The Best Albums of 2009
1. U2 No Line on the Horizon Interscope Aiming for rock glory, Bono, Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr explore dark places (”˜Moment of Surrender’), find modern twists on their classic anthems (”˜Magnificent’) and uncover blinding-light soul (”˜Breathe’). The result was an album with a sense of drama that no one could match all […]
No Line on the Horizon
Aiming for rock glory, Bono, Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr explore dark places (”˜Moment of Surrender’), find modern twists on their classic anthems (”˜Magnificent’) and uncover blinding-light soul (”˜Breathe’). The result was an album with a sense of drama that no one could match all year ”“ more proof that a band that isn’t busy being born is busy dying.
2. Bruce Springsteen
Working on a Dream
A wildly baroque set as musically far-reaching as The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle: decked-out folk and rock struggling with the big stuff ”“ hard work, love and death ”“ and having a great time along the way.
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
The wholesome French version of the Strokes hit on an exuberant mix of guitar rock and electronics, killing it on the unstoppable ”˜1901’ and ”˜Lisztomania,’ the catchiest song ever about Franz Liszt.
The Blueprint 3
Hip-hop almost took 2009 off, so it was great to hear some of Hova’s cleverest braggadocio ever, over stunningly good beats from rich friends like Kanye West.
5. Green Day
21st Century Breakdown
Ex-nihilists follow up American Idiot with a rock opera about two punk lovers ”“ and revitalise the idea of big-deal rockers actually saying something about the world.
6. Dirty Projectors
The year’s most original album: sideways harmonies, warped-soul crooning, dream-logic arrangements. They tried to hide it, but these Brooklyn art rockers are really hippies at heart ”“ and their breakthrough was a blast of freaked-out fun.
7. Neko Case
This redheaded songbird pushed her spectacular, outsize voice into an array of dramas, and emerged with 14 tracks of feral country rock and gorgeous folk.
Love vs Money
The Atlanta soul maestro who gave us ”˜Umbrella’ continues to refine his art: His grooves gleam with lust and wit ”“ most smashingly in the heavy-breathing slow-jam ”˜Mr Yeah.’ As he says, “Cupid ain’t got shit on me.”
9. The xx
Rookies of the year? These pasty London kids look like they’d rather be at home with a good book, but their creepy guitars, cushy synths and elegantly wasted boy-girl vocals are magic on songs like ”˜Crystalised.”
10. Sonic Youth
One of the noise-rock heroes’ most rippingly straightforward LPs, with bratty salvos, mesmerising noir punk and stately fuzz ballads. Who says unhappy couples make the hottest records?