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Best Albums of 2009

Antony's "The Crying Light"
Antony's "The Crying Light"
(Stock promotional image)

So our fine year is wrapping up, as is our fine decade. Most of what you'll hear is that this has been the worst decade ever. At least the pain and horror left us with a few good albums. This year however was probably the weakest year for music overall. While a few artists really upped the ante with their sounds, most went into hibernation. But we still must sort through the muck. This is by no means a final list. It's important to re-assess your "best of" lists whenever possible. Go back to 2003 and do a top 10 list now. Funny how what struck us as so monumental once sounds trite now. Thus, here we have the Top 10 albums of 2009 (as of 11:00AM on 12/11/2009).

(In Alphabetical Order)

Animal Collective- Merriweather Post Pavilion
Avant-rockers make their most accessible and fully realized work to date.

Antony and the Johnsons- The Crying Light
Not as immediately breathtaking as I Am A Bird Now, The Crying Light nonetheless grows and grows until Antony's fractured chamber musings win you over yet again.

Camera Obscura- My Maudlin Career
A somber, yet mutually uplifting collection of dainty morsels.

Flaming Lips- Embryonic
Just when it seemed like the Lips were headed to Vegas, they mix Bitches Brew-era Miles and Can to produce an unexpected opus.

Girls- Album
Minimal lo-fi Jarvis Cocker if he had a high voice splendor.

Grizzly Bear- Veckatamist

What Yellow House merely hinted at, Grizzly Bear achieve full force on Veckatamist. Layered, off-centered and perpetually gorgeous.

Magnolia Electric Co
- Josephine

Jason Molina's ode to a deceased bandmate adds soul flourishes to his standard Neil Young-meets-Bonnie 'Prince' Billy sound.

Raekwon- Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II

One of many Chinese Democracies of hip-hop finally surfaces. It takes you back to when the Wu were giants but yet still sounds relevant. A very welcome surprise.

Sunset Rubdown- Dragonslayer
Not quite as proggy as their previous outings, the Renaissance Faire themes work when combined with modern imagery. Easily Spencer Krug's most successful project.

The xx- xx

In the year of the lowercase bands, xx had the dreamiest, most "booty-calliest" jams. Sure, it doesn't sound like R. Kelly, but it's still damn sexy music.