Appropriately for the final year of the decade, 2009 seemed to be the 2000s in microcosm. Every trend of the past 10 years surfaced over the past 12 months: dance divas with irresistible singles mingled with the electro-pop and art-punk vanguard with Lady Gaga bridging the two extremes, new bands rubbed elbows with veterans who either mounted a comeback or proved the value of consistent work. There was a lot that was twee and precious and not much macho, save for some crackling underground metal and the supergroup Them Crooked Vultures. There were seemingly too many animal bands to count -- led, of course, by Animal Collective, the consensus pick for album of the year in many quarters, but followed not far behind by Grizzly Bear, Arctic Monkeys, Bat for Lashes (and, if you're being generous, a resurgent Black Crowes) -- and there was yet another new project from Jack White. In short, 2009 had a little bit of everything of what we loved about the 2000s, and the following lists are what AMG editors loved best over the last year.

xx Toeachizown BLACKsummers'night Embryonic
La Roux Veckatimest Middle Cyclone The Ecstatic

Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Jarvis Cocker - Further Complications
Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You
Brad Paisley - American Saturday Night
Julian Casblancas - Phrazes for the Young
La Roux - La Roux
The Black Crowes - Before the Frost/Until the Freeze
Shakira - She Wolf
Weezer - Raditude
Lady Gaga - The Fame Monster
Sonic Youth - The Eternal
Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures
Norah Jones - The Fall
Madness - The Liberty of Norton Folgate
Arctic Monkeys - Humbug
Manic Street Preachers - Journal for Plague Lovers
The Fiery Furnaces - I'm Going Away
Bob Dylan - Together Through Life
Dan Auberach - Keep It Hid
Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
Coconut Records - Davy

The Black Crowes - "Good Morning Captain"
Kelly Clarkson - "I Do Not Hook Up"
Weezer - "If You’re Wondering If I Want You To (I Want You To)"
Lily Allen - "Not Fair"
Britney Spears - "3"
Art Brut - "Slap Dash for No Cash"
Lady Gaga - "Poker Face"
Lady Gaga - "Bad Romance"
George Strait - "Twang"
Dan Auberach - "My Mistake"

John Bush
Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
The xx - xx
The Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
Anti-Pop Consortium - Fluorescent Black
Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms
Jay Reatard - Watch Me Fall
St. Vincent - Actor
The-Dream - Love vs Money
Dâm-Funk - Toeachizown
Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle
Brad Paisley - American Saturday Night
The Fiery Furnaces - I'm Going Away
tUnE-yArDs - Bird-Brains
A Place to Bury Strangers - Exploding Head
The Very Best - Warm Heart of Africa
YACHT - See Mystery Lights
Wale - Attention Deficit

The xx - "Crystalised"
Jack Peñate - "Pull My Heart Away [Jamie xx Remix]"
Washed Out - "Feel It All Around"
Black Moth Super Rainbow - "Born on a Day the Sun Didn't Rise"
Bill Callahan - "Eid Ma Clack Shaw"
Jay Reatard - "It Ain't Gonna Save Me"
The Dead Weather - "Hang You from the Heavens"
Camera Obscura - "French Navy"
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - "Come Saturday"
Neon Indian - "Terminally Chill"
Phoenix - "Fences [Friendly Fires Remix]"
Discovery - "Orange Shirt"
Lupe Fiasco - "The National Anthem"
The-Dream - "Walkin' on the Moon"
Wale f/ Pharrell - "Let It Loose"
YACHT - "Ring the Bell"
Grizzly Bear - "Two Weeks"
St. Vincent - "The Strangers"
Flight of the Conchords - "We're Both in Love with a Sexy Lady"
Beck - "Harry Partch"

Heather Phares
Bibio - Ambivalence Avenue
Tyondai Braxton - Central Market
Cold Cave - Love Comes Close
Fever Ray - Fever Ray
The Fiery Furnaces - I'm Going Away
The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
Future of the Left - Travels With Myself and Another
Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport
Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
PJ Harvey - A Woman a Man Walked By
La Roux - La Roux
Micachu - Jewellery
Mount Eerie - Wind's Poem
Major Lazer - Guns Don't Kill People, Lazers Do
Real Estate - Real Estate
Sonic Youth - The Eternal
St. Vincent - Actor
Talk Normal - Sugarland
Wildbirds & Peacedrums - The Snake
The xx - xx
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!

Jarvis Cocker - "Angela"
Cold Cave - "Life Magazine"
Dead Weather - "Treat Me Like Your Mother"
Fever Ray - "If I Had a Heart"
Fiery Furnaces - "The End is Near"
Grizzly Bear - "Two Weeks"
PJ Harvey - "Black Hearted Love"
La Roux - "Quicksand"
Lady Gaga - "Bad Romance"
Major Lazer - "Keep it Getting Louder"
Micachu - "Golden Phone"
Britney Spears - "3"
Shakira - "She Wolf"
St. Vincent - "Actor Out of Work" (YouTube)
Talk Normal - "In a Strangeland" (YouTube)
Wildbirds & Peacedrums - "My Heart"
The xx - "Basic Space"
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Heads Will Roll"

Tim Sendra
Afternoon Naps - Parade
Bricolage - Bricolage
Burning Hearts - Aboa Sleeping
Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
City Center - City Center
The Clientele - Bonfires on the Heath
Cola Jet Set - Guitarras y Tambores
The Crêpes - So What Else?
Discovery - LP
Drake - So Far Gone
Fitness Forever - Personal Train
Get Back Guinozzi! - Carpet Madness
Girls - Album
jj - jj Nº 2
La Roux - La Roux
Lake Heartbeat - Trust in Numbers
Sondre Lerche - Heartbeat Radio
The Pastels/Tenniscoats - Two Sunsets
Summer Cats - Songs for Tuesdays
The xx - xx

Bounce Camp - "Good Beat"
Kelly Clarkson - "I Do Not Hook Up"
Drake - "Best I Ever Had"
Internet Forever - "Break Bones"
Lake Heartbeat - "Mystery"
La Roux - "Bulletproof"
Little Boots - "Stuck on Repeat"
Lucky Soul - "Whoa Billy"
The Magic Kids - "Hey Boy"
Washed Out - "Feel It All Around"

Matt Collar
Annie - Don't Stop
Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid
Brendan Benson - My Old, Familiar Friend
The Black Crowes - Before the Frost/Until the Freeze
Jarvis Cocker - Further Complications
Dinosaur Jr. - Farm
Frankmusik - Complete Me
Franz Ferdinand - Tonight
Guggenheim Grotto - Happy the Man
Richard Hawley - Truelove's Gutter
La Roux - La Roux
Maxwell - BLACKsummers'night
John Mayer - Battle Studies
Paramore - Brand New Eyes
Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Shakira - She Wolf
St. Vincent - Actor
Temper Trap - Conditions
Weezer - Raditude
Patrick Wolf - The Bachelor

Greg Heaney
The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
Coalesce - Ox
Felt - Felt 3: Tribute to Rosie Perez
Isis - Wavering Radiant
Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
Method Man & Redman - Blackout, Vol. 2
Russian Circles - Geneva
Goblin Cock - Come with Me If You Want to Live
Baroness - Blue Record
Muse - The Resistance
I Come to Shanghai - I Come to Shanghai
The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
Converge - Axe to Fall
Mos Def - The Ecstatic
The Thermals - Now We Can See
Wavves - Wavvves
Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
Pelican - What We All Come to Need
MF Doom - Born Like This
Thee Oh Sees - Help

Lil Wayne - "I'm Goin In"
Coalesce - "In My Wake, for My Own"
Snoop Dogg - "Upside Down"
Electric Six - "Body Shot"
Eagle Twin - "Carry On, King of Carrion"
Lightning Bolt - "Colossus"
I Come to Shanghai - "Your Lazy Eye"
The Bird and the Bee - "Dance Song"
The Flaming Lips - "Worm Mountain"
Goblin Cock - "We Got a Bleeder"
Rick Ross - "Maybach Music"
White Denim - "Say What You Want"
Pelican - "Ephemeral"
The Flaming Lips w/ Stardeath and White Dwarfs - "Borderline"
Gucci Mane - "Stupid Wild"
Tyvek - "Michael Caine"
The Thermals - "Now We Can See"
Isis - "20 Minutes/40 Years"

David Jeffries
Alborosie - Escape from Babylon
Buju Banton - Rasta Got Soul
Clipse - Til the Casket Drops
Leonard Cohen - Live in London
DJ Quik & Kurupt - BlaQKout
Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon: The End of Day
Lady Saw - Extra Raw: The Best of Lady Saw
Major Lazer - Guns Don't Kill People...Lazers Do
Ziggy Marley - Family Time
Mavado - Mr. Brooks...A Better Tomorrow
Freddie McGregor - Mr. McGregor
Method Man & Redman - Blackout! Vol. 2
Patton Oswalt - My Weakness Is Strong
Dudley Perkins - Holy Smokes
Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. 2
Tarrus Riley - Contagious
Winston Riley - Quintessential Techniques: Reggae Anthology
Slaughterhouse - Slaughterhouse
Tiny Masters of Today - Skeletons
Version Big-Fi - Crux Collide Hybridize

Thom Jurek
Tony Allen & Jimi Tenor - Inspiration Information, Vol. 4
James Blackshaw - The Glass Bead Game
Ran Blake - Driftwoods
Dâm-Funk - Toeachizown
Betty Davis - Is It Love or Desire
Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II/Dialogue with the Stars
Ariana Delawari - Lion of Panjshir
Ben Frost - By the Throat
Jan Garbarek - Dresden in Concert
Joe Henry - Blood from Stars
Kris Kristofferson - Closer to the Bone
Buddy & Julie Miller - Written in Chalk
Georgia Anne Muldrow - Umsindo
My Dying Bride - For Lies I Sire
Nomo - Invisible Cities
Kelly Joe Phelps - Western Bell
Tom Russell - Blood and Candle Smoke
Sa-Ra - Nuclear Evolution: The Age of Love
Peter Walker - Long Lost Tapes, 1970
John Zorn - O'o

Andy Kellman
King Midas Sound - Waiting for You
Shafiq Husayn - Shafiq En' A-Free-Ka
The-Dream - Love vs Money
Omar-S - Fabric 45
Sa-Ra - Nuclear Evolution: The Age of Love
Maxwell - BLACKsummers'night
Dâm-Funk - Toeachizown
Georgia Anne Muldrow - Umsindo
PPP - Abundance
DJ Quik & Kurupt - BlaQKout
Meshell Ndegeocello - Devil's Halo
Madlib - Beat Konducta, Vol. 5-6
Mos Def - The Ecstatic
Oneohtrix Point Never - Rifts
Audision - Surface to Surface
Adrian Younge - Black Dynamite
Robert Glasper - Double Booked
Moritz von Oswald Trio - Vertical Ascent
Diego Bernal - For Corners
Build an Ark - Love, Pt. 1

2000F & J Kamata - "You Don't Know What Love Is"
Walter Jones - "Living Without Your Love"
FunkinEven - "Kleer"
Sade - "Soldier of Love"
Portishead - "Chase the Tear"
Electric Wire Hustle - "Perception"
Osborne - "Wait a Minute"
DJ Quik & Kurupt - "9x's Outta 10"
Ryan Leslie - "You're Not My Girl"
Joy Orbison - "Hyph Mngo"
Kuba Sojka - "Message from Earth"
Floating Points - "Vacuum Boogie"
Kode9 - "Black Sun"
Maxwell - "Pretty Wings"
Clipse - "I'm Good"
Black Jazz Consortium - "Mind in Flight"
Millie & Andrea - "Temper Tantrum"
Little Dragon - "Fortune"
Nebraska - "A Weekend on My Own"
Rebolledo - "Guerrero"

Andrew Leahey
Miranda Lambert - Revolution
Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - The Live Anthology
Miranda Lee Richards - Light of X
Muse - The Resistance
Paramore - Brand New Eyes
Lissie - Why You Runnin'
Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels
Le Loup - Family
The Swell Season - Strict Joy
Exebelle & the Rusted Cavalcade - The Antipoison Creek Sessions
Speck Mountain - Some Sweet Relief
Ben Kweller - Changing Horses
Ingrid Michaelson - Everybody
The Low Anthem - Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
The Skygreen Leopards - Gorgeous Johnny
Alvin Band - Mantis Preying

Arctic Monkeys - "Cornerstone"
Miranda Lambert - "Airstream"
The Everyday Visuals - "Daydream Ghosts"
Muse - "Guiding Light"
Robert Francis - "Junebug"
Great Lake Swimmers - "Everything Is Moving So Fast"
Dan Auerbach - "When the Night Comes"
Sleigh Bells - "Ring Ring"
Maria Taylor - "Cartoons and Forever Plans"
Exebelle & the Rusted Cavalcade - "What If We Fell"
Emmy the Great - "We Almost Had a Baby"
U2 - "No Line on the Horizon"
A Fine Frenzy - "Electric Twist
Paramore - "Careful"
Elvis Perkins - "How's Forever Been Baby"
Grizzly Bear - "Two Weeks"
Keith Urban - "'Til Summer Comes Around"

Jason Lymangrover
Bibio - Vignetting the Compost
Clark - Totems Flare
Crocodiles - Summer of Hate
Dälek - Gutter Tactics
Double Dagger - More
The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
Girls - Album
Health - Get Color
Japandroids - Post-Nothing
James Pants - Seven Seals
Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon: The End of Day
Lotus Plaza - The Floodlight Collective
Lovvers - OCD Go Go Girls
Mos Def - The Ecstatic
Odd Nosdam - T.I.M.E. Soundtrack
Marked Men - Ghosts
Jay Reatard - Watch Me Fall
Tiny Masters of Today - Skeletons
Wavves - Wavvves
White Denim - Fits

Art Brut - "DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake"
Black Lips - "Starting Over"
BLK JKS - "Lakeside"
Box Elders - "Stay"
Camp Lo - "2 Dope Boyz"
Chain & the Gang - "Deathbed Confession"
Christmas Island - "Bed Island"
Crystal Antlers - "Glacier"
Goblin Cock - "We Got a Bleeder"
Jay-Z - "D.O.A. (Death of Autotune)"
Lullabye Arkestra - "Fog Machine"
Mi Ami - "New Guitar"
Micachu & the Shapes - "Calculator"
Mika Miko - "Turkey Sandwich"
Pissed Jeans - "False Jesii, Pt. 2"
Kurt Vile - "Freak Train"
Sonic Youth - "Antenna"
Titus Andronicus - "Titus Andronicus"
Tyvek - "Stop Start"
Warlocks - "The Midnight Sun"

James Christopher Monger
Florence and the Machine - Lungs
Hot Leg - Red Light Fever
Eugene McGuinness - Eugene McGuinness
A.C. Newman - Get Guilty
The Clientele - Bonfires on the Heath
The Duckworth Lewis Method - The Duckworth Lewis Method
Matt Jones - The Black Path
Muse - The Resistance
Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Beware
Horse's Ha - Of the Cathmawr Yards
Týr - By the Light of the Northern Star
Avett Brothers - I and Love and You
The Low Anthem - Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
Hidden Cameras - Origin:Orphan
A.A. Bondy - When the Devil's Loose
Liam McKahey & the Bodies - Lonely Road
The Hard Lessons - Arms Forest
Ensiferum - From Afar
Huun-Huur-Tu/Carmen Rizzo - Eternal

Wild Light - "California on My Mind"
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears - "Bitch, I Love You"
Big Pink - "Dominoes"
Depeche Mode - "Wrong"
Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeroes - "40 Day Dream"
Future of the Left - "The House That Hope Built"
Micachu - "Golden Phone"
Fanfarlo - "I'm a Pilot"
The Delta Spirit - "People C'mon"
Jeremy Enigk - "Life's Too Short"
Royksopp - "The Girl and the Robot"
Espers - "Caroline"
The Gourds - "Shreveport"
Wild Beasts - "All the King's Men"
Broken Records - "Nearly Home"
Andrew Bird - "Oh No"
Phoenix - "1901"
Animal Collective - "My Girls"
The Very Best - "Yalira"
Andy Prieboy - "Hearty Drinking Men"

Sean Westergaard
Fred Anderson - 21st Century Chase: 80th Birthday Bash, Live at the Velvet Lounge
The Beatles - The Beatles: Mono Box Set
Sir Richard Bishop - Freak of Araby
James Carter/John Medeski - Heaven on Earth
Bo Diddley - Ride On: The Chess Masters, Vol. 3 - 1960-1961
Marc Ducret - Sens de la Marche
Mike Keneally - Scambot 1
King Crimson - Red 40th Anniversary Edition
Korekyojinn - Swan Dive
Wayne Krantz - Krantz Carlock Lefebvre
Medeski Martin & Wood - Radiolarians: The Evolutionary Set
Miriodor - Avanti!
Ben Perowsky Quartet - Esopus Opus
Sun Ra & His Arkestra - The Antique Blacks
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Old Money
Sax Ruins - Yawiquo
Wadada Leo Smith - Spiritual Dimensions
Imahori Tsuneo/Yoshida Tatsuya - Dots
John Zorn - O'o
John Zorn - Film Works, Vol. 23: El General

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