Category Archives: Best of 2009

Top 25 Albums of 2009 in Review

#25: Dredg – The Pariah, the Parrot, the Delusion

#24: Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

#23: Flight of the Conchords – I Told You I Was Freaky

#22: Dave Matthews Band – Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King

#21: Paper Route – Absence

#20: Sa-Ra Creative Partners – Nuclear Evolution: The Age of Love

#19: Glasvegas – Glasvegas

#18: Neko Case – Middle Cyclone

#17: Jarvis Cocker – Further Complications

#16: Muse – The Resistance

#15: Bat For Lashes – Two Suns

#14: Rain Machine – Rain Machine

#13: Bell X1 – Blue Lights on the Runway

#12: Portugal the Man – The Satanic Satanist

#11: Cage – Depart From Me

#10: The Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca

#9: Silversun Pickups – Swoon

#8: Ida Maria – Fortess Round My Heart

#7: Daughtry – Leave This Town

#6: Grizzy Bear – Veckatimest

#5: Mute Math – Armistice

#4: Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

#3: Bo Burnham – Bo Burnham

#2: Noisettes – Wild Young Hearts

#1: Empire of the Sun – Walking On a Dream

#1: Empire of the Sun – Walking On a Dream


After 24 long days throughout December, we are ready to unveil the #1 album of 2009.

It is none other than the breakout band of the year, Empire of the Sun.

There is no question you have heard one of their songs this year. They have penetrated commercials, television shows, and even blockbuster movies. The funny part is – each of these media outlets used a different song. This album is that GOOD!

Empire of the Sun reminds me a lot of MGMT (which finished in the top 5 of this countdown last year). Their music is heavily based around electronic sounds and beats, and their style takes you back to 1980s and beyond. Even better, they are reminiscent of a little David Bowie.

The best songs on Walking on a Dream are:

  • Walking on a Dream
  • Half Mast
  • We Are the People

To conclude, here is a video of “Walking on a Dream”:

Empire Of The Sun – Walking On A DreamClick here for more home videos

#2: Noisettes – Wild Young Hearts


The Noisettes blew me away several years ago. I first was exposed to them when they opened for TV on the Radio on their North American tour. The band was so simple, yet so different. They were a British three-piece with an African-American frontwoman that also happened to wail on the bass. Their live show was crazy. I couldn’t believe I had never heard of them.

Years later, the band has released their second full-length, entitled Wild Young Hearts. This album is an upgrade from “What’s the Time Mr. Wolf” that was released in early 2007. I was expecting a lot from their follow-up, and they delivered far beyond my expectations.

Sadly, the Noisettes are still an underground name. While they have received exposure on a few teen television shows, they haven’t been recognized for their true talent yet. Perhaps they get that in their homeland of the UK?

Some of the best tracks on the album are:

  • Wild Young Hearts
  • Never Forget You
  • Sometimes

Finally, here is the official music video for “Never Forget You”:

#3: Bo Burnham – Bo Burnham


Eighteen year old Bo Burnham deserves a lot of credit. After being discovered via YouTube, his humorous and extremely witty homemade videos allowed him to conquer the online world. It was incredible and refreshing to see a senior high school be so intelligent with their comedy.

On top of that, the kid can wail on the piano.

What does that leave us with? My guess is the next big thing in comedy. Bo will end up in shows, movies, and his stand-up act will compete with the likes of Dane Cook’s. The kid is just way too smart to fail at this point.

His self-titled debut simply bundled all of his online video hits onto one laugh-filled CD (via a live performance at a college).

I’m addicted to the entire album and there are tons of amazing lines that you will be using for years to come. Check it out and enjoy!

The best / funniest songs on the album are:

  • I’m Bo Yo
  • My Whole Family
  • New Math

Below is a video of Bo performing “Welcome to YouTube at the YouTube Live event in 2008.

#4: Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion


Animal Collective is all the rage. Look around. This album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, is another critically acclaimed album from the group. For the last several years, this band just couldn’t lose.

Merriweather Post Pavilion is more of the great stuff eccentric indie music that Animal Collective has been offering for years now. If you are into odd sounds behind bautiful harmonies, this album (and band) might just be for you.

Some of the best songs on the album are:

  • My Girls
  • Daily Routine
  • Bluish

Finally, here is a video of “My Girls”:

#5: Mutemath – Armistice


Unfortunately, I was way too busy to see a lot of live shows in 2009. However, I was fortunate enough to see Mutemath live recently in November. I had seen them a few times before and knew I couldn’t miss them. They are one of the best live bands around right now.

I didn’t know if Mutemath could top their most recent release, but I was pleasantly surprised to listen to Armistice. They put together a handful of wonderful songs that blend all of their unique musical styles together. The songs are poppy, funky, electronic, and bizarre at times. It offers everything that music should.

Some of the best songs on the album are:

  • Backfire
  • Electrify
  • Lost Year

Here is a video of Mutemath performing “The Nerve” live in Tokyo:

#6: Grizzy Bear – Veckatimest


Grizzly Bear is, without question, the best band you may have never heard of. The band is a surprisingly unnoticed miracle to the music scene. They are to 2009 like what Fleet Foxes was to 2008. Nobody knows about them, yet everyone loves them.

Everybody that I know that gets exposed to Grizzly Bear quickly falls in love with their incredible music. Veckatimest, their latest release, is an impeccable piece of artwork that almost everybody would love. It offers a diverse option of ballads, odd-time signatures, and intricate melodies.

Some of my favorite tracks on the record are:

Two Weeks

Fine For Now

About Face

Finally, here is the music video for “Two Weeks” in HD:

#7: Daughtry – Leave This Town


Daughtry may be the best artist to ever come out of American Idol. I would accept arguments for Carrie Underwood or now, Adam Lambert (if his debut album wasn’t so cheesy). For rock fans, Daughtry has the most perfect voice, and with his latest release, Leave This Town, he and his team is writing the most perfect radio rock tunes.

I know I should be ashamed to have this listed so high in the countdown, but I’m not. Have you heard this entire record? It’s unbelievably catchy. There is no question that it’s Daughtry’s best. That’s saying a lot since the debut was pretty darn good as well.

Some of the best songs on the album are:

  • Every Time You Turn Around
  • Life After You
  • September

Here is the official video for “No Surprise”:

#8: Ida Maria – Fortess Round My Heart


Oh, Ida Maria. What can I say about you? Your voice is spectacular. Your eclectic style is uncanny. You are a genius.

Your latest album, Fortress Round My Heart, won over so many critics and quickly became an international phenomenon. I’m proud to say that I jumped on that underground indie bandwagon. I simply love your music.

The fact that your Norwegian roots does not hinder your international reach is astounding to me. Not a lot of sheltered women are able to effect the world like you have – and so quickly, nonetheless.

Keep doing what you’re doing. I can’t wait for the next album.

By the way, my favorite songs on the album are:

  • Morning Light
  • Stella
  • In the End

Here is the offiicial music video for “Stella”:

#9: Silversun Pickups – Swoon


The Silversun Pickups can be most compared to Smashing Pumpkins, or even Coheed and Cambria. The high-pitched vocals adds a lot of originality to the rugged alternative rock music. Swoon, their latest record, is without question, their most special and well put together to date.

It’s tough to elaborate on why Silversun is so desirable. Maybe it’s the fact that I grew up listening to ’90s rock, enjoying bands like Smashing Pumpkins and Mudhoney along the way. Perhaps this music is my escape from today’s eclectic music.

Who knows? All I know is that this album is worth checking out.

The best tunes from Swoon are:

  • There’s No Secrets This Year
  • The Royal We
  • It’s Nice To Know You Work Alone

Here is the music video for “Substitution”: