Top CDs of 2009 | Michele Ulsohn

cd_great-northern.gifThe core of this Los Angeles band, boyfriend and girlfriend Solon Bixler and Rachel Stolte, create beautiful, hook-filled dark dream-pop.

(listed alphabetically)

Great Northern | Remind Me Where The Light Is (Eenie Meanie)

Just like their debut release a few years ago, this record has somehow, unfortunately, managed to fly well below the mainstream exposure radar. The core of this Los Angeles band, boyfriend and girlfriend Solon Bixler and Rachel Stolte, create beautiful, hook-filled dark dream-pop that ought to be much more well-known than it is. The single "Houses" is just an awesome tune, and is one of my favorite songs of the year.

Fischerspooner | Entertainment (FS Studios)

Although their studio output can never live up the level of quality found in their visually stunning theatrical performances, this is a strong release; aptly exemplifying the duo’s ability to write accessible songs without sacrificing any of their highly technical, forward-thinking creativity. The fantastic single "The Best Revenge," their most radio-friendly song to date, should have received way more exposure than it did.

Mute Math | Armistice (Warner Bros.)

Although it was written in an amazingly short three-month period, the material on this recording does not lack in either substance or appeal, especially standout tracks like "Clipping" and "Electrify." My high expectations of this release, based on the near-perfectness of their debut CD a few years ago, were not only met, but well exceeded. This is U2, XTC and Police-inspired modern rock at its finest.

T.H. White | Company Book (Sky Council Recordings)

Successfully fullfilling the multiple roles of writer, producer, co-engineer and performer of the eight tracks on this strong debut effort, T.H. White has created a more-than-worthwhile listen of mostly instrumental electronica that is the perfect blend of dance-ready and down-tempo. A must-own for fans of the Crystal Method and Moby.

Yo La Tengo | Popular Songs (Matador)

The longevity of YLT’s 25-year career has allowed them to go through several different stylistic phases, but lucky for us, they never stray too far away from what they do best: create long, slow, well-thought-out compositions that usually twist and turn their way into a masterpiece, and this disc contains quite a few of those. The 16-minute psychedelic instrumental "And the Glitter Is Gone" that closes this disc is the song I’m most looking forward to hearing live at their show next month.



Honorable Mentions:

Arctic Monkeys | Humbug (Domino)

Jeremy Enigk | OK Bear (Lewis Hollow)

Dandy Warhols | Earth to the Remix EP (Beat the World)

The Trews | No Time for Later (Burnstead Productions)


Michele Ulsohn

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