Monday, December 28, 2009

The PPO Top Ten Power Pop Albums of 2009

Like last Christmas, I am sitting here up to my ass in snow thinking about the great music that has been presented to us this year and I am finding it difficult to come up with just 10!!
So many talented artists and groups, It is hard to make a decision! I am basing my list on the fact that most of these discs were in heavy rotation at home, work and in my car.
Well, here you are...

10) Biscuit - Cinnamon Fade Out - By the album title alone, one would assume “Cinnamon Fade Out” would contain loads of 60’s psychedelic pop rock. Guess what? You won’t be disappointed. Think Buffalo Springfield meets The Who meets the Posies. Produced by Santi Garcia and mastered by Bob Weston (of Shellac), this is their fourth album. Having played with the MC5, The Dexateens and Boss Martians, Biscuit is renowned for their live powerful performances.

9) The Tomorrows - Jupiter Optimus Maximus - This is what a Power Pop Album should sound like! Marc Stewart and Scott Fletcher withTony Kerr and Adrian Buckleyalong for the ride, are building on the model of their former band, The Roswells, but taking it one step further. Crunchy guitars and faultless melodies plus really groovy suits make them all that much better. Look out for these guys in the future.

8) The Research Turtles - The Research Turtles - These guys are the best band you have never heard of! Taking cues from The Beatles and Weezer, Research Turtles bring an energetic mix of pop and rock that is fun, honest, and at times nostalgic. Their sound is reminiscent of 60s-era British invasion rock with thick guitars, driving beats, and simple pop structures. The “Turtles” consist of brothers Jud and Joe Norman, Logan Fontenot, and Blake Thibodeaux.

7) The Riffbackers - The Curtain Shop And Alterations - Fausto Martin and Nacho García have gathered the remnants of their former band, The Winnerys, and produced a first class album. Inspired by late 70’s Power Pop, The Curtain Shop and Alterations is loaded with reverberating riffs and hook-packed pop vocals. The Riffbackers craft great pop music that hits you from the first note to the very last.

6) Stephen Lawrenson - Somewhere Else - Calling all Jeff Lynne fans...or Beatles fans...better yet, calling everyone, you need to listen to this! Combining refined dense layers of harmonies and passionate love for late 70’s Power Pop, the sophomore release from the Pennsylvania singer/songwriter is a not textbook pop album, but rather the student showing the teachers how it should be done… And it is done well!

5) Bobby Emmett - Learning Love - A power pop singer-songwriter from Detroit, Bobby Emmett has offered up this Power Pop goodie, for lack of a better expression, filled to the brim with catchy melodies and unforgettable riffs, combined with the fact that vintage gear from that era was used to create a classic power pop feel, makes for an incredible debut... and it makes me ready to hear exactly what Bobby Emmett give us next.

4) The Resonars - That Evil Drone - Presenting 12 tracks from Tucson Arizona's finest "unknown" band! Released on CD in the spring (so this counts!), Matt Rendon, the talent behind curtain, intermingles psychedelic melodies, driving guitars and some well placed fuzz into an appealing blend of Beatles meet the Byrds, constructing a most enjoyable album. Another winner from The Resonars! As if we expected less.

3) The Madd - The Madd Are Pretty Quick! - Okay, take The Beatles, The Hollies, The Electric Prunes and any other band from that era and add some high-octane caffeine, blend it on "11" and you got The Madd. Featuring catchy choruses, hyperactive guitars, a pumping organ, the furious paced drumming of Slammin 'Marty Graveyard, and the fabulous voice of Dave von Raven, The Madd do not disappoint on their sophomore release. 15 addictive songs, each better than the last, it is difficult to put this album down, even more difficult to wipe the smile off your face when you are finished listening to it.

2) Tony Cox - Unpublished - From the start songwriter Tony Cox has given us one of the most consistent and listenable pop records of the last ten years, maybe one of the top ten albums of this decade. With the help of Nigel Clark and Darren Finlan, Tony has presented us with some of the most perfect pop songs I have heard in a long time. Intense layers of guitar tracks provided by Tony and brilliant vocals of Nigel Clark provide a Sunshine Pop meets modern inspiration sound that will not be disappoint.

1) Gidgets Ga Ga - The Big Bong Fiasco - It’s Gidgets Ga Ga from Chicago, Illinois! This three-piece power pop trio is the real deal. Combining classic modern rock and a smartness of the past pop music ala Cheap Trick, they have perfected the 3-minute song! Crunchy, face melting guitars, high energy vocals intertwined with unbeatable pop sensibility, Gidgets Ga Ga has bestowed upon us an unquestionable pearl of Power Pop goodness. Thank you Gidgets Ga Ga!

The PPO Top Ten Power Pop Albums of 2009/rs

The PPO Top Ten Power Pop Albums of 2009/mu

1. Pity Her / The Tomorrows
2. Stupid Rock Star's Dream / The Riffbackers
3. Let Me Play / Biscuit
4. Welcome To My World / Tony Cox
5. Damn! / Gidgets Ga Ga
6. Hey! / Stephen Lawrenson
7. Bird Using Bird / The Resonars
8. Love Is Real / Bobby Emmett
9. Try / The Madd
10.Breakdown / Biscuit
11.Damn / Research Turtles
12.Feel Real Love / Tony Cox
13.Baby You're A Star / Gidgets Ga Ga
14.Let's Go / Stephen Lawrenson
15.Queen Of Hearts / Bobby Emmett
16.One Part Moan / The Resonars
17.Don't Ask Me Love / The Madd
18.Jupiter Optimus Maximus / The Tomorrows
19.Sometimes / The Riffbackers
20.The Riff Song / Research Turtles


POPPHIL said...

Thanks for this year-end list.
I agree with you on at least 6 records though I would not rank them that high (except The Madd, maybe).
I beg to differ on The Resonars, Stephen Lawrenson, Biscuit and The Research Turtles, none of which I particularly liked this year.
Let me seize this opportunity to express my most sincere thanks for the amazing job you're doing day in , day out on this blog. I wish you the best for 2010.

Anonymous said...

Hi Curty Ray. I'm from the Burbs of Chicago and I agree with you about all the snow.
Thanks for this, and all you do.

Curty Ray said...

POPPHIL that is the cool thing about music, There is enough to please everyone! Please share your top ten with the PPo Readers, I am curious


Curty Ray said...

Hey Zim

Email me!

Unknown said...

Fell upon this blog a few months back and it has been an unfailing treat. Thanks for introducing me to some great music.

Does anyone have any links to the albums in the top 10?

Olímpico said...

Great list but I miss Mark and the Spies, Tinted Windows and of course the best power pop album of 2009,"Eager to plkease" by The Leftovers!

I´m glad you put The Riffbackers, best spanish power pop album of the year.

Anyway great blog, keep it that way!

Curty Ray said...

Like I said Olímpico, hard to chose! Some others that deserve honorable mention:

Peter and the Penguins
The Seldon Plan
Grand Atlantic
Parallax Project

emdee said...

So grateful for the song selection to hear these bands and have an informed choice as to what to buy.
And even more so - thanks for the totality of this great blog, the love and the work.
Hope the New Year is good for everyone.
Best wishes!

YankeeBoy said...

Wow, I could never put together any kind of Top 10 list. Before I know it, it becomes a Top 50 or more list. I haven't had a chance to listen to everything on this but so far I have purchased a few CDs - The Riffbackers and The Madd. Incidentally, the Madd CD is almost impossible to find in the US - I had to get mine from Soundflat Records in Germany.

I know I've said this before but it bears repeating. PPO is one of the first places I check every day. You have turned me onto so much great music. Thanks so much and have a great 2010.

marfwah said...

Would also like to express my thanks for a wonderful blog. I'm amazed at the amount of time and effort you put in to give so much pleasure to our ears.

Exceptional stuff.

Stan T said...

Very happy to see The Research Turtles getting the exposure they deserve. A friend discovered them a few months ago and turned me onto them and I swear that album sounds better every time I play it. Great site, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...


Although the heavenly hodad shores are past, you do an amazing job here and as always are impossible to fault for selections. May you have a new year and decade that continues to the beat of music that you love and teach others to love!

- jukeboxphantom

sacflies said...

What, no Brendan Benson? "My Old, Familiar Friend" is an album that deserves some attention.

Curty Ray said...

Hey sacflies... Brendan Benson is undoubtedly underrated and My Old, Familiar Friend is undoubtedly brilliant and deserves kudos! That said, I listen to so much music that it is hard to keep track of, the discs I posted are the ones that I just keep going back to over and over again. It would be cool to see your list, I would be happy to post it too!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the best end of year list I've seen so far. Great compilation to play over new year. Thanks again. Snowy in Birmingham

sacflies said...

I hear you CR. There is so much great, and diverse, music being released these days. I just wish I had more time to dig into more of it. That's why I love the best of lists every year, to pick up a lot of great stuff I missed. I will try and come up with a top 10. Listening to The Avett Brothers "I and Love and You" right now, which would be another of my top 10. This is the kind of music I prefer...more "organic" and "natural" if you will. For instance I just cannot get into the Animal Collective album, which is on just about every best of 2009 list I have seen. Just too...mechanical. Just can't hear what all the fuss is about for that one. Oh well, that's the thing about music. To each his own. Thanks for the blog. Keep it coming.

Silversuit said...

Another excellent list thanks Curt. Bobby Emmett & The Madd - Am loving these in a big way. Are you going to do a 00-10 list for us :-) ? Im very keen to see it.

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