Back in February, I wrote on the All Songs Considered blog that the new music of 2009, at that point, was already better than all of 2008. Some listeners charged me with heresy. It's not that 2008 didn't have memorable records (I'm thinking of Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago and Deerhunter's Microcastle). But, early on, 2009 seemed like it was going to be an unusually strong year. As the months passed, it just kept getting better, with new releases from St. Vincent, Wilco, Metric, The Dirty Projectors and many more.
The Antlers (from left): Darby Cici, Peter Silberman, Michael Lerner. The band's breakthrough album, Hospice, made the top of All Songs Considered producer Robin Hilton's list of 2009's best albums.
The Antlers (from left): Darby Cici, Peter Silberman, Michael Lerner. The band's breakthrough album, Hospice, made the top of All Songs Considered producer Robin Hilton's list of 2009's best albums. Ben Ritter
For that blog post in February, I made an early Top 10 list, knowing full well that it would change and evolve as the year wore on. Now that we're at the end of 2009, I've looked back at that early list and found that four albums held on to the end (The Antlers, The Decemberists, Jason Lytle and Laura Gibson), while the other six (Animal Collective, M. Ward, Andrew Bird, Dan Deacon, U2 and Mirah) dropped off my personal list.
We all have our own system for making a list of favorite albums. All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen gives songs star ratings in iTunes, then looks to see which he rated highest during the course of a year. NPR Music producer Lars Gotrich reorders slips of paper with album titles on them, searching for the right mix. I go entirely by memory. When December rolls around, which albums stand out? Which ones are strong enough that I remember them and still listen to them at the end of the year? I had a hard time picking just 10 this year. But the ones listed below are a good place to start.
All Songs Considered Host Bob Boilen's Top Ten List For 2009
Monitor Mix Blogger Carrie Brownstein's Picks For The Best Music Of 2009
NPR Music Editor Stephen Thompson's Top Ten List For 2009
More Coverage Of The Best Music Of 2009