10. Gustavo Dudamel - Discoveries
This guy, at 28 years of age, with his alternative arrangements of greats like Mahler and Beethoven (recordings of which came out this year), have sparked fires in the generally stoic world of classical music.
9. Taken by Trees - East of Eden
This is one of those albums that I listened to whenever I didn't know what to listen to. It's light, it's different, its terrific.
8. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
I certainly enjoyed listening to this album a lot. It took a whole bunch of revolutions in my iTunes. Definitely catchy, I found myself whistling these songs in the hallways a whole bunch--students looking at me like I'm a fool.
7. Discovery - LP
Of the good dance-worthy albums that came out this year I have taken more to this one than some of the others. I think it has to do with the fact that the album's beats are consistently solid and there are a steady dosage of lines that just circle in my head; for example, "I want to be your boyfriend". I really do, by the way.
6. Flaming Lips - Embryonic
Read a few interviews with Wayne Coyne about the making of this fantastic piece of work and it sounds like it would have been a lot of fun. I'm pretty excited about the direction that this album moves one of the best American bands of the last 3 decades.
5. The xx - xx
The more I listen to this album, the more I like it. If 2009 was 14 months long this might have been my number 1 by... well, whatever the name would be for our fourteeth month.
4. Grizzly Bear - Vekatimest
One of my friends in Buffalo has said, "yeah, that Grizzy Bear album might be too perfect, you know?" To give a long answer: I don't. From the big hits like Two Weeks to the smaller wonders like While You Wait for the Others, this album is pretty top notch.
3. Beirut - March of the Zapotec/Realpeople Holland
Zach Condon is a musical genius. Pairing these two seemingly radically different EPs with one another is an incredible stroke of that genius. Listening from the first track of Zapotec and the first of Holland in direct contact, one feels about as thrown as they would be if they moved from Oaxaca to Amsterdam by worm-hole. Nonetheless, the two sides as a whole mirror one another in an odd way and display a diverse and true talent.
2. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
The first song on this album that actually follows a semi-normal beat pattern is Stillness is the Move. Its almost as if this trio is taunting their audience: "oh, you want us to make a song that sounds 'normal'? Really? Really? Fine. How about we just drop this little number in your face..."
1. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion
I thought I wasn't going to have it at #1, but I can't resist the power of Animal Collective. This is just a masterpiece.