Ushering in 2010 is a must-listen episode of World Cafe. As David Dye puts it, "We're starting 2010 with a definitive look at the best and brightest of 2009." It's a whirlwind review of last year's best albums, with top picks from two visiting critics: Rolling Stone's Anthony DeCurtis and music blogger Heather Browne.
Hear Heather Browne's Picks
DeCurtis says there are "fewer and fewer defining records," which contributes to the difficulty of writing a "best of" list. He mentions U2's No Line on the Horizon, and also sings the praises of The Hazards of Love by The Decemberists, which he says possesses a folkloric quality while exuding beauty.
Then, it's a very different take on the year in music, according to blogger Heather Browne. She likes to keep people in touch with the things that make them feel alive on her blog. Recalling her list, Browne talks about the retro-soul movement and acknowledges the trend of new bands blending old sounds.
"Shimmering, full of color and beauty and hard-driving percussion," Fanfarlo makes the list with its anthemic songs. She also singles out Lisa Hannigan, with her beautiful voice and ability to sound whimsical without seeming silly.