Best Albums of 2009

I’ve been struggling with this for a few days – with all the work I’ve done (well, its not like its work as such, but you get the idea) on the Best Albums of the ’00s. Should I post my “Best of 2009” when its only December 2? It seems so early, but really, how much will my list change (or does it matter … probably not). I have to admit, with the move to Ohio, first-year facultying, volcano blogging, house buying and everything else, I didn’t pay as much attention to music as I have in the last few years. I suppose my boredom with music in 2008 didn’t help either.

Anyway, considering the Best of the ’00s is somewhat contingent on the albums of 2009, I might as well go ahead and post my list now. Again, bear in mind that this represents albums I (a) actually heard and (b) liked – by no means am I trying to assess the “best”(tm) music of the year. You may like my list, you may hate it. Enjoy.

Best of 2009

Honorable Mention: N.A.S.A.: Spirit of Apollo; Balky Mule: The Length of Rail; Rainbow Arabia: Kabukimono; Rakes: Klang!

20. Volcano Choir – Unmap
19. Various – Score! 20 Years of Merge Records
18. Metric – Fantasies
17. Decemberists – Hazards of Love
16. Nosaj Thing – Drift
15. Monsters of Folk – Monsters of Folk
14. Patrick Wolf – The Bachelor
13. Beirut – March of the Zapotec
12. Tiki – Past, Present, Future
11. Built to Spill – There is No Enemy

10. Morrissey – Years of Refusal If anything, Moz still knows how to make a good album cover.
9. Mos Def – The Ecstatic Mos Def’s last outing was pretty mediocre, but with the help of a lot more interesting production, The Ecstatic is up there with Black on Both Sides.
8. Dinosaur Jr. – Farm You have to love the second wind of Dino Jr. … Its almost as satisfying as the Mission of Burma comeback years.
7. Busdriver – Jhelli Beam The ups are very up and the downs are, well, down, but if you take the average, it is quite a ride.
6. Franz Ferdinand – Tonight They actually sounded like they had fun with Tonight, unlike their last album that was weighed down under the pressure of following up their gem of a debut.
5. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest You know, I couldn’t get into some of the early Grizzly Bear albums, but this one really clicked with me.
4. Jarvis Cocker – Further Complications Jarvis all rough and rowdy … good times!
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Its Blitz And on the flipside, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs go all synthpop on us … much like Franz Ferdinand, the third album far outweighs the second.
2. Passion Pit – Manners I really didn’t think I would like this album as much as I did, but sure enough its like the Pet Shop Boys for the 21st century.
1. Horrors – Primary Colours (left) OK, if I picked a band that I would have thought would be the least likely to end up on top based on their prior work, the Horrors might have been near the top. Yet, here we are. They ditched the goth/garage persona and instead decided to channel Joy Division, with the help of the likes of Chris Cunningham. It is a perfect blend of melody, darkness and depth – they might be a latter day Radiohead.


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