Wednesday, July 29, 2009

And the best might be yet to come

They're already out with the best albums of 2009 (so far) lists. Good thing, since I'm pitifully behind on my listening. If I come across a good one I tend to treat it like a single malt scotch and make it last awhile.

This can be a bit overwhelming.

As refreshing as it is to see new -- and often obscure -- artists on any "best of'' list, it shows how diluted and fractious the music market has become. In other words: anybody can make it today (at least for a moment), but good luck trying in the audio jungle. It would be interesting to view sales numbers and downloads vs. album purchases for these albums.

Here's the list from NPR's blog All Songs Considered, which was based -- like its companion list of top singles -- on a listeners' poll. I might check a few of these out, but my suspicion is I'll be happier with the narrow-minded choices I've already made in 2009. I will vouch for Neko Case (and that precious cover).

1. Merriweather Post Pavilion, Animal Collective
2. The Hazards of Love, The Decemberists
3. Veckatimest, Grizzly Bear
4. Middle Cyclone, Neko Case
5. Wilco (The Album), Wilco
6. Noble Beast, Andrew Bird
7. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Phoenix
8. It's Blitz!, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
9. Dark Was The Night, Various Artists
10. Bitte Orca, Dirty Projectors
11. Far, Regina Spektor
12. Actor, St. Vincent
13. Manners, Passion Pit
14. Hold Time, M. Ward
15. Reservoir, Fanfarlo
16. Fever Ray, Fever Ray
17. Fantasies, Metric
18. Two Suns, Bat for Lashes
19. My Maudlin Career, Camera Obscura
20. Dark Night of the Soul, Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse
21. The Crying Light, Antony & The Johnsons
22. The Eternal, Sonic Youth
23. The Ecstatic, Mos Def
24. Outer South, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
25. Swoon, Silversun Pickups
26. Together Through Life, Bob Dylan
27. No Line on the Horizon, U2
28. March of the Zapotec, Beirut
29. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Pains of Being Pure at Heart
30. The Mountain, Heartless Bastards


  1. Yikes, I've only heard of two of those albums, the two I own: Wilco and Heartless Bastards. I might need to stop listening to so much Thin Lizzy and get with the program.

  2. Doubtful, mtp. Thin Lizzy blows away most of this stuff. Maybe in 40 years people will be listening to Neko Case, but most of this will be long forgotten (probably by 2017 actually).

  3. Put on the Average White Band and forget about it.