Friday, 11 December 2009

2009 Part 2: Best Non-Studio Albums

Firstly, if you missed it the introduction to 2009 is here.

But more (or arguably less) importantly; today marks the first of my Keep Pop Loud End of 2009 lists. To save blowing my load at the very start I'm beginning with the less than spectacular list of the Top Five Non-Studio Albums of 2009. Eligible for this list is any CD/LP/download release that, simply wasn't an actual album - so 'best of's, live recordings and compilations basically.

Here they are

#5: War Child: Heroes
Decent collection of covers with only one real dud (supplied by Duffy). The Hold Steady continue to pretend to be The E-Street Band on a cover of Springsteen's 'Atlantic City' whilst the two greatest highlights come at the end when Yeah Yeah Yeahs rock out on Ramones 'Sheena Is A Punk Rocker' and Franz Ferdinand take Blondie's 'Call Me' through it's paces in a live environment. The presence of Scissor Sisters also reminds us that they really need to get their act together and put out a new album.

#4: (500) Days of Summer OST
(500) Days of Summer will forever live in the shadow of Juno, likewise will its soundtrack. Nonetheless every song here is pure cinematic indie gold, combining legends like Doves and The Smiths with newcomers Black Lips and The Temper Trap whilst digging up the fantastic Mumm-Ra (RIP) and Hall & Oat's 'You Make My Dreams', which although cheesy makes us want to recreate the dance scene from the film.

#3: The Cribs - Live At The Ritz
The main event may not have been much cop, but its bonus disc showed that the Wakefield three piece (plus one) are strong enough a band to weather bad records well. Nearly all of their best songs from their four album career are present and in the case of 'Hey Scenesters!' improved by the presence of a certain Johnny Marr on guitar.

#2: Blur - Midlife: A Beginners Guide To Blur
Blur are easily one of the greatest bands ever to have walked God's green Earth and in a year that's seen so many greatest hits compilations, have provided us with perhaps the only decent one. Whilst I already owned many of the tracks here on their parent albums Midlife makes this list for providing alternate takes on 'Death Of A Party' and 'Girls And Boys' whilst giving me the chance to own classic lost single 'Popscene' on CD.

#1: Dark Was The Night: A Red Hot Compliation
Just nabbing the Top Stop over Blur, this Various Artists compilation showcases the best of the US indie scene with exclusive new tracks. A lot of the groups here were unknown to me before this and I can therefore thank it for getting me to enjoy The National and Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings. The many collaborations here, especially the David Byrne/Dirty Projectors duet, also mean that there's so much to investigate and explore.

Coming next: the Keep Pop Loud Top 20 Albums of 2009

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