2009: The Best Year In Music?

If you are into the music covered on Hearwax (hardcore punk, indie, metal, etc.) to the same extent that the posters – including myself – are, it is hard to deny that 2009 was one of the best years for music in a really long time.  Regardless of mood, there seemed to be something fitting.  For punk fiends; Converge, Pulling Teeth, New Lows, Magrudergrind, War Pigs, and Mother of Mercy (among many others).  Indie kids; Grizzly Bear, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The XX, Camera Obscura, Tegan and Sara, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Animal Collective, Japandroids, Dirty Projectors, St. Vincent, and Bear in Heaven.  Metalheads; Mastodon, Baroness, The Red Chord, Augury, The Black Dahlia Murder, Isis, Hull, Krallice, Gaza, Kylesa, Buried Inside, The Armed.

Maybe all you got from that is that I can namedrop like no other, but also consider: Them Crooked Vultures, City of Ships, Paramore, He is Legend, Lady Gaga, Clipse, Pianos Become the Teeth, Arctic Monkeys, Brand New, Black Moth Super Rainbow and The Dead Weather.

And these are just the albums that compete for my top twenty of the year.  The idea is to narrow that down to ten.

Still, while we have had many bands put out their best albums of their careers, or new arrivals surprise us, there isn’t one album that defines the year.  There are several albums that compete for the number one spot.  This is where 2009 falls short, and where 2010 is likely to succeed (either from The Dillinger Escape Plan‘s Option Paralysis or Orgone‘s The Joyless Parson, there will be a definitive number one).  There have been many bands who have helped 2009 finish in style, but one band is going to start off the next decade properly.  There is a new wave of musical ideas approaching.  They have been hinted at, but it is in the next decade that we will get to experience them.  Boundaries have been broken.  Hardcore has been made into something it is not (progcore anyone?), indie is now segregated into two classes: Grizzly Bear and other.  Metal is finally starting to drift away the shitty trends that are deathcore and nu metal, instead replacing them with music that deserves to be heard.  While mainstream music may still be sucking the big one, it is in these smaller, tightly-knit musical communities that changes are happening.  And they are beautiful.

Yes, 2009 has had the highest quantity of quality releases of the decade, but none have taken the crown.  There is a fourway tie (as far as I am concerned) for that number one spot.  The issue is that they are all from totally different genres; one metal, one hardcore, one indie, one straight up rock (you can probably guess what they are).  It is not easy to compare apples and oranges, pants and shirts, tits and ass.  The argument always ends up the same: they are all great, and all deserve to win.  There is one thread that all of these releases have in common: they didn’t do what they were supposed to do.  And that is what makes 2009 such a great year to end this decade on.

2009, you have been lovely to talk to, but 2010 is looking mighty fine right about now.

Look for our end of 2009 coverage throughout December.



One Comment

  1. […] I mentioned in my blog post, I have really enjoyed 2009.  Narrowing down the amount of records I liked to ten was really […]

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