Opinon: The Best Album of 2009

This is the final part of The Only Thing I Know For Sure’s Top Ten of 2009. Part one can be found here, part two can be found here and part three can be found here.

Now we’ve had our say on the matter, let us know what your top ten of this year were and why by leaving a comment.

1. Future of the Left – Travels With Myself and Another (4AD)

What is it that makes an album great? Is it the album’s power to overcome the lowest of emotions and leave the listener feeling changed? Or is it just a collection of great songs that fit together and don’t overstay their welcome? Whatever the science behind the standout albums of the past decade, ‘Travels With Myself and Another’ has it in spades. Future of the Left have got their own stories to tell about how they got to this album, stories that involve innovative and unique bands that made the slightest mark on UK music (Mclusky and Jarcrew), stories about how they confronted the demon of piracy and got nowhere and stories of hundreds of sweaty, tiny shows playing their hearts out. It’s been a long journey, but ‘Travels’ is the album that Future of the Left have been training to make for all those years.

It’s undeniably quirky, poking fun and toying with the state of the world rather than just having a whinge. Singer Andrew Falkous continues to sharpen his wit razor and slice into a variety of wry topics. But the music that stands behind him is just as cutting. From the military exercise of ‘The Hope That House Built’ to the football terrace-influenced chanting of ‘You Need Satan More Than He Needs You’, everything here is just ripe for euphoric shouting along, pulling the listener out of any mire.

There’s no doubt that Future of the Left have more to offer. Without a doubt they are one of the, if not the, best band in the UK at the moment. Something entirely different, something clever and emphatic, it’s no wonder they haven’t found the sunny climes of stardom like Biffy Clyro and Elbow. But maybe that’s for the best: after all, what would Future of the Left have to be angry about if they have everything?

(Read the full review for Travels With Myself and Another)


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