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  Bluesbunny Albums of the Year 2009

Another year in reviews. It seems but a short while since this list was last compiled and we are now all a year older and deeper in debt. Still, it has not been the greatest of years in music either. Mainstream releases proved generally disappointing so it wasn't just in the world of the eclectic and obscure that inspiration and adventure went into hiding. Nonetheless, the Bluesbunny list for this year turned out to be surprisingly commercial.

So to the list…

1. Lee Patterson - Stella Maris (LP Music CDLPN007)

lee patterson cd cover

This album is one of those albums that is just right. It took a while to track it down as it seems to have escaped rather than having been released. However, this is one to treasure as this is the most human of albums with Lee Patterson painting pictures of human frailty and failings with grace and compassion. Album of the year? More like album of the decade.
Read the full review.
More about Lee Patterson

2. Rev Simpkins & The Phantom Notes - Lions (Righteous Holler RHRCD1109)

rev simpkins cd cover

The oddball charms of Rev Simpkins and the Phantom Notes are no stranger to the Bluesbunny's ears. There's no sign of "second album syndrome" on Lions and their swaggering Kinks meets Pulp in a pub style scored another victory.
Read the full review.
More about Rev Simpkins and the Phantom Notes

3. Hijak Oscar - BlackSheepMoneyBox (No catalogue number)

hijak oscar cd cover

Saw this York based band live in the compact basement of The Captain's Rest. Left with the album (and a t-shirt) and fell in love with the Beefheartian mix of British blues and folk on this album. Also fell in love with the primal power of Gaby Milner's voice. Dark haired women were something of a theme in 2009 with the Bluesbunny…
Read the full review
More about Hijak Oscar.

4. Lisa Germano - Magic Neighbor (Young God YG39)

lisa germano cd cover

A subtle and haunting album from Lisa Germano. Whilst it lacked immediacy - which is no surprise given her cult credentials - this album won us over in the end. Close your eyes and it will charm you completely. That's all it took for us.
Read the full review.
More about Lisa Germano.

5. Kimberly Trip - Generation Stereotype (Glitter Kitty GKR2009-0601)

kimberly trip cd cover

Another end of year entry. A Californian band doing their thing in retro pop style might not sound magical but there were perfect pop songs here aplenty. Catchy melodies and astute lyrics were the icing on a very commercial cake.
Read the full review.
More about The Kimberly Trip.

6. The Foghorns - A Diamond As Big As The Motel Six (Beefy Beef Records)

the foghorns cd cover

Another band unknown to the Bluesbunny until we stumbled across them in a bar in Glasgow. The album tuned out to be a lo-fi gem full of oblique urban folk tales held together by unforced harmonies from Bart and Kate. It left us with a warm feeling.
Read the full review.
More about The Foghorns.

7. Screaming Mimi - Leap Into My Fervent Arms (Phantom Power PPR012)

screaming mimi cd cover

Bluesbunny has a bit if a fondness for power pop and this Sheffield based band did the business. Big girl vocals and a sense of fun pervaded this album. I was about to say something like "so stupid it is smart" but it takes a lot of work to create music that doesn't quite sound like anybody else. Done deal here.
Read the full review.
More about Screaming Mimi.

8. BirdEatsBaby - Here She Comes-A-Tumblin' (84502-02554)

birdeatsbaby cd cover

Art house rock survives (in Brighton at least) and there was no finer example than this album from Birdeatsbaby. Resoundingly over the top at times, their wild cabaret style brought some much needed style to a rather drab year.
Read the full review.
More about Birdeatsbaby.

9 Hercules Mandarin - Fast Behind the Times (HM Records HMR004)

hercules mandarin cd cover

Glasgow band Hercules Mandarin seem have the developed an ability to avoid recognition and success. I don't know why as this, their second album, is chock full of radio friendly songs and is performed with imagination and passion. So, credit is given where it is due.
Read the full review.
More about Hercules Mandarin.

10. John Hinshelwood & Sandra Gellatly - Shattered Pleasures

john hinshelwood cd cover

There are no musical surprises in this album so that's not what makes it special. What makes it special is how well a tried and trusted formula can be reused with the two participants giving mellow and neatly understated performances that give much needed comfort to tired ears.
Read the full review.
More about John Hinshelwood and Sandra Gellatly.

Author: Bluesbunny