To begin, there are two reasons an album can end up on this list. One is the obvious of not living up to my expectations. The second reason could be if I was a latecomer on their music. In other words, their album was released in years prior to 2010, meaning sadly disqualified.
Let’s start with the actual disappointments so we can end on a happy note. But I urge you to check each of these out for yourself. I’m only one person with an opinion.
Old 97s, The Grand Theatre Volume 1: I love Rhett Miller. I once was mistaken for his sister because of my great seats, good looks* and knowing all of his songs from the band and solo material (*me being sassy). But I have to say that this album was a let down. I gave it three or four listens and it still didn’t catch. Nothing jumped out. It’s not horrible, just bland. I will continue to give it a go because I want to like it, but it didn’t happen by the time the year ended. Sorry, Rhett.
The Silent Comedy, Common Faults: I’m probably going to get a lot of crap for putting this one on here and I feel a little bad, but I have to be honest. I’m disappointed in this album. The Silent Comedy are an AMAZING live band, like knock-your-socks-off-and-the-socks-are-dancing-next-to-you type amazing. The faults on this album are not the songs, but how they were produced. The highs and lows have been flatten and the beats have been muted. If you listen carefully you can tell the energy is there, but you have to listen hard. I can’t wait for this band to produce a live album that will truly bring the energy to life. Love you guys.
The following albums didn’t make my top 10 mainly because there were better things out there, but they are albums that made other lists. They are decent but not the tops, check them out and see for yourself.
- LCD Soundsystem, This is Happening
- Dum Dum Girls, I Will Be
- Surfer Blood, Astro Coast
- The Living Sisters, Love to Live
Now for the albums that should have been in the top 10 but I came upon them a bit too late (listed in alpha order).
Good Old War, Only Way to Be Alone (2008): Recently, I heard “Coney Island” on Slacker radio and instantly fell in love. There is clapping for a rhythm section (hearts here) and a catchy little love story in a song. And check these lyrics:
I’m going to Coney Island have myself a dog
And reminisce why I still hate it here
It’s all these people with their cotton candy eyes
It’s so sweet now put the train in gear
The Little Ones, Morning Tide (2009): This is another band I found on Slacker’s Indie Hits station. My favorite track from the album is the title track, “Morning Tide” but the entire album is great. Positive vibes and swinging sounds. Plus, any band who plays on Yo Gabba Gabba gets bonus points.
Steve Martin, The Crow (2009): I did a review of this album earlier this year. It really says everything.
Mumford and Sons, Sigh No More (2009): Somehow this album and band escaped the public eye in 2009; not mentioned on any top album lists last year. “Little Lion Man” has been nominated for best song for Grammy’s and has hit number one on Billboard’s Alternative charts. Great stuff and super fun. I had the chance to see my brother-in-law play trumpet for them when they performed at a sold out Belly Up show in June. The album is solid and yes, there is the banjo. Hearts.
The Temper Trap, Conditions (2009): This album took some time to grow on me. The first single, “Sweet Disposition” didn’t blow me away and it seemed to be in every movie and commercial. Not really, since we don’t watch much tv or go out to movies, it seemed like a lot. The next single, “Fader” I really liked, so I thought I would take another listen to the album. Beautiful vocals and an energy that makes your heart swell.