A lot of music happened in 2009. Some of it was great, some of it was good, and some of it... well, it was neither of those two things. Not just some, either--lots. Lots of music that fell into that last category, though really in most cases I hesitate to call that stuff music at all. For example, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Miley Cyrus are still releasing music, which consequently means that none of them has been eaten by wolves yet. That's no good. The same goes for the Jonas Brothers, who I had hope for when they released an album entitled Lines, Vines, and Trying Times because I thought for sure it had to be about drug addiction (or at least the jungle). Not so, and a great disappointment. And who the fuck is this "Owl City" guy? When I hoped that The Postal Service would put out another album, I actually hoped that they'd be the ones putting it out. He's paying royalties, right? I'm pretty sure that's illegal.
Point is, people get mixed up. So on this, the last day of the year of 2009, I feel as though it is my duty to clarify for those of you who get your music news from such flawed sources as Pitchfork, Spin, Rolling Stone or Hunter Korchak. Because all of those sources seem to have this thing where they forget that they are supposed to make lists of good music and not just popular music. So they all end up with the same albums on their lists, and they all don't fucking belong there in the slightest. Spin put the new Kiss album on their list. At number forty, sure, but I have the entire Kiss discography and I love them to death and I still don't think they should have been put on anyone's top anything list since ten years before I was born. It's hardly even the same band! Those new guys should have to pick new facepaint designs at the least. And what the hell is with Rolling Stone putting U2 as their number one album of the year? When the fuck were those old self-important bastards last relevant? I'm pretty sure it was War. And that was three albums in. You see my dilemma here; as someone who is never wrong about anything, I'm obligated to remedy this situation. So now, without further ado, let me take you on a little trip through...
The Top 5 Albums That Everyone Else Says Were Great But Really Weren't At All, So They Must Have Been Mistaken... of 2009
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Easily the best of the five, but the fact that they got ranked so high on every single list this year puts them in my crosshairs anyway. It's not "bad" per se, it's just... pointless. Blah blah, they're French and hip. I liked this album way better when it was called Satanic Panic in the Attic. Or when Jason Schwartzman released it two years ago. Either one of those, really. Points for referencing two different classical Germanic composers in the course of your single and album names. Is that supposed to let us know that you're "real musicians"?
Phoenix - Lisztomania
Another band I won't necessarily hate come next year, but the pretentiousness of calling your first album "Album" paired with your fake British accents despite the fact that you are from San Francisco--it just gets my knickers all in a twist. So you used to be part of some stupid, half-assed cult and now you let loose by doing drugs all the time and making the video of your big "hit single" some kind of rejected American Apparel ad porno or something. You wanna make a porno music video? Talk to Rammstein about that one.
Girls - Lust for Life
Here is what should have been done with Dirty Projectors' single, "Stillness Is the Move": it should hae been air-express mailed up to Björk's fucking ice palace that I'm sure she lives in and she could have made it into at least an endearingly unlistenable piece of weirdo shit. "Bitte Orca" means "Please Killer Whale" in German and I can only assume that what the band means to say by that is, "Please Killer Whale, come and tear our bodies limb from limb and consume our raw flesh so that we can never ever do this to music again."
Dirty Projectors - Stillness Is the Move
God, isn't this Eighties thing over yet? Even Pacific Sunwear (I'm sorry, "Pac-Sun") is carrying flannel now. Can't we give up on this synth-pop horseshit and move on to some kind of grunge revival already? This album is so boring that it effectively kicked Grizzly Bear off the list, and I really wanted to sit and list all the shitty other Woodsy-Type Animal-Named bands there are stepping on each other's toes nowadays. Like Deertick and Deerhunter and The Deer Hunter and Deerhoof (even though they're good). Oops, looks like I did anyway!
Neon Indian - Should Have Taken Acid With You
Holy shit. The only band that could out-bore Neon Indian--and I think they're trying it, too! What's with all the off-key talk-singing and whispering and shit? Naturally, my dad heard them on the radio and thinks they're "pretty cool" and totally "the kind of music you listen to, Jeremy." Ugh. Just look at them! It's like MySpace started a band, complete with Hot Topic jewelry and Kelly Osbourne cameo. You know who isn't in this band though? E.E. Cummings. Capitalize your fucking letters, assholes. It's not artsy, it's just as stupid and boring as you are.
The xx - Basic Space
There you go. The best of the worst. Or the worst of the best. I don't even know. I'm going to go open a couple of veins and hope for better in 2010. Happy goddamn New Year.