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Hear Anthony DeCurtis' Picks

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More Great Albums Of 2009, From World Cafe

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More Great Albums Of 2009, From World Cafe

Hear Anthony DeCurtis' Picks

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/122222567/122219163" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Ushering in 2010 is a must-listen episode of World Cafe. As David Dye puts it, "We're starting 2010 with a definitive look at the best and brightest of 2009." It's a whirlwind review of last year's best albums, with top picks from two visiting critics: Rolling Stone's Anthony DeCurtis and music blogger Heather Browne.

Hear Heather Browne's Picks

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DeCurtis says there are "fewer and fewer defining records," which contributes to the difficulty of writing a "best of" list. He mentions U2's No Line on the Horizon, and also sings the praises of The Hazards of Love by The Decemberists, which he says possesses a folkloric quality while exuding beauty.

Then, it's a very different take on the year in music, according to blogger Heather Browne. She likes to keep people in touch with the things that make them feel alive on her blog. Recalling her list, Browne talks about the retro-soul movement and acknowledges the trend of new bands blending old sounds.

"Shimmering, full of color and beauty and hard-driving percussion," Fanfarlo makes the list with its anthemic songs. She also singles out Lisa Hannigan, with her beautiful voice and ability to sound whimsical without seeming silly.

Anthony DeCurtis' Picks

U2, "Magnificent" from No Line on the Horizon

The Decemberists, "The Hazards of Love" from The Hazards of Love

Levon Helm, "When I Go Away" from Electric Dirt

Phish, "Backwards Down the Number Line" from Joy

Norah Jones, "Man of the Hour" from The Fall

Heather Browne's Picks

The xx, "Basic Space" from The xx

Roman Candle, "Eden Was a Garden" from Oh Tall Tree in the Ear

Langhorne Slim, "Boots Boy" from Be Set Free

Fanfarlo, "Harold T. Wilkins" from Reservoir

Lisa Hannigan, "I Don't Know" from Sea Sew

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