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Ok I’ve been in love with this song by Steel Train for about 2 weeks now, and it’s time I admit it. The weekend before last my wife and I went on an impromptu storm chase after being awe-struck by some of the coolest cloud-to-cloud lightning we’d ever seen – and as we went racing around some of the state routes east of Indy this was the song that was blasting from our open windows. And can you even try to think of a better storm-chasing song? I dare you to.

Well I just got my hands on the rest of these New Jersey boys’ album, and so far I’m loving every bit of it. The fantastic blogger who turned me onto these guys described them as “indie kids doing their best, brilliant shot at Springsteen”, and I think she hit it right on. It’s got all the fist-pumping power of Born To Run’s finest moments all wrapped into one little song. In addition to their NJ forebear, I also hear shades of The Format in their grand shimmering sound, which really puts a smile on my face. How funny then that just this afternoon I got an email from Nate Ruess about his latest project (fun.), in which he added:

“Oh, and if you haven’t purchased the new Steel Train yet, you’re crazy. I’m a competitive person, so for me to say that it’s the best record of the year, prolly means that it’s my favorite record of the last 5 years. Truly inspiring. Run, don’t walk over to their website.”

‘Nuff said.

mp3: Steel Train – Bullet
from the album Steel Train (buy it here)

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2009 Top 25Well it’s that time again. It’s been a good year in music for sure – so much so that we’ve bumped our list up to 25 albums this time around, and even then we were having to painfully cut out some clearly great records.

Remember, this list represents our favorite albums of the year, not necessarily the best albums of the year. If we had to pick what we thought were the very best albums critically, this would probably be a very different list. But we’re no critics, so that’s not what we’re going to do. These are simply our very favorite albums of the year – the ones that made us laugh, cry, dance, smile, press repeat, wet our pants, etc. This is what we’ll remember when we look back on 2009.

Here we go:

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