To me, 2009 was the year that pop music exploded online. Sure music has been available for many years online, and iTunes legitimized online sale of music downloads near the beginning of the decade. But never in all these years has music been so close to listeners that they can practically taste it (and maybe that’s next!).
It has recently become a reasonable business strategy to make music available for free as a promotional tool, to attract listeners and fans to various websites and of course to iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, or their local music store to download or buy CD’s. And is it just me, or is the world even that much closer now? Never have I been in contact with more people around the world than just through this 40 year old hobby of mine, which I transformed from website and message board to a blog this past Fall. I’m absolutely loving it.
Music for me in 2009 stayed on the pop-rock-dance tip, with only a handful of modern-alt.rock tunes sustaining my interest. Literally fantastic singers are now everywhere, waiting to be heard, and I’m so glad I found some of them. For every enjoyable favourite who returned with new music, such as Chris Isaak, Duncan Sheik, or Pet Shop Boys, there were new stars glimmering like the UK’s LaRoux, Sam Taylor, Florence & The Machine, Gary Go, and Dan Black; Ireland’s The Script; Australia’s Presets and Nelson Clemente; Sweden’s Darin, Mans Zelmerlow, and Agnes Carlsson; Canada’s Colin Munroe and Noah; and the USA’s Evan Taubenfeld, Val Emmich, Matt & Kim, and Keri Hilson. Dig deep enough online and you’ll find free downloads for Dan Black’s “Symphonies”, Matt & Kim’s “Daylight”, Munroe’s “Will I Stay”, Clemente’s “You Want Me Don’t You (Spekr Freks mix)”, 100 Akres & Roz Bell’s “Pink Cadillac”, and Newton White’s “Breathless” that are all artist-approved. And online remixes even made it to national radio, witness the frenetic redux of The Fray’s “You Found Me” by Lenny B – a song I didn’t like in its original version instantly became one of my favourites of the year!!
So in this blog filled with lists I will add another list of favourites that will hopefully stand the test of time in some ways. I’ll start with the first half, from 50-26, the rest will appear tomorrow with additional thoughts about some of the songs.