December 30, 2009

The Best Albums of 2009: 5-1

5. Cobalt - Gin

Easily the most unique album on this list, Cobalt is an extremely technically proficient band.  The band only consists of two people, so I don't know how their live shows work, but in the studio they are amazing.  When you're listening to an album for the first time, and you describe it to yourself as "kinda brilliant," you know you're listening to something good.

4. Queensryche - American Soldier

Seattle-based metal band Queensryche returns to form with their best album in almost twenty years.  A concept album describing the thoughts and feelings of combat soldiers, American Soldier is at times intense, thoughtful, and poignant, often in the same song.  Read my original review of the album here

3. Mastodon - Crack the Skye

As with every other Mastodon album, you have to listen to it a few times to really understand their brilliance. This is their best album. It's amazing to listen to songs about wormholes, time travel, and Rasputin combined into one cohesive album. This CD is getting a lot of recognition among critics as one of the finest albums released this year. This praise is well deserved.

2. Dream Theater - Black Clouds and Silver Linings

In my original review of this album, I said "As mentioned, the last Dream Theater album topped my list of best albums for that year. I can't imagine an album knocking this one off the number one spot."  Well, I was wrong.  This is still one of my favorite albums of all time, and the best album from my favorite band, but one release this year managed to pull off a major upset...

1. Living Colour - The Chair in the Doorway

With their fifth studio album, and first in six years, Living Colour has crafted their masterpiece.  A blend of rock, blues, soul, etc., the band has never sounded better.  In my reviews of the Queensryche and Dream Theater albums, I noted that neither singer sounds as good as they used to.  I think Corey Glover may be a freak of nature, because he sounds just as good now as he did twenty years ago.  And Vernon Reid continues to prove he's one of the greatest guitar players in music history.  I've included two songs from this album (I apologize that the audio in the first one is slightly out of sync with the video).  Check them out.

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