With every publication this side of Highlights rolling out their Best of 2009 lists, I figured I should toss out a list of my own.
Here is my list of top albums from 2009, in top-to-bottom order, for the most part. Please comment below telling me how I missed your favorite record of the year or provide some other suggestions. Knowledge is power!
What do you get when you put Jim James, Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and M.Ward in a room together? Answer: This incredible cross-genre album.
There are people who think this is punkier, shorter and more thought-out offering from America's last great arena rock band is a comeback album. Those people haven't been paying attention for the past 15 years.
I gave this a listen the day before we ran Source contributor Kaycee Anseth Townsend's review of the record and didn't put it down for a week. The band, which played here a few times FOR FREE at McMenamins back in the day, has almost magically mixed folk with pop tendencies for this brilliant work.
I covered this band for The Source and again for Jambase.com and soon fell in love with the sextet's ELO-goes-to-Kansas mentality. The record features both Americana and pop rock. That's not easy.
No, this wasn't the earth-shattering follow up to The Crane Wife that I thought it would be, but after spending six months with the concept disc, it stuck. Colin Meloy gets pretty dark on this one, but in the theatrically goofy sort of way that makes this Portland band one of the best of the decade.