Albums to watch

The ADM Top 10 2009

The ADM Top 10 2009


Amid all the end of year listmania (or Lisztomania if you are a Phoenix fan), the chart that gives the most reliable guide to what albums have earned the widest acclaim over the course of the year is the AnyDecentMusic top 10 of 2009.

The scores out of 10 in our chart are - like the main chart on the ADM home page - the averaged ratings from all the reviews we've collected. In most cases there's around 20 reviews for each album, from publications in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

We've listed them here with an extract from one selected review which best sums up the general reaction to the album.

The most obvious variance from the majority of end-of-year roundups is the appearance of Mali's ngoni star Bassekou Kouyate at No.1, ahead of Animal Collective.  Merriweather Post Pavilion has headed the majority of Best Of lists, but it has not been universally acclaimed. Almost half a dozen reviewers awarded it a no more than "good" score of 7 or less.

Kouyate's I Speak Fela, on the other hand, was lavishly praised at every turn, and while it was reviewed less widely, it was never deemed anything less than exceptional.

At least Sunn 0))), at No.3 in the ADM chart, figured prominently in some Best Of 2009 charts, unlike Kouyate, which oddly did not pick up a single point. The American drone metal merchants garnered a majority of ratings of 8 and above from a wide range of sources, from the more mainstream press through to specialist websites such as Tiny Mix Tapes.

The most recent inclusion is the current ADM chart-topper, Royal Bangs, which looks destined to be an album gaining ground in 2010. Likewise Seek Magic, by Memory Tapes, which is only now gaining wider currency among the listening public.

 

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8.55

Bassekou Kouyate

I Speak Fula

It remains a humbling experience to listen to music as striking and brilliantly executed as this, African rock music leaving its Western equivalents often standing still with its sheer energy, commitment and verve.

Music OMH

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8.42

Animal Collective

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Merriweather Post Pavilion doesn't just seem like one of the first great records of 2009, it feels like one of the landmark American albums of the century so far.

Uncut

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8.41

Sunn O)))

Monoliths & Dimensions

There's enough musical range and temperance to usher even the most resolute naysayer into this intricate wonderland

Pitchfork

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8.40

Butcher Boy

React Or Die

The secret ingredient here is the monastic commitment that the most beautiful pop songs divine from those given the job of playing them. By filling up an album with them, Butcher Boy have set a standard against which every other release this year must surely be judged.

The Times

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8.31

Royal Bangs

Let It Beep

If you manage to stand back from trying to over-analyse and contextualise their sound, you are ultimately left with a record that is catchy, unashamedly self indulgent and in all senses, fun

Drowned In Sound

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8.31

Fuck Buttons

Tarot Sport

The best record anyone will make for a very, very long time.

The Quietus

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8.29

Sweet Billy Pilgrim

Twice Born Men

A beautiful, beautiful album, which will appeal to fans of alt country and a very English strand of art-pop. It should also be appreciated by lovers of great music everywhere.

Music OMH

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8.26

Grizzly Bear

Veckatimest

Veckatimest is deep, it's rich, it's soulful and on more than enough occasions it's just good, old-fashioned, spine-shudderingly beautiful

The Line Of Best Fit

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8.24

Memory Tapes

Seek Magic

Seek Magic washes over you with such streamlined, perfect grace. Like the still waters on the sleeve, it's a gorgeous thing; but what lies beneath the perfect surface remains unknown.

The Quietus

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8.16

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

It's Blitz!

Ultimately answers all the questions facing the band... without losing what made us fall for them in the first place. 'It's Blitz!' is the sound of an act refreshed, rejuvenated and raring to go

Clash

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