Exclaim! Readers' Favourite Electronic Albums of 2009:
1. Lady Gaga
2. Junior Boys
3. Fever Ray
5. Passion Pit
7. Animal Collective
8. David Guetta
9. Fuck Buttons
10. La Roux
1. Lady Gaga The Fame Monster (Interscope)
"Good beats to get ya dancin'. I know it's supa-mainstream but there is a reason: it's fuggin' catchy!"
Alanna Yaraskavitch, Ottawa Ontario
"I keep whistling 'Poker Face' in the elevator."
Paul Buchanan, Vancouver BC
"quite the variety of old and new school dance music."
Dave MacLean, Toronto Ontario
"For something so formulaic (skinny, white, blonde pop star + dance music = fame) this album, like the one before it, sure is catchy. Even the more trite tracks ('Paparazzi') benefit from the kind of depth and tarting up generated by a video filmed by Jonas Ackerlund (doing what he did for the Smashing Pumpkins' 'Try Try Try'). This album isn't earth shattering, but that's why it works. Because it could have been (and has been) done before, but this time, its Lady GaGa."
Shannon Palmer, North Bay Ontario
"Even if you dislike Lady Gaga you do have to give her some props, she put out an awesome album this year. Her songs are infectious, get stuck in your head. She is too also very artistic, wild and crazy."
Justine Ulman, Kitchener Ontario
"'I didn't want to like her but I do. Her catchy songs, decent (non-Auto-tuned) voice, a crazy fashion sense and over the top performances are more compelling than repelling. Most importantly, she's named after a Queen song."
Kristen Rutherford, Saskatoon Saskatchewan
"She's batshit crazy but i kinda like her."
Andrew Dunn, Halifax Nova Scotia
2. Junior Boys Begone Dull Care (Domino)
"Great riddims & superb production. The dance floor shall always be full if a Junior Boys joint is on."
DJ Alive, Ottawa Ontario
"A great band with a great album. Real trendsetters with their unique sound."
Ryan Ongaro, Oakville Ontario
"Mysterious and hypnotic. I discovered them in a restaurant on W. Broadway and insisted on knowing who was playing."
Richard Van Camp, Vancouver BC
"Electro pop with a hooks that get into you after a few listens...this is Canada's best ambassador for this category. Who knew Hamilton could be as cool?"
Cedric Morgan, Montreal Quebec
"'I've always found that electronic music has began to sound the same. There is an emergence of the same cheap techno we all hear in clubs being played off of some 20-year-old nobody's laptop. This is definitely not the case of Junior Boys as their newest album and two previous albums sound like nothing you'd hear in a club or bar. But it is beautiful music. And even more amazing to see them live."
Mason Windels, Montreal Quebec
"'What seemed to be their weakest album at first turned out to be, with repeated spins, their very best. Sounds like spring, or a sunny fall day."
Olivier D'Amour, Montreal Quebec
3. Fever Ray (Mute)
"'Not a Knife album, but really could be. Creative as always."
Trent Jakubec, Kamloops BC
"A mysterious fog of tribal tones and haunting wails to get lost in. Definitely not a vanity project by any measure for Karin Dreijer Andersson of the Knife fame. Don't forget her wonderfully realized tour visuals and music videos of her feverish dreams."
Mauro Victoriano, Toronto Ontario
"If the apocalypse had to have a soundtrack, I would choose this record, because I wouldn't feel so bad about watching the world crumble. Delicate and intense, this album is the black metal of electronica, which makes sense, because Karen Dreijer Andersson was admittedly listening to a whole lot of it during recording."
Andrew Campbell, Toronto Ontario
"A gift that keeps on giving, and, thanks to the terrific live shows and videos, has become a multimedia experience of sorts. Icy and precise but human and warm at once. A huge accomplishment that, in many ways, betters anything yet released by the Knife."
Jeffrey P. Nesker, Toronto Ontario
"How knew a side-project of the incredible the Knife could be so good? Album of the year, hands down. And the best live act of the year. Fever Ray produce a perfect blend of creepy down tempo dance music that leans heavily on '80s goth but still manages to sound fresh and new. Got to love those steel drums!"
Daniel Okorn, Toronto Ontario
4. MSTRKRFT Fist of God (Downtown)
"Best Canadian electronic artists (besides maybe Holy Fuck) in the last five years. Brilliant album."
Ian Russell, Hamilton Ontario
"Another grimy release by MSTRKRFT proves that you do not need to have neatly polished beats in order to have an album that is catchier than H1N1."
James Vanoostven, Ancaster Ontario
"If all bar tunes were as good as this, I'd actually go clubbing."
Chris de Jong, Saskatoon Saskatchewan
"Such a great album. I've been waiting for it for what seems forever. I love how MSTRKRFT keeps changing and getting better and blowing more and more of my mind."
Melissa Bhagwandi, Toronto Ontario
5. Passion Pit Manners (Columbia)
"It's shamelessly sugary, but I couldn't help but love this."
Patrick Reinhartz, Fredericton New Brunswick
"Nothing gets me in a party mood like Passion Pit."
Lauren Fairweather, Delta BC
"This album is great. His voice is so unique. My friend pointed out this album has synth sounds from the '70s, '80s and '90s."
Jonny Hughes, Langley BC
"A lot of the dance/electronic stuff I liked, I wouldn't have even classified as such, but when reading these reviews, others do. So the great records by Passion Pit, YACHT, and Bibio among others get top ratings. And special note to Girl Talk who continued to tour everywhere putting on his great show."
Dave Syrie, Mississauga Ontario
6. Bibio The Apple and the Tooth (Warp)
"This one came out of left field when I needed it most. Highly original and a marked step up for Bibio."
Sean Wraight, London Ontario
"Obviously more upbeat than previous outings, although this change in direction has resulted in one of my favourite of the year."
Andrew Scott, North Vancouver BC
"Perfect mix of summery hooks and introspective minimalism!"
Paulson Oliveira, Brampton Ontario
"Just a great album, period. Lots of variety, great emotion."
Andrew Patterson, Oakville Ontario
"Although his previous full-length was much more suited to my tastes, this release gets me ready for any and every night. What do my tastes know anyway?"
Sean Warkentine, Morden Manitoba
7. Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino)
"'Experimental breaches mainstream."
Simon Terry, Peterborough Ontario
"'Do they count as dance/electronic? No? Yes? Oh. Regardless, fantastic."
Sarah Rix, Toronto Ontario
"'Fucking Brilliant! Best album of 2009."
Oneida Crawford, Mallorytown Ontario
8. David Guetta One Love (Astralwerks)
"I think David Guetta is one of the best out there, along with Basshunter. They always have awesome beats, even though to some people they all sound similar!"
Andjela Ilic, Windsor Ontario
"I like that he experimented and mixed his electronic sound with rap, R&B and so forth."
Adriana Lozjanin, Vancouver BC
"'Now I'm usually not a fan of over-played club anthems, but after listening to this album it made me a little kinder towards acts like these. Don't get me wrong, I like a good dance party as much as the next person, but this one came as a surprise to me. Although some songs lacked in originality as far as something I've already heard before, it scores some points for having songs that would turn any venue into one, big dance party."
Kristen Allicock, Brampton Ontario
9. Fuck Buttons Tarot Sport (ATP)
"'One of the most adventurous, brazen and abrasive albums of the year. London duo Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power enlisted the help of power producer Andrew Weatherall to craft joyful noise and dissonance like My Bloody Valentine crossed with techno outfit Underworld."
Wayne Yuzik, Saskatoon Saskatchewan
"Less noisy, dare I say more mature. Very anthemic. Like popping a pill and chilling on a beach in Spain."
Jeff Purmalis, Toronto Ontario
"I have heard some critics say that Fuck Buttons have toned down their style from Street Horsssing and seems to say that they have sacrificed style. I think they've done a wonderful job of warping into a new form that is still quite unique to them alone. Their beats are all encompassing and always cause goose bumps. One of my top albums of the year, regardless of genre."
George Frankson, Vancouver BC
"Reinventing themselves into another style of music I didn't know I needed."
John Hartford, Invernes, Nova Scotia
10. La Roux (Cherry Tree)
"La Roux's first album soared immediately with the world recognizing her infinitely catchy and totally dance-tastic songs. Very perfect for 2009's economic crises, this album helps you forget about everything and just enjoy dancing."
Rachel Kuzmich, Montreal QC
"'Bulletproof' was the song of my summer. Bringing back the '80s with a modern twist, La Roux is sure to produce memorable music in the future."
Karlene Stubbs, Winnipeg Manitoba
"Steady '80s beats brought into the 21st century and a killer new voice. Don't need to say more than that."
Adrian Larose, Ottawa Ontario