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Monday, December 07, 2009

Best of 2009: Top 5 Male Albums

While 2009 was a rather subpar year for female solo artists, in my opinion at least, things were a little better on the dude side of things. This years saw great releases from a wide array of male artists, the Top 5 are below.

#5. Del the Funky Homosapien: Funk Man (The Stimulus Package) - Back towards the beginning of the year, D.E.L. released an album via his webpage for the fair price of…nothing. I'll be real. I expected it to blow. I mean, Del hasn't really been a reliable source for good music for the last decade; so excuse me for the skepticism when he drops one for free. Surprisingly, however, Funk Man is probably Del's best album since Both Sides of Da Brain. There's still some moments on there where you just have to question what the guy's thinking, but for the most part, the craziness is an acceptable attribute.

#4. Allen Toussaint: The Bright Mississippi - Legendary jazz musician, eh? Well, forgive me but I'm just not that familiar with the genre. I am well-versed in the art of great music, however, and Toussaint has created a brilliant collection of it with The Bright Mississippi. The guy's over 70 years old at this point and he just won over a 25 year old. That's rather impressive.

#3. Julian Casablancas: Phrazes for the Young - Initially, I had Patrick Wolf's The Bachelor in the bottom spot on this list. However, once I got a chance to listen to The Strokes' singer's debut as a solo artist, it was clear to me that Casablancas was more deserving of a spot here. While his electronic compositions can get grating from time to time, I have to give the dude credit for doing something that, to me, comes as a complete surprise. It's a fun listen, and one of the year's better debuts.

#2. Wallpaper.: Doodoo Face - Gasp! Wallpaper. appears on an Audio Overflow list but isn't at number one? Crazy right? Well hey, if you really want to hear about my thoughts on Wallpaper's bitchin' debut, you can read about that here, here, here, and here. For now, I'll just acknowledge that someone did it better in '09 and then get on to talking about that guy.

#1. Loney, Dear: Dear John - That guy is Emil Svanangen, the dude behind Loney, Dear. Emil totally deserves this award because he created what is arguably the most impressive male solo album of the decade. Dear John has it all. It's got absolutely brilliant compositions layered with guitars, high-pitched vocals, and synths; upbeat songs and complete tearjerkers; and touching lyrics that also happen to be some of the most-honest of recent memory. Let's be real here. All of Emil's albums are fantastic. But Dear John outdoes them all. When I reviewed it at the beginning of 2009 I referred to it as his Magnum Opus. I swear, if he's able to top this one I'll have no choice but to kneel in his presence. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your perspective), that's probably not possible.

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