Top Albums of 2009: Our Staff’s Individual Lists

by Gordon Elgart on December 28, 2009

From Dakin Hardwick:

In no particular order, here are my favorite 15 records that didn’t make our long list of nominees for Album Of The Year for various different reasons, many of which I didn’t hear until after we finalized the list. Each release on this list is deserving of at least a little attention.

Aim and Ignite/fun.

The cello has single handedly saved power pop

The Fame Monster/Lady GaGa

The biggest pop star on earth pulls out an EP of homeade synth pop that still sounds like gigantic

I’m Not A Fan But The Kids Like It/Brokencyde

A comedy album that pulls together two genres of music, and mocks them with the kind of respect in the league of Weird Al

Secret, Profane, and Sugarcane/Elvis Costello

Not his first attempt at American Country music, but a great record of Costello, with his songwriting as strong as ever

La Roux/La Roux

Best lyric writing in 09’s pop music

Piece EP/Kelli Scarr

Chilling female folk music. Most haunting voice I’ve heard this side of Beth Gibbons. Available for free:

Parallax Error Beheads You/Max Tundra

Sounds like: MIKA’s extra nerdy little brother.

Rated R/Rihanna

Not a pop record. There isn’t a single hook on this record, and nearly all of the vocals are raw and pained. The antithesis of Kanye’s 808’s And Heartbreak’s: A true expression of human pain and confusion like no other record released this year. Makes “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)” sound like “It’s A Small World”

The Eternal/Sonic Youth

A different kind of progression for this band. A move to the indie’s has created the most accessible record yet, and the first time real care seemed to go in to the recording the vocals.


A “happy” record from the kings of sad and silly. A genius record that everyone hates.

XX/The xx

Sparse and sexy. No other words can describe this brilliant record.

Popular Songs/Yo La Tengo

Amazing psychedelic pop album by a band that everyone’s heard of and nobody listens to.

Between My Head and The Sky/Plastic Ono Band

No so much a Yoko Ono record, but a Sean Lennon, Yuka Honda, and Cornelius collaboration colored by Yoko Ono’s vocalizing. Not an experimental record, and not a series of yodels and howls, but a well crafted guitar driven album that every Yoko Ono hater should listen to.

The Daytrotter Sessions/Ponytail

A four track acoustic EP that retains the inventiveness of their electric work, but also shows another side to the band that it’s impossible not to dance to

Man On The Moon/Kid Cudi

It takes a few songs to get going, and Common’s narration is unnecessary, making it an imperfect record, but get past the few missteps, at the heart of this record is a genius album of hypnotic beats and heartfelt lyrics that have real meaning. It may not quite be hip-hop’s OK Computer, but there is some real talent on this disc, and if he continues to grow as an artist, I predict that the best record of 2012 will be a Kid Cudi release.

Click on page 6 to see Gordon’s list!

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kara December 28, 2009 at 12:26 pm

You don’t need to publish this comment. Just thought you’d like to know that you’re missing a period on the last sentence after “all” for the first album review on page 1, God Help The Girl.


Gordon Elgart December 28, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Like I actually spent any time editing this post? It was more like compile, tag, tag, link, link, publish!

(I added the period, though.)


Hooky December 31, 2009 at 7:41 am

I had a chance to listen to this cd and it is very good. If you like great guitar playing, synths and great melodies you will love this. There is not one bad song on this album, from start to finish this cd rocks, with great New Order style moments in it. Bernard Sumner is a musical genius who has worked with New Order, Electronic and Joy division. If you like this cd Please give New order and Electronic a listen and you will love it, also listen to the first Album By a band called MONACO called Music for Pleasure which is also very good (New Order side project). It is very sad that New Order broke up, let’s hope they patch up their differences and make another album. Give the Bad Lieutenant a chance and you will love it.


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