2009 was a great year for the entertainment industry. Here, we bring you a countdown to the year’s best albums and movies.
10. Billy Talent Billy Talent III
Contrary to what the lackluster title suggests, Billy Talent’s fourth studio album has a new and improved distinctive sound that stands strong throughout the entire set. Though the band took a risk in straying away from their original sound, it worked out in their favor.
9. Jay-Z The Blueprint 3
Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z returns with The Blueprint 3. At the age of 41, Jay-Z brings what most other rappers in the industry cannot: experience. This is evident throughout his album, with tracks like “Empire State of Mind” and “Run This Town”. With 11 albums and counting, Jay-Z proves he is still the King of Hip-Hop.
8. Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Playful, daring, unique, melodic – all of these describe Phoenix’s latest effort, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. This is alternative rock at its finest. From start to finish, the Grammy-nominated album brings forth an infectious energy and catchiness. Seriously, listen to each song. Each one is pure perfection.
7. Silversun Pickups Swoon
An obvious improvement from their debut, Silversun Pickups have a far smoother and refined sound in Swoon than the distorted noise they’ve been previously known for. Swoon, instead of taking one beat and sticking with it, keeps listeners interested with a variety of songs.
6. Muse The Resistance
One of the most anticipated albums of the year, The Resistance does not disappoint. Muse draws in influences from other artists, such as Queen and Depeche Mode, but continues to experiment, evident in the three-piece “Exogenesis Symphony” masterpiece. With such a powerful album, the trio successfully holds on to their old fans and draws in new ones.
5. Metric Fantasies
Simply put, it is impossible not to fall in love with Fantasies. The versatile album delivers something for everyone, from the fast-paced “Gold Guns Girls” to the hauntingly beautiful “Collect Call”. Every track is perfectly pieced together with poignant lyrics, Emily Haines’s magnetic voice, and glittering hooks.
4. Mika The Boy Who Knew Too Much
No more rhapsodizing about philandering gay men or big girls for this Lebanese pop star. Rather, his sophomore release delves into the realm of teenage angst while maintaining the quirky yet addictive beats he is known for. What results are tracks that are catchy and shamelessly fun to dance to.
3. Kid Cudi Man On The Moon: The End Of The Day
Debut albums are supposed to be rather experimental, a test run in the tough music industry. On the contrary, Kid Cudi’s true talent shines through in Man On The Moon: The End Of The Day with such skill that listeners will find it hard to believe that this is his very first studio album.
2. Lily Allen It’s Not Me, It’s You
Lily Allen’s soft, honest voice, leads to expectations that her songs are sweet. But pay attention to the unexpected lyrics, and do a double take. Her comments on society’s drugs, materialism, and wists of relationships clashes with the happy, whimsical background music in a beautiful way.
1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs It’s Blitz!
Yeah Yeah Yeahs has come out with a disco pop fusion of genius. Everything strays from a repetitive tune of mainstream and becomes catchy and creative. The mix is like electro-nightlife at a vintage club. A variety of songs pull together in a theme of funky instrumental dance music.
10. District 9
The threat of alien invasion is a topic all too explored in science fiction films. District 9, however, is possibly the first to deliver both spectacular special effects as well as compassion on behalf of the extraterrestrials. Finally, the other side has a story to tell and it is a heart-wrenching one indeed.
9. Whip It
Bliss (Ellen Page) longs to break free from her mother’s insistence on entering endless numbers of beauty pageants. She eventually finds her call: roller derby racing. The movie theme borders on cliché, but self-discoveries tumble together in freewheeling spirit with an unfamiliar, but original subject.
8. The Blind Side
A football team is connected with the idea of a family; a left tackle covers the quarterback’s blind side. The Blind Side, based on a true story, is a touching drama that brings forth compassion without cheesy sentiments and stars Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron.
7. The Hangover
The Hangover is about a group of buddies on a search to find their lost friend. Trouble is, none of them remember what happened the night he dissappeared. What follows is a hilarious journey that involves a tiger, a baby, and a naked Asian man. Oh, and don’t watch this R-rated flick with your parents.
6. Fantastic Mr. Fox
In a time when most animated films are CGI, Fantastic Mr. Fox is a breath of fresh air with its stop-motion animation. Based on the novel by Ronald Dahl, it is a witty tale about Mr. Fox (voiced by George Clooney), a family man who returns to his old ways as a chicken thief, and takes his community and the audience on a wild ride with its star studded cast.
5. Star Trek
I know what you’re thinking: Star Trek is boring and caters to nerds and old people. But you couldn’t be more wrong. Star Trek has all the explosive action and special effects to fit in Hollywood, but what makes Star Trek stand out is the brilliance each actor brings to his role. In short, even non-Trekkies will actually enjoy Star Trek.
4. (500) Days of Summer
Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy and girl run into a bump in their relationship but live happily ever after. Finally, a romantic comedy without the same plot we’ve all seen is shown on the big screen with (500) Days of Summer. The amazing acting and truly interesting plot make this movie memorable.
3. The Soloist
Based on the memoir by L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez, The Soloist focuses on Lopez’s (Robert Downey Jr.) attempt to seek help for Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a schizophrenic musical genius who casts away a promising future for homelessness. Foxx’s earnest and touching performance is ultimately what makes the film so memorable.
2. Inglourious Basterds
Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) is prepared to scalp some Nazis with his moustache, killer accent, and a team of Jewish American soldiers. Director Quentin Tarantino tells the story of World War II in a way it’s never been told before, fantasizing the murders of the entire group of Nazi leaders, all in a hilariously gory fashion.
Up is brilliantly done, revolving around unexpected heroes: an old man, a stowaway boy, a talking dog, and a mythical bird creature. The creativity is what Pixar is all about: a new perspective. This adventure breaks boundaries in a fun, crazy, but bittersweet story.
Written by Niku Jafarnia, Cynthia Kang, Mary Lan & Vishal Yadav
Jan 12, 2010 at 09:57 PM