with anything great in years. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t, which is why The High End of Low was such a disappointment. I don’t know what Evan Rachel Wood was thinking because Manson is obviously one sad little co-dependent man. Songs like “Pretty as a Swastika” accentuate this fact. Some songs would actually have potential if it weren’t for awful lyrics. The chorus to “Leave a Scar” reads, “I’m well aware I’m a danger to myself/Are you aware I’m a danger to others?” Enough said.

GUILTY PLEASURE

Tiesto feat. C.C. Sheffield 8212; “Escape Me”

If you listen to, or are forced to listen to, BPM satellite radio for any reason, it’s guaranteed that you heard this song thousands and thousands of times this year. Although it was played to death, no one can deny that “Escape Me” is a hit a track. The lyrics are beyond catchy, C.C. Sheffield has a great voice, and the song might actually sound better in Tiesto’s electronic version than the original.

LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2010

According to a recent post by Trent Reznor on nin.com, there may be a new Nine Inch Nails album to look forward to in 2010. This comes after the extended Wave Goodbye tour this past year. We knew getting married wouldn’t keep him away.

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With 2009 now behind us and in the books of history, The Concordian will take a look back at what this past year had in store for music. Here are our writers’ picks, and what they thought of this year’s offerings.

TOP THREE ALBUMS

1. Why? Eskimo Snow

The follow-up to last year’s Alopecia may have not had the same heavy-hitting beats and hip-hop edge, but Eskimo Snow showed that Yoni Wolf is still one of the best lyricists around using a mixture of abstract imagery and almost awkward, sometimes cringe-worthy, moments of self-revelation. Eskimo Snow is one of the under-looked releases of 2009.

2. Think About LifeFamily

A local Montreal fixture, known as all-around unbelievable live performers, Think About Life released their second album Family in late May and have not looked back since. Each sample-laden track is just as infectious as the last, leaving no doubt that it’s led to many spontaneous acts of dancing. A joy from start to finish, Family won’t be the last Montreal hears from Think About Life.

3. Japandroids Post-Nothing

The debut album from Vancouver duo Japandroids is fast-paced, hard-hitting and, at times, completely reckless take on garage rock. With just a guitar, drum set, and shared vocals, these boys lay out simple anthems of repeated choruses. Subjects can range from their drizzly hometown to worrying about “sunshine girls” over death. A great first effort that was snubbed by the Polaris Prize – it only made the long list.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

The Decemberists 8212; The Hazards of Love

On the surface, The Hazards of Love is a daring concept album, the spinning of a mythology of a hapless woman who becomes pregnant after a romp in the forest with a shape shifter. Only the Decemberists could take on something of this scale. But when Hazards of Love was delivered, it was a prog-rock opera that lost direction through overlapping narrations. Even with the jumbled storyline, The Decemberists managed to deliver a few great tracks, the ghastly “The Rake’s Song” standing out as one of the best.

GUILTY PLEASURE

Pony Up 8212; Stay Gold

The third release from this Montreal all-girl foursome arrived in June. Completely self-released after being dropped by their label, Pony Up came back with a much-matured sound and better overall song writing. Singles like “Charles,” “Making More Beneath” and “A Crutch Or A Cradle” showed the most promising progression the band has made. Hopefully, they’ll be around for another album sometime in the near future.

BEST DEBUT

Real Estate 8212; Real Estate

Born over a hazy New Jersey summer, Real Estate’s psychedelic surf pop album was released as the grip of winter was tightening. Real Estate is a mixture of songs about beaches and the Jersey Shore with mellow instrumentals. After listening you’ll be craving a bit of time in the sun.

LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2010

2010 will be brining a few hotly anticipated follow-up albums, the first of which is only a week away, when Vampire Weekend release their sophomore effort Contra. With an early leak and two singles, Vampire Weekend looks to have an album just as good, if not better, than their self-titled debut. In early February, Hot Chip drops their fourth album One Life Stand. Montreal’s Plants and Animals have completed an album slated for release sometime this year as a follow-up to Polaris Prize-nominated Parc Avenue.

TERRIFYING POSSIBLE FUTURE

The past year undoubtedly belonged in part to Lady Gaga. Her earworm-laden songs and completely bizarre wardrobe made her a pop-culture fixture. But like anything with mega mainstream success there comes a point where the copycats come out and try to capitalize on a growing trend. So far no one has been able to pull off Gaga, but there’s no doubt that in 2010 we’ll see a whole lot of “artists” try.

Staff writer Candace Roscoe takes another look at the past year.

TOP THREE ALBUMS

1. Bellini The Precious Prize of Gravity

It’s likely that this is the only list The Precious Prize of Gravity made in 2009, but here it comes in first. The album has a D.C. post-hardcore influence, with an Italian style. Sick drums, madman guitar, heavy bass, and undecipherable vocals, what’s not to love? The release also marks the addition of Girls Against Boys drummer Alexis Fleisig to the Bellini line-up.

2. Depeche Mode Sounds of The Universe

80s superstars Depeche Mode still have it. Unlike many of their contemporaries who’ve released albums in recent years, Depeche Mode still makes outstanding music. Sounds of The Universe is still relevant and great from start to finish. Synth, heavy with guitar riffs, and haunting well-written vocals, Sounds of The Universe is the Depeche we all love and crave.

3. Spinnerette Spinnerette

Spinnerette is The Distllers’ frontwoman Brody Dalle’s new band. The album showcases the punk queen all cleaned up – if that meant picking up some 90s alternative rock, electronic and stoner influences. The album is catchy and in a league of its own. Spinnerette seemingly has nothing to do with this decade and is better for it. It’s the kind of album that would sound great on a drive through the desert.

BEST DEBUT

The xx 8212; xx

Coming out of South West London, the xx is spacey indie-pop with a strong R&B influence. It’s quiet, chill, and pretty. Vocals are shared by guitarist Romy Madley Croft and bassist Oliver Sim. Their quirky duets provide easy late night listening.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

Marilyn Manson 8212; The High End of Low

Okay so he hasn’t come out with anything great in years. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t, which is why The High End of Low was such a disappointment. I don’t know what Evan Rachel Wood was thinking because Manson is obviously one sad little co-dependent man. Songs like “Pretty as a Swastika” accentuate this fact. Some songs would actually have potential if it weren’t for awful lyrics. The chorus to “Leave a Scar” reads, “I’m well aware I’m a danger to myself/Are you aware I’m a danger to others?” Enough said.

GUILTY PLEASURE

Tiesto feat. C.C. Sheffield 8212; “Escape Me”

If you listen to, or are forced to listen to, BPM satellite radio for any reason, it’s guaranteed that you heard this song thousands and thousands of times this year. Although it was played to death, no one can deny that “Escape Me” is a hit a track. The lyrics are beyond catchy, C.C. Sheffield has a great voice, and the song might actually sound better in Tiesto’s electronic version than the original.

LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2010

According to a recent post by Trent Reznor on nin.com, there may be a new Nine Inch Nails album to look forward to in 2010. This comes after the extended Wave Goodbye tour this past year. We knew getting married wouldn’t keep him away.

Leave a Comment