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20 best albums of 2009: 19. The Mother Hips - Pacific Dust (released Oct. 27)

This is not the first time at the rodeo for California’s The Mother Hips.

The group has slowly built a fan base on the west coast through constant touring the past , but their eighth album, “Pacific Dust” finds the group offering a very mature and focused album.

The title track and “Third Floor Story” serve up southern-fried rock at its finest, but most of these songs lean toward the mellow side of life. “Jess OXOX” and “All in Favor” take this slow road, and drags the flow of the album a bit. The heavier stuff also sits closer to the head-bob side of the spectrum than the hippie-dance friendly side.

Still, the songwriting and beautiful harmonies carry this album. “Young Charles Ives” and “Bandit Boy” would put a smile on any adventurous jam band fan’s face. “White Falcon Fuzz” and “Cheer Up Champ” serves as the perfect bookends to this beautifully subdued album.

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