Q Magazine is always a bit more poppy than the other magazines. Uncut is the one that your Dad can agree with, and NME is a bit more clued in with the Pitchfork hipsters. Q was always a fan of everything. And 2009′s Best of albums list is no different.
50. Jarvis Cocker – Further Complications
49. Bob Dylan – Together Through Life
48. Ian Brown – My Way
47. Madness – The Liberty of Norton Folgate
46. Golden Silvers – True Romance
I bet this is the only list this year where you’ll see Madness. Comeback of the year? Maybe. It lasted longer than Jacko anyhow. So far, the list is just a case of oldies adding to their already well-rounded back catalogues. Bob Dylan probably appears in this list every year. That Jarvis solo album is damn good though.
45. Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band – Outer South
44. The View – Which Bitch?
43. Tinariwen – Imidiwan: Companions
42. Mariachi El Bronx – Mariachi El Bronx
41. Wild Beasts – Two Dancers
It’s here that Q get those eccentric, not for everyone albums out of the way. Tinariwen will appeal to the world music crowd, and Mariachi El Bronx is some cult punk. Conor Oberst’s latest is a patchy effort, with some great songs, but I don’t really think it’s one of the best 50 albums of the year.
40. Cheryl Cole – 3 Words
39. The Horrors – Primary Colours
38. Richard Hawley – Truelove’s Gutter
37. Fuck Buttons – Tarot Sport
36. Sonic Youth – The Eternal
Very strange to have Cheryl Cole and Richard Hawley on the same list, never mind Fuck Buttons or Sonic Youth. But thank God Hawley is ahead of Cole, rather than the other way around. I haven’t listened to her album yet, but Q is the only (non-Heat/OK/New) publication that has given the album more than three stars. That Hawley album is glorious though.
35. Pearl Jam – Backspacer
34. White Lies – To Lose My Life…
33. Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
32. Paolo Nutini – Sunny Side Up
31. Biffy Clyro – Only Revolutions
Dirty Projectors will be really high up the Pitchfork list (have you heard their collaboration with David Byrne ‘Knotty Pine’? – fantastic), but Paolo Nutini is a Q only album. It’s great if you’re into Scottish soul pop. Pearl Jam is as good as most of their catalogue, and Biffy Clyro is a powerful rock album which could very well get plaudits from Pearl Jam fans.
30. La Roux – La Roux
29. Wilco – Wilco (The Album)
28. Bruce Springsteen – Working on a Dream
27. The Dead Weather – Horehound
26. Bat for Lashes – Two Suns
The latter two here will definitely make my list, and Bat for Lashes could well be high on it. Natasha Khan’s ‘Daniel’ is one of the songs of the year, as is ‘Cut Like a Buffalo’ by Jack White’s new band. La Roux is flavour of the year synth-pop, and Wilco’s new one is a worthy attempt. Bruce Springsteen shouldn’t be on here though, as it’s his worst album of the decade.
25. Noah and the Whale – The First Days of Spring
24. Mos Def – The Ecstatic
23. The Prodigy – Invaders Must Die
22. The Low Anthem – Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
21. Jamie T – Kings & Queens
The Low Anthem made the list, but obviously the guys and gals at Q didn’t really listen to the new Felice Brothers, as that album does the same thing so much better. Mos Def is a very strange one, it didn’t really get much press attention, and I didn’t think it was all that fantastic. Jamie T is one for the Brits only, I didn’t buy into its schtick.
20. Fever Ray – Fever Ray
19. Monsters of Folk – Monsters of Folk
18. Mika – The Boy Who Knew Too Much
17. Green Day – 21st Century Breakdown
16. Empire of the Sun – Walking on a Dream
This is the we missed the bandwagon the first time. There’s no other reason Mika, Monsters of Folk, and Fever Ray would be on here. Mika’s new album is terrible in comparison to his last one, Fever Ray’s is decent but is most likely here because they hadn’t heard of the Knife before Jose Gonzalez, and Monsters of Folk isn’t as good as the sum of its parts. Green Day has always been meh for me anyway. Empire of the Sun are a poor man’s MGMT. Poor choices.
15. Dizzee Rascal – Tongue N’ Cheek
14. Devendra Banhart – What Will We Be
13. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
12. Jack Penate – Everything is New
11. Doves – Kingdom of Rust
I haven’t heard Devendra’s new one yet, so can’t comment on that. Grizzly Bear’s is excellent in its genre. Doves are finally getting the credit they deserve thanks to Elbow’s Mercury Win last year (that said, where’s Speech Debelle on this list? It shouldn’t be on it, but you’d expect it to be here.) Dizzee is another Mercury winner, and his new album is as good as anything he’s done.
10. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
09. U2 – No Line on the Horizon
08. Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You
07. Muse – The Resistance
06. Arctic Monkeys – Humbug
The top ten started off so well. That Phoenix album is the best thing they’ve ever done and has brought them (quite rightly) into the mainstream. However, those U2, Arctic Monkeys, and Muse albums may well be the worst things all three bands have done. Particularly No Line on the Horizon. Lily’s is a wonderful pop album though.
5. Manic Street Preachers – Journal for Plague Lovers
4. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!
2. Florence and the Machine – Lungs
1. Kasabian – West Rider Pauper Lunatic Asylum
A decent if not phenomenal top five. Manic’s new album was a fitting tribute to Richey Edwards. Animal Collective’s album has lost impact since it was released at the start of the year – as time goes on, it seems to become more and more average – great album cover though. Of the top three, Yeah Yeah Yeahs is by far the best, but all are good albums. Just good though. Florence is well hyped, but just okay. Kasabian’s is their best effort, but not the best album of 2009.