25 of the Best Albums from 2009

I haven’t really been updating in a while because I’m lazy and unmotivated, but here, in no particular order, are 25 rather good albums from 2009 that you should seek out. These are not the only worthwhile albums released this year, but they’re the ones I’ve been listening to a lot and/or came to mind first. I’m sure I’ve left plenty off, because it was actually a pretty solid year for music. Up next: the decade’s best. I’ve been working on that list a little longer.

1) Manic Street Preachers – Journal for Plague Lovers

Returning with lyrics pulled straight from Richey James Edwards’ journals, this could have seemed like a desperate and laughable attempt at salvaging their earlier successes by exploiting the assumed death of a former bandmember…instead, it feels like the first truly great Manics album in well over a decade — and a proper sequel to Holy Bible that is sprawling and ambitious yet reassuringly familiar.

2) Camera Obscura – My Maudlin Career

Twee indie-pop done right; “James” is one of the saddest songs I’ve heard all year.

3) Julian Casablancas – Phrazes for the Young

Strokes frontman expands his horizons and delivers one of the better solo debuts of the decade. “11th Dimension” is impossible to dislike, I think.

4) Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures

Put three rock veterans in a room and this is what you get: a fun rock n’ roll album with some of the best riffs in recent memory.

5) Bat for Lashes – Two Suns

Johnny Depp is a fan, too. That’s all you need to know.

6) Passion Pit – Passion Pit

Catchy synth rock stuff. Pretty infectious.

7) The Big Pink – A Brief History of Love

Kinda reminiscent of earlier shoegaze; this was a late discovery for me, but I’m glad I gave it a chance.

8 ) The Horrors – Primary Colours

Much-derided UK indie rock group delivers surprisingly-very-good album.

9) Wild Beasts – Two Dancers

English indie rock band; “All the King’s Men” will tell you all you need to know about them, and whether you’ll like them or not.

10) Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx … Pt. II

I’m not sure how he pulled it off, but this is way better than it has any right to be. Raekwon’s best since the album’s predecessor, and generally speaking one of the better rap albums of the decade.

11) Girls – Album

12) The Flaming Lips – Embryonic

13) Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion

14) Leonard Cohen – Live in London

15) Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest

16) DOOM – Born Like This

17) Bill Callahan – Sometimes I Wish I Were An Eagle

18) Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix – S/T

19) Dinosaur Jr. – Farm

20) Alice in Chains – Black Gives Way to Blue

21) Mos Def – The Ecstatic

22) Mew – No More Stories Are Told Today…

23) The Antlers – Hospice

24) Atlas Sound – Logos

25) Mayer Hawthorne – A Strange Arrangement


  1. Steven says

    Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix isn't the name of the band, the band has been around for quite some time and their name is just Phoenix.

  2. says

    Ha, I can't believe I wrote that. I actually have all their albums and have been (somewhat of) a fan for a while. Thanks for pointing out the mistake though!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>