The Best Albums of 2009 / The Top 15

This is it. The best of the best. As determined by me and in alphabetical-by-artist order. This list has been a labor of love and it is an honor to pay tribute to so many fantastic albums. With that said, don’t hesitate to lift your leg and leave your own mark in the comments. Or just track down the albums here that you don’t know and get down with a good set of headphone. I know these lists are self indulgent and often pointless but they are fun nonetheless. A big thank you to all the TBE readers who stick with me day after day and trudge through my ramblings. Ok, I’m out. Carry on! Read more

The 25 Best Songs of 2009… Since Then / July-Dec.

Here is my list of the best songs of the second half of 2009. Be sure to read the first half’s list here and treat the two posts as a tag team of epic jams.

Wow, what a year. TBE is a month shy of it’s first birthday and now I have to wrap it’s whole existence into a short list? Tough times. Well, since objectivity is a myth, I am gonna keep my Best 20.9 Songs Of 2009 So Far list as the gold standard for my pre-July opinions and instead focus on the year’s latter half here. Why let time revise my previous favorites when the same fate will never befall these tracks? After all, it’s just a calendar. Anyway, I hope this list serves as a reminder of some forgotten jams or, if you are new to TBE, introduce you a new favorite jam. Whoever you are, and however you ended up here (Hi freeloaders!), may you enjoy the shit out of your time here (and there).

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JAMIE T presents CHAKA DEMUS. It’s just the name of THE MAN’S latest single, a MACHINE of a jam.


if your gonna learn a song you gotta sing along

♫ Jamie T – Chaka Demus

After becoming mildly obsessed with Stick N’ Stones, the first single off of Jamie T’s sophomore album, I was a little scared to be let down by the rest of Kings and Queens. Luckily for the whole damned world Jamie T did not disappoint, delivering such a fantastically varied and solid album that I still grin while listening to it. It doesn’t hurt that Jamie is one of the sharpest lyricists out there, slicing words over beats as a perfect double whammy. I don’t really know what else to say except that you should get this album. If you dig the punked-up Stick N’ Stones, the bouncy “Chaka Demus” (above) or the arm-over-shoulder bro-jam “The Man’s Machine” then you will love Kings & Queens right off the bat. If those songs haven’t spoken to you then you need to buy it anyway and just listen to it until you come to your senses.

♫ Jamie T – The Man’s Machine

Bury your face in MySpace

Jamie T is about to rock us with Sticks N’ Stones


its the only place where oh i feel like relaxed enough to crap

Jamie T – Sticks ‘N’ Stones (clean edit)

I’ve been excited about this new Jamie T track ever since wit was a wee “in progress” in my download cue earlier today. With the track on repeat, that excitement has only grown as I read the awesome lyrics and watched the rowdy video. “Sticks N Stones” is exactly what I want from my rock: a bouncy drum beat, ripping guitars, some “ahhhh ahhhhs” in the background, only mildly intelligible vocals, and a chorus that makes me want to sing along as I jump on my bed. Perfect. I will always remember the first time I heard Jamie T, I was sitting on the my couch in Shanghai watching Philippine MTV (no way China has their own MTV) and on came a video with monkeys playing house. It was great. It was “Sheila.” (The first version, not the awesome second one with Bob Hoskins.) I was hooked. Picking up the album, Jamie’s debut Panic Prevention, I was then treated to a few more fantastic jams.

Jamie T – Salvador

Jamie T – Operation

Panic Prevention had some great highlights but was pretty uneven, a few tracks even feeling like unfinished demos. Listening to “Sticks N’ Stones” gives me quite a bit a faith in Jamie’s next LP, Kings and Queens, which drops in September.

Bury your face in MySpace