Label: True Panther Sounds
Girls' Christopher Owens story has been broadcast across the internet time and time again, so we'll just elect to leave it out when talking about his debut effort, Album. It's just that there's so much more to explaining how Album came to be what it is-- an engaging and honest endeavor the likes of which were rarely seen this year. Maybe that ends up being a result of Owens' past, and maybe not.
Hitting on a wide array of influences from The Beach Boys to Buddy Holly to Guns N' Roses, Girls leaves no ground untouched. One minute, it's a cascade of surf rock, and the next a 1950s doo-wop ballad. Even amidst the intoxicated-Brian Wilson aesthetic, it's Owens' stunningly honest and forthright delivery that grabs you in. From there, the catchy pop hooks and fearless approach are what keeps you coming back-- and that's what's most important. With Album, Owens has compiled a collection of his innermost thoughts and fears, and what follows is about as creative, witty and unashamed as you could ask out of a debut.
Best Track: "Lust for Life"
[Previously on Animal Noises: Best Albums of 2009: #11, M. Ward's Hold Time]