I suppose that since I only have approximately a day and a half left of 2009 that now is as good a time as any to list my favorite albums of the year.
In reverse order:
10. The Boxer Rebellion - Union
Competition for the last spot was pretty tight*, but if memory serves me correctly (a shady prospect at best), this was the first album I purchased this year, and I listened to it more, thus giving it the edge over the other "competitors."
9. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
I was slow to jump on the Phoenix bandwagon, but I can take solace in the fact that I got this album and liked it before they started playing some of these songs in Cadillac commercials. As my friend recently put it, these songs can be repetitive, but they're all fun, even if they're not all great.
8. Andrew Bird - Noble Beast
This guy can whistle. You wouldn't think that would be a quality that someone would look for in music these days, but he's seriously good. This is a perfect album to take along on a long drive through a heavily wooded area. Assuming that's something you'd like to do (which it probably isn't).
7. Franz Ferdinand - Tonight
I admit it, I was quite angry when I first purchased this album and realized they had put an alternate version of Lucid Dreams. Mostly because the album version is worse than the one I'd listened to originally. Fortunately, I was able to get the "original" version from itunes, and all was right with the world. At least for a few days.
6. Sea Wolf - White Water, White Bloom
SilentKid pointed out that, according to Pitchfork, this album is for young people (mostly girls) with a weakness for moody romance and natural imagery. So there you have it. I am a young girl, with a weakness for moody romance and natural imagery. The Pitchfork critics can suck it.
5. White Rabbits - It's Frightening
This album gets the award for containing one of the creepiest songs of the year: Right Where They Left. Any song that sings about a guy burning down a house with his lover inside it gets high rankings in my book, mostly because I am a wannabe sociopath.
4. Killers - Day And Age
I'm not entirely sure that this album should be ranked quite this highly on my list, but I did give it a lot of listening time early in the year. Then it almost got ruined for me because mainstream media took just about every step to ensure that the song Are We Human? was played out. They failed though because I, for one, still like it.
3. Cracker - In The Land Of Milk And Honey
I purchased this album right when I briefly considered dropping out of school, so I immediately adopted the song Turn On Tune In Drop Out With Me as my new anthem, and it remains my favorite song of the entire year. I saw them play in Vegas, and wish I could've gone to Joshua Tree too, but instead figured I should probably focus on my dissertation defense the following week. I think I made the right call.
2. Wilco (The Album)
This was the year I FINALLY got to see Wilco play a live show. Jeff Tweedy looked haggard, but he also looked like he was having fun up there on stage too. From the stories I've heard, that wasn't the case last time he played a show here. This album is good from start to finish, and while it's not my favorite Wilco album, it's better than 99% of the music that's out there these days in my opinion.
1. Eels - Hombre Lobo
This album came at the perfect time for me. It was one of those rare albums that felt to me like every song pertained to some aspect of my life. The last time I can think of that happening was when The Wallflowers released Red Letter Days.
* The honorable mentions: Fanfarlo - Reservoir, Pearl Jam - Backspacer, Built To Spill - There Is No Enemy, Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels. With apologies to The Cave Singers, Vetiver, and Them Crooked Vultures, which were highly recommended, but I never got around to listening to them.