Wednesday, January 6, 2010

BMF picks the Top 10 CDs of 2009!

I can't believe another year is over already and this blog is still going strong! Thanks to everyone who has played a part in its success...whether you've sent me your music or you are a fan of the posts or both...your continuous support and comments are much appreciated! It is much easier to keep the blog going when I know there are so many people following it.

It is always a great challenge for me to pick just 10 records out of all the cool stuff I've heard over the past year. The criteria I used was simple: which records did I find myself going back to the most in proportion to the time I've had them.

First, a few disclaimers: I did not include EPs, compilations (including “Greatest Hits”), or any records from artists or bands that were released on a major label and going gold or platinum. And it should go without saying: I only have two ears…there is a lot of stuff out there I did not get to hear yet, so if you think something is missing…kindly let me know!

My top 10 favorites of 2009 are as follows…in alphabetical order:

Lisa Bianco “Post-Data” (review here)
Bianco is a budding NYC singer/songwriter who sounds a lot like Nina Gordon (Veruca Salt) – “Post-Data” is a solid collection of charming pop rock numbers that sink in more and more with each listen.

Bleu “A Watched Pot” (review here)
Bleu’s lost “third album” is the charm for me. Some argued it was too slow, but the melodies are just gorgeous and his vocals better than ever.

The Elms “The Great American Midrange” (review here)
The Elms make a triumphant return to form with this one, restoring my confidence that they are one of the most underrated melodic rock bands in America’s heartland.

Bobby Emmett “Learning Love” (review here)
A retro power pop dream come true – plenty of 70s timbre imbuing these tasty pop confections.

July for Kings “Monochrome” (review here)
Another grossly underrated rock band that got lost in the mix of major label irresponsibility. After a long break, they are back with vengeance and endless assortment of melodies. JFK sounds like Brian Vander Ark (Verve Pipe) fronting an edgier matchbox twenty.

Andy Lehman and The Night Moves “Lowcountry” (review here)
The unique voice will grab you first, then the intriguing chord progressions, and then the story will hit you. “Lowcountry” is an intelligent concept album depicting a lover’s triangle gone wrong, but each song stands on its own as a beautifully crafted pop rocker.

Lloyd Dobler Effect “Lloyd Dobler Effect” (review here)
This self-titled record is an exceptionally strong set of songs from these contemporary pop rockers who mix rock muscle with heartfelt vocals…not to mention one of the coolest band names around!

Starcode “A Fine Line” (review here)
A band of brothers, Starcode is kind of like The Rembrandts with a kick. Not a bad tune in the bunch.

Strangefinger “Into the Blue” (review here)
Another outstanding power pop record released this year by SideBMusic – fans longing for a Jellyfish reunion can bide their time with this gem from Freddie Lemke, a.k.a. Strangefinger.

Scott Warren “Quick Fix Bandage” (review here)
Solo release from Signal Hill Transmission member, “Quick Fix Bandage” is indeed perfect for healing or meditation. All of the songs are generally mellow with an organic sound, channeling the best of Rhett Miller and Matt Nathanson.

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