The best albums of 2009
Well, hello. I’m sure all of you have been sat on the edge of your seat thinking “my, I wonder what Inno’s top records of the year are” – I can sense these things, y’know. I really can.
It’s just as well for you, dear reader, that I have indeed picked my top records this year… and I will regale you with my top seven right here. Why seven? Why not? Everyone does a top ten, and I’m not everyone. Trust me, I’m special. And not in *that* way.
I would just like to give some honourable mentions to the following – Them Crooked Vultures self titled debut, New Device’s “Takin’ Over“, Spinerette’s self titled record, and Gun’s “Popkiller” (even though it’s only a 5 track EP) as they didn’t quite make my list, but are all worth a listen to in their own right. With no further ado, on with the show!
The big question I and presumably everyone else had was would The Answer be able to follow up their stonking debut or would the ‘difficult second album’ syndrome rear it’s ugly head? The answer – arf – was that they had no such difficulties. Everyday Demons was an amazing record… “Walkin’ Mat” and “Dead Of The Night” rocked out like classic Zeppelin, yet tracks like “Why’d You Take A Chance On Me” having the soul of Bad Company and Free. The Answer proved they were no flash in the pan, and will be at the forefront of the UK rock scene for years to come.
Key Track: Demon Eyes
You know what? You listen to this and you swear you’ve heard it before… and that’s because you more or less have. It’s Kiss! You know what you’re gonna get with Kiss… but they do it better than anyone else out there. Lyrics like “Danger you, danger me, Dangerous” just make you grin, and add them to big riffs, big choruses, huge singalong bits… Kiss tick all the boxes. It’s a return to form… you can almost smell the face paint.
Key Track: Stand
Yup, it’s a supergroup that takes the ones Eddie Van Halen kicked out, adds them to the Chilli’s drummer and Joe Satriani… it’s a recipe for ego and disaster, but it’s not. It works in a big way. I’ve always been a huge fan of Sammy Hagar’s vocals, and he shines all over this. It’s tight, it grooves, it drives… it’s just a great feel good, fun time record. Here’s hoping to Chickenfoot volume 2 in the future.
Key Track: Oh Yeah
Let’s get it out of the way, first and foremost: Yes, it does have that ‘Disco Tune’ on it. And it’s not as bad as you’d think. The Crowes, when they’re on, are world class musicians… and on this record, they are definitely on. They riff away as well as anyone, but they’re at their best when they’re playing the blues and hanging their heart on their sleeve. Chris Robinson’s vocals have never sounded so good, and Rich’s guitar playing compliments him rather than trying to steal show. They still don’t half write some nonsensical lyrics at times, but that’s the charm of The Crowes for me.
Key Track: Been A Long Time (Waiting On Love)
If you can overlook the iffy politics of Skynyrd – and to be fair, they don’t deny they are Good Ol’ Fashioned rednecks, tracks like “That Ain’t My America” prove that – this is a colossal record. This isn’t Southern Rock as we know it, this is relevant, modern, flowing, and everything you wouldn’t expect from Skynyrd… bar it being good. This is proof that good bands never die, they just hibernate. Smooth vocals, precise guitars, slick riffs… what a record.
Key Track: Still Unbroken
Yeah, it’s a live album, so what? And yes, I may be biased as I was there, and these guys have been the soundtrack to my life for nearly 20 years… but blow me, if this isn’t the sound of a band going out on a high, then I don’t know what is. The tracklist is just one skillfully crafted song after another… Luke’s guitar playing is awesome at times, and Danny has never sounded so good. It really does make you wish they were still going, but this is as fine an epitaph to a career as anyone could hope for. Incredible energy on stage, and from the crowd… just an awesome, awesome spectacle, none more so than the epic 17 minute finalé of “Dirty Love“.
Key Track: Dirty Love
The most perfect record of the year, by a long shot. One of the most perfect records I’ve ever heard. Ever. From start to finish, it’s a masterpiece. Huge choruses, huger riffs, amazing melodies, incredible vocals… it’s just… perfect. Ginger and the band have never sounded better on record. I’m not joking when I say that every track on the record would have made a great single. And the final two minutes of the record, the tail end of the incredible title track that covers at least 4 different genres… the guitar work on that is as beautiful, and as inspirational as anything I’ve ever heard. Seriously, peeps – do yourselves a favour and at least go check some of this record out. If there was any justice, this would have been all over the charts like a Simon Cowell wet dream.
Key Track: Chutzpah
So there you go. My choices. No doubt they don’t match anyone else’s – but that’s the joy of the Internet. Have a listen to them if you can… and enjoy!