Excuse the hopefully unnecessary patronisation, but if you’ve not read how we got this list (y’know, the formulae and the musoing), then you must! You really. Click here now, go on.
We’ve already revealed who sits from positions 50 to 31 of our top 50 albums of 2009 (yes, this year has been Abundant [intentional capitalisaton]), and with the grand reveal of those sitting between 30 and 21, we get ever closer to the all-seeing Top 20. There’ll be proper paeans to every single one of ‘em, by the writer that loves each one the most. Appetite-whetting indeed.
And then you may begin…
30) Mastodon – Crack the Skye: Sprawlingly-majestic prog metal. It’s a sturdy album [Ed - wut? Don't pretend you're not shocked that your indie-types chose this record above 247 others...], an epic libretto – hell, I dont’ know what I’m talking about, I’m going to go give it a listen. *facepalms*
29) Patrick Wolf – The Bachelor: The catharsis of his previous three LPs, Mr. Wolf’s sound became all the more extravagant. An incredibly cohesive cross-genre mix that remained very aware of its preposterous melodrama and embraced it with expansive Baroque arrangements.
28) Passion Pit – Manners: With songs refreshingly devoid of big hooks, Michael Angelakos’ dizzying falsetto was the defining feature. Each track took its time to swell and the by-product was, well, massively fun. Nice chap too.
27) Girls – Album: Full of pissed up maudlin reflections, the least Googleable band/album combo were well received this year. Their comatose, ’50s-evoking laments were deliberately vapid, and quite unlike anything else on the horizon. They’re that side of drunk, and they’re recreating it well.
26) Fight Like Apes – Fight Like Apes AndThe Curse of the Golden Medallion: The finally-relased album from this Dublin lot is the record you’ll wish you’d got into at the time. Sugared-up slapstick, and a fair cop at it too.
25) The Twilight Sad - Forget The Night Ahead: Free of unnecessary filler notes or syllables and drenched in layers of feedback, this second album was a dark and ominous record reflecting the Glaswegians’ teetering between primal fear and macho swagger.
24) Emmy the Great – First Love: An impressive debut from the girl that the boyfriends of the girls who love Adam Green obsess over. It’s an anti-relationships record with no inhibitions, finally revealing the far-more-likeable face behind Emma Lee Moss’ on-stage bravado schtick.
23) Arctic Monkeys – Humbug: A disjointed, reclusive record with big arrangements and in the most part, the substance to back up its departure. Felt like a constant climax to reach the resolve, full of a different frustration but the same discontent as before, only grander.
22) PJ Harvey and John Parish – A Woman A Man Walked By: Violen heartache was on the frontline as Harvey and Parish’s combined disquiet fused into pit-of-gut delivery. More of a must-have than it intended to be.
21) Grammatics – Grammatics: Boldly ambitious in the way it hosted introspective ruminations as much as it did knowingly self-indulgent opuses (see ‘Inkjet Lakes’), it’s one of the lost albums of 2009. Ironic then, that it just missed out on our top 20.