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Top 20 Albums of 2009

December 18, 2009

20. Dawes – North Hills
Kind of like The Band with special guests Stephen Stills and The Shins.

“When You Call My Name”

19. David Bazan – Curse Your Branches
The sound of Pedro The Lion after being struck by lightning on the 18th green at Bushwood.

“Bless This Mess”

18. Andrew Bird – Noble Beast
Nobody whistles their way through a thesaurus like ol’ Andy!

“Fitz and the Dizzy Spells”

17. John Vanderslice – Romanian Names
JV bounces back after a couple of subpar efforts with this interesting mix of styles.

“Carina Constellation”

16. Pete Yorn – Back and Fourth
A solid, if not spectacular, return to form by the midget minstrel.

“Paradise Cove”

15. Robert Pollard – Elephant Jokes
Former GBV frontman high kicks his way through yet another solo album full of rockin’ quirk.

“Symbols and Heads”

14. Lucero – 1372 Overton Park
Barfights backed by Tower of Power.

“What Are You Willing to Lose?”

13. V.V. Brown – Travelling Like The Light
Kind of like Amy Winehouse minus drugs plus talent.


12. The Gourds – Haymaker!
I don’t always listen to accordion-laced porch jams, but when I do, I prefer The Gourds.


11. Franz Ferdinand – Tonight
Disco for soccer hooligans.

“Bite Hard”

10. Reno Bo – Happenings and Other Things
Elements of Big Star, The Byrds and Tom Petty flirt around with a modern bent.

“You Don’t Know”

9. The Oranges Band – Are Invisible
Ballmer’s kings of DIY art bar rock bring it stronger than McNulty after an ass-chewing by Rawls.

“Do You Remember Memory Lane?”

8. Wilco – Wilco (The Album)
Dad rock for dads who are cooler than their dads were at their age.

“You Never Know”

7. Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
Indie’s most magnificent voice overshoots a spot in the top 5 by a half-hour worth of chirping crickets.

“Prison Girls” –

6. Hayden – The Place Where We Lived
Canada’s finest troubadour since Gordon Lightfoot strikes gold once more.


5. Monsters of Folk – Monsters of Folk
Bonnaroo headlined by The Traveling Wilburys.

“Say Please”

4. Deer Tick – Born on Flag Day
95% of you will never be able to get past this guy’s voice, but if you can, it will pay off in spades.

“Houston, TX”

3. Ike Reilly – Hard Luck Stories
The bastard love child of Westerburg and Mellencamp.

“Girls in the Backroom”

2. Art Brut – Art Brut vs. Satan
UK’s answer to The Hold Steady hits their stride with Frank Black at the knobs.

“Slap Dash for No Cash”

1. M. Ward – Hold Time
Coupled with his contributions to Monsters of Folk (#5), this album (his best to date) cements 2009 as the year of M. Ward.

“To Save Me”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2009 1:48 pm

    very interesting list. oranges band, hayden, ike reilly… i haven’t seen them on other list so props on showing me something new and worthwhile.

    feel free to check out my top 50 if time permits:

    • December 19, 2009 4:08 pm

      I am quite honored, as I have subscribed to the Obscure Sound RSS feed for quite some time.

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