Halfway through the year SPIN tipped their hand by offering the 20 Greatest Albums Of 2009 … So Far. If you remember, the list wasn’t in any specific order. Their 40 Best Albums Of 2009 are, and it’s interesting to see all the titles that popped up after the last one was published. As well as the albums that missed the cut after they were spun a bit more: Peter Bjorn And John, Blk Jks, Regina Spektor, Glasvegas, Mavado, and Sa-Ra Creative Partners are nowhere to be found. The list — one of oh so many lists — is also refreshingly interesting in and of itself, a fine example of a publication stepping outside of the hive mentality and coming up with something that feels personal. Even if I don’t personally agree with a lot of it.

40 Kiss – Sonic Boom
39 Wilco – Wilco (Wilco The Album
38 Rick Ross – Deeper Than Rap
37 Gallows – Grey Britain
36 Brakesbrakesbrakes – Touchdown
35 Miike Snow – Miike Snow
34 Mariachi El Bronx – Mariachi El Bronx
33 The Avett Brothers – I And Love And You
32 U2 – No Line On The Horizon
31 Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
30 Julian Casablancas – Phrazes For The Young
29 Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures
28 The Flaming Lips – Embryonic
27 Jarvis Cocker – Further Complications
26 The Mountain Goats – The Life Of The World To Come
25 The Big Pink – A Brief History Of Love
24 Wolfmother – Cosmic Egg
23 St. Vincent – Actor
22 Tegan And Sara – Sainthood
21 Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. II
20 Paramore – Brand New Eyes
19 Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You
18 Antony And The Johnsons – The Crying Light
17 Mastodon – Crack The Skye
16 Japandroids – Post-Nothing
15 Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
14 Amadou & Mariam – Welcome To Mali
13 Jay Reatard – Watch Me Fall
12 Ida Maria – Fortress Round My Heart
11 Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – Summer Of Fear
10 The Dead Weather – Horehound
09 Drake – So Far Gone
08 Florence And The Machine – Lungs
07 Mos Def – The Ecstatic
06 Bat For Lashes – Two Suns
05 Girls – Album
04 Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
03 Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
02 Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!
01 Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

You can read the accompanying blurbs over at SPIN.

[Animal Collective photo by Takahiro Imamura]

Comments (174)
  1. Am I the only one who thinks that Girls are wayyy overrated? Love seeing Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Phoenix up there though.

  2. Jarvis and Julian should be higher methinks.

  3. madonna  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    no love for Fever Ray?!? this list is VOID.

  4. rgngjiofdjioajioa  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    Pitchfork nailed it with this list!

    • You're only fan  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0


      • In regards to that Rolling Stone list, here’s my question: how the hell did those two Radiohead albums get on there? I mean, the rest of the list makes sense for RS readers: they are all hugely popular Top 40 records supported by hugely popular Top 40 singles (except for The Boss, but you know, he’s The Boss). It’s the records that will fill a VH1 “I Love The 00s” someday. Then you have Kid A and In Rainbows just wedged in there. In Rainbows, maybe, because Radiohead played at the Grammys the past year, but Kid A at #3? What?

        Are you honestly telling me that the majority of RS readers listen to “When I Disappear Completely” in between all those tracks by Avril Lavigne, Green Day, and Beyonce? It doesn’t make sense. Radiohead has had plenty of accessible singles, but none on Kid A. And if enough hipsters invaded the site to get those 2 near the top, why wasn’t, say Funeral or Kala able to knock off a middling Mariah Carey record? That list seems to represent a demographic that I can’t, for the life of me, see existing in the real world.

        • Oops, before I ruin any credibility I had left, I realize I put, for some ungodly reason, “When I Disappear Completely”, when I meant “How To Disappear Completely”. Embarrassing.

        • smh  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

          lmao @ “middling mariah carey album”…..that you’ve never heard, you bottom feeding dork

        • I’m not sure, maybe you should ask Miley Cyrus about that demographic?

          I’m not too surprised. I mean, Radiohead is the one really good band that many mainstream music outlets seem to gush about (Rolling Stone, Spin, MTV, etc.), they’re probably the one “weird/experimental” band that many of the voters in that poll listen to.

        • It only means that Radiohead fans are the new ICP fans.lol. If it’s popularity that we are talking about then I agree with the RS readers. The musicians / critics ballots are fun to read, though. They didn’t choose their own albums/songs.lol. Surprising choices from Lars Ulrich, Jarvis Cocker, Pete Wentz.

      • The REAL Rolling Stone list…from their list of “critics and artists”. http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/31248017/100_best_albums_of_the_decade/

  5. Steve  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    Uhhh….where is Lucero on this list??? One of the best albums this year!!!

    • mason in mississippi  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

      YES, i agree. lucero and manchester orchestra are two of my favorite albums of the year.

  6. Questionable inclusions on the bottom half of that list (KISS??, U2, etc.) but I do appreciate the attempt at appealing to more diverse groups of music listeners. I most people in America could find some music they have heard of/like on this list. For every Dirty Projectors and Japandroids-like selection, there’s Drake or Them Crooked Vultures.

  7. rogerogeroger  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    yeah i think the diversity of this list is awesome and really refreshing. but to be honest, julian casablancas album is the cheesiest collection of music i’ve heard all year. he even looks cheesy when he plays, his stage presence makes me feel like i should be watching him as some shitty act on some shitty cruise boat. and girls are amazing but shouldn’t be that high. =]

  8. After putting BLK JKS’ 4 song EP on their halfway through 2009 album list, you’d have thought that their full length, After Robots (which was admittedly quite a bit weaker than the EP), would have at least beaten Kiss on to the list.

    • Hieronymus  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

      That’s because, as great as their EP was, and as much mad skill as they have, the album was clearly a misfire, excepting some golden moments like “Skeleton” and “Mololatdladi.”

      I really wanted to love it.

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

    all of the physical mags seem to really love it’s blitz… am i the only one who wasn’t too impressed?

  10. julian c deserved to be higher

  11. Judging by the comments, I’m clearly not the only person who thinks that Girls is overrated, but I am obviously the only person who thinks that Julian C has become a caricature of himself and should’ve stopped after “Is This It?” and his “Phrazes For The Young” (with it’s ridiculous ‘z’) has sunk to a new level of embarrassing and unlistenable.

    • Hieronymus  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

      I agree with you on both counts 100%. I pray history does not look favorably on the Strokes, ‘cos I certainly won’t. The few things I liked about that band are totally absent in Julian C’s clusterfuck of an album.

  12. John   |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    19 Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You
    18 Antony And The Johnsons – The Crying Light
    17 Mastodon – Crack The Skye

    they couldn’t have found a more random three to put together

    • I think that’s what made Brandon type “stepping outside of the hive mentality”. Otherwise there’s not much different here. Their Top 5 is almost guaranteed to be on pretty much every list.

    • TNshines  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

      What about the trifecta of Kiss, Wilco, and Rick Ross? Somewhere Jeff Tweedy is playing “Heavy Metal Drummer” and weeping

  13. ew. girls is above dirty projectors? not ok.

  14. I’ve warmed up to Girls a bit more, but i still don’t see why they are worthy of such hype and praise. Nothing really new or groundbreaking whatsoever.

    • I must have read the headline wrong. I thought it was SPIN’s 40 Best Albums Of 2009, not SPIN’s 40 Most Ground-Breaking Albums Of 2009.

  15. I question Paramore making the Top 20. I’m a closet fan (ridicule please), but Brand New Eyes was kind of a lame duck besides the lead single. The list is impressively broad and sufficiently fair, though I would like to see a less commercial version of a list with the same variety.

    And where the heck is Manchester Orchestra? They’ve been snubbed from pretty much every list despite a really solid album.

    • Hieronymus  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

      You’re a big ‘tard for liking that shit. Way to go. Go put your tampon in the wrong hole.

      You asked for it?

    • don’t be ashamed of being a paramore fan. i’ve been a fan since 2006 when they had one (very good) album to their name. they’re a diverse, extremely aware band who are often under rated by indie snobs how don’t know anything about thier history or where they’re coming from. or maybe just music. BNE was their best album to date – it had variety, a wide range of influences, was very experimental and definitely upped the standards and pushed boundaries in thier respective genre area.

  16. mfortune  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    for a really long time I would “Girls” on the radio and I thought it was just a really horrible Elvis Costello album….

    • So true… so true. Girls is a perfect example of how critical praise can influence the many. Borrrrring. On a side note, the list is pretty respectable, but I’ve still overall been kinda surprised at how low Dirty Projectors are placing.

  17. I am thoroughly sick of MPP receiving such high praise. Two great songs and one good song. The fact that the Phaseone remix of Daily Routine blows the original one out of the water alone justifies the sentiment.

    • i agree.. i like MPP but i really don’t think that its anything great.. my favorite album of animal collective is still strawberry jam i would say. thats a bummer that there’s no love for the xx and fever ray. and fuck kiss, u2, and ida maria.

  18. wildcat  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    Much earlier in the year, I knew that Two Suns by Bat for Lashes would undoubtedly be one of the best albums of the year. Even though it has a very specific kind of sound, I listened to it and enjoyed it while in almost any mood. It’s catchy and immediately satisfying, yet it is also thoughtful and meditative in both lyrical content and musical composition. I really thought its fate would be doomed to getting lost in the heap of more hype-friendly albums as the year passed. It is very satisfying to see that it ranked so well on this list. I admit it has been a couple months since I’ve listened to the album, yet I could listen to it right now or in a week and still enjoy it. It is a rare album that hasn’t dulled or soured in the least in my mind over time.

  19. james  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    xx and wavves?

  20. burndownradio  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    Horrors? Raveonettes? Obits?

  21. 90028  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    Siilversun Pickups?

  22. Tito  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    From the Dept of Finally, that Mos Def LP is one helluva career resurrection. The New Danger’s the worst hip hop CD I’ve ever bought, and its followup is apparently worse so I haven’t heard a hot lick of it, but The Ecstatic is tip top hip hop top to bottom.

  23. I cannot respect a top 09 list that does not even MENTION The Bird and the Bee’s “Ray Guns are Not Just the Future”.

  24. Finally some love for The Dead Weather

  25. dfsdsfsd  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    i can’t take seriously the list if Paramore is up there…..

  26. adam  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    no tv on the radio? i scanned that list 3 times because i couldn’t believe it. best album of their career and maybe of the year i’d say. also seems lots of people hating on girls and julian casablancas. two great pop albums in my opinion. i listened to that girls album maybe 40 times in a row before taking it out of my cd player. not everything has to be art rock.

    • Really? What album did TV On the Radio release?

    • Gob Bluth  |   Posted on Dec 11th, 2009 0

      You’re thinking 2008. They had no record this year (though Kyp Malone had a solo project. maybe that’s what you’re thinking of..?) Anyways, it’s 2009, and the end of it to boot. Welcome.

      and, Come On!

  27. Anonymous  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    No passion pit??

  28. Bat for Lashes made the list! Nice.

  29. Cory  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    Listen to that Girls album again, it definitely deserves to be in the top 5, the songwriting is brilliant, and the fact that they were the only band of the recent “Lo-Fi” craze that made an album of fully listenable songs(sorry Wavves & Vivian Girls).

  30. vin  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    Girls is awful. And Anon, Passion Pit is neglected because they’re awful as well. And I agree with noahholla about MPP.

    This hipster music is getting out of control. Just stop.

  31. Chadams  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    No Blueprint 3, yet the requisite Grizzly Bear and AC atop the list? Gimme a break.

    Also, The Avett Bros. are getting a lot more praise than that album (or the brothers themselves) are worth. (Especially that stupid 9th best album of the decade nod from Paste).

    • Normally I try not to get to upset over other people’s opinions regarding music, but I feel like your opinion’s regarding the Avetts are, for lack of a better term, wrong.
      I don’t care that you don’t like the album (I certainly don’t think it’s their best work), but to claim that they don’t deserve the praise they have earned is ridiculous. They are amazing lyricists, songwriters, and musicians and honestly, I don’t think their talent can reasonably be disputed.

  32. The Sunn 0))) ain’t gonna shine anymore. I quite like that St. Vincent album

  33. cheap trick’s new lp ‘THE LATEST’ should totally be on here.

  34. spencer  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    Where the fuck are Brand New and Manchester Orchestra?

  35. Although, he didn’t need to post it 6 times, I agree totally regarding Passion Pit. It’s my top album of the year. Whoever said TV On The Radio really needs to brush up on their music knowledge and is obviously not that big of a fan. I also think The Decemberists new album is better than a lot of the album on that list as is Thrice’s new album, Andrew Bird, The Horrors, Paper Route, Pearl Jam, Peter Bjorn & John, The Thermals, and William Elliott Whitmore. I’ve also loved the new Russian Circles and Mono albums but don’t know how to gauge them against music with vocals.

  36. DecemberGuy  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    No love for “Hold Time” by M. Ward? Or Pearl Jam? And Yay for Miike Snow….that record is alot of fun!

  37. Sonic Boom. Really.

  38. MSTRKRFT-Fist of God. My AOTY. I gots my love for Veckatimest and Phoenix and all that jazz but, sometimes, a nigga likes to dance.

  39. Veckatimest at #4?! I beg to differ Spin. MPP is the only album that came close this year.

  40. 31 Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
    20 Paramore – Brand New Eyes


  41. brian  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    I agree with those who note the lack of love for Bitte Orca. WTF. That CD is unreal.

  42. Tamar  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    Offenses in Order of Importance
    1. HOW ARE THE DIRTY PROJECTORS SO LOW? Way better than Grizzly Bear.
    3. LILY ALLEN AND PARAMORE ABOVE ST. VINCENT? Let alone even on the list.

    Animal Collective deserved the number one spot. Girls are amazing, and deserved number five. Love that Antony and the Johnsons made it, although a bit too low. Same goes for The Mountain Goats. Liked YYY’s, but 2 is much too high. Phoenix is too high. Okay list overall.

  43. yeah, i would have liked to have seen Pearl Jam on a lot more lists. it seems they’re forgotten about b/c of their history, even after receiving 4 and 5 stars from those same reviewers.

  44. lososldk  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    girls- album definitely deserves its high placement…one of the best albums of the decade..every song is a worthwhile listen!!

  45. yoyoyoyo  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0


  46. JorB  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    Where the hell is The Pains of Being Pure at Heart? That’s one of my favorite albums of ’09.

  47. chris  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2009 0

    veckatimest deserves every bit of praise that has gotten and will get. it’s one of the greatest albums (easily) of the decade, rivaling the fleet foxes from last year.

  48. WW85  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    That magazine blows. Maybe P4K shouldn’t have thrown down the gauntlet by asking if Bitte Orca was the best album of the year. The other rags/blogs seem to want to go anti…

    Looks like a list made by guys who really like other styles of music who were forced to pick from a set list so the publisher could look like it’s actually kind of relevant…

    • “Maybe P4K shouldn’t have thrown down the gauntlet by asking if Bitte Orca was the best album of the year.”

      Wrong site — it was Stereogum that posted that piece.

      And, having thought long and hard about it, I think, yes, “Bitte Orca” is the album if the year. Followed by “Bromst” and “Merriweather Post Pavilion.”

  49. dark element  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    no one is mentioning tegan and sara.. let me tell you.. sainthood is awesome.. i can listen to that album a million times. rightfully deserves every ounce of praise it gets. i hope that when future 2009 lists come out.. sunset rubdown gets their due… and yeah thermals album is near perfect.

  50. Hoot Hootster  |   Posted on Dec 9th, 2009 0

    Really Wolfmother? What the hell! And that album beat out Bitte Orca?

    Hahaha Girls is in the top 5. Girls suck my dick!!

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