Recounting the top 60 songs of 2009 with accompanying blurbs was a far grander undertaking than I had originally anticipated. Like most great comic books and hip hop albums (when is that Nonymous ish going to drop?) this last batch of great songs is finally here… but only after numerous delays.
It’s a common mistake to assume it would be easier to write about songs you like the most. In some ways it is- enthusiasm, whether positive or negative, can definitely push a writer through a dry spot of creativity (whatever THAT means). But in the case at hand , I had so much to say about certain songs (“Brother Sport,” “In the Flowers,” “Bicycle” and “House of Flying Daggers”) it was daunting to condense it into the “come for/stay for” format. In other cases, I felt it would be dangerous to overanalyze songs such as “Wet Hair” or “Are You Still in Vallda?” and I kept things short and sweet.
If I had to assess the year in music I would take the time to bemoan the lack of awesome hip hop LPs: of the three hip hop songs in the top 20 only Raekwon’s was released in 2009 (Clipse’s album wasn’t released until mid-December). Jay-z and Kid Cudi put out complete trash this past year and I’ve yet to hear the Drake or Mos Def albums (the former due to weak singles and the latter due to his atrocious appearances on Bill Maher’s television program). The Cool Kids never wound up putting out their debut album (after a meh mixtape, “Gone Fishin’”) and even Yeezy and Jeezy didn’t give me a solid summer jam.
Overall, I liked what I heard in 2009. Between Japandroids, Fucked up, Mean Jeans, Future of the Left, The Thermals, Titus Andronicus and DC Snipers, modern punk rock is better than it’s been for a very long time while Memory Tapes/Cassettes, Washed Out and jj have all impressed me with their gorgeous, amorphous and hazy pop.
I’m thrilled to be done with 2009 and am already wrist deep in some 2010 releases that will be covered on Averse in the near future. Albums from Vampire Weekend and Beach House have been predictably impressive, Yeasayer’s new album is a welcome departure from their debut and I cannot wait to see what the world thinks of Titus Andronicus’ opus, The Monitor. I’m still trying to sift through the minstrel-infused Midlake album and Four Tet’s latest ode to background mood music, There is Love in You.
As a special gift to Averse readers we’d like to present most of the Top 60 Songs of 2009 as a compressed downloads so you can spend the first chunk of 2010 catching up with everything you missed (after the post).