Dear Thursday: The Best and Worse Albums of 2009

The one bad thing about no longer working in Top 40, is that I’ve not been listening to nearly as much music as I did last year. Also, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to explore as much non-super-commercial music as I would have liked to, but here goes for my album pics of the year:

knaan_troubadourBest Debut Album: This kid K’Naan out of Canada via Harlem originating in Somali is pretty dang wonderful. Mixing political protest, along with reggae, along with hip-hop, and lyrics that are heavy on the poetry, he totally earned his place as a critical darling. The album’s called Troubador and it’s strong all the way through. Definitely worth checking out.

[Troubador, r. February 2009. Your way in: “ABC’s”]


Best Lastest Album: I thought Lily Allen‘s first album was a bit of a one-trick pony, but was so pleasantly surprised by her sophomore effort, which perfectly encapsulated a 20s mindset. Her subject matter and perspective have definitely grown up, but her delivery and lyrics remain delightfully mischievous. It’s like listening to Rumplestiltskin’s impish little sister sing.

[It’s Not Me, It’s You. r. February 2009. Your way in: “The Fear“]

YeahYeahYeahs-ItsBlitz2009Worse Album: It’s Blitz! by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs was not only way more commercial than I wanted it to be, but also tepid. Unlike their first two full-length albums, the only surprise on this collection of songs was how woefully uninspired they were. Huge fail IMO, even if their pandering netted them bigger album sales. As with most worst album picks, I chose this one, b/c it was the most disappointing. But it should be noted that I loved Karen O’s bad-ass jacket in the video for “Zero.”

We’ll be covering singles in the coming weeks, but right now, I’d like to hear your nominations Best Debut, Best Latest, and Worse Album of the Year in the comments. Also if you haven’t weighed in on the Best and Worst TV of the Year, please go here to do so.