Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 Wrap-up - Music

For the last week of 2009, I am posting a series of 'Best of 2009'

Today is the best in music and concerts!

For those who dislike rock music, you might want to gracefully slink away right now. Sorry, but rock is my favorite genre. (I also like new age music.) You really don't want me reviewing a country music album, as it will only sound like opposums mating to me! And I am sure you could say the same of mine - LOL!

So this list is definitely biased - but you might find a gem here!


Guilt Machine - On This Perfect Day
Arjen Lucassen is the genius behind Ayreon and several other bands. He helped launch Stream of Passion to showcase Ayreon's singer Marcela Bovio.
Guilt Machine is another of his projects, and this time rather than an ensemble of artists, he formed an actual band.
The more I listened, the more I fell in love with this melodic prog-rock album, and it's journey through the human emotion of guilt.
Arjen's bands and albums all highlight the human condition and focus on percise & intricate music.
This album grows fresher every time I hear it!

Trans Siberian Orchestra - Night Castle
The LONG awaited new album from TSO!
This is only the second one that ventures from the Christmas theme, but it doesn't abandon  the Christian roots of the band.
A double CD, this album features a variety of hard rock classical style and sweet melodies. Carmina Burana is the song they have sung for the past few years in concert, taunting us, and it's a delight to finally hear that song on the album.
Other noteables are The Mountain, a take on In the Hall of the Mountain King, and Toccata-Carpimus Noctem, the playing of which should ignite the guitarist's and violinist's instruments!

Chevelle - Black Clouds & Silver Linings
I've been a big fan of Chevelle for years and this album does not disappoint.
One of the brothers departed, but his absence has not made an impact of the quality of the music.
This album does not contain as many highlights as albums of the past, but it is more even-keeled overall.

Alice in Chains - Black Gives Way to Blue
Yes, they sound just like Alice in Chains - imagine that!
If you were a fan of this 90's grunge rock band, you will be pleased with their new album.
Sean Kinney's vocals are not only perfect, I think he's even better than Lane.
Of course, it is the genius of Jerry Cantrell that pulls it all together.
Overall, a very solid album.

Dream Theater - Black Clouds & Silver Linings
One of the biggest, most successful prog rock bands ever, and with good reason.
This album gets a big nod due to one of the best songs ever written, The Count of Tuscany.
This band has never compromised. They do not care about top 40 hits. They don't care about radio airplay. At this point in their career, they don't need to! So they just continue to do what they do best - evolve as a band, trying new things and crafting even better, tighter, more elaborate musical offerings.


Trans Siberian Orchestra wins every year, hands down. No other show can compare. And this year, with the release of Night Castle, it was explosive!

Dream Theater places second. It is amazing that such intricate, detailed compositions can be played live and with such precision. A very magical performance.

My picks for 2009 - what were yours???


  1. I was proud that I actually recognized two of the bands on your list! Alice in Chains and TSO.

    I've not really listened to newly-released music this year, so I'm feeling dated. I listened to a lot of 70s and 80s rock, jazz, classical, and even some opera and blues.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. I’m kind of like Elizabeth in that I haven’t really added any newly-released music to what I normally listen to which is a hodgepodge of oldies, country, new age, classical and a few other genres. We didn’t even go to a single concert – the year went way too fast.

  3. Like the others, I listen to a wide variety of music - my iTunes list is pretty eclectic. I'll check out some of these and see if I can add to my list. Thanks :)

  4. I'm not much of a music person- at least I don't always know to whom I'm listening- but I love classic rock and you gave me some great stuff to pass on to my husband. And his birthday is Thursday, so thank you!


  5. I haven't listened to a couple of the albums you mentioned - Dream Theatre and Chevelle. I'll have to check them out when I'm back in the west. Just a few weeks to go.


  6. Having spent the better part of the past year rediscovering my old vinyl collection, I'm pretty much out of it when it comes to anything new. Next time I'm in an adventurous boogie mood I'll fire up Napster and check out the music on your rather intriguing list. Of particular interest are TSO because of your reviews, photos, etc., and Alice in Chains because I liked them back in the day. Bring back the grunge!

  7. Love the music post! I've been in the process of updating my IPOD and am always looking for new music!

    Enjoying the year in review posts!!!

  8. I'm with you on the "Trans Hands Down" thingy - they are really doing it in the contemporary music scene ... but there is SO much great music out there, hmm?

    Marvin D Wilson

  9. Kristi, go get 'em!

    My tastes lean toward prog rock, so that's a big bulk of my music. But it's also more in depth than most rock, and musicians have to be at the top of their game to perform.

    Mike, so hoping to see Alice in Chains in Myrtle Beach in February!

    And I do harken back to the music of my youth. "Hair Nation" and "The Boneyard" are my favorite channels on my XM Radio.

  10. I'm such a shut-in, I hadn't heard of any of those. And I haven't bought a CD in a year or more.

    Hello, I'm Helen and I'm a slug.

    Straight From Hel

  11. Hi Helen the slug!!!

    It all depends on where you place your priorities. My husband and I are really into movies & music. While others travel or have kids, we build a library of movies, CDs and books that would put Hastings to shame...

  12. I didn't gracefully slink away. Figured I learn something. I mostly attend plays and movies.
    I've missed you lately on my blog. You must be out at concerts. (-:
    Best and Hapy New Year