Best Albums of 2009: Redux

Every year, I’ll post my favorite albums from the past 12 months. Inevitably, I’ll miss a couple of releases and — after getting my hands on them — I’ll make some changes to my list.

This year was no different. A couple weeks ago, after I was given an iTunes gift card, I downloaded the latest release from Pearl Jam, “Backspacer”. I’d heard good things about it, but I never downloaded it last year, mainly because it wasn’t available on eMusic.

Well, after listening to it for a couple of weeks, I’m convinced its the best Pearl Jam record since “Yield” and it certainly deserves a place on my annual “Best Of” list. Tough break, Mountain Goats. Maybe next year.

Here’s the revised list. You’ll note I’ve also elevated “I and Love and You” by the Avett Brothers. I’ve been playing it nonstop for two months now and I love it more each time I listen to it. Well, except for “Kick Drum Heart”. I don’t think I’ll ever like that song.

2009 Top 20 Albums

  1. U2, No Line on the Horizon
  2. M Ward, Hold Time
  3. The Avett Brothers, I and Love and You
  4. Eels, Hombre Lobo
  5. Justin Townes Earle, Midnight at the Movies
  6. Pearl Jam, Backspacer
  7. Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  8. Monsters of Folk, Monsters of Folk
  9. Bruce Springsteen, Working on a Dream
  10. Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band, Outer South
  11. Neko Case, Middle Cyclone
  12. Slaid Cleaves, Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away
  13. Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit
  14. Magnolia Electric Co., Josephine
  15. Great Lake Swimmers, Lost Channels
  16. Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest
  17. David Bazan, Curse Your Branches
  18. Regina Spektor, Far
  19. Andrew Bird, Noble Beast
  20. Ben Kweller, Changing Horses
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11 Responses to Best Albums of 2009: Redux

  1. greg says:

    do you have the new one from Eels yet? Very good as well.

  2. TH says:

    The MGs are over at NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert…my first intro to them (him?)…sounds a bit like Colin Meloy (of Decemberists fame). Intriguing but not immediately gripping.

  3. TH says:

    Oh, I’ve been playing M. Ward everyday for the past two weeks during my planning period….it keeps getting better and better.

  4. Jason says:

    Don’t know the MGs. I’ll have to check them out. I’ve picked up the Radiohead back catalog recently and I’ve been listening to it a lot lately. I’ve been disappointed in the ’10 releases so far. Pretty much just Vampire Weekend…I streamed the new Spoon and it didn’t do much for me.

    And I’m glad you’re diggin’ M. Ward. Rave on!

  5. TH says:

    Sorry, MG’s = Mountain Goats. I thought it was a fail proof equation given the AB shorthand from times past. Oh well.

    I sampled Vampire Weekend’s Contra earlier today – I think I’ll be picking it up over at Amazon since its only $5. I don’t know that it will make my top 10, but its catchy and well worth a listen given the lack of options.

    I sampled Spoon’s Transference as well, and I’m with you – nothing – not even tempting.

    • Jason says:

      I should’ve picked up on the MG = Mountain Goats equation. But initials-only is reserved for the lofty, rarified air that only Scott and Seth can occupy. AB…one half of ABBA!

      I’m sure this year will shape up to be a good one, what with Cash’s final posthumous release next month and the promise of new Radiohead and The National albums out before year’s end. And I think the new She & Him comes out in March. Now that you’re down with M. Ward, you can look forward to that one, too!

  6. TH says:

    I was actually down with She and Him before I picked up just Him’s solo repertoire. I’m not sure why it took me so long to come along to Ward, but since then I’ve also grown extremely fond of the MOF ensemble – what a talented gaggle of gents that quadsome is, eh?

  7. Jason says:

    MOF > MG

    AB > MG

    AB > MOF, IMHO

    AB ? U2

    LOL!

  8. TH says:

    OMG, JB. LOL and an ! mark? did a teenage girl hijack your account?

  9. Jason says:

    Yeah, I know. But once I started, I couldn’t stop.

    I haven’t had this many comments in years.

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