Top 17 albums of 2009 in 10 words of fewer

by juli boggs

This being the end of 2009, most people have been putting together their top however-many-whatevers of the last decade. I’ve decided to skip this, seeing as that would require going back to a time when I was 12 years old and my favorite album was the Spice Girls’ debut- we’ll save that humble retrospective for a future article tentatively entitled “The best things to ever happen since I became cognizant of pop culture.” For now, be satisfied with my brief analysis of the best things to be heard in the last 365 days.

01 Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion, dancy swishing throbbing layers of love
02 Port O Brien – Threadbare, ingeniously catchy with fantastic lyrics, can’t turn it off
03 The xx – The xx, equal parts Sonic Youth and Missy Elliott, which is confusing
04 Stephen Steinbrink – Ugly Unknowns, poignant, honest home tunes by young Arizonian
05 Dutchess And The Duke – Sunrise/ Sunset, folk rock by Seattle duo articulating the twenty-something panic
06 David Bazan – Curse Your Branches, Jeff Mangum spiritual crisis for a new generation
07 Sunset Rubdown – Dragonslayer, Spencer Krug will never quit (releasing awesome albums every year)

08 Yo La Tengo – Popular Songs, always a pleasure

09 The Drums – Summertime EP, suggestive of Beach Boys meets pop-punk, great summer anthems

10 Fever Ray – Fever Ray, like if The Knife released a second album
11 Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest, soothing competent compositions are the new punk rock
12 Pictureplane – Dark Rift, Hackers soundtrack re-interpreted as post-jazzercise jungle beats
13 Julian Plenti – Julian Plenti Is…Skyscraper, Interpol’s Paul Banks is still playing New York post-punk
14 The Ganglians – Monster Head Room, Sacramento lo-fi 60s psychedelic throwback, on Brooklyn label Woodsist
15 HEALTH – Get Color, thumping electric punk rock, great music for bike rides
16 Akron Family – Set Em Wild, Set Em Free, when Akron and Phish collide, but that’s a compliment
17 Le Loup – Family, in the vein of their debut but more focused

FAQs:

Why isn’t Fuck Buttons’ Tarot Sport on this list? Because I’ve only heard it once and though I know I’ll love it, it just didn’t seem fair to include it at this point.

Why 17? Because I couldn’t think of 20. Isn’t that sad?