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Rudy K.
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Last Active 10-01-14 2:20 am
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Klap4music's Under The Radar 2009

Since Sputnik has been slow to come out with an "Under The Radar 2.0" for 2009, below is ten of my favorite under-appreciated releases of the year, just in time for the new flurry of end-of-the-year lists and the User Top 100. From power-pop to hip-hop, I picked albums that I rated a 3.5 or higher and had less than a certain number of ratings (generally 40-50 - I tried very hard to not include Phoenix's new album). Feel free to add your own "under the radar" picks in the comments, and listen to these before you make your own lists if you get a chance!
1A.C. Newman
Get Guilty


2nd solo effort from the New Pornographers frontman, "Anal Cunt" Newman - "few songwriters working today can match his depth of wit and devious lyrical turns, and his immediately pleasing arrangements match the best of ?60s pop with a properly indie experimental sensibility
2The Fiery Furnaces
I'm Going Away


Cam said it best: "all that?s left is just the breezy, highly listenable melodic stuff. But leaving behind all the experimentation reveals a surprisingly pure and gimmick-free sound, one that doesn?t get lost in its own pretentions."
3Islands
Vapours


"Vapours doesn?t get carried away like Arm?s Way and even Return To The Sea tended to do at times. At its root this is a record that is in love with the simple structure of a good pop/rock song, one that basks in the glow of summery feel-good tunes, no matter how many are actually fairly twisted thanks to Diamonds? off- the-wall subject matter."
4Brendan Benson
My Old, Familiar Friend


Hypercharged power-pop shows fun. who's boss
5Miike Snow
Miike Snow


Maybe the best production I've heard all year - "Miike Snow is the kind of brain-imprinting electro that gets in your head and refuses to go away."
6The Mountain Goats
The Life of the World To Come


Surprised this didn't get more press on Sputnik. What's not to like about John Darnielle?
7Neko Case
Middle Cyclone


Two New Pornographer's on the same list! "It?s a cinematic record that wanes and waxes to its singer?s tunes, going from dauntless love to quiet, sultry melancholia with the ease of a well-practiced performer."
8Taken By Trees
East of Eden


Criminally unknown 2nd solo album from the Concretes ex-frontwoman (you know, the chick who did "Young Folks") - "Few can make such an out-of-left-field experiment work and, better yet, not come off as unbearably pretentious doing it."
9The Veils
Sun Gangs


3 ratings for this?!?!?! Not as good as Nux Vomica, but still an impressive record - "the Veils? penchant for sharp guitar melodies, affecting acoustic slow-burners, and Andrews? inimitable vocals and nakedly emotional lyrics remain just as fine-tuned as ever before."
10Wale
Attention Deficit


Blowing this up before Sobhi can get to it - alternative hip/hop in the Kid Cudi vein, except ten times better
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