2009 Albums of the Year

I'm not going to re-cap the year in music that was 2009 other than to say it was a bit of a disappointing year in my opinion. Not as many albums I think I'll be listening to in 10 years as there have been in the last two or three years. On the bright side, with the list of great bands that are putting out new records in 2010 growing and growing, things might be looking up pretty quickly.

Without further ado, here's my list:

50. AC Newman - Get Guilty
49. The Appleseed Cast – Sagarmatha
48. The Horrors – Primary Colours
47. Cold Cave – Love Comes Close
46. The Low Anthem – Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
45. jj – jj n°2
44. Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
43. Mew – No More Stories Are Told Today, I’m Sorry, They Washed Away
42. Bat For Lashes – Two Suns
41. Dirty Projectors – Bite Orca
40. Julian Casablancas – Phrazes of the Young
39. The Flaming Lips – Embryonic
38. Cymbals Eat Guitars – Why There Are Mountains
37. Elvis Perkins - Elvis Perkins in Dearland
36. The Avett Brothers – I And Love And You
35. Old Canes – Feral Harmonic
34. Fever Ray – Fever Ray
33. Wilco – Wilco (The Album)
32. Akron/Family – Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free
31. Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – s/t
30. Cass McCombs – Catacombs
29. Kurt Vile – Childish Prodigy
28. Passion Pit – Manners
27. Deer Tick – Born On Flag Day
26. Iran – Dissolver

25. A.A. Bondy – When the Devil’s Loose

Singer-songwriter stuff like this with a country tinge to it is right up my alley. This isn't the first A.A. Bondy album I've enjoyed, but it's certainly the most focused.

24. Dead Man's Bones - Dead Man's Bones

Whenever an Actor feels the need to start making music, I usually run away. This album is kinda haunting, a bit joyous and overall a really good record.

23. St. Vincent – Actor

As much as I loved Annie Clark's last album, Marry Me, she topped it with Actor. There are a lot of layers here that definitely rewards repeat listens.

22. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - The Pains of Being Pure At Heart

A great debut album that shows a band with a ton of promise and the ability to write a great pop tune.

21. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Up From Below

If this album didn't have a few songs I just didn't dig, it would have been much higher on my list. Edward Sharpe and his band are responsible for what may be one of the best songs of the year, 'Home'.

20. Junior Boys – Begone Dull Care

I've been a big Junior Boys fan ever since I heard their first album, Last Exit. They haven't done me wrong yet as they've released another brilliant dance album.

19. Mastodon – Crack the Skye

The first of two metal albums in my top 20, Mastodon has continued their streak of nearly flawless albums with Crack the Skye.

18. Atlas Sound - Logos

I wasn't too sure why people were so crazy about Bradford Cox. I fully realize now, after spinning Logos, the genius of this guy.

17. Handsome Furs - Face Control

In my eyes, Dan Boeckner has always taken a back seat to Spencer Krug in terms of songwriting. However, with Face Control, Boeckner's blend of electro-punk hits the mark.

16. Pink Mountaintops - Outside Love

Stephen McBean continues the streak of fantastic albums by the Black Mountain camp.

15. Dinosaur Jr. - Farm

As Dinosaur Jr. continues to release amazing new albums 20+ years into their career, it begs the question: why do people still give a fuck about the Pixies?

14. Bear In Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth

The latest addition to my top 20 is another Brooklyn band that is beginning to garner a bit of well deserved buzz. The album has been in an almost daily rotation for me for weeks.

13. Girls - Album

One of the strongest debut albums of the year was from San Francisco band Girls. Both 'Lust For Life' and 'Hellhole Ratrace' are candidates for song of the year.

12. Lighting Dust - Infinite Light

Another group comprised mostly with members of Black Mountain. This time McBean is out done by his band members as Infinite Light may be the best BM side project ever.

11. White Denim - Fits

Austin's White Denim is another potentially over-hyped band that I thought I might hate before I heard them. Their album Fits is a scatterbrained rock album that's all over the map but is a really fun listen.

10. Megafaun - Gather, Form & Fly

This is the kind of thing that I really do love: a weird mix of freak-folk, country and psychedelic rock. Seeing these guys open for Bon Iver earlier this year was definitely one of my concert highlights of 2009.

9. Wild Beasts - Two Dancers

This is another album that I heard late in the year and just continued to move up and up my list of favorite albums all year. Another best song of the year nominee in 'All the Kings Men'.

8. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career

On their debut album, Camera Obscura released one of my favorite songs of the year ('Hey Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken'). This time, they release a truly great whole album with My Maudlin Career.

7. Strand Of Oaks - Leave Ruin

There always ends up being one mellow, acoustic album pretty high up on my list, and this year it's Strand Of Oaks' Leave Ruin. I gotta admit though, this album got as many listens as the rest of the top 10 and it deserves it's spot.

*No Strand Of Oaks songs are available on Lala.com....head over to their Myspace page to check out their stuff.

6. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

This album held my top spot for much of the year, but unfortunately I got a bit burnt out with it by the end of the year. I still think it's a fantastic album and it's definitely deserved of most of the hype.

*I couldn't find anything off this album on Lala.com, so here's their track from the New Moon soundtrack.

5. Animal Collective - Merriwheather Post Pavilion

The last on my list of albums that were almost painfully hyped. Yet, like Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective's most recent effort truly is great. Some of the catchiest stuff they've ever released and what may be their best album ever.

4. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

This is what a perfect pop album sounds like. It's slick, catchy and full of sheen and shine. Not only that but it's got true emotional and lyrical depth.

3. Baroness - Blue Record

If there is a candidate for an album that I over-rank because it's fresh in my mind (and ipod) at the end of the year, this might be it. I haven't heard a metal album this rich and rewarding in a really long time.

2. Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer

This was in my number one spot for almost the whole year, and it's still so close my number one's and two's could switch in a few weeks. This is Spencer Krug's masterpiece he has been hinting at with Sunset Rubdown for years.

1. The Antlers - Hospice

Albums don't get much more emotionally stimulating or draining than with Hospice. An album that begs to be listened to from start to finish each time, this album is one that will give you something new you didn't notice each spin. There isn't a single song that will blow you away, but in context of the entire album, they are all brilliant.

Alright, what did I miss? What did I rank too low? What is the list missing that was good? What did I rank too high that was shit? Let me know in the comments.



Chris said...

What about Antlers? Why aren't they on your list?


Jake said...

I agree that 2009 was a disappointing year for music. However, thank you for putting this list together. I am downloading a few of these albums right now.

Unprotected Text said...

Another year already!? Matt, i'll be listening to the albums that I have not had a chance to hear yet. hopefully we can discuss more later. It was a rough year. Every other week, it seems that I struggle to find something new to listen to. Does that mean I'm getting old and can't appreciate some of the ambient bs that is out there now?

Poindexter said...

Matt, kudos on the list my friend. Here's how I see it. Flaming Lips a little too low I feel. Embryonic might be my favorite Lips album to date. I kind of feel the same way about Middle Cyclone by Neko Case. There were many bands that had good NOT great albums such as Swan Lake, Rain Machine, Heartless Bastards, Monsters of Folk and so on that I was glad to see NOT make this list. I too have battled with my #1 top spot of the year. And like you, I have Sunset Rubdown grabbing the silver medal. Infinite Light by Lightning Dust garnered the gold for me. This IS an album I will be listening to years down the road. Again, this list is the tits & I can't wait to see what 2010 has in store.

Bang Potential said...

In a world of enraging top albums list yours is re-assuring and calming. If I were to re-do my list today Sunset Rubdown would be higher than #10, it IS a masterpiece, something I crave to the max. I like Antlers and think I'm going to listen to it more just to try and figure out what pierced other peoples heart but not mine. I think I hate Bear in Heaven's lyrics. You inspired me to try AA Bondy again. If you revisit that jj album I think you are going to LURVE IT!! I know I do. This is my fav list and I've been all up and down largehearted boy so that says...

Bang Potential said...

OK, couldn't go watch Dirty Harry on instant view before email the aforementioned blogger your list