This is Impacts top albums of the Year 2009. We have picked our very favourite and talked about them. There is also a link to each artists Spotify page where you can hear all the music they have created. If you don’t have Spotify we have created a Facebook group where you can request an invite which will allow you to listen to these bands.
We have also created a Spotify Playlist which has all the albums mentioned here.
The Horrors have evolved with an album that is haunting and gothic, subtle
and mesmerising. Producer Geoff Barrow’s (Portishead) touch can be felt
especially on ‘Sea Within A Sea’ an atmospheric, calm song that turns into a
thunderous storm. ‘Who Can Say’s driving guitar riff is utterly mesmerising, and the rest of the album just builds on these captivating elements. How they got here from their brash racket of a debut is beyond words, but the overall sound is nothing short of a work of genius.
Raekwon is back to his lyrical best and aided by his fellow Wu members: in particular, his sidekick Ghostface Killah’s rampage against everything from prison life to the Iraq War. The remorseful ‘Ason Jones’ (a tribute to the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard) and the driving intensity that is ‘House of Flying Daggers.’ The production here is also top-notch with some creative beats provided by the likes of Alchemist, Dr. Dre and the RZA who provides his grimy style to great effect.
As clear a demonstration as any that he’s one of the tightest and most skilful rappers around. Sleep’s precise lightning fast flow darts its’ way across 44 minutes of quality lefty hip hop. Ranging from the cool jazziness of Ginell to the moody industrial hum of Spent, we’re led through a varied musical soundscape but one that is still firmly concerned with creating fun, groovy as hell and, well, phat sounding hip hop.
Jamie T paints a vivid picture of inner-city life Britain, drawing upon many different influences: summer anthem ‘Sticks and Stones’ has an upbeat eighties punk sound at its heart. ‘Chaka Deemus’ assumes a motown groove. As well as sing-along anthems the album has intimate moments; ‘Emily’s Heart’ is a stripped down songwriters song that is as harrowing as it is beautiful. Kings and Queens is a phenomenal follow up to a promising début.
No artist is both worshipped and despised as much as Lady Gaga, who came crashing into our consciousness with no warning and no apology. A glamorous explosion of infectious pop hooks and relentless dance beats, this was a stunning debut. Both a celebration and a parody of popular culture, it took our obsession with fashion, money and fame to new extremes, creating something equally trashy and intelligent. Welcoming us to her world of excess, The Fame marked the arrival of pop’s newest icon, making 2009 the Year Of Gaga.
Only Karin Dreijer Andersson (The Knife) can get away with dressing up in her Thriller outfit and get away with it – Michael Jackson could, too, but he’s dead now. God rest his pederast soul. Back to Karin – with lyrics like, “dangling feet from window frames, will I ever hit the floor,” you get a sense that she’s a dreamer. Opening track ‘If I Had A Heart’ starts the lingering eerie bass-heavy tones that go beyond what she or any electronic record has done before. Therein lies the mystery of Fever Ray.
Having made a name for himself over the last few years in the burgeoning drum n’ bass scene, Sub Focus burst into the mainstream with this offering in October. Garnering considerable Radio 1 airtime with ‘Rock It’, the DJ and producer is suddenly seen as one of the leading lights in his genre. What this album lacks in bass is more than made up for in catchy rhythms, and appeals to hardcore ravers and mainstream partygoers alike. Listen and enjoy: this is the sound of the future.
A fiery amalgamation of eighties-influenced electro-pop/post-punk and Interpol-esque sobriety defines this album. Unashamedly sombre, it has the ability to send shivers down the spine of every listener whilst maintaining a beautiful air of elevation. From the progressively energetic and synthesizer-heavy ‘Death’ through to the hollow and ominous ‘The Price of Love’, Harry McVeigh’s vocals emanate simplicity yet strength, coarseness yet brilliance. A metaphor for the brutality of love, life and death, listening not only provides gratification but also enlightenment. One of the very few bands who can maintain elegant morbidity and catchy guitar riffs at the same time; talent that is not to be overlooked.
The XX’s debut presents a minimalistic blend of softly delayed guitars, clipped synths, off-beat bass lines and sexually-charged lyrics that suffocate the listener in a world of dark, melancholic pop music. Many of their songs are reminiscent of past hits; creations that have been stripped back with simple notes and reverberating guitars. ‘Crystallised’ is clearly Interpol-inspired with chord/vocal dissonance, while Romy and Oliver’s call-and-response vocals accumulate in beautiful crescendos – reflecting the relationship struggles illustrated in the lyrics. This album leaves you overwhelmed from the first time you hear it.
The securing of a high slot at this year’s Sonisphere festival is testament to Lamb of God’s consistently growing reputation; one that Wrath shows has been rightly earned. Aided in no small part by drummer Chris Adler’s performance, this record is phenomenally powerful throughout. The vocals, too, are well up to scratch, as Randy Blythe delivers a relentless and unstoppable onslaught of sheer aggression, something fans have come to expect. On top of this, each track demonstrates a solid and groovy metal riff, guaranteed to keep the mosh-pits moving, with ‘Set to Fail’, ‘Grace’ and ‘Dead Seeds’ being some of the best examples of metal released this year.
Passion Pit – Manners | Spotify
Florence and the Machine – Lungs | Spotify
Morrissey – Years of Refusal | Spotify
The Temper Trap – Conditions | Spotify
Little Boots – Hands | Spotify
Propagandhi – Supporting Caste | Spotify
Reel Big Fish – Fame, Fortune and Fornication | Spotify
The Prodigy – Invaders Must Die | Spotify
Bombay Bicycle Club – I Had the Blues but I Shook Them Loose | Spotify
Muse – The Resistance | Spotify
MSTRKRFT – Fist of God | Spotify
Girls – Album | Spotify
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart | Spotify
Wavves – Wavvves | Spotify
Crystal Stilts – Crystal Stilts | Spotify
Wild Beasts – Two Dancers | Spotify
A Place to Bury Strangers – Exploding Head | Spotify
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion | Spotify
Japandroids – Post-Nothing | Spotify
Telepathe – Dance Mother | Spotify
Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career | Spotify
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix | Spotify
Grizzly Bear – Vekitamist | Spotify
Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum | Spotify
Bat For Lashes – Two Suns | Spotify
Howling Bells – Radio Wars | Spotify
Friendly Fires – Friendly Fires | Spotify
Hockey – Mind Chaos | Spotify
Jack Penate – Everything Is New | Spotify
Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You | Spotify
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz | Spotify
Boys Noize – Power | Spotify
Alix Perez – 1984 | Spotify
Antipop Consortium – Fluorescent Black | Spotify
P.O.S – Never Better | Spotify
Andrew Bird – Nobel Beast | Spotify
Why? – Eskimo Snow | Spotify
Eyedea and Abilities – By The Throat | Spotify
Thavius Beck – Dialogue| Spotify
Soulsavers – Broken | Spotify
Devin Townsend – Ki | Spotify
Hudson Mohawke – Butter | Spotify
Squires of Gothos – Forest Gateaux Mix | Spotify
Squarepusher – Solo Electric Bass 1 | Spotify
Shitmat – One Foot in the Rave | Spotify
Venetian Snares – Filth | Spotify
Caspa – Everyones Talking, Nobodys Listening | Spotify
Starkey – Ephermeral Exhibits | Spotify
Zomby – Zomby EP | Spotify
Coming Soon – Albums of the Decade