5. Journal For Plague Lovers
Manic Street Preachers
14 years after his disappearance, the final lyrics of Richey Edwards were put to sound on an album that mirrored 1994's The Holy Bible. Noise-nick Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies) brought back the inner daemons (and punks) of Wire, Bradfield and Moore, post-punk guitar replacing the arena-sized anthems of the Manics sans Richey. One of their finest and most heartfelt moments.
4. Merriweather Post Pavillion
Eight albums in and Baltimore sometime-quartet Animal Collective brought sampling and 90's superclub euphoria into a terrific blend of experimental pop. Their most accessible yet, Merriweather... roped in all the genre-hopping references of past efforts (psychedelia, tribal chants to name but two) on a record of pulsating bliss.
3. It's Blitz!
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
With guitarist Nick Zinner stocking up on guitar pedals that sounded suspiciously like synths ahead of the recording of YYY's third full-lenght LP, many a fan were wondering if the trio would abandon avant-punk for glitzy synth-rock. Although the singles might have suggested more of the latter, there were plenty of trademark Karen O-ccentricity for the blogosphere, not to mention a new-found knack for the conventional dancefloor-filler.
Florence & The Machine
One of the year's inescapable voices, Florence Welch tackled everything from ex-boyfriends to Greek mythology on her Mercury-nominated debut album. Possibly this year's most ambitious record, Lungs saw a collection of primal, sore and intoxicating arrangements being treated to one of the most iconic voices of the decade. An album of polar opposites. As a bonus, the inclusion of Kiss With A Fist on the soundtrack to the ultra-pink teen-flick Wild Child was probably one of the oddest choices of the year.
1. West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Kaiser Chiefs once claimed to be the ones stealing the torch from Oasis, but it was Leicester quartet Kasabian who with their third album crowned themselves candidates for bringing the spirit of the Gallaghers into the next decade. Fusing their own brand of psychedelia with the swagger that defined their eponymous debut album, West Ryder...is the most eclectic in Kasabian catalogue, and in addition to the crowd-smart anthems of Vlad The Impaler and Underdog, they found in Fire possibly one the decade's best mixtures of rock and dance.
Q's Top 50 Albums 2009: Introduction
Q's 50 Best Albums of 2009: 50 - 41
Q's 50 Best Albums of 2009: 40 - 31
Q's 50 Best Albums of 2009: 30 - 21
Q's 50 Best Albums of 2009: 20 - 11
Q's 50 Best Albums of 2009: 10 - 6
Q's 50 Best Albums of 2009: 5 - 1
1:16 PM | 10/12/2009
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