BRETT RITCHEY'S BLOG
with the year 2009 coming to a close, it's time to take a look back over everything that has happened this year. have i done my best? is there anything i'd do differently? what albums rocked my ears off? with the last albums of 2009 coming out today, i feel i can officially list my top 5 favorite albums of the year (with two honorable mentions).
Owl City's Ocean Eyes has been my guilty pleasure of the year. catchy beats and clever pop hooks drive Adam Young's infectious electronica, and it's really no surprise the man of Owl City has seen so much mainstream success this year. As well, the marriage of Jon Foreman from Switchfoot and Sean Watkins from Nickel Creek produced one of my favorite albums this year with Fiction Family's self-titled debut. Acoustic indie rock with pop sensabilities, one can only hope the two men of Fiction Family opt to recapture the sound of this album in it's follow-up someday.
STAND-OUTS: Owl City - Vanilla Twighlight, Fiction Family - When She's Near
5) Mat Kearney - City of Black and White
Gone are Mat Kearney's rap-laced indie rock songs, and in their place, with the release of City of Black and White, are solid rock songs with a folk twist. Touring from the success of Nothing Left To Lose brought perspective and world music influences into a solid musical follow up for the man from Nashville.
STAND-OUTS: Closer To Love, Lifeline
4) Switchfoot - Hello Hurricane
Their first album in what seems like forever, Switchfoot's self-released Hello Hurricane packs a punch while maintaining their sensitive side as well. Using the freedom that comes from putting the album out themselves, they took their time with Hello Hurricane, and the TLC that went into it is very apparent.
STAND-OUTS: Mess of Me, Your Love Is A Song
3) Jars of Clay - The Long Fall Back to Earth
My number 3 and number 2 are pretty interchangable, but i had to make a decision, and Jars of Clay's 8th full-length studio album landed at the #3 position. Capitilizing on their newfound independence and mixing in some 80's nostalgia, Jars of Clay produced The Long Fall with new perspective, and it really shines through on what has become one of my top 3 albums from one of my top 3 bands of all time.
STAND-OUTS: Boys (Lesson One), The Scenic Route
2) NEEDTOBREATHE - The Outsiders
Having been made aware of NEEDTOBREATHE after their album The Heat and the hit single Washed by The Water, the anticipation for their follow-up, The Outsiders, was huge. NEEDTOBREATHE exceeded those expectations and delivered an amazing album of what i like to call "back roads" rock (mixture between southern rock and that indie folk rock sound)! The duet with Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek (one of my all-time favorite bands) further cemented this album as one of my favorites of the year.
STAND-OUTS: Prisoner, The Outsiders
1) Relient K - Forget and Not Slow Down
Relient K's seventh full-length studio album is by far one of their best yet. Challenging MmHmm as my favorite of theirs', the entire CD carries the belief, that like the title of the album, there are things in life you can't do anything about, so you might as well accept that God is in control and move on with your life (lead singer Matt Theissen wrote most of the album after his fiance broke their engagement). This deeply personal collection of songs varies in emotions from tragic heartbreak to faithbound optimism, and was by far my favorite from 2009.
STAND-OUTS: Therapy, Sahara, Candlelight
Well there are my top 5 favorite albums of the year 2009. This is very much a personal list, and i'm sure yours is not the same at all. Feel free to let me know what CD's i should give a listen to from 2009 with your favorites from this year. i'd love to know what else i should be listening to before we start 2010!