Top CDs of 2009 (so far)
Why wait until the end of the year to do "Best of" lists? Seems to me there's already been some great albums released this year, so how about a Best of 2009 (so far) discussion. What are your top five CDs of the year (so far). Here are mine. Note: I'm not including Wilco (The Album) yet -- too little Nels Cline for my taste. Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women -- Self Titled. True, this CD is light on Alvin's signature laid-back blues and there are tracks in which Cindy Cashdollar et al take the lead and Alvin fades to the background. But it's extremely engaging and, to my ears, the most enjoyably listenable album of the year (so far). Gurf Morlix -- Last Exit to Happyland. Heartfelt, thoughtful and doesn't have a single throw-away. And "Hard Road" is a force of nature -- an eight minute roots-rocker that tells a story without a repeat-chorus. Buddy and Julie Miller -- Written in Chalk. Hand and glove describes how Buddy and Julie make music together. A varied but unremittingly lovely album. Gary Louris and Mark Olson -- Ready for the Flood. They over-trade on their signature harmonies and the production, perhaps aiming to give the album a more live feel, is a bit lax. But this is nonetheless a delicately beautiful album that deepened for me as I listened repeatedly. Andrew Bird -- Noble Beast. Bird rounds off the sharp edges that made Armchair Apocrypha so addictive. But while it's not as catchy as his previous effort, it is far more refined. Closer listens brought me deeper joys.