Powhertz' favorites in music in

Still burning the sacred fire of rock, the author and administrator of Powhertz delivers once again its own charts of the songs that animated him the most through the past year. As I repeat each and every year, this charts does not even necessarly represent the songs that I judge to be the best and not even my favorites on January 1st 2010, only those that marked me the most, personnally, all through the year.

We can't say that 2009 was a great year. I found it particularly bad for pop, where almost all the songs look alike and just get me bored (David Guetta, Sean Kingston, etc.). On the rock scene too, there has been a few lacks compared to the very good years. As an example, I would say that my #1 and #2 of 2009 definitely wouldn't have done any better than #3 and #5 in 2008, even though it was far from being a legendary year...

...but one event really spiced things up, and it's the return of grunge band Alice in Chains! It's so much the last band I was expecting to ever make a comeback!! For those who would not be too familiar with the trouble path of the band, let's summarize the facts a bit. In 1999, AIC was releasing a first album of its greatest hits, 3 years after its last show. The same year, it was launching a box set. It will be followed by a live album in 2000 and even a SECOND (!!) greatest hits album in 2001, completing its contract with its record company in a pretty dumb way. That's not a surprise though, since everybody knew that Layne Staley, one of the band's two singers, is having major problems of drugs addiction and (consequently, we can guess!) of physical and mental health. That same Staley dies of a drugs overdose in 2002 and everything leads to believe that Alice in Chains was buried at the same time as its singer.

Alice in Chains - Black Gives Way to BlueBut here they are coming back in 2009, 14 years after their last studio album and 13 years after the legendary MTV Unplugged concert that marked the beginning of the end for the band! An extremely surprising resurrection, but a strongly efficient one. Staley's replacement, William DuVall, surprises. With its mulatto tint and its "afro" hair, he doesn't have anything of the traditional grunge looks, but he blends very well into this music and compensates pretty well the heavy loss of Staley. The album that the reunited band gave birth to in 2009, Black Gives Way to Blue, certainly isn't a masterpiece but remains nonetheless one of the rare good albums of 2009.
Les Trois Accords - Dans mon Corps
However, I will nonetheless admit that I preferred the Dans mon Corps album by the Trois Accords! My record of the year! Following a T.V. interview in which singer Simon Proulx was saying that their new album will reveal a more mature side, I feared that the Quebecer band would lose the goofy aspect that made its fame and its success. So what a joy it was to see that it was nothing of that!!! The integration of the brass on 2 or 3 songs, yes. One song with serious and even sad lyrics, yes. But that's pretty much all! They offer jewels of lyrics to make us laugh out loud, like (freely translated from French) "I know she was called Serge [a man name] before being called Bianca, but the words whe pronounces  qu'elle prononce sprinkle me like a nougat fountain, of food metephors", or:
I was sweating all the water out of my body
At the end I wanted more
I was like crazy!
I was spreading some everywhere!
Good job, buys! Now that's a purchase that you can't regret!

The wait is over, here are the favorites of Powhertz in 2009! New feature this year: a guitar legend! For those who would find that some of my choices are a little too heavy, it will now be possible to spot them easily using this scale:
guitare = presence of electric guitar
guitareguitare = slightly heavy, but should be acceptable for a large majority
guitareguitareguitare = really heavy, sensible ears keep away!

********** The great # 1 of 2009 **********

Alice in Chains
Check my Brain
Not a masterpiece, not a future great classic, but a truly different final product, that we end up wanting to hear every day! Brilliant use of 2 guitars, including one in bends all the song's length, a job of precision and probably a first for me I think... a unique sound, while still perfectly respecting the sound ambiance that characterized Alice in Chains during its 6 or 7 glorious years in the grunge wave. A total success!


Whiskey Hangover
Very characteristic of Godsmack: simple but extremely efficient in the reach of a heavy, loud but round sound that completely fill our ears! Impossible for me not to increase the volume when that one starts!


Alice in Chains
A Looking in View
Maybe slightly too long uselessly, but WOW! A louad sound to fully satisfy both the metal fans and the grunge fans, printed of an extremely palpable intense emotion, screaming of truth. An awesome ambiance, that doesn't waste any time to install itself right on the 1st second. A #3, but really not far from a #1!


Silversun Pickups
Panic Switch
I had really liked Well Thought Out Twinkles, but I was not close to foresee that this relatively "low profile" small band, with its singer that sound like a girl, may someday release a track to take that seriously. It's truly a big one! All year long, I never had any doubt that it would make my top 10. Recommended to enthousiasts of all kinds of rock.


Cage the Elephant
Ain't no Rest for the Wicked

Without any possible doubt my discovery of the year! A rich, original, refreshing sound. Different and interesting lyrics as well. Another big gun of this year 2009.


Les Trois Accords
Caméra Vidéo
Fairly different from what Les Trois Accords used us to, which is already a positive impression. But most of all, it is so OVERFILLED of joy, an explosion of pure contagious happiness! They get me into their festive ambiance, and obviously I enjoy it! Thanks Les Trois Accords for having distributed so much joy to Quebecers through the radio waves this year!


Three Days Grace
Among the best ones of a career that, step by step, starts being very well filled...


Cage the Elephant
Back Against the Wall
Definitely less special that its predecessor Ain't no Rest for the Wicked, but no less moving! Did I say that Cage the Elephant is my far my discovery of the year?  :-)


The Night
Disturbed doesn't lose much of its efficiency. I particularly like the end!


In my opinion, the best of Chevelle' career. I still enjoy very much their first hit The Red, but Jars really has an arousing intensity, superior to any other song from the U.S.-based band. NB: If you asked me today, no doubt that I prefer Jars to The Night, but I keep the order as is because I consider having liked The Night more throughout the year.


Dead Memories
Slipknot successfully did a more relax and more emotive song, without losing its essence and take a distance from what it does best. It's actually a trap into which it got caught in the past, and again this year with Snuff, that I honestly find a bit uninteresting and that will not even be found in my personal chart of 2010.


Sound of Madness
Threatening!! Very efficient! "Well take your medicine!" "When you gonna wake up and fight?"

I like the 2nd verse as well, especially the beginning:
"I'm so sick of this tombstone mentality,
If there's an afterlife,
Then it'll set you free."


Foo Fighters
Among the best compositions of Foo Fighters' modern era. I sincerely believed since its release that it had good chances to qualify for my top 10 of the year, but  competition is strong...


I was liking it better in the beginning before it was overplayed on the radio, but it is no less a song that marked my year 2010.

"Could have been the champagne, the champagne. Could have been the cocaine, the cocaine"


Still not convinced that it is at the level of Girl's not Grey, Silver and Cold or Miss Murder, but it's definitely at AFI's level and that fully deserves its place in my top 20 of 2010.


Marilyn Manson
http://www.marilynmanson.com/#/cinema (quand les vidéos apparaîssent, appuyer la flèche vers le haut)
Exageration of vulgarism as always, not much more maturity acquired from the last albums... but I really found it good and I was convinced that it would know much more success than that and would give a new start to Manson's career. Unfortunately, it wasn't...


Billy Talent
Devil on my Shoulder
I'm really on the path of become a Billy Talent fan! As much as I did not like them in the first years of their career, as much in the last few years I like almost all that they release to the radio! Another track that well reflect the insane energy that band demonstrates in concert. "I got the devil on my shoulder" !


Les Trois Accords
Dans mon Corps
Completely crazy!! Men who are singing the puberty of a young girl, it's already funny. But the way they do it, with a charming flute melody and the so lonnnnnnnng pause between the "il y a des" and ".....................changements", it's so delightful!


Les Cowboys Fringants
La Catherine

Definitely a comeback to the style of the Break Syndical album, which is not a bad thing. Really gets me moving, like in the good old days!


Hey You
A song that should have been titled simply Music if there were not already so many songs with this title! An ode to music, absolutely in the style of 311.


DJ Champion
Alive Again
More rock than ever, Quebecer DJ Champion surprises here with a unique sound, which worthed him a well-deserved success.


Billy Talent
Rusted from the Rain
Liked less than Devil on my Shoulder, but not by much. Very good!


Careless Whisper
A cover, it's always easier... but if I could make abstraction of that and consider it as an original song, maybe it could have been even higher than that. Much emotion, a song for all despite the guitar that's a bit heavy in the intro and choruses.


Les Cowboys Fringants
Chêne et Roseau

Truly strong! Certainly disadvantaged by the fact that I heard it only once on the radio in 2009 (why was that so weak airplay?!), but it's really a nice song. A little short, but it proves a great efficiency by going right to the point without stretching a single moment.


MC Lars
Guitar Hero Hero (Beating Guitar Hero Doesn't Make you Slash)
Mostly for the lyrics. Not sure that the teens will appreciate being told that they should play a little less video games and a little more in the real world, but me I liked it much!


Ariane Moffatt
Jeudi, 17 Mai

Extremely surprising from Ariane Moffatt. Very electro, completely out of her usual style. But it really sounds big! I don't like many of her songs, but this one really stands out!


Get on your Boots
Well-appreciated surprise from U2! It's been a long time (and it's actually very rare in their whole career) they came up with a true rock track.


I don't like the "Come on"'s that are constantly coming back, but that's just a personal taste. I'm the first to admit that it's very close of being a great song despite its relatively low position in my annual personal chart.


Not the greatest melody, but really an intense metal like we find very few these days. I think it is a "must" for all metal fans. To watch with the superb, mysterious video.


Mad'moizèle Giraf
Sub Su'a Job

Me neither, I don't want to go to work!!! A gentle little acoustic song, often circumstantial! It's true that it's not right, "always caught between the same four walls", but life is made that way for so many of us, unfortunately!


Linkin Park
New Divide
It is obvious that Linkin Park turns around in circle. New Divide sounds exactly like a What I've Done 2, and not even necessarly that far from Somewhere I Belong. But I think this one still deserves some attention, even if it was only for the segment between 2:38 and 2:53, where sounds of electric guitars and electronics merge with intensity.


Big B

With this extremely catchy chorus, I do not understand that it was not a greater commercial success. An acoustic song that could please anybody. Another one that I consider to have been disadvantaged in this chart by its too low radio airplay.


Sick Puppies
You're Going Down
It made me discover a violent side of the Sick Puppies that I didn't know before, that surprised me and left me cold in the beginning... but at some point, I came to like it always better and better. We can also condition ourselves to see solidarity rather than violence.


C'est Beau la Bourgeoisie

A song that I discovered only 2 days before the end of the year, so obviously it could not get very high in my chart. But still, it catched me instantly! There is always one or two shameful pop songs in my personal chart every year, and this year of this one from the French guys of Discobitch!


(If you are Wondering if I want you to) I Want you to
Which I'm tired for having heard it a lot too often, but I relatively liked it, once in a time...


Franz Ferdinand
No You Girls
Rascalish, soft, vivifying.



Very mixed feelings; Kids was almost driving me nuts at first, but I eventually started to appreciate it!...


Réservé aux 18 ans et plus
Rammstein has always liked to chock a bit, whether it was by its song on cannibalism (Mein Teil), its hose-penis when it performs Bück Dich in concert, the horrible pictures of the bands' members in the sleeve of its Sehnsucht album, the singer's auto-flegallation in concert during Bestrafe Mich, its songs with violent and/or bloody lyrics such as Wollt Ihr Das Bett in Flammen Sehen? or Rammstein, etc. This time, it aimed at the highest level of "shockery" with a song that promotes beastly sex, accompanied by a video that is nothing less than a short porno movie in which each of the band's members fully f*cks a presumed whore. There's a certain point where it's too much, where it becomes much more an enterprise of how to shock as much as possible than a music enterprise. A point where even myself I start getting at least a bit shaken up, if not shocked. That point, Rammstein reached it without a shadow of a doubt with Pussy...
...but it's still some Rammstein nonetheless! It is very, very far from being their best work in their career, but it still sounds like Rammstein, so almost automatically there's a base that I love, and that deserves a spot in my personal chart of the year.


A pretty successful comeback I think, but that definitely hasn't played enough on the radio, which certainly penalize it here. I haven't heard it more than 3 times in 2009...


This is It
Not a truly great song, but definitely and by far Staind's best since So Far Away in 2003. After these 6 years of failures, it worth rejoice with This is It!!


Rise Against
A clear step under Ready to Fall, and definitely nothing new in the band's career, but Savior nonetheless counts within my favorites from Rise Against.


Silversun Pickups
Cleary a whole level under Panic Switch, but nonetheless a pleasant song.


Mess of Me
It looks like Switchfoot will not remain just a "one-hit wonder" (Meant to Live) !  :-)


Breaking Benjamin
I Will not Bow
It's a chance that the singer is not as good as David Draiman, that song would be impossible to distinguish from the band Disturbed!!! Not original, but still entertaining.


Puddle of Mudd
Another one kind of "over-sexualized", but still less shocking than than Rammstein's Pussy... Another one which very late release near the end of the year is bad for its position in my chart of the year.

All night long, I been drinking
About how to get your panties on the floor

So let’s get it over and just get naked

The next one would have been The Fixer by Pearl Jam, a definite deception as far as I am concerned, but because it is Pearl Jam I nonetheless always listen to it whole.

I song that I discovered only this year but that dates back from 1999 so it was not eligible for 2009: Colony from Swedish band In Flames. Some high-quality metal, mature enough for an annual top 20...

2010/03/11 *
* Ranking ended around January 6, but the article and page layout in date of March 11, sum of a major lack of time and computer problems!