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Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Wildy's World Top-40 of 2009: #6-12

Today we break into the Top 10 albums of the year, working our way up to #1. Let's waste no time...

June, 2009 Wildy's World Artist Of The Month Darrelle London sparkles on her debut album Edible Word Parade. The former farm girl is one of the bright spots on the Toronto singer/songwriter scene, and she's starting to get noticed outside of The Big Smoke, as evidenced by the placement of one of her songs on the 90210 soundtrack this year. Using a highly personal, honest and mildly quirky brand of piano-based Pop, London charms listeners with a sweet sound that masks an underlying sophistication and wit that are disarming. While we're not ones to bet on stardom, London is the total package.

For those of you who know of Ben Folds already, we really need say no more. For those of you who don't, he's the nerdy judge on The Sing Off whose passion got that show off the ground. Whatever you know already, Folds would be some critics pick for best songwriter of his generation so far. Way To Normal continues in that vein, with Folds mixing intelligent commentary, emotional honesty and wit into songs that are so well-written they practically sing and play themselves.

Albany, New York's Ten Year Vamp came into Don't Act Like You Know Me via corporate structure, selling shares in the album to fans; allowing shareholders to select the tracks on the album, etc. In the end, the album is a populist Alt-Rock classic, led by the high-octane, sexually charged vocal performances of Debbie Gabrione.

Lyle Lovett is a consummate songwriter and storyteller, a reputation he does nothing to deter on Natural Forces. While perhaps not quite his best work, Natural Forces is close enough and should warrant serious Grammy attention.

Lindsay Mac might get your attention for her bass-plauomg stule, but it's her songwriting and delivery that will hold you. Stop Thinking plies her classical training to angular and unusual Pop songs in perfect measure. You'll hang on every note.

DeYoung returns with some of his best Rock songwriting since the heyday of Styx. One Hundred Years From Now was released in Canada in 2007 and went Gold, but didn't see the light of day in the US until 2009. Changes in the composition and mixing of the album helped freshen the album for those already familiar with the Canadian version, and the addition of Private Jones added serious punch. For Styx fans yearning for days gone by, this is easily the best "Styx" album since Paradise Theater.

6 David Francey and Mike Ford - Seaway

Francey And Ford collaborate on perhaps the most pleasant surprise of 2009, a song cycle inspired by their two week stay on a Great Lakes "laker" ship a couple of years back. Francey's gentle Folk bearing balances Ford's "Coat Of Many Colors" songwriting style to create magic, with the help of fellow Moxy Fruvous alum Dave Matheson. Seaway shines.

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