Top 5 Albums of 2009: The Contenders (Revised)

Death Cab for Cutie: great, but not in contentionA little over a month ago, I prematurely posted a list of the “contenders” in my annual top 5 albums list. Premature for two reasons: 1) there were almost two months left in the year, and 2) a few albums were conspicuously absent from the list, because I had suffered a hard drive crash a month or so earlier and had not yet re-ripped some of the (few) physical CDs I purchased this year.

Now, with just over a month to go in the year (still plenty of time to regret this post, too), I present this revised list of the contenders. As before, the leaders are in bold. The new additions are in italics. I am also including a separate list of the EPs I acquired this year, all good but technically out of contention as top “albums.”

  • Air: Love 2
  • The Bird and the Bee: Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future
  • Crystal Method: Divided by Night
  • The Decemberists: The Hazards of Love
  • Dream Theater: Black Clouds & Silver Linings
  • El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez Lopez: Cryptomnesia
  • The Flaming Lips: Embryonic
  • Flight of the Conchords: I Told You I Was Freaky
  • Green Day: 21st Century Breakdown
  • Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest
  • Heartless Bastards: The Mountain
  • Hypnotic Brass Ensemble: Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
  • Jet: Shaka Rock
  • Dylan Leeds: Bit by Bit
  • The Mars Volta: Octahedron
  • Phish: Joy
  • Phoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • Pomplamoose: Videosongs
  • Porcupine Tree: The Incident
  • Prince: Lotusflow3r
  • Regina Spektor: Far
  • Tortoise: Beacons of Ancestorship
  • U2: No Line on the Horizon
  • Umphrey’s McGee: Mantis
  • Various Artists: Kind of Bloop
  • Weezer: Raditude
  • Wilco: Wilco (the album)
  • Zero 7: Yeah Ghost

Strangely, I’ve been on an old-school prog rock kick for the past month or so — really, ever since The Current drove me away with its latest pledge drive (I’m a member, which makes me hate listening to the pledge drives even more) — which makes it less likely that I’ll be discovering a lot of great new music to add to this list before the end of the year. Maybe, mid-2010, I’ll finally learn to appreciate this year’s equivalent to TV on the Radio’s Dear Science.


As promised, here are some good EPs I purchased this year.

  • Bon Iver: Blood Bank
  • Death Cab for Cutie: The Open Door EP
  • Deerhunter: Rainwater Cassette Exchange