My Top Favorite Albums Of 2009!

Another year has gone by, and what a year in deed. 2009 brought us a slew of great music from personal favorites, all time legends, and soon to be legends. We saw the return of past rock heroes as well as the growth of current stars. All in all, 2009 brought us some damn good music. So much music in fact I myself had difficulty in choosing my favorites. After taking deep thought and re-listens, I have compiled a list of my top 25 personal favorite albums from the past year. I wrote a mini piece on each album in the top ten, while I listed the rest.

It should be kept in mind that there may be albums that you lean towards as your favorites but are missing from my list. This possibly could be due to one reason: I haven’t listened to that album yet! While I like to think of my musical tastes as wide and varied, I admit that there are many albums by great artists that for one reason or another I haven’t caught yet. With this in mind, I would like to propose a challenge to the readers of this piece: in the comment section, list your top favorite albums of 2009 and a brief description of why. This way we can all further discuss the best of 2009.

So with out further a do, here is my top 25 personal favorite albums of the year 2009:

1. Them Crooked Vultures- Them Crooked Vultures: I have to admit, I wasn’t sure at first whether I would make this my top album of the year. After giving it a more in depth listen though, the super group’s debut album quickly topped my list. Josh Hommes, Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones created rock n’ roll that was straight to the core yet drenched in unique sounds. Sure, some songs sound a bit too similar to Queens Of The Stone Age while at other moments sounding similar to Led Zeppelin (though at certain points sounding like a heavier version of Cream). However, songs like “Dead End Friends”, “Mind Eraser, No Chaser”, “Gunman” and “Reptile” will leave you in awe of its blend of in your face rock and mind melting groove. Plus, one thing this super group has that many others lack (cough, Chickenfoot, cough): actual songs. The band didn’t just release a bunch of jam music that emphasizes each member’s talents (something they could’ve done to no one opposing). The three rock legends created music that is so catchy and melodic that it’ll stick in your head for weeks following your first listen. While each member has created impactful music on their own, together they made music that can stand on its own.
(Side Note: listening to the backing vocals on the chorus’ of “Dead End Friends” and “Mind Eraser, No Chaser” will remind you how much you love Dave Grohl’s voice!)

Favorite Track: “Dead End Friends”
2. Green Day- 21ST Century Breakdown: It may not have made as huge of an impact as American Idiot. However, Green Day once again prove their lasting power through their second rock opera. Featuring roots of 70’s rock with So-Cal 90’s punk, 21st Century Breakdown features songs that will pump you up, like “Know Your Enemy”, as well as touch your soul, like “Restless Heart Syndrome”. With songs like “The Static Age”, “Peacemaker” and “Viva La Gloria”, the band does both. 21st Century Breakdown might be too commercial or poppy for some (even for old school Green Day fans). However, it is hard to deny that Green Day’s latest release only furthers their status as our generation’s rock star icons.

Favorite Track: “Viva La Gloria”

3. Alice In Chains- Black Gives Way To Blue: Back from the dead is an understatement when discussing Alice In Chains’ latest release. Jerry Cantrell, Mike Inez and Sean Kinney pay tribute to both their fallen brother Layne Staley and their faithful fan base by doing the best thing: making a great album. The band shows that they haven’t lost their edge even after 14 years. Songs like “Check My Brain” and “Acid Bubble” feature some of the band’s heaviest riffs, while songs like “When The Sun Rose Again” and the title track pour out emotion within the listener. New singer William DuVall proves himself a worthy addition as his harmonies with Cantrell on “Private Hell”, “A Looking In View” and “Last Of My Kind” possess the passion and drive Alice In Chains are known for.

Favorite Track: “Black Gives Way To Blue”

4. Mastodon- Crack The Skye: What more can be said about Crack The Skye than what you’ve already realized at first listen (hint: if you haven’t picked up this album yet, then what the hell are you waiting for?!). Mastodon has created an epic metal concept album that showcases the band’s technicality and passion. With over ten minute operas like “The Czar: Usurper/Escape/Martyr/Spiral”, the band explodes with a multitude of tempos and emotions, while songs like “Oblivion” and the title track shows that they can blow your minds away in just five minutes. Brent Hinds and Troy Sanders’ vocals never sounded more melodic and powerful before, while Hind’s and Kelliher’s twin guitars and Brann Dailor’s drumming are as intense as ever. With Crack The Skye, Mastodon went from Slude Metal Gods to simply Gods of … well, everything!

Favorite Track: “Quintessence”

5. Bruce Springsteen- Working On A Dream: The Boss has arguably released his best album in years. Working On A Dream features the heavily catchy, up beat songs that made us fall in love with the king of New Jersey back in the 70s, with “My Lucky Day” featuring Clearance Clemons’ most powerful sax solo since “Born To Run”. While the eight minute rock epic “Outlaw Pete” will pick you up with joy, songs like “Kingdom Of Days” will bring you down in tears. To simply put it, Working On A Dream features everything you want from the E Street Band and proves that Bruce is still on top of the rock and roll hierarchy.

Favorite Track: “Outlaw Pete”

6. Shadows Fall- Retribution: The boys from Springfield, MA go from mass-core gods to full on metal kings on their first release off of their own record imprint, Everblack Industries. Retribution showcases Shadows Fall’s gift for incorporating hardcore metal with melodic thrash, with anthems like “The Taste Of Fear”, “King Of Nothing”, “Still I Rise” and “Embrace Annihilation” destined to be classics. Brian Fair, Matt Bachand, Jonathan Donais, Jason Bittner, and Paul Romanko prove that metal is safe in the hands of the next generation.

Favorite Track: “A Public Execution”

7. Megadeth- Endgame: Arguably one of Megadeth’s best albums in a long time. With the edition of guitarist Chris Broderick, Dave Mustaine and company deliver a pure metal album. Songs like “Bodies”, “How The Story Ends”, “Bite The Hand” and “Head Crusher” feature the chaotic and melodic power Megadeth is best known for. Don’t call this a comeback album, though, because Endgame simply proves that Mustaine never lost his evil charm.

Favorite Track: “The Right To Go Insane”

8. Devildriver- Pray For Villains: Devildriver’s goal has always been to write songs, not just flashy hardcore riffs. Well, with Pray For Villains, Dez Fafara and company meet there goals and then some. Songs like “Back With A Vengence”, “Fate Stepped In”, “Another Night In London”, and “Forgiveness Is A Six Gun” prove that Devildriver are ahead of the pack with music that’s aggressive yet catchy. Warning: if you can’t handle heavy music that will get stuck in your head for weeks after first listening, then walk away….wimp.

Favorite Track: “Back With A Vengence”

9. Slayer- World Painted Blood: Like Megadeth’s latest, Slayer too has released their best album in years. World Painted Blood features some of the band’s heaviest and melodic riffs. Songs like “Hate Worldwide”, “Playing With Dolls”, “Snuff” and the title track will leave you in awe of Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman’s duel guitar work and chilled by Tom Araya’s hostile vocals. One can argue that with their latest release, Slayer is back in full force.

Favorite Track: “World Painted Blood”

10. God Forbid- Earthsblood: What more can I say about my favorite New Jersey metal titans? With Earthsblood, God Forbid has further grown as musicians and songwriters. Songs like “Empire Of The Gun”, “War Of Attrition” and “Walk Alone” prove that God Forbid has what it takes to be the leaders of the new metal scene. In my mind, they are one of the most underrated and underappreciated bands out today. In other words, GO OUT AND BUY THIS ALBUM!

Favorite Track: “Walk Alone”

Here is a list of the remainder my top 25 favorite albums of 2009:

11. Wilco- Wilco (The Album)
12. CKY- Carver City
13. Lamb Of God- Wrath
14. Dethklok- Dethalbum II
15. Pearl Jam- Backspacer
16. The Black Dahlia Murder- Deflorate
17. Killswitch Engage- Killswitch Engage
18. Muse- The Resistance
19. Heaven & Hell- The Devil You Know
20. Jay Z- The Blueprint 3
21. Street Sweeper Social Club- Street Sweeper Social Club
22. Elvis Costello- Secret, Profane & Sugarcane
23. Hatebreed- Hatebreed
24. Dave Matthews Band- Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King
25. Behemoth- Evangelion

So what are you top favorite albums of 2009? Let me know in the comment section and let the discussion begin!

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14 Responses to “My Top Favorite Albums Of 2009!”

  1. Mark C Volain Says:

    WHERE THE HELL IS RODRIGO Y GABRIELA- 11:11???????

    Rodrigo Y Gabriela’s 11:11 is hands down the best album I’ve heard this year.

    I think DMB should be higher, too, as it is their best CD, and I think it’s fantastic…. See More

    Also, I resent the fact that Green Day is on this list, never mind second. It is musically the worst album they’ve ever written, and in my opinion, their worst album ever.

    Yes, I realize you haven’t listened to 11:11 yet, BUT YOU SHOULD. It will not disappoint.

    My Top Albums:
    1. Rodrigo Y Gabriela- 11:11
    2. Them Crooked Vultures- Them Crooked Vultures
    3. Dave Matthews Band- Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King
    4. Muse- The Resistance
    5. Wilco- Wilco
    6. Pearl Jam- Backspacer
    7. Mastodon- Crack The Skye

    I believe the only other 2009 album I have heard is Green Day, and I refuse to put that on my list!

  2. Mark C Volain Says:

    And as far as reasoning- I can’t really explain why, except that TCV is sick, Rodrigo Y Gabriela is one of the most musically talented albums I’ve ever heard, DMB has finally come out with another album worthy of the praise DMB regularly receives.

    • zach-attack-shaw Says:

      Rodrigo Y Gabriela are amazing! I got to see them at Bonnaroo and they blew my mind! Just havent gotten a chance to sit down and listen to their new release (dont worry, I am ashamed of this). TCV is awesome! And DMB did release a great album, infact I was very surprised!

      As for Green Day……..Agree to disagree? lol.

  3. IDK how I felt about 21st Century Breakdown. Maybe I need to listen to it more, but I feel it was only a decent record. It seemed like they were trying too hard to re-make American Idiot. My fav track was Murder City. I dunno I feel like a lot of the album kinda blends together with itself, rather than into itself.

  4. Personal favorite album this year was Clues, self titled. I listened to it once, and it immediately engulfed two months of my life. Excellent sound, even if it’s not usually my taste.

  5. good to see the springsteen album up there, it deserves praise. but i’d have to say i disagree with/haven’t heard a number of the albums on this list.

  6. Dude: Megadeth and Muse. Two bands that are awesome, but I generally only like individual songs from (I know, heresy…). Should their albums be bought in their entirety? Also, do you normally do music criticism? Because you sound like a pro!

    • zach-attack-shaw Says:

      i definitley recommend getting endgame in full, but also other albums by megadeth in full (cough rust in piece, lol). as for muse, i am a new fan so i am not fully caught up on their catalog. with their recent release however, i felt that there were some great songs and songs that i didnt need, so you may want to be your own judge on that.

      ive been doing album and concert reviews for a little while, but im still new and can grow. thanks for the complimant, too kind!!!!

  7. […] such a list? Well while I have no issue listing my favorite albums of a certain year (click here to see my favs of 2009), I find myself struggling to compile such a list for this past decade. I […]

  8. 1) The Red Chord–“Fed Through the Teeth Machine”
    2) Slayer–“World Painted Blood”
    3) Alice In Chains–“Black Gives Way to Blue”
    4) Revocation–“Existence is Futile”… See More
    5) Baroness–“Blue Record”

    Honorable Mentions: Behemoth–“Evangelion”; Napalm Death–“Time Waits for No Slave”; God Forbid–“Earthsblood”

  9. 1.Megadeth – Endgame
    2.Heaven and Hell – The Devil You Know
    3.Amorphis – Skyforger
    4.WASP – Babylon
    5.Alestorm – Black Sails At Midnight
    6.Daughtry – Leave This Down
    7.Dream Theater – Black Clouds And Silver Linings
    8.Vains Of Jenna – The Art Of Telling Lies
    9.Mob Rules – Radical Peace
    10.Lacrimosa – Sehnsucht

  10. Tyler Walter Says:

    Great list, I agreed with your points on 21st Century Breakdown, TCV and AIC. But, I probably would have put my list this way:

    1. ‘Sci-Fi Crimes’ – Chevelle (shocked me that it wasn’t on the list)
    2. ‘Them Crooked Vultures’ – Them Crooked Vultures
    3. ‘Wolfgang Ammadeus Phoenix’ – Phoenix
    4. ‘Humbug’ – Arctic Monkeys
    5. ‘World Painted Blood’ – Slayer
    6. ‘Backspacer’ – Pearl Jam
    7. ‘Crack the Skye’ – Mastodon
    8. ’21st Century Breakdown’ – Green Day
    9. ‘Swoon’ – Silversun Pickups
    10. ‘Wilco (The Album)’ – Wilco
    11. ‘The Resistance’ – Muse
    12. ‘Black Gives Way to Blue’ – Alice In Chains
    13. ‘Vekatimist’ – Grizzly Bear
    14. ‘A Positive Rage’ – The Hold Steady
    15. ‘Cosmic Egg’ – Wolfmother
    16. ‘Octahedron’ – The Mars Volta
    17. ‘Billy Talent III’ – Billy Talent
    18. ‘Let The Dominos Fall’ – Rancid
    19. ‘Street Sweeper Social Club’ – SSSC
    20. ‘Uplifter’ – 311

  11. Great choices there- saw Them Crooked Vultures recently – incredible live act

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