Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Best Albums of 2009?

Albums of 2009 (So Far)

I saw a list of the 50 best albums of 2009 on Amazon (Best Music of 2009, So Far), and I thought I’d counter with my favorites so far. I didn’t listen to 50 new albums this year. In fact, I had to stretch to get to 20. But here they are from first to worst, the 20 albums of 2009 I’ve listened to.

The biggest surprise for me was A Camp, and the biggest disappointment, M. Ward.

1. Son Volt, American Central Dust
2. A Camp, Colonia
3. Jason Lytle, Yours Truly, The Commuter
4. Clem Snide, Hungry Bird
5. Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse (Various Artists), Dark Night of the Soul
6. Neko Case, Middle Cyclone
7. Cracker, Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey
8. Andrew Bird, Noble Beast
9. Great Lake Swimmers, Lost Channels
10. Gary Louris and Mark Olson, Ready for the Flood
11. Leonard Cohen, Live in London
12. Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Beware
13. Neil Young, Fork in the Road
14. Sonic Youth, The Eternal
15. Bob Dylan, Together Through Life
16. Wilco, Wilco (the Album)
17. Iron & Wine, Around the Well
18. M. Ward, Hold Time
19. Coconut Records, Davy
20. Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest

Special Mention:

Neil Young, Neil Young Archives Vol. 1
If you have the old CDs or albums, the CD version is worth it for the remastered tracks alone.
So what have I missed?


At 7/14/2009 1:30 PM, Blogger Leslie said...

Well, I have the Neko Case, and the Iron & Wine but I haven't listened to them. I like Bonnie "Prince" Billy a lot (got obsessed with one song, Gulf Shores), and I think someone sent me the Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse.

Now at least I know where to start on new listening.

At 7/14/2009 2:12 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...


The Dangermouse/ Sparklehorse isn't commercially available, and it looks like it might never be. Someone was nice to send it to you... I had to look around awhile, although it didn't take all that long.

Is there anything you've gotten that I should have put on the list?

At 7/14/2009 3:10 PM, Blogger Biombo said...

What about Mos Def- The Estatic? I'm not a big hip-hop fan, but when an album like this comes around every so often, it makes you want to turn that nob just a little to the right and nod your head. Cheers!

At 7/14/2009 3:30 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

I really should diversify my music collection more. There's also a lack of really heavy stuff.

But I've only so much money. Now, if companies wanted to send me albums . . . or if presses wanted to send me books . . . !

At 7/14/2009 7:05 PM, Blogger Leslie said...


Warning: total music geek-out coming:

Nothing from 2009 because I'm usually a couple of years behind on new stuff, but I've been working my way through some Magnetic Fields, Brandi Carlile, and Peter Bjorn and John. I really like the Carlile, less happy with the others. Someone also sent me Band of Horses and Sufjan Stevens, but so far I don't much like either.

Someone also sent me the entire Decemberists catalog (through The Crane Wife, but not the new one) if you're a fan. I like some songs a whole lot, but it is best in small doses.

Lately its been Josh Ritter, Gillian Welch (Time the Revelator), Ryan Adams and The Clientele on heavy rotation around here.

At 7/14/2009 9:35 PM, Blogger Oliver de la Paz said...

I'll throw in a couple of suggestions to your list in no order:

1. Telekinesis--"Telekinesis!"
2. St. Vincent--"Actor"
3. The Phenomenal Handclap Band--"The Phenomenal Handclap Band"
4. Micachu and the Shapes--"Jewellery"
5. John Vanderslice--"Romanian Names"
6. Fanfarlo--"Reservoir and Bonus
7. The Decemberists--"The Hazards of Love"

At 7/15/2009 4:35 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...


Whenever I think I'm current and up on things, it's good to see a list like this. Yikes. I'm not much of a fan of the Vanderslice and Decemberists, but I've never even heard of the rest.

WV: mingle

I guess that's a call to action . . .

At 7/21/2009 7:50 PM, Blogger Dustin said...


You mentioned that you need heavier stuff. I just listened to Dinosaur Jr's "Farm." I think it's really, really good. Give it go.

Also, I can confirm that The Decemberists' "The Hazards of Love" is pretty good, too.


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