I actually didn't listen to a lot of new music this year so my list is short. But there definitely were some winners with at least two I think I will be listening for a long time.
Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
A great band straight from the Belle & Sebastian branch of the music tree, My Maudlin Career is a great pop album full of catchy lyrics and sweet songs. Singer Tracyanne Campbell has a wonderful voice that will bring a smile to your face. Great album from top to bottom.
Dinosaur Jr. - Farm
With the original Djr line-up of J Mascus, Lou Barlow, and Murph, Djr proved with Farm that they can still bring the fuzzy guitars. In fact I would put Farm up there with some of their great releases of the 1980s. Thankfully not over-produced like so many other comeback bands (I'm looking at you My Bloody Valentine) the songs are given room to breathe and sprawl around in your brain. Long intros, guitar solos, and repeated chorus are the rule on Farm resulting in 60 plus minutes of fuzzed out bliss.
Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
Probably a lesser effort than Sky Blue Sky or A Ghost is Born, Wilco (the Album) still got lots of listens this past summer and fall. With the infectious Wilco (the Song) and You Never Know, Jeff Tweedy and friends wrote an album for the Great Recession and for those with fears of a black President. Basically telling us to settle down, everything is going to be ok. While lacking some of the experimental guitar chops of previous efforts, Wilco (the Album) is still a solid effort from a band that is producing music at a higher level than almost every other band out there.
The Decemberists - Harzards of Love
The Decemberists followed their dabbling into prog rock with a full on rock opera about wood nymphs, killing babies, a shape-shifting boreal forest dweller named William and a jealous forest queen. Sounds goofy I know and the story is hard to follow but the album rocks. Plus the album includes what I think is the song of the year: The Rake, which even though is about a guy killing his children after their mother dies, is a great song (see video above).
And that's it. Like I said, not a lot new stuff this year. And U2? You should be ashamed for that piece of garbage you released this year. It's one of those rare albums that gets worse upon every listen.
Also I didn't go to a lot of shows this year either. Below are some write-ups of shows I went to. Also a shout out to the apparently no more 757s. I saw them at the Uptown Bar in May (or was it April) and it was a blast. Probably the most fun I had at a bar show in a long time.
And finally I can't let the year go by without a shoutout to The Charlie Pickett and the Eggs re-issue/greatest hits album that I picked up this year, what a great album and songs that were sadly missed over these past 20 years.
What music did you like in 2009?