Hard to believe that we are now in January 2010. Doesn't seem so long ago that I was pondering what 2009 would bring, and writing about the happenings of 2009. I think that the only music I was expecting was the new U2 record (and rumour has it 2010 may see their next one...)
On to my top five... the contenders are ... Strict Joy (The Swell Season), Backspacer (Pearl Jam), Fireflies and songs (Sara Groves), Hello Hurricane (Switchfoot), Long Fall Back to Earth (Jars of Clay), No Line on the Horizon (U2), Outer South (Conor Oberst), Glass, Tavener, Nyman (Amy Dickson). A couple that I need to listen to more - Golden Rule (Powderfinger), As Day Follows Night (Sarah Blasko).
Its thougher than I thought to pick between them this year. I had pretty high expectatons with both U2 and The Swell Season, and The Swell Season got closer to delivering than U2.
No Line on the Horizon - well while I still don't like Get on Your Boots, the album has grown on me quite a bit (not that its in my top three of their albums).
It was always going to be hard for The Swell Season to match their first record (which was pretty close to perfect). The highlights are Marketa's singing on Fantasy Man and I Have Loved You Wrong. The songs speak of the experience of break-up (and seem to ring true).
I had heard a lot about Sara Groves before, but hadn't listened to any songs. Last year she release Fireflies and Songs - filled with quite a number of personal reflections (I love the story behind 'It's Me" - which opens the lid a little on conflict in marriage. Jars of Clay new record, similarly focuses the eyes on relationships using the metaphor of planes landing in 'Safe to Land'.
Backspacer is one of Pearl Jam's stronger records (and better than their self-titled pervious record), tte stand out tracks for me are Unthought Known, and Just Breathe.
So the top five:
5 - Swtichfoot - Hello Hurricane
4 - Pearl Jam - Backspacer
3 - Jars of Clay - The Long Fall Back to Earth
2 - Sara Groves - Fireflies and songs.
1 - The Swell Season - Strict Joy
The few that I'm looking forward to at the moment are Broken Bell, and the new Elbow and Arcade Fire records. I'd like to hear are Noah and the Whale and Mumford and Sons which were released last year.