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    Top Fifteen Albums of 2009

    posted @ 12/20/2009 01:47:00 PM by King Baby Duck
    Considering the vast amounts of amazing albums that came out this year, I found great difficulty in making a "Top [insert number here]" list. Instead -- to be completely unbiased -- an alphabetical list of fifteen great albums of 2009 will have to suffice.

    Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion

    If there ever was a soundtrack to the Burning Man festival, this would be it. The psychedelic sounds that pour out of the speakers are unlike anything you've never heard (unless, of course, you're on an acid trip). Tracks like "Summertime Clothes" and "In the Flowers" sound as if the Beach Boys and the Flaming Lips locked themselves in a garage and just jammed for hours on end, and this was the result.

    Asobi Seksu - Hush

    Read my review here.

    Busdriver - Jhelli Beam

    The LA musician returned to his more experimental groove roots with this one, and it shows why he's the most under-appreciated rapper in America. The fastest rhymer since God knows when, Busdriver comes off as quite the intelligent man (especially on "Me-Time (With the Pulmonary Palimpsest)" and "Scoliosis Jones"). You will actually become smarter by listening to Jhelli Beam.

    The Cliks - Dirty King

    Canadian frontman Lucas Silveria went back to the studio after touring extensively for Snakehouse, and came back with something quite different from that CD. The title track screams with the classic badass approach of the previous album, but it's when things slow down on "Emily" and "Not Your Boy" when Dirty King shows off a different personality for the Cliks. Still, no matter what the tone is on the album people won't find it hard to admit that it has something for everyone. (Check out my interview with the Cliks here.)

    The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love

    Colin Meloy had originally written this album as a planned musical, but it was canned after Meloy's story became too complicated to bring to the stage. Shame. It would've been amazing to see the characters of William, Margaret, the Rake and the Forest Queen brought to life on Broadway. Still, songs like "The Rake's Song" and "The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid" are all beautifully melodious, and gave way to make one of this year's best concept albums.

    Electric Eel Shock - Sugoi Indeed!

    With the power (and donations) of their massive fanbase the Japanese metal trio went off and made their most heavy-rocking album since BEAT ME. With the zombie anthem "More" and the mosh pit-worthy "Mr. Toad" appearing on this CD, Sugoi Indeed! succeeds on every level to make sure that this is one fun album to listen to. Guess Aki is -- in fact -- made of metal.

    Iggy Pop - Préliminaires

    The man who wanted to be your dog has finally become "King of the Dogs" on this surprisingly good jazz-rock album. Hearing Iggy croon on the 1940s cover "Les feuilles mortes" and the swamp rock "Nice to Be Dead," and you'll remember why Iggy is truly one of music's coolest vocalists. (Be sure to read Michel Houellebecq's novel "The Possibility of an Island," the main inspiration for Préliminaires.)

    Matt & Kim - Grand

    Matt & Kim have made the happiest album of all year. One will have trouble wiping the smile off their face while listening to such gems as "Daylight" and "Good Ol' Fashion Nightmare." To call them merely the Dresden Dolls on happy pills is an understatement. They're the kind of joyous musicians the world needs in times like this.

    The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Pin Points and Gin Joints

    Ska is not dead. In fact it is alive and kicking, and the Bosstones have proven so by making their best album since 1997's Let's Face It. From its opener "Graffiti Worth Reading" to its closer "A Pretty Sad Excuse" (which is anything but) the Mighty Mighty Bosstones have made it clear that they are here to make noise, and they want you to dance along.

    Mono - Hymn to the Immortal Wind

    Greatest instrumental rock album of all time. Enough said. (Seriously, if that statement doesn't get you to buy this album, I don't know what else to tell you.)

    monobright - monobright two

    monobright's song "Anata MAGIC" is probably the best song to come out of Japan this year, but the rest of the album shows why the band is the most original Japanese rock band of this decade. "Namidairo FRUSTRATION" and "Monogatari" come off as some of the most well-sounding rock tracks to be written in the Land of the Rising Sun since the pillows' 2002 album Thank you, my twilight. Expect big things from monobright for years to come.

    Rammstein - Liebe ist für alle da

    The top Neue Deutsche Härte band have once again shown why no other musicians can lay their fingers on them. From the masochistic "Ich tu dir weh" and the hauntingly beautiful "Frühling in Paris" to the hilarious "Pussy" (best music video of the year, by the way) Till Lindemann and friends have made an album that makes up for their four-year absence. Also, an American tour may occur, as evident here.


    The new band from Brody Dalle and Alain Johannes was overshadowed by Jack White and Alison Mosshart's new group the Dead Weather. Too bad, considering it's Spinnerette's debut album that was far superior to TDW's Horehound. The raunchy sounds from "Ghetto Love" & "Sex Bomb" and the fist-pumping vibes from "Baptized By Fire" & "Rebellious Palpitations" make this album a must for fans of alt. rock that tickles the spine.

    Street Sweeper Social Club

    When Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello teamed up with the Coup's Boots Riley, the result was more tongue-in-cheek satire than political rock. Nevertheless the duo managed to make "The Daily Show" of rock albums: speaking truths ("Fight! Smash! Win!"), getting people's attention with a rally cry ("100 Little Curses") and making them giggle at the mistakes of others ("Promenade").

    Them Crooked Vultures

    What happens when you put the greatest drummer in the world, the greatest bassist in the world and one of the most talented guitarists in the world in the same room? Genius, that's what. Joshua Homme, Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones jolt rock 'n' roll with enough electricity to keep it kicking for another couple hundred years, thanks in part to dino-stomping jams ("No One Loves Me and Neither Do I"), catchy lyrics ("Mind Eraser, No Chaser) and just not giving a fuck about how it sounds and still managing it to sound cooler than anything else ("Interlude With Ludes").

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