Anyway, some pretty good music came out in 2009, but nothing really stood out as the out-and-out best album. If anything, more disappointing albums came out than years past, but i'll list those later. It might be the Twitter explosion and the hype that can be built up for a new album between all the social-networking sites, but i was really looking forward to about 10 albums this year and none of them were really as good as the hype. i'm sure those albums will settle into my rotation but i think i was expecting too much. either way, here is my list of my favorite 10 albums of 2009, counting down:
10. mewithoutyou - It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All A Dream! It's Alright!
This was the year that i finally gave in and checked out mewithoutyou for reals. I know a lot of my friends have really been into this band for quite some time, but i never really gave them a chance. This year really changed that, this album is amazing, and i got to see them live. It's hard to describe the band's sound, but the lyrics and storytelling is captivating, and the sound is very unique and passionate. great album.
9. We Came As Romans - To Plant a Seed
I just discovered these guys a few months ago and i'm totally digging their sound. This is WCAR's first full-length and i think they're going to be pretty successful touring it. A solid blend of metalcore/post-hardcore sound with very catchy melodic choruses and a big full sound make this album worth checking out for fans of energizing music.
8. Meese - Broadcast
I'm a little biased because i can name-drop Pat Meese but to be honest i really liked this album. I haven't been a fan of previous stuff i've heard from Meese, a little too quirky for me, but i think the move to a major label really put the brakes on a lot of the creativity Pat brings, for better or for worse. Either way i thought this was a solid listen, i really like the single Next In Line and other tracks like Movie-screens. A great album to throw on when you just need to chill.
7. Miss May I - Apologies Are For The Weak
5-piece metalcore band from Ohio, and none of the members are older than 19! This album is the most brutal album of the year, the drumming is plain ridiculous, and the guitar-work is impressive. They also did not disappoint when we saw them live.
6. The Audition - Self-Titled Album
This list is all over the place, chill - metal - pop - folk - worship, and here's another curveball. I've been a fan of The Audition for a long time, it's something about their brand of poppy / punk / rock music that is appealing to me, and maybe because they started off on one of my favorite labels Victory Records. This is easily their best work to date, so catchy and solid, a very fun listen. Check this album out if you get a chance.
5. August Burns Red - Constellations
Oh man, here's where the list starts to get really good, starting off with August Burns Red. Man this album is amazing, ABR is so good musically, their sound is intricate and diverse metal/mathcore. Here's a band that i saw live first and was so impressed i decided to grab their new album, and it blew me away. After listening to some of their older stuff i think this is easily their best album yet, the production was great.
4. The Devil Wears Prada - With Branches Above and Roots Below
These guys are having quite a year, headlining Warped Tour, co-headlining the Napalm & Noise Tour, and releasing their incredible album With Roots... which reached #1 on Billboard's Christian, Indie and Hard Rock charts, and up to #11 on the Billboard 200. I don't know what i can really say about this except that it was amazing, so heavy and creative.
3. Phil Wickham - Heaven and Earth
This album actually lived up to hype. Phil Wickham is quickly becoming a big player in Christian music, worship music. His music is simple yet impressive, and it's probably due mostly to his singing talent. If you've seen Phil Wickham live you know that he is very impressive as a singer, a very wide range and great sound. This album is awesome all the way through, with great songs like Safe, Eden, and Because of Your Love, Wickham has released yet another completely solid album (his third so far).
2. Oh Sleeper - Son of the Morning
This is making a lot of lists as the top album of 2009, but i can't help be a little hesitant to name it my favorite. I love Oh Sleeper, i think they have a lot of talent and have some unique sounds in a genre that is quickly getting watered-down, and this album is a good follow up to When I Am God. The production of this album is so good, the drums sound amazing and the change in drummers from the last album is a nice upgrade as can be heard on the track World Without a Sun. Commissioned by Kings and The Finisher are really good tracks, but Son of the Morning is by far the best track on the album.
1. Gwen Stacy - A Dialogue
This album is solid. These guys won't even make it on some radars, an up-and-coming Christian metalcore band, Gwen Stacy overcame quite a few member changes in 2008/09 to produce maybe the best album of the year. Nothing on this record will blow you away, the music isn't on a different level, the lyrics are straight-forward but not totally unique, and the style is simple, but maybe that's what makes the record so good. Everything is done well, and the production is really good in my opinion. The opening track is motivating, with the chorus of "don't let them make you think your doubt is disbelief!" the contrast of screams / singing is almost perfect. After a few listens i was reminded of underOATH's Only Chasing Safety album, which was the album that got me into metalcore and while i don't think this Gwen Stacy record will have the impact that underoath had, i think that the more people who give this record a chance will start to love it. This band is great live, very humble and hard working, and i think they're just getting started. I feel drawn to this band more than other metalcore bands probably because of it's connection to hardcore, the band has a pretty impressive following for such a small time catalog so far, but with 2009 came a new singer and a new label (Solid State) and now a new record that will bring a bunch of new fans!
My Top Artists of 2009 according to last.fm (ipod plays)
My Top 20 Played Tracks according to last.fm
My Biggest Disappointing Albums from 2009
1. David Crowder - Church Music
2. Black Eyed Peas - the E.N.D.
3. AFI - Crash/Love
4.One Republic - Waking Up
5.Breathe Carolina - Hello Fascination