tell me why I'm wrong/what I missed in the comments section
1. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
In another universe (or maybe just a different decade) "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix" would have been the top selling pop record of 2009. Not just because I think it was the best album of the year — and it is — but because what the hell is good pop music if it's not this. It wasn't, though, because the definition of "pop" has skewered so juvenile, so Disney, so Miley, that even something as universally accessible as Phoenix is still not a household name. There are other albums on this list that, understandably, don't have mass appeal. But "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix" manages to cater to indie rockers, new wave haircuts, French pop kids and top 40 sensibilities in equal, genre-defying measures, without falling into any identifiable trap.
On first listen, the Spackle-fill keyboards and synths phasing in-and-out behind a rock-solid, danceable rhythm section and undeniable vocal hooks were almost too fun and too nice for ears more accustomed to the blogs' rejection of anything this easy to love. But after making it through lead-off singles "Liztomania" and "1901," the record reveals cinematic moments that instantly bring to mind fellow Gallic mind-blowers-of-eddying-synth M83. The album's vocal-free center piece "Love Like a Sunset Part 1" and it's lyrical counterpart "Part 2" are what make the biggest statement — Phoenix are serious about having fun, especially when that fun is as dense as the darkest art record, and layers of brilliance are shrouded by the most catchy pop melodies.
2. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
Any attempts to reference Animal Collective's sound always, inevitably, fall short. The melodies more resemble looped tribal chants than anything western, though they are typically, misleadingly described as psychedelic folk. It's psychedelic for sure, but hardly resembles anything any layman would ever describe as American "folk," and I think that's the appropriate standard for a genre that has existed as long as locomotives. I think the touchstones are just closer to dance music and electro than anyone wants to admit. Regardless of what genre Panda Bear, Avey Tare and Geologist fall in to, these three Brooklyn hipsternerds with laptops make more noise, more confrontational rhythms and sonic assaults than anything this accessible has any right to.
3. Japandroids - Post Nothing
A ragged and loud garage band that doesn't sound anything like the blues-based sounds of early-2000s "the" bands, Japandroids are one of several acts at decade's end to embrace '80s and '90s college rock as ground zero, just as those seminal indie acts felt the same way about 1977. But they don't completely disregard the baby-boomer's canon, evidenced by "The Boys Are Leaving Town" a clear homage, in name at least, to Thin Lizzy.
4. White Rabbits - It's Frightening
5. Girls - Album
6. Monsters of Folk -Monsters of Folk
7. The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
8. The Thermals - Now We Can See
9. Black Lips - 200 Million Thousand
10. M. Ward - Hold Time
11. Cymbals Eat Guitars - Why There Are Mountains
12. Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
13. Deer Tick - Born on Flag Day
14. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
15. YACHT - See Mystery Lights
16. Flaming Lips - Embryonic
17. Dinosaur Jr. - Farm
18. Yo La Tango - Popular Songs
19. Mos Def - The Ecstatic
20. St. Vincent - Actor
21. The XX - XX
Dan Auerbach - Keep it Hid
Drummer - Have Fun Together
Atlas Sound - Logos
Dan Deacon - Bromst
Blakroc - Blakroc
Built to Spill - There is No Enemy
Bob Dylan - Together Through Life
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
There's a couple good tracks, I guess. But mostly it's aggravating, annoying and it's supposed best track "Stillness is the Move" is fucking unlistenable.
Its low, bottom of the ocean low, and slow, and drone-y and they all wear hoods ... ooooo scary ...
Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
It's accomplished, sure, but the second half puts me to sleep.
Bat for Lashes - Two Suns
I really don't get why this has the following it does. I guess even kids in Williamsburg need a pretty pop singer to latch on to, being that they're all too cool for everyone on the radio and all.
Raekwon - Only Built for Cuban Linx Pt. 2
I'm just about completely done with new rap, even when it does have a few killer tracks. Shit's nihilistic and pointless, but worst of all repetitive and boring.
Albums I didn't spend enough time with to judge
Sonic Youth - The Eternal
Antlers - Hospice
Bowerbirds - Upper Air
Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
The Dead Weather - Horehound
The Reigning Sound - Love and Curses
Cass McCombs - Catacombs
Andrew Bird - Noble Beast
Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle
and thousands of other albums