AOTY 2019
Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2009

Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2009

Original Source →

50. Woods - Songs of Shame

April 14, 2009
Critic Score
72
8 reviews

49. Cass McCombs - Catacombs

June 2, 2009
Critic Score
73
11 reviews

48. DOOM - Born Like This

March 24, 2009
Critic Score
74
17 reviews

47. Zomby - Where Were U in 92?

Zomby - Where Were U in 92?
December 9, 2008
Critic Score
76
4 reviews

46. Dan Deacon - Bromst

March 24, 2009
Critic Score
81
21 reviews

44. tUnE-yArDs - BiRd-BrAiNs

March 19, 2009
Critic Score
77
9 reviews

When you talk about lo-fi more or less inspired by folk, the best stuff always carries with it a sense of discovery. Cheap and tinny acoustic music should feel like something you stumbled upon, like maybe you dug it out of an old drawer or rescued it from the freebee bin in the thrift store. And then the force of the music should sparkle through the gr it and hiss and distortion and make you think you understand something about the person making it. It's a romantic notion, one not necessarily based in reality. But the best music in this vein manages to convey a sense of intimacy, as if it's a one-to-one conversation between the artist and the listener. 

41. Baroness - Blue Record

October 13, 2009
Critic Score
88
5 reviews

40. Mos Def - The Ecstatic

June 9, 2009
Critic Score
78
24 reviews

39. Jim O'Rourke - The Visitor

September 8, 2009
Critic Score
87
7 reviews

37. The Antlers - Hospice

March 3, 2009
Critic Score
82
21 reviews

36. Dinosaur Jr. - Farm

June 23, 2009
Critic Score
75
27 reviews

35. JJ - jj n° 2

July 1, 2009
Critic Score
76
9 reviews

34. Passion Pit - Manners

May 19, 2009
Critic Score
77
24 reviews

30. Röyksopp - Junior

March 23, 2009
Critic Score
76
19 reviews

29. Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs

September 8, 2009
Critic Score
80
22 reviews

26. Bon Iver - Blood Bank EP

January 20, 2009
Critic Score
74
14 reviews

Vernon wrote these songs to be played with a band, the EP is still imbued with all the intimacy and desperation that made For Emma so beloved.

23. Memory Tapes - Seek Magic

August 25, 2009
Critic Score
81
11 reviews

No one ever wants to admit that summer's totally over, but it's even tougher this year considering how fun it all was-- seems like every other day, an evocatively named band would come about and contribute to this glo-fi/dreambeat/chillwave thing that was perfect for those unbearably humid August nights rife with possibility, imagining an alternate universe where the narcotic of choice in danceclubs were Galaxie 500 and Saint Etienne records.

22. Wild Beasts - Two Dancers

September 8, 2009
Critic Score
82
22 reviews

20. Real Estate - Real Estate

November 17, 2009
Critic Score
76
11 reviews

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

February 3, 2009
Critic Score
76
20 reviews

Like plenty of other bands in the internet era, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart seem poised to attract an audience that will far outstrip that of their easily identifiable precedents-- in their case, groups like Rocketship or Shop Assi stants, each obscure these days even by Approved Indie Influence standards. A few other twee/noise-pop revivalists arguably pulled off that same trick last year, but Pains of Being Pure at Heart are likely to appeal to listeners beyond online name-droppers and Brooklyn scenesters.

18. Atlas Sound - Logos

October 20, 2009
Critic Score
78
21 reviews

16. Antony and the Johnsons - The Crying Light

January 20, 2009
Critic Score
81
28 reviews

The cover of The Crying Light, the third album by Antony and the Johnsons, is strikingly similar to that of its predecessor, 2005's highly-lauded I Am a Bird Now. The latter presented a stark black-and-white shot of transvestite performer Candy Darling lying on her hospital deathbed; this time, we get an even starker image of Japanese Butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno, a hero of bandleader Antony Hegarty since he first spotted her on a poster while studying in France as a teenager. As Ohno leans back, wrinkled and seemingly near death himself, the flower in his hair sits in the same position as the bright blooms that hover above Darling.

15. Japandroids - Post-Nothing

April 28, 2009
Critic Score
80
18 reviews

Disliking teen-pop gets you cast as some sort of rockist Luddite these days, but beyond the fact that most of it doesn't sound like stuff I'd have wanted to hear as a high schooler, it doesn't feel like music for teens either. (Hell, it's more tween-pop than teen-pop anyway.) But what about the kind of stuff that, say, the "1979" video lionized-- breaking into your folks' liquor cabinet, obliterating the speed limit despite just getting your learner's permit, leaving your hometown for the first time and discovering how small it feels. What about jamming out with your best bud and deciding to call it a band?

14. Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms

October 13, 2009
Critic Score
78
18 reviews
Palomo has brought all the best of 2009's summer sounds-- bedroom production, borrowed nostalgia, unresolved sadness, deceptively agile popcraft-- together on a single album.

13. St. Vincent - Actor

May 5, 2009
Critic Score
80
23 reviews

12. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!

March 31, 2009
Critic Score
80
27 reviews

She refuses to be a locus of explanation or control, keeping her lyrics generally vague and frequently losing herself in bursts of incomprehensible excitement or fervor.

11. Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport

October 20, 2009
Critic Score
81
22 reviews

10. Girls - Album

September 22, 2009
Critic Score
81
22 reviews

Girls frontman Christopher Owens grew up in the Children of God cult. His older brother died as a baby because the cult didn't believe in medical attention. His dad left. He and his mother lived around the world, and the cult sometimes forced his mother to prostitute herself. As a teenager, Owens fled and lived as a Texas gutter-punk for a while. Then a local millionaire took Owens under his wing, and Owens moved to San Francisco. There, he and Chet "JR" White formed Girls, and recorded Album, their debut album, under the influence of just about every kind of pill they could find.

9. Fever Ray - Fever Ray

January 12, 2009
Critic Score
83
19 reviews

That the Knife's 2006 breakthrough Silent Shout didn't set the dominoes on a series of similarly grotesque and unnatural sounding imitators is less an indictment on its impact than a comment on its inimitability. The current apex of ten years' collaboration between siblings Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer, it's one of a handful of albums from the past decade that one might argue sounded like nothing before it. In the three years since, the Dreijers have treaded lightly, touring and remixing in carefully managed bursts before quietly receding back into silence altogether.

7. Bat For Lashes - Two Suns

April 7, 2009
Critic Score
79
27 reviews

A significant step forward from her debut, Natasha Khan's Two Suns is home to some of the year's most thrilling music so far.

6. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

May 26, 2009
Critic Score
86
32 reviews

What's perhaps the most remarkable thing about the truly remarkable Veckatimest, however, is how very exciting much of it is; no small feat for a painstaking chamber-pop record that never once veers above the middle tempo.

3. The xx - xx

October 6, 2009
Critic Score
85
23 reviews

Initially hospital-tile sterile, xx rewards volume and repetition like few other albums this year.

2. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca

June 9, 2009
Critic Score
85
32 reviews

Bitte Orca is one of the more purely enjoyable indie-rock records in an awfully long time; remarkable by any means, but even moreso considering the source.

1. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

January 20, 2009
Critic Score
92
30 reviews

What they've constructed here is a new kind of electronic pop-- one which is machine-generated and revels in technology but is also deeply human, never drawing too much attention to its digital nature.

Original Source: http://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/7744-the-top-50-albums-of-2009/
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