Honorable Mentions (last-minute additions to The Best of 2009)

Matt Bissonette: Life Of The Party

I just found out Matt Bissonette released a solo cd this year. He is a power pop genius who is involved in multiple projects, primarily The Mustard Seeds. If you like great guitar-driven power pop with clever lyrics and layers of harmony in the vocals, then you won’t regret picking this one up. Highly recommended.

O.S.I. - Blood

I discovered this group (Jim Matheos of Fates Warning and Kevin Moore of Dream Theater) through their connection with Steven Wilson. He sang on one song on their first cd, Office of Strategic Influence. This latest disc (their third) is a somber, beautiful album with flashes of metal, but primarily atmospheric keyboards. Melodic themes are repeated throughout the songs, making for a unified listening experience. Snatches of samples of what sound like air traffic controllers add to the feeling of technological detachment. The deluxe edition has three bonus tracks, on one of which Tim Bowness of No-Man fame sings. In case you’re wondering, Tim’s partner in No-Man is none other than Steven Wilson!

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