Phew, 2009. An exhausting year, for sure, but an excellent one, both for me and for the music scene at large. While I personally didn't find as many albums to fall in love with this year as I did last year, there were some gems that illustrated how interesting, majestic, and evocative music can be when artists stretch their minds and their boundaries. When I reflected on this year's musical smorgasbord, I felt compelled to factor in not only how much I enjoyed a particular release, but also how important I thought it was in the spectrum of creative songwriting. So, with that, here's my take on the year 2009...
Best Albums of the Year:
Honorable Mention: Lars Katz The Veil
25. The Appleseed Cast Sagarmatha
24. Say Anything Say Anything
23. As Tall As Lions You Can't Take It With You 22. The Builders and the Butchers Salvation is a Deep Dark Well
21. Volcano Choir Unmap
20. Maria Taylor LadyLuck
19. Kevin Devine Brother's Blood
18. mewithoutyou It's All Crazy...
17. Nightmare of You Infomaniac
16. All the Day Holiday The Things We've Grown to Love
15. Regina Spektor Far
14. Kiss Kiss And the Meek Shall Inherit What's Left
13. Moving Mountains Foreword EP
12. We Were Promised Jetpacks These Four Walls
11. Brand New Daisy 10. P.O.S. Never Better 9. Ben Kweller Changing Horses 8. Manchester Orchestra Mean Everything to Nothing 7. fun. Aim and Ignite 6. The Dangerous Summer Reach for the Sun 5. Bon Iver Blood Bank 4. The Dear Hunter Act III: Life and Death 3. Grizzly Bear Veckatimest 2. The Decemberists Hazards of Love 1. Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion
Best Songs of the Year:
15. Say Anything "Ah... Men"
14. Cursive "What Have I Done?"
13. Grizzly Bear "Two Weeks"
12. The Decemberists "The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid"
11. Manchester Orchestra "Jeremy, He Whispers"
10. P.O.S. "Let It Rattle"
9. Animal Collective "No More Running"
8. We Were Promised Jetpacks "Thunder and Lightning"
7. Moving Mountains "Lights & Shapes"
6. P.O.S. "Graves (We Wrote the Book)"
5. Brand New "Vices"
4. Bon Iver "Woods"
3. The Decemberists "Annan Water"
2. Manchester Orchestra "Pride"
1. Animal Collective "My Girls"