Before we get too far into 2010, I thought I'd review my favorite albums of 2009.
1. Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
Key Tracks: Vengeance Is Sleeping, Middle Cyclone
Neko's voice is an instrument unlike any other--a breath of fresh air in this auto-tuned, candy pop-saturated era. The melodies on this album are equal parts haunting and beautiful, accentuated in lullabye-like tunes such as Vengeance is Sleeping and Middle Cyclone. Throw in a couple catchy rockers with kooky lyrics, like I'm an Animal ("heaven will smell like the airport"), and you've got a complete, classic album that outshines everything that anyone else put out in 2009.
2. Vetiver - Tight Knit
Key Tracks: Pay No Mind, Everyday
This is the perfect album for long car rides, sitting out on the porch with a cold drink, or enjoying a quiet night in. It's guaranteed to put you in a better mood whenever it's playing. It's somehow a feel-good album without the songs being terribly upbeat or sung with much enthusiasm. …