Antony And The Johnsons - The Crying Light


Antony And The Johnsons

The Crying Light
(Secretly Canadian)

Mos Def - The Ecstatic


Mos Def

The Ecstatic

Silversun Pickups - Swoon


Silversun Pickups


jj - n° 2



n° 2
(Sincerely Yours)

Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II



Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II

Regina Spektor - Far


Regina Spektor


The Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns


The Rural Alberta Advantage

(Saddle Creek)

Mastodon - Crack The Skye



Crack The Skye

The Dead Weather - Horehound Affair


The Dead Weather


Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures


Them Crooked Vultures

Them Crooked Vultures

Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms


Neon Indian

Psychic Chasms

Brand New - Daisy


Brand New


Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle


Bill Callahan

Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle
(Drag City)

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Why There Are Mountains


Cymbals Eat Guitars

Why There Are Mountains

The Horrors - Primary Colours


The Horrors

Primary Colours

Tegan And Sara - Sainthood


Tegan And Sara


Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport


Fuck Buttons

Tarot Sport

Florence & The Machine - Lungs


Florence & The Machine


Dinosaur Jr. - Farm


Dinosaur Jr.


The Mountain Goats - The Life Of The World To Come


The Mountain Goats

The Life Of The World To Come

Dan Deacon - Bromst


Dan Deacon


Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career


Camera Obscura

My Maudlin Career

Wild Beasts - Two Dancers


Wild Beasts

Two Dancers

Julian Casablancas - Phrazes For The Young


Julian Casablancas

Phrazes For The Young

Metric - Fantasies



(Metric Music International)

Andrew Bird - Noble Beast


Andrew Bird

Noble Beast
(Fat Possum)

Arctic Monkeys - Humbug


Arctic Monkeys


Monsters Of Folk - Monsters Of Folk


Monsters Of Folk

Monsters Of Folk

The Avett Brothers - I And Love And You


The Avett Brothers

I And Love And You

Japandroids - Post-Nothing




The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart


The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

Atlas Sound - Logos


Atlas Sound


Wilco - Wilco (The Album)



Wilco (The Album)

Various Artists - Dark Was The Night


Various Artists

Dark Was The Night

The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love


The Decemberists

The Hazards of Love

Bat For Lashes - Two Suns


Bat For Lashes

Two Suns

Fever Ray - Fever Ray


Fever Ray

Fever Ray

Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer


Sunset Rubdown


St. Vincent - Actor


St. Vincent


The Flaming Lips - Embryonic


The Flaming Lips

(Warner Bros.)

Neko Case - Middle Cyclone


Neko Case

Middle Cyclone

Passion Pit - Manners


Passion Pit


The Antlers - Hospice


The Antlers


Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz


Yeah Yeah Yeahs

It’s Blitz

Girls - Album



(True Panther)

The xx - xx


The xx

(Young Turks/XL)

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix



Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca


Dirty Projectors

Bitte Orca

Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest


Grizzly Bear


Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion


Animal Collective

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Comments (123)
  1. I’m really disappointed that Baroness isn’t on this list. Such a better metal record than “Crack the Skye.”

    • Baroness did really well, but not Top 50. I think it was #60something…
      I am taking a breather from spreadsheets for a bit, but I can probably post some noteworthy runners up.

      • I’m pretty sure there are a lot of interesting choices in the next 50 albums. (Maybe, maybe not.)

        I honestly didn’t know Stereogum readers liked Florence so much! Personally liked just a couple, and there’s even a song that sounds like a rip-off of Beyonce’s Crazy in Love (Drumming Song)

  2. Most predictable top 5 ever.

    • doug funny  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

      maybe because it was the best five albums that came out this past year.

      • “Wolfgang” is a fun album, but certainly not top 5 material. Especially considering “Bromst” was also released this year, and “Actor” also.

        • I prefer Wolfgang to Actor. Bromst, maybe, maybe not. Further proof that it’s a matter of taste, and that the majority of tastes here preferred Wolfgang.

  3. Victoria Van Besien  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    I don’t know how I feel about Girls beating out true visionaries such as Natasha Khan of Bat For Lashes and Dark was the Night (easily one of the most mind-blowing compilations composed). Don’t believe the hype, kids.

  4. Brand New?! WTF, Mate?! Am I a sophomore in high school again? I’m going to download that for shits and gigs.

    • Gee  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

      I completely agree. Except for that part about downloading it for shits and gigs.

    • easy  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

      Should have been higher. Incredible album.

    • dbeck  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

      Brand New sound nothing like they did when you were a sophomore in high school. Unless you are still a sophomore in high school. Give them a chance… especially this record and their last (which is in my top 5 of all-time – Devil and God) Fantastic song-writers that reinvent themselves with each release.

  5. Mostly no surprises here, except for The Rural Alberta Advantage. Oh well, at least Stereogum lets people speak their own mind without limiting their options!

    (You all know what I’m talking about)

  6. Cory  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    HOW COME EDWARD SHARPE & THE MAGNETIC ZEROS ARENT ON ANY BEST OF 09 LISTS???????? They’re album is easily better than anything the arctic monkeys ever did and certainly better than The Avett Brothers’ snoozefest 09. lol

    • I voted them for Best New Act and am pretty disappointed they didn’t even make the list.

    • Emily  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

      I agree about Edward Sharpe. I’ve practically had their album on repeat since I first heard it.

    • Yea Ed Sharpe should be on here, as well FRANZ FERDINAND – most underrated album of the year.

      All in all a good list, but pretty devoid of anything with some soul. Little Dragon anyone…?

    • Max  |   Posted on Dec 14th, 2009 0

      Thank you Cory… It’s really pathetic that the whole indie rock establishment has overlooked ‘Up from below’… easily one of best albums of last year.

    • mike  |   Posted on Dec 21st, 2009 0

      Up From Below by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros is easily the best album of the year if you ask me. Its a complete mystery how they get left off of every list

  7. volume-addict  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    Face Control was so criminally overlooked.

  8. swiss  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    i agree that edward sharpe & the magnetic zeros should definately be on there. this is super predictable, but mostly true. atlas sound should have been higher, glad to see sunset rubdown so high, but in my opinion it should be in the top five instead of phoenix or the xx. both are good bands, but not that good. same deal with passion pit and girls. i wont comment on bitte orca because i only listened to it a couple times. i’m very surprised to see none of the great new woodsist bands one this list – Woods, Ganglians, Real Estate, Blank Dogs, Fresh & Onlys

  9. Simon  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    Miike Snow anyone?

  10. Can’t complain. Probably the best list we’ve seen.

  11. This list was full of ‘of course’s on my part, because of course the internet would vote MPP album of the year, and of course the xx landed really high, and of course boring as hell acts like Neon Indian placed. After all, this year (see the ‘sunny’ vibe of bands like Real Estate) seems to be about boring bands.
    At least the Mountain Goats landed on there.
    Too bad Caspian, There Will Be Fireworks, A Storm of Light, and The Twilight Sad didn’t.

    Also, side note, but the xx are some of the ugliest (or at least ugliest dressed) people I’ve ever seen.

    • We get it, your a rebel who’s too cool to agree with the lists stereogum made and thinks the Mountain Goats is good.

      Your comment about the best albums of the decade list being a bad representation of the decade was absolutely ridiculous. Out of every best albums of the 00s list i have seen, the one compiled by the stereogum voters was the best and most interesting.

  12. Brian  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    wow, what kind of generic crack rock do stereogum readers use? This was the most boring and cliche top 50 I have ever seen… its also awful from time to time. Andrew Bird is only at 25??? St. Vincent isn’t in the top ten? Beirut was totally shut out on their March of the Zapotec/Real people project. No Matt & Kim, Edward Sharpe, Alec Ounsworth, Kings of Convenience, Kasibain, fun, Bishop Allen, or Dan Black??? really disappointing stereogum readers.

    • haha  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

      haha, Brian, Kings of Convience isn’t Generic boring indie? Andrew Bird is “edgy” but Animal Colelctive isn’t? Check what kind of crack rock you are referencing

      • Brian  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

        Generic in terms of predictable, boring answers, not in terms of tempo of songs. Sorry you can’t drop ecstasy and dance in front of a strobe light to Andrew Bird, but he made a fantastic album.

        • You say these selections are “predictable.” If they are so predictable, why do you seem so incredulous that they were chosen? “Oh my goodness, the masses picked exactly what you’d expect them to! I can’t believe it!” So the average stereogum user doesn’t share your exact taste in music. If you’ve spent time around here, you likely knew that already. NOBODY HAS THE EXACT SAME TASTE IN MUSIC AS YOU. If everybody did, you’d probably think that was lame, and shift your own tastes so you could continue bitching about how you can’t believe everyone picked the most predictable stuff out there.

    • Tell me who else you like.

  13. camera obscura is way too low. listen to it again, everybody. and again. and again.

  14. I have to say, I’m a little stumped by Girls, Phoenix, and The xx being so high on the list. Dragonslayer probably deserved to be somewhere in the top five. It’s excellent. Hmm… Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle was really great too. I’m also a little surprised that Swan Lake isn’t on here. All well, you can’t expect any end of the year list to be tailored to your taste.

  15. Andrew  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    It amazes me that people can still complain about a list that they made.

  16. Spicy Weiners  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    Ahhhhh, so THAT’S who finished 4th………

  17. Rod  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    How dare you leave The Pink Mountaintops off of this list! Outside Love kicks everyone of these records!

  18. These lists are always predictable. There a lot of duds from otherwise good artists that don’t really belong on any list (Regina Spektor, YYYs, Wilco, Fuck Buttons), a few WTF sucky albums (Artic Monkeys, Brand New, The Horrors), and then the obvious choices (MPP, Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors). The others I like, but not enough to put on a best of list (except maybe Dino Jr, Bat For Lashes, and Neon Indian).

  19. Liz  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    Am I alone in thinking that La Roux should be on this list? Either way, most of my favorites made it on. “Veckatimest” is definitely my favorite of the year.

  20. yaphett  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    Where is Mew, Yo La Tengo, Kings of Convenience, Tyondai Braxton, A Sunny Day In Glasgow, Little Dragon, Bibio, Tim Hecker, The Clientele, White Rainbow, etc.?

  21. jorge  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0


  22. Well, what did most of you guys write in and vote. I know we all did. We all had to vote for 3 or 5 albums right? My five were Passion Pit, Phoenix, St. Vincent, The Decemberists, and Thrice. I didn’t try to be “indie hipster” about it. I wrote in exactly what I listened to the most this year. Animal Collective really doesn’t draw me in. Grizzly Bear was good but not “oh my gosh I want to listen to it everyday” great. I couldn’t care less about The Dirty Projectors. I think Andrew Bird deserves to be higher. What’s wrong with Brand New? They aren’t a teenager band really at all. They may tilt towards a punkish sound but lyrics are something a 28 year old like myself can relate to. Same with Thrice.

  23. Micachu & the Shapes should definitely be on this list. It was one of the funnest and most interesting of the year.

  24. Nice list, but the top 3 was woefully predictable.
    None of my 3 chioces made the top 50. How cool am I? Very.

  25. Jeff  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    I really loved Cass McCombs and Real Estate this year.

  26. Simba  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    The fact that so many people whine about these lists being “predictable” is just absurd. Do you guys even grasp what a Best-Albums-of-the-Year list is? These lists are not supposed to be filled with lost albums by obscure avant-garde bands that almost no one heard. They’re a (somewhat futile) attempt to retrospecticely “sum up” the music everyone got really excited about this year. They’re a broad overview and they’re populist by nature.

    Are you people equally annoyed when a Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits album features all the predictable songs instead of lost b-sides?

    If you’re looking for a Best-Albums-of-the-Year list that is surprising and “unpredictable,” then you are missing the whole point. Back in 97, you people would have been going “Oh god, list after list is claiming that ‘OK Computer’ is the best album of the year. So predictable!”

    Yeah. No shit it’s predictable.

  27. Wow. Just wow. This list is all hype. As Seth and Amy would say, “REALLY?!” All 50 of these albums were better that Built to Spill’s “There is No Enemy?” Maybe if they moved to Brooklyn and got more ironic, the hipster douches out there might pay attention. People need to quit looking at each other for what to like and start listening to albums. This was supposed to be a list of the best albums, right?

  28. Somewhat surprised that Foreign Born’s ‘Person to Person’ was not on this list.

  29. I just deleted Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear and Dirty Projectors off my iTunes list. Staying cool requires some sacrifices. Even ones that don’t necessarily make sense.

  30. We voted the best album list of the year. I’m so fucking proud of us.

  31. good list. aside from the top 3, i’m seeing a lot of agreeable choices and i can live with passion pit at 9

    nice job everybody

  32. The Ecstatic is WAY too low on that list.

  33. No Super Furries? Thought ‘Dark Days..’ their strongest for a while. Loved genre stretchers Sunn 0)) & the Unthanks too. Pleased to see St. Vincent so well represented – an unassuming gem.

    Lovely list, nontheless. X

  34. ttaayyll  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    no wavves :(

  35. Mad Deja Vu when Pitchfork rolls out their Top 3.
    Not really a criticism, all three were among my favorites of the year. I voted Grizzly Bear, St. Vincent, and Dirty Projectors because I knew everyone was going to vote Animal Collective, though it seems everyone voted for Grizzly Bear and the Dirty Projectors too.

  36. I’m very happy to see The Antlers crack the top 10, let alone finally making it onto a Best of 2009 list. Hospice was my favorite album of the year and nearly all of the lists put out by big-name publications (or the ones that I’ve seen, anyway) have thus far overlooked it completely.

    I think it’s a great list overall – of course there are a few things here and there I’d change, but for the most part I agree with the picks. And to those who are bitching about it being “predictable,” uh… no shit. The readers of a blog that loves Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear also seem to love Animal Collective and Grizzly Bear?!?! No way!

  37. Mike  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    Ambivalence Avenue??

  38. Finally a list I can mostly agree with… the mag editors should’ve consulted SG readers before crapping out their garbage lists. Orrrrrrrrr I agree with it because, as a reader of SG, I’m proactively part of an online community that shares similar tastes of music. Either way, our collective taste in music is better than everyone else’s. So there.

  39. glazzy  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    So the debate of 2009 is settled: Animal Collective > Grizzly Bear > Dirty Projectors

  40. I like this list…but I feel like it’s unfair to some of the newly released 2009 albums to be judged (or unjudged) before the new year…
    *Why? -Eskimo Snow
    *El Perro Del Mar- Love Is Not Pop
    *The Mars Volta- Octahedron
    *Cursive- Mama, I’m Swollen
    *Imogen Heap- Ellipse

  41. Hmm what a surprise, Stereogum are the first to post a top 50 that I actually mostly agree with.

  42. skeletor  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    Fits, by White Denim

    • agreed, they were my vote for best newbie and Fits def makes my top ten

    • My thoughts exactly, hombre. Then again, Pitchfork didn’t give it a 9+/10 so most people probably didn’t like it (or even hear about/bother to listen to it. Yeah, I said it). Also see: The Strange Boys.

  43. This list is pretty good, but Veckatimist at #2?!?! Most overrated album ever!

    Also, what about YACHT? NURSES? LE LOUP? SWAN LAKE?

    That, and an actual question? Did Former Ghosts’ Fleurs come out in 2009? Because that album is AMAZING! Anybody with me on that?

  44. matt   |   Posted on Dec 10th, 2009 0

    although it is far from my favorite album this year, i think Islands’ Vapours deserves at least to be on here.

  45. dark element  |   Posted on Dec 10th, 2009 0

    yay dragonslayer gets props! one thing i love about stereogum… everyone loves my wolf parade .i have to listen to phoenix.. sounds very good from what ive heard so far.. and im going to give a 2nd go around to bat for lashes.. and check out antlers too

  46. I5H  |   Posted on Dec 10th, 2009 0

    We Were Promised Jet Packs is surprisingly absent from this list. As is Manchester Orchestra, which is probably has some of the best lyrics in recent memory. Glad to see Brand New got a mention, although highly unusual (bust deserved).

  47. Nick  |   Posted on Dec 10th, 2009 0

    Anyone else upset to find the Field absent? I dunno, maybe it’s just me!

  48. Don’t see it mentioned anywhere, but those who haven’t heard it should check out Ryan Gosling’s album ( Dead Man’s Bones, s/t ). Shit has no business whatsoever being as good as it is. Fifty listens in and I can’t get over it.

  49. ed  |   Posted on Dec 10th, 2009 0

    pretty expected but pretty good for an indie blog, Passion Pit and Antlers above Neko Case is a disgrace, but everything else ok.

  50. Some people need to venture out and listen to some newer music. This is turning into a popularity contest, instead of voting for the best album. The Decemberists at 16 and Wilco at 18? The only people who voted for that are people who still are living off their material from 2004. Vote for your favorite album, not your favorite band.

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