Best of the 2000’s Finale: 2009


[image by Pitchfork Media]

Best of the 2000’s Wrap-Up
by Adam Perry for Boulder Weekly
12/31/09

A serviceable definition I recently came across for the word “best” was “of the most excellent, effective, or desirable type or quality.” As a journalist, my job regularly includes the hopefully tasteful, relevant use of superlatives, but incorporating the word “best” into writing about art will always seem at least partly phony to me. In particular, creating a year-end “Best Albums” list is theoretically impossible unless your dependable scribe has scoured Planet Earth to not only find but competently listen to every album released over the past 12 months, and it has been reported that 105,000 albums were released last year in the United States alone. Even then, to pen and publish a “Best Albums of the Year” list, it seems a writer must believe that he or she possesses taste so good and true that it denotes the capability to tell the world which excellent sounds they should effectively desire.

Me? I’m just a hopeless music lover who gets a kick out of turning people on to the music that finds its way inside my bones and stays. Plus, the end of this year is special, as it signifies the end of arguably the second most (to use another superlative) interesting decade of rock music ever, behind only the 1960s. So here’s my favorite album of 2009, followed by one for every year from 2000 on that might’ve moved you too. Check ‘em out, and feel free to email me your own opinions.

2009: Andrew Bird Noble Beast/Useless Creatures (Fat Possum)

Even for an all-around virtuoso like Andrew Bird, a master-whistler and phenomenal violinist whose lyrics mystify as deftly as they engage the intellect, Noble Beast was a astonishing artistic success. Songs like “Oh No” and “Nomenclature” made the standard edition of this album a linguistic and musical showcase for Bird’s idiosyncratic genius, tempering playful pop-rock and wordplay like “from inside me grows a man who speaks with perfect diction as he orders my eviction” with stunning bursts of world-class violin. Useless Creatures, a bonus disc of skillful and imaginative instrumentals, could easily be the album of the year on its own. If you’re game, curl up with “Carrion Suite” and a hot beverage on a snowy afternoon and forget your troubles.

Honorable mention: Alela Diane To Be Still (Holocene)

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