This year at Hidden Track, we concocted a little experiment for our year-end Best Albums of 2009 list. Instead of picking the old fashioned way – subjectively – we opted for something a little different: a collaborative, collective list that incorporates the opinions of everybody here at HT.
To begin, we devised an all-encompassing list of around 100 nominees and populated it in a Google spreadsheet – essentially anything that anybody who writes for Hidden Track liked at all, made the list. Then we invited our crew of writers to independently vote on the whole list (omitting anything unfamiliar) on a scale of 1 to 20 (20 = five stars). We ended up with 33 voters with varying degrees of familiarity with the nominees; some folks voted on just about everything, while some just a few. From there, we eliminated anything that did not receive at least three votes, calculated the average scores, and sorted it. We took the top 25 scores and presto: the Hidden Track 25 Best Albums of 2009. No bullshit, no big opinions; just the results.
We’ve come to the end of our week long countdown, let’s check out our Top Five…
5) The Flaming Lips – Embryonic
Key Tracks: Evil, Gemini Syringes, Watching the Planets, Powerless
Sounds Like: Trent Reznor, Mars Volta
Skinny: Beware Yoshimi fans, there’s a lot less beautiful stuff this time around. Alternatively, what the Flaming Lips forgo in placating, they more than make up for with dark themes, mayhem and a heavy storyline. While at times Embryonic gets weighed down by knobs and buttons (see Aquarius Sabotage), with some fatty basslines, a heavy dousing of effects and a deeply cynical overarching theme, the Lips provide more to think about and less with which to sing along. If there’s a credit to Wayne Coyne and crew, it’s an ability to push way beyond the conventional, while somehow getting through to the conventional.
READ ON to see the final four albums of our Top 25…