PopMatters' Best 60 Albums of 2009

60.

Jónsi & Alex - Riceboy Sleeps
July 21, 2009
Critic Score
64
19 reviews

59.

October 20, 2009
Critic Score
86
8 reviews

58.

July 14, 2009
Critic Score
71
25 reviews

As if the blues weren’t already dark enough. For the entirety of the Dead Weather’s debut album, Horehound, Jack White—who, in a commendable show of ego control, relegates himself to the drum stool for this, a sure-to-be successful supergroup (dirty word, I know) he somehow managed to cobble together in the downtime between fronting two of the only signs of life in today’s alt-rock landscape—Alison Mosshart and company are visibly determined to imbue an art form which is already obsessed with depression, loss, and all manner of cheerful things with even inkier shades of the human condition.

57.

April 7, 2009
Critic Score
79
28 reviews

56.

July 1, 2009
Critic Score
76
9 reviews

55.

July 21, 2009
Critic Score
77
25 reviews

The album is best appreciated as a pleasurable pop treat from a group whose vision is ever broadening.

54.

August 18, 2009
Critic Score
86
9 reviews

51.

April 14, 2009
Critic Score
72
8 reviews

49.

August 18, 2009
Critic Score
79
25 reviews

It’s the perfect summer album: exuberant, lighthearted, with hooks to spare, and plenty of surf rock. It’s just further proof that great things come in strange packages.

48.

September 22, 2009
Critic Score
74
17 reviews

47.

February 17, 2009
Critic Score
80
15 reviews

46.

Meshell Ndegeocello - Devil's Halo
October 6, 2009
Critic Score
79
6 reviews

45.

September 8, 2009
Critic Score
78
18 reviews

43.

February 24, 2009
Critic Score
78
6 reviews

40.

May 19, 2009
Critic Score
77
24 reviews

39.

Warsaw Village Band - Infinity
October 27, 2008
Critic Score
80
2 reviews

38.

September 8, 2009
Critic Score
80
22 reviews

37.

October 13, 2009
Critic Score
88
5 reviews

35.

April 28, 2009
Critic Score
80
18 reviews

34.

June 23, 2009
Critic Score
75
28 reviews

Although Farm sacrifices some immediacy and fire for expansive emotionalism and nuance, the album is a solid addition to the Dinosaur Jr. catalog and one whose highlights may prove even better with time.

33.

Khaled - Liberté
March 31, 2009
Critic Score
85
2 reviews

31.

September 22, 2009
Critic Score
70
20 reviews

30.

November 17, 2009
Critic Score
76
11 reviews

29.

March 24, 2009
Critic Score
82
22 reviews

28.

September 22, 2009
Critic Score
80
9 reviews

26.

May 5, 2009
Critic Score
80
23 reviews

24.

June 30, 2009
Critic Score
73
27 reviews

Wilco’s success is largely due to their ability to continually surprise, if not outright confound, their audience. Their first five albums saw the band transform from alt-country torchbearers to Wall-of-Sound sculptors to post-rock deconstructionists. Facilitating this transformation was a steady rotation of band members, moving both into and then out of the ranks, eventually leaving frontman Jeff Tweedy and bassist John Stirratt as the only two orig inal members. Looking back over their career, it’s easy to see that this constant shuffling of members propelled Wilco’s sonic evolution.

23.

March 3, 2009
Critic Score
82
21 reviews

22.

Maxwell - BLACKsummers'night
July 7, 2009
Critic Score
80
11 reviews
Maxwell might be delivering one course at a time, but for now, delivering one of the best albums of 2009 will sate your appetite just fine.

21.

October 20, 2009
Critic Score
81
23 reviews

20.

February 3, 2009
Critic Score
76
20 reviews
It is a love song to the bands they grew up on, at times purely imitation as flattery, and, in those modest goals, it succeeds.

19.

Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses - Roadhouse Sun
June 2, 2009
Critic Score
71
6 reviews

This is country music the way God intended it to be. On his second set for Lost Highway, this Texas-reared singer-songwriter delivers a dozen tunes full of hard living, hard drinking and hard rocking. The album could just as well have been called Roadhouse Son as Bingham’s biography reads like the lyrics of a country song, the tale of a young talent nurtured by roughnecks and raised on rough times.

16.

January 12, 2009
Critic Score
83
19 reviews

15.

June 9, 2009
Critic Score
78
24 reviews

14.

Goran Bregovic - Alkohol
May 19, 2009
Critic Score
85
2 reviews

12.

October 6, 2009
Critic Score
85
23 reviews

xx is a thoroughly cohesive, moving and accessible album. This young band of Londoners exhibits a level of maturity, artistry and potential that far exceeds their years.

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