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Top 10 Albums Of 2009

My 10 favourite albums released in 2009, in order
1Manchester Orchestra
Mean Everything To Nothing


My favourite album this year by a distance. Mean Everything To Nothing is a huge step up from their promising debut, which itself was pretty good. Songs such as The Only One, I Can Feel A Hot One and The River are all stunning, and the fact that these are only among the highlights make this the clear standout release of 2009 for me.
2Converge
Axe To Fall


Not quite as good as Jane Doe, but this album still hits hard. The opening quartet of Dark Horse, Reap What You Sow, Axe To Fall and Effigy is probably the most intense beginning to an album this year, and the rest is pretty great too. There is a small mid album dip, but the likes of Cutter and Wretched World ensure the album ends on the high it deserves.
3Mastodon
Crack The Skye


This was my first experience of Mastodon, and it proved an excellent introduction being their most accessible yet. It can drag a little at times, but songs such as Oblivion and Divinations could go down as metal classics, and if I had to pick one metal album from 2009 that will be remembered in years to come, this would be it.
4Franz Ferdinand
Tonight: Franz Ferdinand


This probably wouldn't be anywhere near as high if I wasn't such a Franz fanboy, but as it is I loved this album. The addition of extra synths freshened up the bands traditional sound, retaining the bands relevence into the new decade. Seeing these songs live only increased my enjoyment of the record.
5Silversun Pickups
Swoon


Forget the Smashing Pumpkins comparisons, Silversun Pickups have their own sound, and on Swoon they almost perfected it - on the first half at least. The second half, while also good never reaches the heights seen in the first, with the first five songs all among the best released this year.
6White Lies
To Lose My Life


This band and album didn't recieve much love here, but I personally loved White Lies debut. It's true that there is very little originality, with the band drawing influence from Joy Divistion, Editors et al, but the songs they write more than make up for this. The album is very consistant throughout with ten very solid songs, the best of which, Death is truly astonishing.
7Pearl Jam
Backspacer


Although I am a big fan, I wan't expecting Pearl Jam's new album to be anywhere near my top 10. Like the majority of their fans and critics, I couldn't see them getting out of the creative slump they found themselves in, but Backspacer proved me utterly wrong. An energetic, upbeat and accessible record, this is a great comeback, and for me, their strongest work since the classic Ten.
8Gallows
Grey Britain


I didn't particually like their debut album, but this grew on me rapidly after I initially dismissed it also. The songs are better, the riffs are better and the production is much better, making for an all together stronger set than their first. The intense vocal performance of Frank Turner was another highlight of my punk record of the year.
9Arctic Monkeys
Humbug


They promised a heavier darker sound for their last album, but with Humbug, Arctic Monkeys finally delivered. The change in sound to me at least sounds like a natural evolution, and I for one find this to be a far more enjoyable record than Favourite Worst Nightmare. Also the clear highlight, Cornerstone, is for me the best song released by anyone this year,
10 Yeah Yeah Yeah's
It's Blitz!


I haven't heard either of their earlier albums yet, but I'm sure to listen after hearing this. Opening duo Zero and Heads Will Roll are two of the best pop songs of the year, but even these are overshadowed by softer moments, particually Skeletons which is truly awe inspiring. Like Crack The Skye, this is one of the albums that 2009 will likely be remembered for.
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