<p>"Everyone else is doing the top-ten-albums-of-2009-thing," I thought,"and so should I." <p />Then I realized, I already did it -- for a music sharing email list I'm on that heats up in the last two weeks of every year. <p /> Here's what I sent in. Nothing is revolutionary, and I wish I had more time to go beyond the somewhat predictable choices below. It is what it is: a document of my year in listening.&nbsp; Chime in with your thoughts and faves. <p /> -- <span style="font-size:medium;"><br /><strong>Top Ten-ish Albums of 2009</strong></span></p>

Grizzly Bear

I know, it's obvious. But when I first heard this at the beginning of 2009, I knew it would be my favorite of the year. At year's end, it still is.



Animal Collective
Merriweather Post Pavilion
Fall Be Kind
On first listen, both of these records were mind-blowing. They continue to surprise. Highlights include "My Girls" (of course) and the bizarre time signature of "Lion in a Coma" on the first album and the Stonehenge-inspired flute jam on Fall Be Kind's "Graze." 


Bonnie Prince Billy
A return to form, a year after the last return to form.


Dinosaur Jr. 
Another return to form, 15 years after the last return to form.


Dirty Projectors
Bitte Orca
The first album that showed by what all the hype was about. The main singer/songwriter's occasionally annoying yelp is tempered by awesome harmonies from his three backup singers. This was constantly playing all summer long.


Fiery Furnaces
I'm Going Away
Matthew Friedberger is one my favorite guitar players. Totally under-appreciated.


Neko Case
Middle Cyclone
Sophisticated avant-country that hipsters, housewives, and hippies can get into. The culmination of an incredible string of albums.


St. Vincent
Another under-appreciated album. Seeing her live made me realize even more what a genius she is.


Flaming Lips
A would-be return to form, if the Lips had ever actually sounded this murky before.


Beach House
Zebra (2010)
This isn't actually out yet... but having gotten a leak, I have to add it. Like Grizzly Bear before it, it's already a contender for best of 2010. And the new year hasn't even begun. 

Honorable Mention

Built to Spill
There Is No Enemy
Another semi-return to form.

Atlas Sound
Some beauty mixed in with the filler. 

Devendra Banhart
What Will We Be
The major label debut from Natalie Portman's ex-boyfriend is much better than the reviews would have you believe. 

Jim O'Rourke
The Visitor
A 38+ minute long mash that could only come from Jim O'Rourke. 


Monsters of Folk
Monsters of Folk
Much less than the sum of its parts. And a reminder that I've never understood the appeal of Bright Eyes. 

M. Ward
Hold Time
I'm tempted to say M. Ward is a one-trick pony. Ok, M. Ward is a one-trick pony. 

Wilco (The Album) 
Disappointing on so many levels. Even more quaalude-irrific than the last sleeper. They're phoning it in at this point.