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Old 07-01-2009, 10:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Halfsies: Best Album From The First Half Of 2009

With the year now officially half over, what is your favorite from the first half of the year.

For me:

Archive - Controlling Crowds

I'm not sure if I've ever heard such a diverse album. Other notables for me are Part the Second (motW) and Merriweather Post Pavillion (Animal Collective).

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Old 07-01-2009, 10:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There have been a lot of quality albums released this year, Merriweather and Veckatimest are obvious choices, and I really loved Bell Orchestre's As Seen Through Windows as well.
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Tough choice, 2009 is proving to be a pretty decent year for music so far. Controlling Crowds is definitely a top contender as it was my first introduction to Archive and yes, it is a very diverse album. Ki by Devin Townsend is a very good album, despite lacking some of the heaviness that can be heard on his earlier work. West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum by Kasabain has been getting a fair amount of plays in on my Winamp. However I think Troubadour by K'Naan is my favourite so far. There's still a lot more coming too, I know Matisyahu has a new album coming out this year, along with Hypocrisy and my favorite Vancouver band The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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i'm listening to it again to make sure i still give a shit, but what the hell:

two of the three best albums of their career within the last two years? fuck yes.
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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While there have been plenty of releases so far this year that I've enjoyed, nothing has gone over 4 out of 5 stars for me yet. I'm sure some will eventually rise as they get played more. But until then, I can't say I have a favorite when I have 10 to 12 four-star albums and nothing surpassing that.
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yaay, lists, I love lists...

Ok, here's how I'd Pitchfork-rate my faves thus far:

1. The Maccabees - Wall of arms - 9.5
I know this choice is probably gonna get dismissed by most as fanboyism, I tried to get others to listen to it but to no avail. I think it's the most consistent album of the year, an exceptionally well produced collection of pop-rock songs with absolutely no filler (yah I know, amazing, as you'll see bellow, I don't shy away from critiquing bad songs on otherwise excellent albums, this one just doesn't have any stinkers). I'm not sure how well it'll do in the long run, but it's been a few months and I'm still not tired of it.

Favorite songs: Love you better, No kind words, Seventeen hands. The first two can be found here *shameless plug*.

2. Animal Collective - Merriwhether post pavillion - 9.2
The only reason I'm putting it before Veckatimest is because it has only one dud, Taste. Everything else is spectacular...I can't even imagine the amount of work hours these guys put in in the studio, there are so many things going on in each song every time you play it you discover something new. Scary good. No wonder The Maccabees stated them as a band they look up to (they don't have much in common in terms of style, I think they were talking about perfectionism in the studio). So lucky I saw them live before I became a fan (and they exploded with Merriwhether).

Favorite songs: My Girls, Also frightened, Brothersport.

3. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest - 9.1
Y'all 've heard it, if you haven't, you're probably dead or a Spaniard named Brennan. I skip through Dory and Hold still, but the rest is too fantastic to give it anything less than 9. Again, flawless production, but maybe you need to listen to it high to appreciate it's sonic spectacularness (it's a word!).

Favorite songs: Two weeks, Cheerleader, About face.

Those three stand way above the others, but here are some more notables:

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz - 8.7
A much quieter affair than their previous albums, but still quality stuff.

Franz Ferdinand - Tonight: Franz Ferdinand - 8.6
Not as good as the previous three and it has some issues with the flow, but still very good dance rock. Love the more experimental middle, hope they pursue it on the next album. Oh and they kick so much ass live...(:

Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca - 8.5
As Ed Droste from Girzzly Bear rightfully noted, there's really no way to categorize this album (or DP in general), it's just weirdly soulful and rocks your mind with unusual compositions. Wish they'd chucked out Two doves though...:\

Passion pit - Manners - 8.3
One of the catchiest, most fun records of the year, and surprisingly lasting.

Antony and the Johnsons - The crying light - 8.2
Not as good (or maybe as immediate) as I'm a bird now, but if you stick with it you'll find it's still a very good album.

Malajube - Labyrinthes - 8.0
French-canadian prog-indie-rock. Good shit.

Crystal Antlers - Tentacles - 7.9
Psychedelic mindfucking fuzzedout rockout. Kicks much ass it does. Possible issues with longevity though...:\

White Lies - To lose my life - 7.2
Catchy Interpol knockoff, highly expendable though. Still, it was nice to hear they're supporting Coldplay in Italy this summer, looking forward to that...(:

Bat for Lashes - Two suns - 7.1
A lot of filler, but some spectacular moments, particularly Daniel and Pearl's Dream.

Biggest dissapointments:
Andrew Bird - Noble Beast - I liked the first song, it went down hill from there
Patrick Wolf - The Bachelor - Not a single song grabbed my attention
Neko Case - Middle Cyclone - Can't remember anything from it

Hopefully they'll click with me some time in the future.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Years of Refusal, Merriweather and this gem of an album..


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Old 07-01-2009, 04:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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In that order.
It's been a pretty good year so far.
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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For those of us unfamiliar with the cover art, what's the third album?
“Think of what a paradise this world would be if men were kind and wise.” - Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle. | Goodreads | Letterboxd
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Anteater's 21 Fav Albums Of 2020

Anteater's Daily Tune Roulette

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