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2009 My Top Albums of 2009  

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UPDATED in early 2011. In retrospect, 2009 was a decent year, especially compared to the rock debacle that was 2010. The Top 8 records on this list all have turned out to be more consistently strong than ANY album of 2010, though there are a few 2010 albums (Band of Horses comes to mind) that have 5 or 6 excellent songs, enough to make up for a bit of filler.

OLD NOTES: A below-average year for albums (and ditto for live shows). Only a handful of great ones.

Overall verdict? "Meh+". But there is still good music, oh yes.

A lot of my perrenials in my top 10 - the two big surprises were the YYY's (definitely the record that will most remind me of 2009), and of course Animal Collective, to some degree. The Animal Collective record wasn't at all a surprise in the sense that I had been DYING to hear these songs ever since they played a set of mostly that material at Coachella 2008, but it's certainly the first studio record of theirs that I've rated very highly. And the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were just one of those rare bands that I didn't want to like at all and over time have acquired Maximum Respect for.

I might add more to these notes when I have time - sadly I am too busy to even use my site to make lists right now.
list ordered by

1
Merriweather Post Pavilion is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Merriweather Post Pavilion Animal Collective - Wow. There are a few average tracks, and it's possible that I'm overreacting a bit, having been on an Animal Collective high since they shocked me at Coachella 08 (playing mostly unreleased songs that appeared on this album).

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2
No Line on the Horizon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
No Line on the Horizon U2 - For all I know this could even be the album of the year. I save my U2/Wilco listening for when I'm spending quality time with the wife (I can't expect her to chill with me listening to ISIS or Satyricon or Phil Lesh and ...

3
It's Blitz! is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
It's Blitz! Yeah Yeah Yeahs - This is the album that most feels like "2009" to me, for whatever reason. Maybe because it's so fresh and original, maybe because YYY's are a band that I really didn't want to like, and took a long time to get into, ...

4
Kingdom of Rust is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Kingdom of Rust Doves - Every Doves record to date has been of the highest quality, and this is no exception. Title track might well be my most-listened to song of the year.

5
1372 Overton Park is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list My Top Albums of 2009

6
Wavering Radiant is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list My Top Albums of 2009

7
Octahedron is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Octahedron The Mars Volta - First 2 Volta full-lengths are stone genius. Everything after is pretty damn great as well, but I'm always a shade disappointed after the first 2-3 listens. But then it grows and grows, or I see them kill a track live, etc ...

8
Them Crooked Vultures is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Them Crooked Vultures Them Crooked Vultures

9
Blue Record is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Blue Record Baroness

10
21st Century Breakdown is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
21st Century Breakdown Green Day - Not quite "American Idiot", but unquestionably a strong record

11
Embryonic is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Embryonic Flaming Lips - Very pleasantly surprised by this piece of interesting nocturnal weirdness. It’s like the polar opposite of their last record. Makes me wanna see the tour even.

12
Crack the Skye is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Crack the Skye Mastodon - A fine return to form after the slight disappointment of the previous release.

13
Joy is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Joy Phish

14
The Eternal is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
The Eternal Sonic Youth - GREAT record. However, this is kinda a weird year for me in the sense that I'm not really FEELING this record like other equally good SY records of recent times. Not sure why - and I don't think it has to do with the quality of ...

15
Working on a Dream is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Working on a Dream Bruce Springsteen, E Street Band - Nothing on this album sucks but the songs overall are slightly weaker than his other records since the comebabck. Nothing that I didn’t like, just a bit more slight than I’d hoped. I didn’t like the "outlaw pete" ...

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16
There Is No Enemy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
There Is No Enemy Built to Spill - while a solid record by most standards,definitely a bit of a disappointment to me. BTS are one of my alltime faves, but this one is less memorable than any other of their major label releases.

17
Big Whiskey & The GrooGrux Kin... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Big Whiskey & The GrooGrux King Dave Matthews Band - Has a couple of great songs ("Why I Am" and one other). And a bitchin' album cover. Best DMB since Crash.

18
Wilco (The Album) is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list My Top Albums of 2009

19
COSMIC EGG (DELUXE EDITION) is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
COSMIC EGG (DELUXE EDITION)

20
Keep It Hid is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Keep It Hid Dan Auerbach - Big fan of the Black Keys but I feel like this album has a bit more soul, songs a bit deeper, etc. Auerbach is only slightly less talented than Jack White, and it's good to see both of them branch out beyond the solo ...

21
Yours Truly, the Commuter is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list My Top Albums of 2009

22
World Painted Blood is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list My Top Albums of 2009

23
Tarot Sport is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Tarot Sport Fuck Buttons

24
The Mountain is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
The Mountain Heartless Bastards

25
By a Thread is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
By a Thread Gov't Mule - Another surprisingly strong studio record by a live fave not known for great studio work.

26
When the Devil's Loose is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list My Top Albums of 2009

27
Farm is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Farm Dinosaur Jr

28
Monsters of Folk is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Monsters of Folk Monsters of Folk

29
The Holy Pictures is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
The Holy Pictures David Holmes

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30
Roll On is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Roll On J.J. Cale

31
Receivers is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Receivers Parts & Labor

32
Before the Frost...Until the F... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list My Top Albums of 2009

33
Backspacer is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Backspacer Pearl Jam

34
Insurgentes is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Insurgentes Steven Wilson

35
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Jason Isbell, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The 400 Unit

36
Ashes to Dust is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Ashes to Dust William Elliott Whitmore

37
Groundswell is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Groundswell Parts & Labor

38
Together Through Life is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Together Through Life Bob Dylan - Definitely a disappointment, just feels kinda slight, but that said has no sucky songs and still far better than, say, any 80s Dylan save Oh Mercy

39
¡Dos! is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Dos Wooden Shjips

40
Sunrise in the Land of Milk an... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list My Top Albums of 2009

41
Sewn Together is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Sewn Together Meat Puppets

42
Horehound is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Horehound The Dead Weather

43
Draw the Line is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Draw the Line David Gray

44
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
The Fall Norah Jones

45
Hold Time is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Hold Time M. Ward - Probably my fave of his so far

46
Killers and Stars is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Killers and Stars Patterson Hood

47
Already Free is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Already Free The Derek Trucks Band, Derek Trucks

48
Chickenfoot is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Chickenfoot Chickenfoot - Old guys trying to be cool/funny choose ghasty name for supergroup (maybe the domain was cheap?). Yet this record does not suck (disclosure - I was a big fan of Van Hagar until the last record or two).

49
Fork in the Road is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Fork In The Road Neil Young

50
Just Dance (feat. Colby O'Doni... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list My Top Albums of 2009
Just Dance (feat. Colby O'Donis) OK I don't even know if this record came out this year, and to be honest I only have 2 songs, but I've been going to a gym a lot this year (knee rehab) and in the AM they are always playing the cheezy Sirius dance music station ...