Life + Arts

Top albums of Spring 2009

Mike Damante

The countdown is on until the last Sound Check on Monday, May 4. But for now, we will rank the top five albums so far of 2009.

5. New Found Glory – Not Without A Fight

If you’re a sucker for good pop-punk, then this album is for you. The band has rediscovered their knack for melody, catchiness and riffs that stick in your head. The songs all translate well live, another factor that makes New Found Glory so damn fun.

4. P.O.S. – Never Better

Hard-hitting drums and even harder rhymes make P.O.S.’s Never Better one of the best hip-hop albums of the early year.’ P.O.S. is on top of his lyrical game and Never Better bridges the gap between hip-hop and, to a certain degree, punk rock.

3. NOFX – Coaster

At first listen, Coaster doesn’t do it, but it will grow on you as it is typical tongue-in-cheek NOFX. ‘Creeping Out Sara’ is a song stupid in subject matter, but incredibly catchy telling the story of front man Fat Mike meeting Sara from the group Tegan and Sara.

2. Morrissey- Year of Refusal

In the 1980s, Morrissey was the former front man of The Smiths. The genius that is Morrissey is fully represented in Year of Refusal, proving he is just as relevant today as he was when paving the way for other bands in the ’80s.’

1. Big Sean- UKnowBigSean mixtape

OK, technically this isn’t an album, but it is the best release from anyone thus far in 2009. If the mixtape is any indication of how great Big Sean’s debut Finally Famous will be, then the G.O.O.D music label and hip-hop in general is in good hands. The future of hip-hop lies in this label, and Big Sean will definitely be one of the front-runners.

Roshan Bhatt

Since SoundCheck won’t be joining you with our year-end lists, we decided to give you a running count of our top five albums of 2009 thus far.

5. Rick Ross – Deeper Than Rap

Rick Ross’ third studio album is chock-full of the finest hip-hop production from The JUSTICE League among many others, and features guest spots from Nas, John Legend, Kanye West, T-Pain and Lil Wayne, just to name a few.

4. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

This French group’s fourth studio is due out in late May, but is easily available online to those who know how to find it. This album is highly entertaining, containing some of the best blog-approved synth pop.

3. Kevin Devine – Brother’s Blood

One of the best singer-songwriters of our generation, Devine’s fine-tuned, fifth full-length album is full of collaborations with The Goddamn Band. Devine is the closest that we will ever get to having another Elliott Smith, but he’s just not as sad.

2. As Cities Burn – Hell or High Water

From a band whose first album was full of chaotic post-hardcore songs, As Cities Burn has come a long way. Their third studio album is their most diverse and progressive. After losing their more aggressive vocalist, Cody Bonnette stepped up with an earnest croon that will please many.

1. Manchester Orchestra – Mean Everything to Nothing

Mean Everything to Nothing is a bit of a departure from their previous album, but Manchester Orchestra has diversified its sound. This could’ve been one of the best albums of the ’90s and sat on the same shelves as Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins. It’s a familiar sound with a refreshing twist that won’t let you down.

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