Best Albums of 2009*


Dic 31 2009, 18:54

*According to me.

If i've realised one thing this year it's that i'm a little too obsessed with music. Not necessarily a bad thing, but i know it's got to simmer down at some point. This year takes the cake for sure…, as i think this stupidly long list will prove.

Decided not to include a section of albums i didn't like… theres already too many to mention of the good stuff, so what's the point.

In alphabetical order...

THE STANDOUTS (My absolute favourite albums of 2009)

Artist: Alexisonfire
Album: Old Crows/Young Cardinals

Alexisonfire are the quintessential hipster emo/screamo scene kid band-of-choice, and as such i have generally avoided them for years. Was given the album and didn't really give it much play, but the heavy rotation of the 'Young Cardinals' single on the radio eventually hooked me and made me listen again, and this is a great album. I think its funny that the scene kids will have to share their now mainstream band with noobs like me. Ah, i remember when noobs started listening to my bands….

Artist: Alice in Chains
Album: Black Gives Way to Blue

Alice in Chains and Smashing Pumpkins were my two fave grunge-era bands, so i was more than willing to accept this no matter how average… but it turned out to be exceptionally good, which pushes it up into my standouts. The new singer doesn't add much apart from sounding like Layne Staley, which doesn't interfere with the band's original sound, so they haven't tarnished the band's name in my books, which is always my greatest fear with comebacks like these.

Artist: The Avett Brothers
Album: I and Love and You

These are the kind of albums i love finding… alt-country gems like this that get overlooked. This album isn't overly serious, consists of beautiful folky melodies and the second half almost breaks into party mode with a few indie rock moments, which for me, gives it a bit of an edge over other alt-country releases this year.

Artist: Baroness
Album: Blue Record

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than Red Album. If they improve again over this, holy shit.

Artist: Black Math Horseman
Album: Wyllt

Melodic stoner/doom with female vocals…. yes please. Apart from that, its also really, really, really good.

Artist: Converge
Album: Axe to Fall

Hardcore+Punk+Metal… sounds like the usual recipe for disaster, but this is so far above average its not even funny. The final two tracks on this album show they could probably make any genre of music and still be exceptional.

Artist: Dark Castle
Album: Spirited Migration

Awesome female metal vocals for this exceptional sludge metal album, a winner with me.

Artist: Dinosaur Jr.
Album: Farm

Aware of the slew of highly rated reviews for this, i decided to check it out. Definitely deserves the acclaim. Fantastic guitar record.

Artist: dredg
Album: The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion

My first impressions of this were a mixed bag. On one hand there were some amazing songs with amazing lyrics, like 'Pariah', or 'I Don't Know' - and then there were some others that sound straight up top 40 punk-pop, particularly 'Information' that really put me off. But it was one of those albums i just had to keep listening to, now i really love the whole thing.

Artist: Ha Ha Tonka
Album: Novel Sounds of the Nouveau South

So damn good.

Artist: The Handsome Family
Album: Honey Moon

Aw mah gaaaawd yeh.

Artist: Kylesa
Album: Static Tensions

Fuck me, this is fucking killer. One of my favourite albums ever!

Artist: Little Birdy
Album: Confetti

I've got a soft spot for Little Birdy, they write great pop songs and they've thankfully returned to their original country inspired sound, and mixed in a bit of white R&B for good measure. There's not a bad song on the album.

Artist: Mastodon
Album: Crack the Skye

One of my favourite bands. Crack The Skye is definitely their most cohesive, focussed album, resulting in less tracks and longer songs. I don't think i could choose a favourite album of theirs, they're all different and excellent.

Artist: Metric
Album: Fantasies

These songs really stood out to me this year, amongst all the other indie pop… fun songs.

Artist: Neko Case
Album: Middle Cyclone

Neko Case rules my world. I LOVE HER!

Artist: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
Album: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Album: Higher Than The Stars [EP]

Another totally perfect record, quickly became one of my favourites ever. Totally my exact kind of pop-rock record. Elements of My Bloody Valentine, The Strokes, The Stone Roses, The Smiths and Silversun Pickups all come to mind when listening to it. Pure bliss.

They also released an EP, Higher Than The Stars, which was a bit disappointing only because the songs on it all sound kinda similar to other songs on the eponymous LP.

Artist: Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses
Album: Roadhouse Sun

Another amazing alt-country discovery.

Artist: Scale the Summit
Album: Carving Desert Canyons

Instrumental, post-rock, progressive, with elements of metal… i think this is my favourite instrumental album ever. I don't really enjoy instrumental albums that much. There are a lot of amazing bands out there who choose this path, but my main complaint is that, for me, it just gets boring after awhile. This album never get boring and is a total blast to listen to.

Artist: Silversun Pickups
Album: Swoon

Carnavas is up there with my most favourite perfect albums ever, and i knew it would be a hard act to follow. No, its not as good as Carnavas. But this is still really, really good. I really love this album and it's still miles better than most stuff around at the moment, it's just that Carnavas set the bar too high and i find it hard to get too excited about this.

Artist: A Textbook Tragedy
Album: Rain City State Of Mind [EP]

I have absolutely listened the dog shit out of their EP this year. I can't get enough. Something about this EP clicks with me more than the 2008 Intimidator LP did, i can't put my finger on it. It totally obliterates anything in its path, and makes it hard to downgrade to other similar hardcore technical math-metalcore bands out there… this is as good as it gets.

Artist: Those Darlins
Album: Those Darlins

Country + Punk + Girls = win.

Artist: Tucker B's
Album: Nightmares In The Key Of (((((Wow)))))

Well, finally an Aussie band that totally delivered. These guys are so slept on, its criminal. I guess that's how they can manage to produce yet another album of such sheer brilliance, because there's absolutely no pressure. I thought 2005's Chubby LP was amazing, and now this, the songs are still as punchy, catchy, unpretentious and bizarre as ever. I've always kinda thought they sound like Pixies meets Radiohead sans thom yorke. I dunno, they're just the Tucker B's. Fucking legends.

Album: True Blood - Music From The HBO Original Series [Soundtrack]

One of the best soundtracks ever! Perfect for any mood or occasion. Try it out!

LOVED (awesome albums! - just not quite the standouts)

Artist: Ahab
Album: The Divinity of Oceans

Artist: Ancestors
Album: Of Sound Mind

Artist: The Armed
Album: These Are Lights

Artist: Between the Buried and Me
Album: The Great Misdirect

Artist: The Black Dahlia Murder
Album: Deflorate

Artist: Bloodhorse
Album: Horizoner

Artist: Buried Inside
Album: Spoils of Failure

Artist: Callisto
Album: Providence

Artist: Chevelle
Album: Sci-Fi Crimes

Artist: Drive-By Truckers
Album: The Fine Print (A Collection of Oddities and Rarities) 2003-2008

Artist: Gallows
Album: Grey Britain

Artist: Gifts from Enola
Album: From Fathoms

Artist: He Is Legend
Album: It Hates You

Artist: Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions
Album: Through The Devil Softly

Artist: The Horrors
Album: Primary Colours

Artist: HORSE the band
Album: Desperate Living

Artist: Hull
Album: Sole Lord

Artist: Irepress
Album: Sol Eye Sea I

Artist: Isis
Album: Wavering Radiant

Artist: Jesu
Album: Infinity
Album: Opiate Sun [EP]

Artist: John Frusciante
Album: The Empyrean

Artist: Karnivool
Album: Sound Awake

Artist: Kongh
Album: Shadows Of The Shapeless

Artist: The Low Anthem
Album: Oh My God, Charlie Darwin

Artist: Minsk
Album: With Echoes In The Movement of Stone

Artist: The Number Twelve Looks Like You
Album: Worse Than Alone

Artist: Om
Album: God Is Good

Artist: Patterson Hood
Album: Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs)

Artist: Reverend Horton Heat
Album: Laughin' & Cryin' With The Reverend Horton Heat

Artist: The Scare
Album: Oozevoodoo

Artist: Shrinebuilder
Album: Shrinebuilder

Artist: The Temper Trap
Album: Conditions

Artist: Thrice
Album: Beggars

Artist: Wilco
Album: Wilco (The Album)

Artist: Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Album: It's Blitz!

Artist: YOB
Album: The Great Cessation

NOT BAD, NOT GREAT (disappointing, but worth a mention...)

Artist: Alela Diane
Album: To Be Still

Artist: Among The Oak & Ash
Album: Among The Oak & Ash

Artist: Bury Your Dead
Album: It's Nothing Personal

Artist: Coalesce
Album: Ox

Artist: Dead Man's Bones
Album: Dead Man's Bones

Artist: Disappearer
Album: The Clearing

Artist: The Gossip
Album: Music For Men

Artist: Heaven & Hell
Album: The Devil You Know

Artist: Howling Bells
Album: Radio Wars

Artist: Manatees
Album: Icarus, The Sunclimber

Artist: Maserati
Album: Passages

Artist: Megadeth
Album: Endgame

Artist: Narrows
Album: New Distances

Artist: Peaches
Album: I Feel Cream

Artist: Pelican
Album: Ephemeral [EP]

Artist: Poison the Well
Album: The Tropic Rot

Artist: Q-Tip
Album: Kamaal The Abstract

Artist: Riverside
Album: Anno Domini High Definition

Artist: Russian Circles
Album: Geneva

Artist: Slayer
Album: World Painted Blood

Artist: Son Volt
Album: American Central Dust

OTHER ALBUMS I wanted to check out - for future referenceA Storm of Light - Forgive Us Our Trespasses
A Sunny Day in Glasgow - Ashes Grammar
Across Tundras - Herds of the Fathomless Valleys
And Then There Were None - Who Speaks For Planet Earth?
Arbouretum - Song Of The Pearl
Bat for Lashes - Two Suns
The Big Pink - A Brief History of Love
Blitzen Trapper - Black River Killer [EP]
Black Cobra - Chronomega
The Bottle Rockets - Lean Forward
Bridezilla - The First Dance
Chali 2na - Fish Outta Water
Children - Hard Times Hanging At The End Of The World
The Church - Untitled #23
Clan of Xymox - In Love We Trust
Dappled Cities - Zounds
Dave Alvin - Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women
Dexter Romweber Duo - Ruins of Berlin
Double Dagger - More
Echoes of Yul - Echoes of Yul
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Up From Below
Fall of Efrafa - Inlé
Five Finger Death Punch - War Is The Answer
Florence + the Machine - Lungs
Gaza - He Is Never Coming Back
Guy Clark - Somedays The Song Writes You
Heavy Trash - Midnight Soul Serenade
Hot Panda - Volcano… Bloody Volcano
I Was A King - I Was A King
Iron Age - The Sleeping Eye
James Hand - Shadow on the Ground
Javelina - Beasts Among Sheep
Jets Overhead - No Nations
Justin Townes Earle - Midnight at the Movies
Kieran Kane - Somewhere Beyond The Roses
Kurt Vile - Childish Prodigy
Langhorne Slim - Be Set Free
Latitudes - Agonist
Litmus - Aurora
Living Things - Habeas Corpus
Loney Dear - Dear John
Lucero - 1372 Overton Park
Lullabye Arkestra - Threats/Worship
Mac McAnally - Down By The River
Major Lazer - Guns Don't Kill People… Lazers Do
Maplewood - Yeti Boombox
Mariachi El Bronx - Mariachi El Bronx
Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk
Mos Def - The Ecstatic
N.A.S.A. - The Spirit of Apollo
Naam - Naam
New Keepers of the Water Towers - The Chronicles
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Speed of Life
Oceansize - Home & Minor [EP]
Oh Mercy - Privileged Woes
Oneida - Rated O
Paul Burch and The Wpa Ballclub - Still Your Man
Pearl Jam - Backspacer
Pelican - What We All Come To Need
Pissed Jeans - King of Jeans
Porcupine Tree - The Incident
Shadows Fall - Retribution
Sights & Sounds - Monolith
Sonic Youth - The Eternal
Starlight Mints - Change Remains
Sugar Army - The Parallels Amongst Ourselves
Taint - All Bees To The Sea [EP]
The Psyke Project - Dead Storm
Tift Merritt - Buckingham Solo
To a Skylark - To A Skylark
To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie - Marlone
Two Tongues - Two Tongues
Weird Owl - Ever The Silver Cord Be Loosed


  • Arnoe

    Nice list. The Tropic Rot deserves more than "worth a mention" though :D

    Gen 2 2010, 12:28
  • irishtim

    Another mighty fine list you got there. I'll be compiling my list very shortly and will probably have the Alice in Chains, Baroness, Converge, Dredg, and Mastodon albums way up top too. Though I do think The Tropic Rot should rank a little higher up too. I also really enjoyed the Coalesce, Narrows, and Russian Circles albums as well. Never the less, good list and well put together too. Kudos!

    Gen 7 2010, 6:44
  • Kieran0411

    Cheers! yknow, i'm sure The Tropic Rot is a very fine album, and its not like i didnt try. PtW just seem to be one of those bands i can't get into! i dont know why. Its just me.

    Gen 7 2010, 6:52
  • Heus

    Original list! Looks like it's dificult for you to make choices :) Let's get friends!

    Gen 14 2010, 12:54
  • Kieran0411

    well, i've specifically avoided ranking the albums, for the simple reason that its a pointless endeavaour. For me personally though, i'd say Kylesa was my number 1 album, then 2: Neko Case, 3: Mastodon, and 4: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - after that, my head starts to hurt.

    Gen 14 2010, 13:36
  • CaptainGaylord

    jesus... it never ceases to amaze me, seeing just how much i missed from the previous year. definitely checking out quite a few of these

    Mag 3 2010, 10:02
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