A day late on the annual tradition of posting my favorite albums from the year on New Year's Day. This serves as the fifth anniversary of positing such a list (and also the fifth anniversary of this blog) and each one is a little different: sometimes my brother and I combine ours for a more comprehensive list, and on other occasions, I have allowed myself a list that includes albums, songs and concerts. Musically, looking back at 2009, I do not think a lot about the music that came out in 2009, but instead the music I discovered and rediscovered (most of it much older). With that in mind, I have decided for a comprehensive list that includes box sets and reissues - as I feel that most accurately reflects my listening habits from last year.
1. The Beatles In Mono (Box Set), The Beatles
Amazing CD packaging that recreates the original vinyl records combine with the best sounding Beatles recordings on CD ever. It is amazing how each song feels so familiar, even though some I have not heard in more than a decade.
2. Where the Action Is: Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-1968 (Box Set), Various Artists
Quite possibly my favorite Nuggets box set yet, a thoroughly comprehensive set that combines lesser known cuts from bigger LA acts (Byrds, Doors, Beach Boys) with a load of brilliant records, some of which have been out-of-print for years.
3. Two Suns, Bat For Lashes
The best album of 2009 that actually was from 2009 and number 15 on my top albums of the decade list, Two Suns was an album so brilliant it demanded my attention for days and even weeks. Natasha Khan channels Kate Bush on the year's best single, "Daniel." Elsewhere, songs recall such unlikely sources as Loreena McKennitt and Fumbling Towards Ecstacy-era Sarah McLachlan. The musical arrangements are rich reflecting Khan's art school background and a Celtic influence. Two Suns is truly unique and one of a kind.
4. Let It Roll: The Best of George Harrison, George Harrison
5. Humbug, Arctic Monkeys
6. Demos, Crosby, Stills and Nash
7. In and Out of Control, The Raveonettes
8. Lungs, Florence and the Machine
9. Declaration of Dependence, Kings of Convenience
10. Merriweather Post Pavillion, Animal Collective and The Ecstatic, Mos Def