SMOKE & MIRRORS’
best albums of 2009
You won’t find any Gaga or Animal Collective on this here list. I’ll leave that to the SPIN‘s and Pitchfork‘s. This honorary list is compiled beyond the qualifications of merely good singles (see those that made the best tracks of ’09 here) and is based heavily on the artist’s cohesive vision. Where have all the LP’s gone? Ask iTunes. These are the select few that made start-to-finish listens …
10 Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel – Mariah Carey
When did Mariah Carey start making good pop music? When she ditched J.D. and hired The-Dream. Her lyrics have never been more witty, catchy, or ironic. While it may have already been labeled a flop, Memoirs still has more hidden hit singles than any other Carey effort to date.
09 Attention Deficit – Wale
We waited on Wale’s debut LP for what felt like a century. The wait was worth it.
08 Manners – Passion Pit
Buffalo’s own debut may sound like an Urban Outfitters but all-in-all set off an eclectic-electro bomb on the mainstream. Now they’re featured on a corporate Palm commercial. Congrats?
07 Jay Stay Paid – J Dilla & Various Artists
Some of Dilla’s best beats are ressurected with verses by Black Thought, arrangements by Pete Rock, and a slew of others. Dilla refuses to lose relevance, even after death.
06 So Far Gone – Drake
From TV teen to Young Money millionaire, Aubrey “Drake” Graham defied the usual hoodlum aesthetic with ease and intelligence on his first major mixtape offering. Re-released as an LP, So Far Gone is as suburban as it is street, collegiate as it is teeny-bop.
05 Huntsville International – G-Side
From the bottom of the map, G-Side‘s moved up the radar with their ’09 release. Articulate and at times psychedelic and ambient, the group mixes up a hot pot of neo-soul, g-funk, gangster rap, and ‘Bama beats.
04 Life of Leisure – Washed Out
It’s hard to create a sound of one’s own. But for Washed Out, it was overly-simple. No-Fi sounds like the most gorgeous gibberish in the world. As if blaring from broken 80’s walkman headphones hooked up to big ass speakers, Life of Leisure is beyond perfection.
03 Slaughterhouse – Slaughterhouse
I’ve never been an electronica fan… that is, until Lipp made a home out of my speakers. Beginning to end, PLW3D is an audio blockbuster.
01 Love Vs. Money – The-Dream
Turn on the radio and you’ll be undertaken by Terius “The-Dream” Nash’s formulaic pop contributions. His second solo project, Love Vs. Money, plays like a rock opera complete with organs, skyscraping synths, and verbal hiccups. Eh eh eh eh. Music will never be the same.