Top Ten 2009

Was music better in 2009, or have I just listened to more of it? I’m tempted to make a top 25, but I’m a creature of habit, so here you are (with the usual caveats).

The Varsity Team:
1. The xx – The xx If you only get one LP that was released in 2009, get this one. Seriously. In 15 years people will be talking about The xx in the same hushed and reverent tones people talk about Portishead now. Downtempo and intimate, sounds like the wordless conversations between lovers.
2. Franz Ferdinand – Tonight: Franz Ferdinand Groovy, funky alt-rock with killer hooks.
3. The Bloody Beetroots – Romborama The dark side of partying to electronic music for days and days and days.
4. Todd Snider – The Excitement Plan Quirky, left wing, singer-songwriter-with-a-guitar alt-country nonsense.
5. Brother Ali – US Great balance of introspective, thoughtful, vegetarian hiphop and macho rap bravado with a smooth, melodic delivery.
6. Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career Equal parts not-weird Velvet Underground, listenable Animal Collective, and 50s doo-wop outfit.
7. Super Furry Animals – Dark Days/Light Years Psychedelic afro strut. Listen and you’ll feel like Austin Powers or Undercover Brother, except not satirically.
8. Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures “Queens of the Stone Age’s guitarist and vocalist Josh Homme, Nirvana/Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl on drums, and Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones on bass.” -allmusic.com… ummm… ’nuff said.
9. Porcupine Tree – The Incident Pink Floyd/Tool-esque prog rock. Headphones-in-the-dark type listening experience.
10. The Clientele – Bonfires on the Heath Dreamy, like floating down the Mississippi at dusk.

The Junior Varsity Team:

  • The Antlers – Hospice
  • Brad Paisley – American Saturday Night
  • Conor Oberst – Outer South
  • Datarock – Red
  • Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
  • DJ Quik & Kurupt – Blaqout
  • Finale – A Pipe Dream and a Promise
  • Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma
  • Jay-Z – The Blueprint 3
  • Julian Casablancas – Phrazes for the Young
  • Knaan – Troubadour
  • M. Ward – Hold Time
  • N.A.S.A. – The Spirit Of Apollo
  • Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • The Prodigy – Invaders Must Die
  • Tegan And Sara – Sainthood
  • Wale – Attention Deficit
  • Wolfmother – Cosmic Egg
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!
  • Yo La Tengo – Popular Songs

The Bench: (Still on the team, but rarely selected to play.)

  • Antony & the Johnsons – The Crying Light
  • The Avett Brothers – I and Love and You
  • Band Of Skulls – Baby Darling Doll Face Honey
  • Basement Jaxx- Scars
  • The Crystal Method – Divided by Night
  • Cymbals Eat Guitars – Why There are Mountains
  • David Guetta – One Love
  • The Dead Weather – Horehound
  • Deadmau5 – For Lack Of A Better Name
  • DM Stith – Heavy Ghost
  • Echo & the Bunnymen – The Fountain
  • The Felice Brothers – Yonder is the Clock
  • The Flaming Lips – Embryonic
  • Florence and The Machine – Lungs
  • Hockey – Mind Chaos
  • Junior Boys – Begone Dull Care
  • La Roux – La Roux
  • Little Boots – Hands
  • Major Lazer – Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do
  • Matt & Kim – Grand
  • Miike Snow – Miike Snow
  • Metric – Fantasies
  • Muse – The Resistance
  • Passion Pit – Manners
  • Portugal The Man – The Satanic Satanist
  • Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx PT II
  • Royksopp – Junior
  • Silversun Pickups – Swoon
  • The Temper Tramp – Conditions
  • UGK – 4 Life
  • The Whitest Boy Alive – Rules
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