Year In Review 2009


29 Dic 2009, 8:02

Hello there! Well, since I began seriously listening to music, I'd say this is my second-favorite year in music after 2007. There were a lot of very solid albums, and particularly in the last couple of months 4 of my top favorite bands have released new albums. There was a little lull for me in new music in the middle of the year, but there were a lot of great releases in the beginning and the end of the year, some by new bands I liked, and others by old favorites. Overall, a great year! And I am running out of room to fit them all on my ipod...I'll have to find a solution to that.

I had the opportunity to go to 3 concerts: Mae/Barcelona/Person L/Tokyo, Dillo Day (Estelle/The Decemberists), and The Rocket Summer/Forever The Sickest Kids/Sing It Loud/My Favorite Highway. The first one was my favorite.

Here are my ranked album reviews: (some of them were released in 2008, but I started listening to them mostly in 2009)

14. Taking Back Sunday – New Again: 5.5/10
I’m pretty mixed on the new TBS album. I really like “Sink Into Me”, it is very catchy so I’m glad they chose it as their single. However, a lot of the rest of the album is just too raw and edgy sounding that it doesn’t sound very good to me.

13. David Cook – David Cook: 7/10
I’ve never really watched American Idol, but I liked his three radio singles quite a bit so I thought I’d check out the whole album. I really like a couple other songs on the album such as “Heroes” and “Permanent”, the album does get a little old as the songs kind of sound the same, but overall I was glad I checked out the album!

12. Hoobastank – For(n)ever: 7/10
Like other bands, their music has gradually gone more pop than rock as time goes on. For Hoobastank it works okay, but I do prefer their older sound. My favorites from this album were “You’re The One”, “All About You”, and “I Don’t Think I Love You”. It’s too bad this album kind of flopped commercially when it was supposed to be their comeback album, but well, their last two albums were better.

11. The All-American Rejects – When The World Comes Down: 7/10
“Gives You Hell” definitely grew on me and became a huge radio hit, but the definite stand out tracks for me are “Another Heart Calls” and “Mona Lisa (When The World Comes Down)”. There a couple other good songs on the album, such as “Breakin’” and “Fallin’ Apart”, but quite a bit of the album didn’t stand out much to me. I think their last album had more solidly great tracks.

10. Weezer – Ratitude: 7/10
I was pretty happy with this album, "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To" is extremely catchy, and I also love "Put Me Back Together". There are a couple other interesting tracks but a couple that don't really work for me. Weezer isn't one of my favorite bands but I do like them, I would have loved to see them with MCS and Jack's Mannequin if it was less expensive...

9. The Fray – The Fray: 7.5/10
The Fray’s second album definitely has a couple standout tracks; “You Found Me” is my most played song of this year, and I also love “Syndicate”. “Never Say Never”, “Say When”, and “We Build Then We Break” are also good tracks, but overall there was a higher proportion of tracks on their first album that I enjoyed. So for specific songs I would pick this album, but for the album as a whole I would go with their first one.

8. Mat Kearney – City of Black and White: 7.5/10
Mat makes really beautiful music on this album without sounding a bit boring to me, which is the problem I have with listening to this genre of music too much. “Fire and Rain” is my favorite track, and I love the tune to “Here We Go” that kind of sounds like Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated”. Pretty much every track I’ve listened to is great if I’m in a bit of a slower mood. I did drop the rank of this album a bit from my half-year review though, because I was in a bit of a Mat Kearney fad at that point.

7. Kings of Leon – Only By The Night: 7.5/10
Kings of Leon had a great year this year, and I really liked "Use Somebody" and checked out the whole album. "Sex On Fire", "Notion", "Crawl", and "Be Somebody" are other standout tracks, and I really like their sound and their guitar rhythms. I wasn't too keen on their older stuff when I tried listening to it, but I will definitely be checking out their future albums.

6. The Killers – Day & Age: 7.5/10
I love “Spaceman”, “Human”, and “This Is Your Life”. I could listen to those three songs multiple times…. “spaceman says everybody look down”, “are we human, or are we dancer?”, the wooohhh part of This Is Your Life. But unfortunately, I can’t really get into the rest of the album as much. I still love The Killers though.

I haven't been listening to some of these albums for too long, but they are definitely my top 5 albums of the year!

5. Dashboard Confessional – Alter The Ending: 9/10
I’m really glad they’ve gone back to their full-band rock sound because I think I like it better. There are some really good tracks on the album, such as “Get Me Right”, “Until Morning”, “Even Now”, and “No News Is Good News”. This might be one of my favorite albums by them, but I think it needs a little more time to grow on me. It took me a bit to get around to listening to it, but I've listened to it a lot over the past few weeks!

4. Switchfoot – Hello Hurricane: 9/10
I couldn’t really get into Jon Foreman’s solo stuff, so I was really looking forward to this album. “Mess Of Me” was a very awesome opening single, it was so good that I must say I was a bit letdown (pun not intended) that the rest of the album wasn’t quite as awesome. However, I do love “Always”, “Hello Hurricane”, and “The Sound”. Hopefully a couple of the songs at the end of the album will grow on me. Overall, another solid release by them!

3. Cartel – Cycles: 9.5/10
This album is fantastic, and is probably my favorite Cartel album so far. There are very few weak tracks on it and I can pretty much get into every song’s pop-punk rhythms. My favorite song is “Typical”: it is pretty simple rhythm-wise but it is very catchy and I love what is done with the vocals. My other top favorites would be “Let’s Go”, “The Deep South”, and “27 Steps”. Cartel is definitely back from their sophomore slump!

2. Snow Patrol – A Hundred Million Suns: 9.5/10
This album was technically released in 2008, but it was one of my favorite albums of the year. Most of the slow songs grew on me, especially “Crack The Shutters” and “The Golden Floor”. And of course I’m a big fan of the more upbeat tracks “Take Back The City”, “Please Just Take These Photos From My Hands”, and “Disaster Button”. The balance of slower and faster tunes makes this album very listenable for many different moods.

1. Relient K – Forget And Not Slow Down: 9.5/10
It was very close, but I’d have to say this was my favorite album of the year. The entire album is just very catchy but quite easy-listening as well, so that you can listen to it pretty much anytime. “Part Of It” doesn’t stand out too much at first but it is a great song, and “Savannah” has a very unique sound. My other favorites are “Sahara” (very nice different sound by them), “If You Believe Me”, “I Don’t Need A Soul”, “Candlelight”, and the title track. Pretty much most of the album…my only complaint is the lack of harder rock songs, like “I Need You” or “Be My Escape”. Overall, awesome album!

You might notice that none of the albums got a 10/10…I believe the only albums I would give a perfect score to at the moment are Yellowcard – Paper Walls and Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American. A number of these albums came pretty close though. :P

My top 10 songs of the year:
1.The Fray – You Found Me
2.Relient K – Sahara
3.Switchfoot – Hello Hurricane
4.The Killers – This Is Your Life
5.Switchfoot – Mess Of Me
6.Snow Patrol – Take Back The City
7.Cartel – Typical
8.Relient K – If You Believe Me
9.The Fray – Syndicate
10.Relient K – Forget And Not Slow Down

Some other songs worth mentioning:
Sherwood – Around You (maybe I need more encouragement to listen to the whole new album…when I tried to it seemed really slow and I couldn’t get into it)
Owl City – Fireflies, Hello Seattle (should I check out their whole album?)
Snow Patrol – Give Me Strength
The Rocket Summer – Hills And Valleys
Phoenix – 1901
MAE – The House That Fire Built, Night/Day (still need to listen to (a)fternoon)
Muse – Uprising
Matt & Kim – Daylight
My Favorite Highway – Bigger Than Love
Nickelback – If Today Was Your Last Day
30 Seconds to Mars – Kings and Queens
Breaking Benjamin – I Will Not Bow
Lifehouse – Halfway Gone

I was very happy with this year in music, but some artists I am looking forward to next year are Motion City Soundtrack, The Rocket Summer, Lifehouse, and Goo Goo Dolls. Thanks for reading if you made it all the way down here, and please leave a comment!


  • rup_snogger

    Thanks for the review, it was useful! :) And yes, you should check out Owl City, the album has more of a summer sound to it, but it's still good in the winter. ;) You should probably listen to Muse's The Resistance, too, there are a few great tracks on it.

    29 Dic 2009, 12:55
  • charlotteee

    .. this pretty much sums it up! :) i have yet to listen to the new DC and Switchfoot (so behind, but i will catch up soon!) so it feels wrong making a list. glad to see they don't disappoint, though. happy new year!

    29 Dic 2009, 16:07
  • lostNlearning

    You should check out the rest of Sherwood. I wasn't too thrilled by it at first but the album definitely grew on me. And DUH to Owl City haha. Especially Tidal Wave, Cave In, (Those two were cowritten with Matt Thiessen from Relient K and he does guest vocals so I definitely think you'd like those).and Vanilla Twilight. Those are my faves anyway. I agree with pretty much everything else though I don't know if I would have rated Cycles as high as you did. But it was definitely much better than their second LP. I think more than half of those bands had a spot in my year end countdown on my show :)

    2 Ene 2010, 23:26
  • xcharizard

    You should definitely check out Owl City! Especially Hot Air Balloon, it's a single and is absolutely beautiful. I absolutely loved Forget and Not Slow Down, Hello Hurricane, and Alter the Ending, but I didn't even know Cartel had a new album! Glad I saw your note (:

    8 Ene 2010, 16:48
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