Monday, November 23, 2009

My "Best Albums of 2009" List

I had expected to be done with my "Best Albums of the 2000s" list before I finished my "Best Albums of 2009" list, but that isn't the way that it worked out. It might be another couple of weeks before the decade list is ready as I don't really have much free time these days. While this is the 2009 list as it stands now, I fully expect that it will change to some extent in the months ahead as I hear about and read about other albums from this year that I haven't listened to as of yet (or even yet know about). This is particularly true for jazz and world/global music albums that I might not have heard over the course of the year. In addition, there will be a smattering of releases that come out these next 5 weeks that might be worthy of inclusion as well. Although, this time of the year is typically a lull for new album releases so that isn't too likely.

Let me know what else I need to hear!

Top 11 (rank-ordered):
1. Super Furry Animals – Dark Days/Light Years [“it was a big fucking mountain”]

2. Levon Helm – Electric Dirt [rise again, Levon, rise again]

3. Future of the Left – Travels with Myself and Another [You need FotL more than FotL needs you!]

4. Scott H. Biram – Something’s Wrong/Lost Forever [He is: still drunk, still crazy, and still blue]

5. PJ Harvey and John Parish – A Woman A Man Walked By [Don't stop believing; hold on to that feeling]

6. Dinosaur Jr. – Farm [Can a return of Mascis and the boys help to lead indie/college/alternative rock music out of Wussville and Clevereffectsfield?]

7. Medeski, Martin, & Wood – Radiolarians II [Both innovative and a return to form at the same time]

8. Drive-By Truckers – A Fine Print [B-sides and “throwaways” compilation takes a medal]

9. Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3 – Goodnight Oslo [polka-dotted shirt required; insects & food optional]

10. White Denim – Fits [hard not to be influenced by their incredible live shows]

11. The Dave Rawlings Machine – A Friend of a Friend [now with a 60%/40%::David/Gillian ratio]

Honorable Mention (alphabetically-ordered)
• Dave Alvin – Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women
• Amadou & Mariam – Welcome to Mali
• Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid
• BLK JKS – After Robots
• Danny Barnes –  Pizza Box
• Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Beware
• Built to Spill – There is no Enemy
• Guy Clark -- Somedays the Songs Write You
• Leonard Cohen – Live in London
• Elvis Costello -- Secret, Profane & Sugarcane
• Cracker – Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey
• The Dead Weather – Horehound
• John Doe & the Sadies – Country Club
• Bob Dylan – Together Through Life
• Bob Dylan – Christmas in the Heart
• Justin Townes Earle – Midnight at the Movies
• Steve Earle – Townes
• The Felice Brothers – Yonder is the Clock
• The Flaming Lips – Embryonic
• The Flatlanders – Hills and Valleys
• Garage a Trois – Power Patriot
• Patterson Hood – Murdering Oscar (and Other Love Songs)
• Japandroids – Post-Nothing
• Kris Kristofferson – Closer to the Bone
• The Mars Volta – Octahedron
• Buddy & Julie Miller – Written in Chalk
• The Mountain Goats – The Life of the World to Come
• Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel - Willie & the Wheel
• Charlie Parr – Roustabout
• Robert Pollard – Elephant Jokes
• Jay Reatard – Watch Me Fall
• Son Volt – American Central Dust
• Sonic Youth – The Eternal
• Tom Waits - Glitter and Doom Live
• Yo la Tengo – Popular Songs

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you have listened to a lot more stuff in 2009 than I can imagine!! I did like the Super Furry Animals album a lot and also thought Dino Jr was amazing. Dylan's "Together Through Life" was a little underwhelming but you know, he's just doing his own thing and I kind of feel that it's unfair of us to put him on a list of "best in 2009" since it's more like he should be on a "best of 1954" or something like that. My favorites for 2009 are probably Atlas Sound's "Logos," Dirty Projectors' "Bitte Orca," Sunn O)))'s "Monoliths & Dimensions," and AA Bondy's "When the Devil's Loose" (the album that Dylan should have made!). Guilty pleasure: "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix" by Phoenix. I'll post my Top 50 albums of the '00s in a few days on my blog: