#10. The Pains of Being Pure of Heart – Self Titled
Horrible band name. Great album.
#9 Art Brut – Art Brut VS Satan
Frank Black kills it as producer. Eddie Argos continues to shine as a British, more sardonic Crag Finn.
#8 Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career
Scottish indie band continues to make great music by revisiting 60’s R & B. “The Sweetest Thing” and “French Navy” would be massive singles in a sane world.
Does this Video really remind anyone else of Hal Hartley?
#7 *Three Way Tie* Patterson Hood – Murdering Oscar / Drive-By Truckers – The Fine Print / Drive-By Truckers – Live in Austin
I decided to group these three releases together – The Fine Print (a collection of rarities and covers), Live in Austin (The Truckers’ appearance on Austin City Limits in support of their 2008 effort Brighter than Creation’s Dark) and Patterson Hood’s 2nd solo record Murdering Oscar (made up of mostly older songs that Hood recorded during a band hiatus). If I had to pick one of these three releases it would probably be Murdering Oscar as “Pride of the Yankees” is probably the best song about 9/11 not written by Steve Earle or Bruce Springsteen, but the other two records have really strong moments as well.
#6 Viva Voce – Rose City
This local band continues to gain steam with each release (and the addition of more members did a lot to beef up their sound). Sonically this is probably the most varied album on my list.
#5 Thao with the Get Down Stay Down – Know Better Learn Faster
Favorite album cover of the year. Creativity is the word here as Thao is simply an amazing songwriter.
#4 Justin Townes Earle – Midnight at the Movies
When I finally sat down and really listened to this record I instantly realized that Justin may end up being a much better songwriter than his father.
#3 Elvis Perkins in Dearland – Self Titled
“Shampoo” is without a doubt my favorite song of the year. Lyrically the best record of the year, hands down.
#2 Jason Isbell and the 400 unit – Seven Mile Island
Jason returns to his muscle shoals roots and steps out of the shadow of his former group. “Sunstroke” is simply breathtaking and “No Choice in the Matter” sounds like something Sam and Dave could have recorded.
#1 Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
My buddy Curtis was very astute when during one of our chats he made the observation that this was the “Boxer” of 2009 in terms of consistent critical acclaim. Deservedly so, in my opinion nothing else this year sounded as inspired as this did.
Coming next week…..
My 20 favorite records of the 00’s.