Drowned in Sound's Top 50 Albums of 2009

Drowned in Sound's Top 50 Albums of 2009

Original Source

50. The xx - xx

The xx - xx
October 6, 2009
Indie Pop
Critic Score
86
19 reviews
User Score
83
534 reviews

They’re not magnificently written, with unspeakably beautiful melodies, and virtuoso instrumental performances, but they have an intangible spook. The XX know when to tense, when to relax.

Full Review →

49. Sky Larkin - The Golden Spike

Sky Larkin - The Golden Spike
February 2, 2009
Indie Rock
Critic Score
70
5 reviews
User Score
NR

48. Sufjan Stevens - The BQE

Sufjan Stevens - The BQE
October 20, 2009
Modern Classical
Critic Score
74
15 reviews
User Score
70
12 reviews

47. My Latest Novel - Deaths and Entrances

My Latest Novel - Deaths and Entrances
May 18, 2009
Indie Pop
Critic Score
69
7 reviews
User Score
NR

46. Mew - No More Stories...

Mew - No More Stories...
August 25, 2009
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
80
19 reviews
User Score
79
20 reviews

45. Micachu and the Shapes - Jewellery

Micachu and the Shapes - Jewellery
March 9, 2009
Experimental
Critic Score
80
12 reviews
User Score
78
14 reviews

44. Grammatics - Grammatics

Grammatics - Grammatics
March 23, 2009
Indie Rock
Critic Score
82
6 reviews
User Score
78
2 reviews

43. Jamie T - Kings & Queens

Jamie T - Kings & Queens
October 6, 2009
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
74
9 reviews
User Score
75
16 reviews

42. Dananananaykroyd - Hey Everyone

Dananananaykroyd - Hey Everyone
April 6, 2009
Indie Rock
Critic Score
78
11 reviews
User Score
74
2 reviews

41. Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms

Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms
October 13, 2009
Chillwave
Critic Score
80
17 reviews
User Score
79
113 reviews
This just isn't THE RECORD OF THE YEAR that the blogosphere promised me it would be; but it is more than the sum of its parts.
Full Review →

40. Annie - Don't Stop

Annie - Don't Stop
November 17, 2009
Electropop
Critic Score
75
21 reviews
User Score
79
17 reviews

39. Gallows - Grey Britain

Gallows - Grey Britain
May 5, 2009
Hardcore Punk
Critic Score
65
7 reviews
User Score
77
4 reviews

38. Emmy the Great - First Love

Emmy the Great - First Love
February 9, 2009
Indie Folk
Critic Score
66
7 reviews
User Score
65
3 reviews

37. Vitalic - Flashmob

Vitalic - Flashmob
November 3, 2009
Electronic
Critic Score
80
9 reviews
User Score
75
7 reviews

36. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
February 3, 2009
Indie Pop
Critic Score
76
17 reviews
User Score
80
74 reviews

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart have crafted an impeccable debut way beyond their years, and any misconceptions about them being mere revivalists of a scene only their elders could recall at first hand will surely be diminished instantaneously upon hearing this most accomplished of long players.

Full Review →

35. Moderat - Moderat

Moderat - Moderat
April 28, 2009
Electronic
Critic Score
70
8 reviews
User Score
80
40 reviews

34. Sunn O))) - Monoliths and Dimensions

Sunn O))) - Monoliths and Dimensions
May 26, 2009
Drone Metal
Critic Score
85
12 reviews
User Score
86
40 reviews

During Shellac’s excellent track ‘The End Of Radio’, about the nature of recording and broadcasting electronically amplified rock music, there’s a line (when performed live at least) that goes something like this: "This microphone converts sound into electricity/which travels down this wire/which travels up a hill/and is broadcast out into space/Into motherfucking space!... Distant alien civilization/can you he ar this snare drum?"

Full Review →

33. The Flaming Lips - Embryonic

The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
October 13, 2009
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
77
21 reviews
User Score
83
135 reviews

32. The Maccabees - Wall of Arms

The Maccabees - Wall of Arms
May 4, 2009
Indie Rock
Critic Score
73
11 reviews
User Score
72
11 reviews

31. Muse - The Resistance

Muse - The Resistance
September 15, 2009
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
66
17 reviews
User Score
67
147 reviews

30. Girls - Album

Girls - Album
September 22, 2009
Indie Pop
Critic Score
84
19 reviews
User Score
83
156 reviews

As unconventional musical ensembles go, Girls must surely register at the top of the pile when it comes to spontaneous muddled creations that confound any kind of pre-conceived expectations. Much loved by both the New York art-rock fraternity and UK underground indie scenes alike, this San Francisco duo and their assorted helping hands have somehow managed to conjure up an Album that doesn't just hop between genres at random like an overexcited rabbit, but actually creates its own guessing game in the process, enticing the listener into a rabid frenzy of self-doubt. "What will come next?" indeed.

Full Review →

29. Atlas Sound - Logos

Atlas Sound - Logos
October 20, 2009
Experimental
Critic Score
79
19 reviews
User Score
82
82 reviews

28. Lady Gaga - The Fame Monster

Lady Gaga - The Fame Monster
November 23, 2009
Pop
Critic Score
73
13 reviews
User Score
80
229 reviews

27. Mos Def - The Ecstatic

Mos Def - The Ecstatic
June 9, 2009
Hip Hop
Critic Score
78
22 reviews
User Score
81
35 reviews

26. HEALTH - Get Color

HEALTH - Get Color
September 8, 2009
Noise Rock
Critic Score
77
17 reviews
User Score
79
18 reviews

25. Pissed Jeans - King of Jeans

Pissed Jeans - King of Jeans
August 18, 2009
Noise Rock
Critic Score
78
11 reviews
User Score
77
7 reviews

24. Idlewild - Post Electric Blues

Idlewild - Post Electric Blues
October 5, 2009
Indie Rock
Critic Score
76
7 reviews
User Score
68
3 reviews

23. Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer

Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer
June 23, 2009
Indie Rock
Critic Score
82
18 reviews
User Score
86
27 reviews

The practical, prosaic, documentarian's way to open a review of the new Sunset Rubdown album would be to note that it’s largely recorded live, and eschews the multiple overdubs of its predecessors, Shut Up, I Am Dreaming and Random Spirit Lover, all the better to reflect the stamping-flailing, wuh-huh-hooing bacchanal of the live-shows (and damn is there a lot of wuh-huh-hooing, when it comes to Sunset Rubdown.)

Full Review →

22. Marissa Nadler - Little Hells

Marissa Nadler - Little Hells
March 3, 2009
Folk
Critic Score
77
9 reviews
User Score
78
13 reviews

21. Future of the Left - Travels with Myself and Another

Future of the Left - Travels with Myself and Another
June 23, 2009
Noise Rock
Critic Score
83
17 reviews
User Score
81
15 reviews

20. Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II

Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II
September 8, 2009
Hip Hop
Critic Score
86
17 reviews
User Score
81
31 reviews

Hip-hop has been undergoing something of an image shift over the past few years. Kanye West might be to blame, his verbiose and hopeful rhyming sitting quite comfortably with his 808 loving MOR listeners. Or maybe it’s the inimitable Jay-Z, lazy and limp in his old age (the excellent Black Album excepted), supporting Coldplay of all people.

Full Review →

19. The Phantom Band - Checkmate Savage

The Phantom Band - Checkmate Savage
January 26, 2009
Indie Rock
Critic Score
78
7 reviews
User Score
85
2 reviews

18. The Veils - Sun Gangs

The Veils - Sun Gangs
April 7, 2009
Indie Rock
Critic Score
69
7 reviews
User Score
78
2 reviews

17. Metric - Fantasies

Metric - Fantasies
April 7, 2009
Indie Rock
Critic Score
74
19 reviews
User Score
78
43 reviews

16. Memory Tapes - Seek Magic

Memory Tapes - Seek Magic
August 25, 2009
Electronic
Critic Score
81
9 reviews
User Score
77
20 reviews

O how you vex me, Dayve Hawke. You vex me because I know you are just one person, yet two of your three alter egos have names in the plural. When talking about you I know I should be all "Memory Tapes is..." but see, that upsets my pedantic semantic circuits so much that if I didn't like you as much as I do I wouldn't like you very much at all.

Full Review →

15. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca

Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
June 9, 2009
Indie Pop
Critic Score
86
29 reviews
User Score
84
226 reviews

14. PJ Harvey and John Parish - A Woman A Man Walked By

PJ Harvey and John Parish - A Woman A Man Walked By
March 31, 2009
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
72
14 reviews
User Score
71
9 reviews

13. The Horrors - Primary Colours

The Horrors - Primary Colours
May 5, 2009
Post-Punk
Critic Score
78
17 reviews
User Score
83
74 reviews

The surprise appearance of The Horrors' new single, 'Sea Within a Sea', has come as quite a shock to the vast majority who dismissed the band during their initial hype-fuelled rise. Where screaming excess and over the top clobber once held sway, the single’s video reveals a group of sombre aesthetes brooding over their instruments as they coolly erect an epic, eight minute wall of sound that slaps a motorik pulse onto the early 4AD catalogue, before slowly immersing it into a bubbling pool of kosmiche noise.

Full Review →

12. Arctic Monkeys - Humbug

Arctic Monkeys - Humbug
August 25, 2009
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
76
28 reviews
User Score
77
238 reviews

11. Bat For Lashes - Two Suns

Bat For Lashes - Two Suns
April 7, 2009
Indie Pop
Critic Score
81
22 reviews
User Score
81
99 reviews

10. Paramore - Brand New Eyes

Paramore - Brand New Eyes
September 29, 2009
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
75
12 reviews
User Score
77
106 reviews

9. Fever Ray - Fever Ray

Fever Ray - Fever Ray
January 13, 2009
Electropop
Critic Score
83
17 reviews
User Score
85
157 reviews

8. Wild Beasts - Two Dancers

Wild Beasts - Two Dancers
September 8, 2009
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
18 reviews
User Score
83
81 reviews

7. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
January 20, 2009
Experimental
Critic Score
92
28 reviews
User Score
89
588 reviews

Is Merriweather Post Pavilion the flawless album that it's been willed to be? Taken as a whole I'd say it's pretty damn close. 

Full Review →

6. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
May 26, 2009
Psychedelic Folk
Critic Score
87
27 reviews
User Score
85
339 reviews

By cutting themselves off from a hurry-everywhere-and-everything society, Grizzly Bear have successfully realised their most rewarding record yet, and the first to truly feature the four in perfect harmony.

Full Review →

5. Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport

Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport
October 20, 2009
Electronic
Critic Score
81
21 reviews
User Score
84
79 reviews

4. Manic Street Preachers - Journal For Plague Lovers

Manic Street Preachers - Journal For Plague Lovers
May 19, 2009
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
81
16 reviews
User Score
79
21 reviews

3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
March 31, 2009
Indie Rock
Critic Score
81
23 reviews
User Score
81
136 reviews

2. St. Vincent - Actor

St. Vincent - Actor
May 5, 2009
Indie Pop
Critic Score
80
20 reviews
User Score
83
202 reviews

1. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
May 26, 2009
Indie Pop
Critic Score
83
21 reviews
User Score
83
287 reviews
Original Source: http://drownedinsound.com/in_depth/4138638

MORE 2009 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM DROWNED IN SOUND:


Check out our 2009 Year End Summary.