Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Top 10 #10: Top 10 Albums of 2009 That I Kind Of Thought About Buying But Then Didn't (Part Two)

. . . Continued!

Yeah, so apparently they make a big deal about the "xx" being lowercase. I'll try not to hold that against them.

This band has been making waves lately; they don't look cool, and not looking cool is an excellent way to be cool, but that's not why people are paying attention to them. What makes the xx unique is their sound, which is incredibly stripped back: as other bloggers have noted, they make four musicians sound like two. That kind of sonic restraint is incredibly rare in modern pop. Even better, they have the skills to use this restraint in service of some really spectacular tension-&-release songwriting. It's quite unlike anything else out there right now, and it's great.

But not great enough for me to spend money on it just yet, apparently.

Their debut album, Replica Replica, should have been a much bigger success – the damn thing was absolutely crammed with excellent, hard-edged guitar pop. But Red Riders don't seem to have the right image for success, or something; they're just too tuneful for the hardcore, too artsy for the popsters, too Sydney for the Melbourne. And apparently one of their (multiple) singer-songwriters has left them since the first album, which is a huge shame; they could have been so much more, if they'd all stuck together . . .

But that's people, I guess. In the meantime: if the second RR album has half as many kickarse songs as the debut, then it will be worth buying. Either way I'll be buying it eventually, I'm sure.

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Aw, look – she's just so damn pleasant! I don't know what it is, but there's something about Lily Allen that I just find massively, ineffably appealing. I feel like I probably shouldn't like her music, but I do. It's neat, sweet pop; the lyrics are usually way more clever than they should be; and even when it's bitter and sardonic, which is most of the time, it's also damn nice. At her worst, she's not quite right, but at her best she's excellent.

I've written about Sarah Blasko before, but I guess I like to repeat myself.

Sarah Blasko is excellent. Her latest album appears to be even better than her previous albums, which were also very good. Enough said?

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Florence is epic. I'm not exactly sure how she ended up at #1 on this list, though; her legs may have carried her over the line, I guess. That and her voice, which is astounding. I'm not usually the kind of person to be too impressed by a conventionally tuneful singing voice, but her voice is simply huge; the album title is apt. I've no idea if the rest of her album lives up to the interesting potential of the few singles I've heard so far, but I'm sure it's worth a shot. That, and I worry that she'll beat me up if I don't give her money.

And there you have it – Top 10 #10! And I'll be posting Top 10 #9 will before New Year, turkey permitting.
Merry Xmas!

--the Musical Thoapsl


  1. you too :)
    nice list you have here!

  2. I am on a total Lily Allen craze at the moment.
    Btw RR are awesome.

    ... Sarasi

  3. Hey Sarasi! Good to see you back on the interwebs. And yeah, Lily Allen & RR, woo! They are indeed mighty fine musics . . .