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Top 20 Albums Of 2009

My top 20 of 2009.

I'm a sucker for garage rock duos, and their live show as killer every time I've seen them. Intense and chaotic, the Japandroids managed to correctly assemble a decades worth of angst in just 40 minutes.
2The Antlers

One of the most beautiful pieces of song writing ever. "Two" is incredible.
3Atlas Sound

I'm a fan of Bradford Cox, no doubt. His first Atlas Sound album was great, but it didn't quite have the crossover potential that this does. "Walkabout" was fantastic.
4Sonic Youth
The Eternal

Sonic Youth will always have a place on my lists because they've aged so well with their music. "Antenna" was one of the best songs they've done since "Murray Street."
5Real Estate
Real Estate

Subtle, and at times a bit repetitive in sound, it nonetheless was a consistent effort from a band that took some getting used to. A great debut.
6Grizzly Bear

"While You Wait For the Others" was up there with "Two" by the Antlers for me, just a gorgeous song from start to finish. The album as a whole is their best effort to date, and I was not a fan of their previous album that much.
7Arctic Monkeys

Say what you will about these Brit rockers, Alex Turner is a great lyricist, and "Humbug" continues to show that. It may not be the triumph that their first album was, but this album shows a band trying something new with mixed results for some, but others who can look beyond the over hype, will find a perfectly rewarding album.
8Animal Collective
Merriweather Post Pavilion

Overrated on all accounts, but there's no denying just how versatile and accessible this album is. "My Girls" may have been one of the most over hyped songs, but "Summertime Clothes" reigns stronger in my opinion as it possesses the structure that most Animal Collective songs are missing.
9The xx

Another tremendously overrated band from 2009, but it received quite a bit of play from me, and it's a solid debut album despite the hype. Live show as much slightly lacking at Lolla 2010, but these kids have enough steam to make another great album in 2012.
10Cymbals Eat Guitars
Why There Are Mountains

Seeing them live actually damaged my opinion of these guys as it was quite a mess. Nevertheless the album is full of blistering melodies that are layered with a semi-punk skin.
Crack the Skye

Not really a metal fan personally, some of it's decent. But Mastodon has managed to provide me with a brand of metal that isn't irritating to listen to. Though "Divinations" was the big one here, I felt "Oblivion" was far better.
Wilco (The Album)

Back to form, and refreshing after "Sky Blue Sky." "You and I" with Feist was amazing, and the album doesn't stutter as much as their previous ones. Hopefully it's a sign of more improvement and more return to basics.
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Great live act, and a solid album. 2009 was the year of overhyped bands thanks to places like Pitchfork, which kept this band in the spotlight, but underneath all of the glowing reviews speaks lots of truth. The album is a gem.
14 White Rabbits
It's Frightening

Britt Daniel's influence is definitely felt here and it's a great addition to the Rabbits sound. "Percussion Gun" has that chugging feeling, giving us a pretty wicked opening, that follows through the album nicely.
15Them Crooked Vultures
Them Crooked Vultures

After the homogeneous crap heap that was Era Vulgaris, Homme returns to form with a new band. I can get by the barely talented Dave Grohl so long as he sticks to what he does best and that's play the drums, which he does here nicely.
16The Flaming Lips

Proving that they'll never be knocked down, the Lips rebounded after "Mystics" with another solid album. "Convinced of the Hex" was a fantastic way to open the album too, and all tracks transferred well to their live show.

So many overhyped bands of 2009, it's hard to make a list without having them on here. The hype was well deserved, but this act got old fast. Still an enjoyable pop album, but its far less rewarding with each spin.
18The Decemberists
The Hazards of Love

A lopsided record to say the least. While there are some wonderful compositions here "The Wanting Comes in Waves" and even "The Rake Song" the rest of the album plods through some silliness with a less compelling vibe. In it's overall scope, it's an achievement, but one that comes with a few unintentional snickers and a few head scratches.
19The Dodos
Time to Die

Not their greatest effort, but a necessary album in their canon. I enjoy it purely as part of their catalog, though I prefer their other three albums a great deal more.
20Built to Spill
There is No Enemy

Another once thought dormant indie rock band reemerges from the shadows and drops an album that isn't terrible. It's not as good as their 90s material, but they're at least improving from their last album.
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