Yeah, Fever Ray is pretty much artist of the year, winning pretty much all my awards (and coming second in the live section - damn you Bat For Lashes!). There's so much I can write about this album and why I love it, but I'll try to keep it short. Starting with the negatives: I tried, but just can't like Now's the only time I know. Sorry. The positives: everything else. Like Keep the streets empty for me. It was one of the first songs I heard, and I fell in love right away. So pretty. Nowadays I get all emotional when I hear it haha, how stupid. And I got seriously addicted to If I had a heart, as I always do with songs that end the same way they start. But this one is just so, so good. And Coconut. While I don't care much for the first 3 minutes, the last 3 are some of the best of this album. Come on, the "oh oh oh"s!! The handclaps! Take me anywhere, take me there! So good, I can't shut up about it.
I'm feeling generous, here, have some of my favourite lines for each song:
-If I had a heart: more, gimme more, gimme more. (I'm greedy, I can relate)
-When I grow up: I'm very good with plants!
-Dry and Dusty: I do as I'm told, in return I get money.
-Seven: I ride my bike up, I ride my bike down.
-Triangle Walks: Magpies! I throw sticks at them, they laugh behind my back.
-Concrete Walls: haven't slept since summer.
-I'm not done: is it cold outside?
-Keep the streets empty: there is room in my lap for bruises, asses, handclaps
-Coconut: oh oh oh.
I think I might've created an entirely new song/story now. Anyway, moving on...
Bat for Lashes - Two Suns
I didn't really care for this at all at first, it all just sounded so unoriginal and cliché as a whole. But, digging deeper, I quickly found some delicious treasures. Like Two Planets (I'm sure you actually need at least 3 ears to fully enjoy this), Peace of Mind (moves towards such a pretty climax, it's almost sexual), Pearl's Dream (oh, the handclaps!), Sleep Alone (this album's Trophy - and that's a good thing) and Daniel (hey, I know someone named Daniel!). But, just like the first album, there are still songs I skip through without feeling guilty. Still, the quality of the good songs outweigh the boring/not so good, so this album is worth being mentioned in album of the year lists. And if it wasn't for Fever Ray, this would've been my album of the year actually (damn you, Fever Ray! See, it works both ways)
Luke Haines - 21st Century Man
I only listened to this a couple of times, but I can already say that this is my favourite Luke Haines solo album. Previous albums had one or two good songs, with the rest being either forgetable or downright annoying. This one has nothing but good stuff. Suburban Mourning (screw you last.fm, itunes and whoever, my physical album copy says it's mourning, not morning!) is a great opener, and something like Klaus Kinsky grabs your attention ("I guess I'm lucky, men and women want to fuck me"). The rest is nice but nothing compares to the closing song, 21st Century Man. There are so many good lines in this one, it's like the good, bad and ugly of the last century, with the typical Luke Haines humour ("everyone died of aids"). I got the double album. The Achtung Mutha story is um, weird (but some of it makes sense if you read his book), but the album closes with another great song, Fag Break. As far as I'm concerned, it's about a chain smoker who is so fed up with all the anti-smoking stuff going on right now, that he simply kills himself. I think it makes sense, in a Luke Haines way. Yeah I have to mention Luke Haines as much as I can, in case you might forget his name. Luke Haines.
HTRK - Marry Me Tonight
I've know HTRK since I saw them as support act for Liars in 2007. Loved them (enjoyed them more than Liars that evening, but shhh). Now they finally released an album, and, unsurprisingly, I love it. Minimal, sensual, sexy, naughty, slow, filthy, oh I'm turning myself on now, I better stop (...that was a joke guys. Seriously). Where were we? Oh, describing their music. Heavily distorted guitars, lazy drum patterns, sultry vocals, songs about rentboys, mistresses and panties. If all this sounds interesting to you, you a) are a pervert, and b) will very much enjoy HTRK. I know I do. Tracks like Rentboy, Ha, Waltz real slow and Disco....mmm, I'm loving it. It's no surprise that this has been one of my most played albums in 2009.
Patrick Wolf - The Bachelor
Oh, Patrick Wolf! You're so sexy! Marry Me Tonight! Oh wait.. Fourth album from Mr. Wolf, and -can I say it?- his worst. Not that it's a bad album by any means, but for me personally, it lacks excitement. Some songs stand out in a positive way (The Bachelor, Vulture), others in an annoying way (Battle! Battle! Battle! Go battle yourself, Mr. Wolf), others in a "I can't believe it's not a eurovision song contender !" (Damaris). Overal still an enjoyable album - mainly if you can forget about his brilliant first 2 albums for a minute. Still excited about the next album - and it better has that song about Brussels he talked about at the last Belgian gig.
Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
Album of the year for many it seems. I bought this on a whim, and haven't regretted it. I'm usually allergic for (over?)hyped bands like these, but I ended up enjoying this muchly. I'm mainly attracted to the combination of tribal rhythms and random electronica. I guess Summertime Clothes is my favourite, although at some point it was No More Runnin, and before that Brother Sport. This was my main summer album, and to be honest I haven't listened to it all that much recently. Time to rediscover it I say.
Junior Boys - Begone Dull Care
This is pretty much a last minute entry, even though I already heard the album a couple of times at the start of the year. I had some difficulty getting into them back then for some reason. And by chance I suddenly stumbled upon the album again, started listening, and fell in love. I love...whatever kind of music they call this, but the Environ guys (Kelley Polar, Metro Area and Morgan Geist) are all members of this lovely club. It's somewhat relaxing, but danceable at the same time. I think I once called this "genre" dance music for shy geeks, and it still makes sense in my head. Anyway, my favourite game on this album is Parallel Lines, but that still might change.
Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You
Not as fun as her debut, mainly because she tries to be all grown up here at times. Growing up is boring, bah. I can do without songs like Him and He wasn't there. More fun stuff like Not Fair, please. I do like Chinese, but probably only because it reminds me of Black Box Recorder somehow. A couple of bad and very forgettable tracks like I Could Say and Back to the Start make it even more clear that Alright, Still is still one of the best pop albums around.
The xx - xx
While I'm not in love with them as much as I should be judging by the reactions of some people, this is still an enjoyable and impressive debut. VCR and Heart skipped a beat are my favourites. This is definitely a band you have to listen to with your heart instead of your head. If that makes any sense at all. Yeah I know you listen with your ears. Shut up.