This is far from a definitive list. I haven't listened to all the new CDs released this year and I don't want to. This is really more a list of my favorites and stuff I thought was super cool.
In no particular order....
Bobby Bare Jr. -- A Storm - A Tree - My Mother's Head. Bobby's most consistent and rewarding album in a while. Backed by My Morning Jacket. Funny and deep and not serious and good.
Drive By Truckers -- The Big To-Do. If this world was right, this would have been a smash hit. A classic album with a variety of styles and great lyrics all in the general arena of DBT's gothic southern rock.
Black Angels -- Phosphene Dream. Best psychedelia from Texas since Roky Erickson. Loud and proud.
The Goodnight Loving -- Supper Club. These guys grow on me more all the time. Jangly and homespun. Their most consistent effort to date.
Galactic -- Yakamay. Live the funk. Feel the funk. Organic and modern all at once with variety of guest vocalists.
The Fall -- Your Future Our Clutter. Who woulda thought Mark E. Smith had this in him -- the brains to work with a kick-ass band that rocks its arse off while he warbles about ex-pats and other stuff.
Neil Young -- Le Noise. You either love Neil or you don't get him. If you love Neil, this features some might fine gee-tarr chords and nifty songs. New approach thanks to producer Daniel Lanois.
Deerhunter -- Halcyon Digest. Every tune I've heard on this is expertly crafted and delivered. Bradfod Cox rox.
Jaill -- That's How We Burn. I'm looking like a homer here with two Milwaukee bands on my list, but the first three tracks on this release were one of the best starts to any CD I heard this year. A few other gems on here, too. Straight ahead alt rock.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club -- Beat the Devil's Tattoo. This one doesn't jump out at you like some of their previous works, but after numerous listens, it's got some great material.
Honorable mentions: Gil Scott-Heron, Clinic, Walkmen, Sleigh Bells, Black Keys, Dum Dum Girls