I've spent a fair portion of my free time in the past few months working on my Best of 2009 list for publication on this 'ere blog. From a semi-finalists list of about thirty, few of which would probably come as a surprise to you, I've underlined, struck through, italicized, put in bold, categorized and recategorized those albums that I perceived to be this year's contenders. I've listened and relistened to them, both critically and distractedly. And I strongly suspect that I spent more money on music in 2009 than in all of the previous years combined.
But Jess's list, below, is either just as good or better than the list I would have come up with, anyway, and what struck me most about her list was that she based it, not on best, but on most played. And it occurred to me that "most played" is as good an indicator of best as any other metric. And the bottom line truth of the matter is, when it comes to most played albums, in 2009, by me, they are as follows:
JULIE'S UNDISPUTED CHAMPION of 2009: GLEE
What can I say about these albums that hasn't already been said? Who knows? I have very little idea what's been said about them. I don't really want to know. I can't imagine that it's very good. I recognize that I'm a bit of a diehard true believer when it come to this show and the associated albums, but I just can't help it. Glee seems to me like such a special phenomenon. It's like the pop music back catalog has finally gotten big enough, and is finally meaningful enough to a large enough percentage of the population, to make this show, and the associated albums, more than the sum of its parts. Which is not to say that its parts aren't pretty fantastic in their own right. Lea Michele's voice is as clear as a bell, and Jane Lynch, I mean, COME ON. Jane Lynch! That being said, I'm not going to try to persuade you if you're not already there. Glee is like Moulin Rouge. You either like it, or you don't. And, In 2009, I liked it waaaaay more than was strictly healthy.
JULIE'S 2009 RUNNER-UP: NEXT TO NORMAL
Something about this Tony-award winning musical must have struck a chord with me, because I spent most of the summer driving around with it on repeat. Again, I'm not going to prosthelytize it to the non-believers, but it touches on a lot of different issues that have really moved to the forefront in this generation, e.g., modern family, mental health, medication, and of course all the usual good stuff like love and loss. If you're in New York City, do me a favor and go see it, because I'm afraid I won't get there in time. And, if not, and you don't totally abhor all things Broadway, give it a listen sometime and enjoy.
Superboy and the Invisible Girl - Next to Normal OBCR