Best Music of 2009 (So Far): Nick Marino, Managing Editor
To celebrate the half-way point of 2009, this week Paste staffers are counting down their favorite albums and songs of the year (so far). Check out all of our lists here, and share your own favorites in the comments.
If you really have nothing better to do, you can argue about its reggae
authenticity. But that misses the point, which is to let yourself
go—like they’d do in Jamaica—and let your head get blown off.
Roses—Blue Roses (XL): Gorgeous
folk. Her songs go interesting places, and her voice sends shivers down
Pit—Manners (Frenchkiss): I’ve
already said just about everything I have to say about these guys. They’re
Toussaint—The Bright Mississippi
(Nonesuch): Remember how, right after Katrina, everyone cared so much
about New Orleans music? In the words of the Rebirth Brass Band, let’s do
it again—starting here.
Collective—Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino):
It’s kind of awesome and kind of annoying, kind of manic and kind of
paranoid—and it never sits still— which makes it the album that best
embodies the twitchy emotional state of 2009.
Help The Girl—God Help The Girl
(Matador): Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch would prefer not to
call this collection of songs a solo album. But they’re mostly his tunes,
with his sensibilities—which means, of course, that they’re lovely.
Allen—It’s Not Me, It’s You (Capitol):
Sometimes people get so caught up in an artist’s story, they forget to
listen to the music. That’s what’s happening to Allen. Forget what you
know, and go back to the record—it’s better than her first.
Light—Adult Nights (Almost Gold):
The guys in this melodic rock quartet are simultaneously pumped-up and
world-weary, like a bunch of young Springsteens crossed with Conor Oberst.
1. Wild Light—“California On My Mind”: We’ve got nothing against the Golden State, but this song—with its cheery “fuck California” refrain—has probably been the single most-played song around the Paste office this year.
2. Animal Collective—“My Girls”: A slippery, shimmery dance jam that just won’t quit.
3. Keri Hilson feat. Ne-Yo and Kanye West—“Knock You Down”: Collaboration of the year? Letterman certainly seems to think so.
4. Vistoso Bosses—“Delirious”: Sugary teenaged R&B hasn’t sounded this good since Cherish made “Do It To It.”
5. Bon Iver—“Woods”: This could have been the moment when Auto-Tune jumped the shark. Instead it’s a little a capella triumph.
6. Cut Off Your Hands—“Happy As Can Be”: The galloping percussion would make Aaron Copland proud. And the towering melody is a primal thrill.
7. Ricky Blaze—“Cut Dem Off”: An instant-classic reggae jam. Do yourself a favor and check the YouTube fan vids.
8. M. Ward—“For Beginners”: Biblical allegory plus handclaps!
9. Mr. Hudson feat. Kanye West—“Supernova”: Mr. West meets Mr. Hudson, and a futuristic power ballad is born.
10. Anya Marina—“Vertigo”: Love the girlish vocals and the beat that sounds like it was made on a Casio. Charming outro, too.