So, like a sadly anti-climactic advent calender that only runs for ten days instead of the requisite twenty-four here is the first of my top 10 albums of 2009:
10 The Airborne Toxic Event – The Airborne Toxic Event
Number 10 was going to be Idlewild's Post Electric Blues, but in a late change of heart they dropped off and these guys snuck-in. I almost dismissed them without listening, due to the terrible name, and initially I had them pegged as competent indie-pop magpies (Papillon is Arcade Fire-lite, Does This Mean You're Moving On? could be an outtake from Is This It and the arch Happiness is Overrated could almost be My Life Story or The Divine Comedy).
But after a few listens I found myself untroubled by their blatant plagiarism and increasingly charmed by the energy, enthusiasm and sheer fun of it all. Sure it is polished, professional and a bit portentous in places (like well-made American TV drama – West Wing and ER I am looking at you), but you can't deny that its great for what it is. If only the White Lies album had been half as good as this. The nine songs flash by in just over thirty minutes and I guarantee that you will find it hard not just to go straight back to the beginning before the bouncy Missy has completely faded out.