The Best 25 Albums of 2009

(And now, for something completely different. Dave bought something like 178 CDs THAT WERE RELEASED in 2009, to say nothing of CDs he bought overall last year. As such, he brings us his top 25 albums while we're still digesting Oscar nominations. I've linked to mp3 blogs where you can download his favorite tracks from each, if you're so inclined.)

I have no freaky rules like the Grammys do. My rules are simple:

A) The albums here were released between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2009.

B) Soundtracks, Greatest Hits, and Compilations are not the list.

25.) Amy Millan – Masters of the Burial: Imagine if my rock n’ roll girlfriend, Karen O, performed in her quiet, sweet voice all the time. You there? That is what Amy Millan sounds like and it’s quite nice. Best Song: “Bruised Ghosts”

24.) MSTRKRFT – Fist of God: Best workout, “I Want to Run Down the Street for No Apparent Reason” Album. Best Song: “Vuvuvu”

23.) Japandroids – Post-Nothing: The cacophonous melodies that appear on this album are excellent and show a promising future for these Canadians. Best Song: “Young Hearts Spark Fire”

22.) La Roux – La Roux: The soprano-voiced, techno beat princess hit it big in England… Maybe she’ll catch on here. Best Song: “In for the Kill”

21.) Simian Mobile Disco – Temporary Pleasure: I really can’t describe this album, aside from the fact that I know it’s good. Best Song: “Audacity of Huge”

20.) The Thermals – Now We Can See: You were right about the lead singer’s voice. It did take me a while to actually like it, but now that I do, I enjoy this album. Best Song: “Now We Can See”

19.) Jay – Z – The Blueprint III: The best rapper releases the best rap album of the year. Novel concept. Best Song: “Empire State of Mind”

18.) The Avett Brothers – I and Love and You: I love how music “insiders” say that Timbaland does wonders. What about Rick Rubin? Best Song: “Head Full of Doubt / Road Full of Promise”

17.) Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures: A throwback to the super bands of yesterday. This album proved that rock n’ roll – at its truest form – still has a pulse. Best Song: “Nobody Loves Me and Neither Do I”

16.) White Lies – To Lose My Life…: The leads singer was recently quoted as saying he has never listened to Joy Division and they do not influence his music style… Yeah… And I’m the Pope. Best Song: “Farewell to the Fairground”

15.) Band of Skulls – Baby Darling Doll Face Honey: When did the English learn to sound like the White Stripes? Best Song: “Honest”

14.) St. Vincent – Actor: I am surprised (but in a good way) that she made it onto the New Moon soundtrack for more exposure. Best Song: “Actor Out of Work”

13.) Camera Obscura – My Mauldin Life: I imagine the band Chairlift wished they had gone this route instead. Best Song: “French Navy”

12.) Peter Bjorn and John – Living Thing: Those damn Swedes! Best Song: “Nothing to Worry About”

11.) Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest: It took a little while, but this album grew steadily on me. Best Song: “Two Weeks”

10.) Metric – Fantasies: I am always impressed by a band that gets better over time. I am also amazed when I discover a band and later find out that its their fourth album. A nice reminder that I am not ahead of the curve. Best Song: “Help! I’m Alive!”

9.) Tegan and Sara – Sainthood: This is their most complete album to date. Polished, yet still innovative. Best Song: “Hell”

8.) Mobile – Tales from the City: The combination of rock and techno often merely yields a techno album that features an electric guitar. However, Mobile’s album offers rock n’ roll with but mild electronica, as to not drown out their songs. Best Song: “The Killer” (Editor’s Note: Link is to a YouTube video because Dave has obscure goddamn taste and it’s impossible to find mp3’s for some random Canadian band that no one has heard of. -Duncan)

7.) The Dead Weather – Horehound: This will do quite nicely until the next White Stripes album. Best Song: “Treat Me like Your Mother”

6.) The Field – Yesterday and Today: Best techno album of the year, bar none. The flow of this album is dreamlike. Best Song: “Leave It”

5.) Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion: Weird sounds abound, but it all works really well. I feel like this is what would happen if the Muppets were real and made an album… That is meant to be a really nice compliment. Best Song: “Summertime Clothes” (probably my favorite song of the year too)

4.) Florence and the Machine – Lungs: This is one of those albums that from start to finish, you get hooked. I am already eagerly awaiting a follow up album and I figure that she has to be a shoo-in for Best New Artist. Best Song: “Howl”

3.) Miike Snow – Miike Snow: Simply put, Miike Snow is bizarre. The melodies this trio puts out range from trippy to melodramatic to lovelorn. From the album’s opening song “Animal” (which is also the album’s first single), you get pulled in and can’t helped but be fixated by the music. One of the best debut albums in recent memory- and assuredly the best debut of the year. Best Song: “Silvia”

2.) Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’s – It’s Blitz: Probably my most-listened-to album this year. It’s Blitz is a rollicking good time from start to finish, with great flow from song-to-song. The only criticism I have is the inclusion of the acoustic tracks at the end. While entertaining, they don’t really add any value to a great album. Best Song: “Heads Will Roll”

1.) White Rabbits – It’s Frightening: Where to begin with this one? The White Rabbits’ debut album Fortnightly from 2007, did not leave any impression on me. While I was not disappointed by their efforts, I was simply unmoved. However, in the two years since, they have developed into a finely tuned music machine. Every song on this album is well executed, well produced, and awesome. The intense opening beats of “Percussion Gun” to the finale of make for a lasting impression, and the best album of the year. Best Song: “Percussion Gun”

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