I always enjoy seeing people's opinions on this matter, so what music did you really enjoy from this year? What are your favorite albums, bands, songs and other such things? As we come to close the year and decade, I thought it would be appropriate to have a thread discussing both.
I, myself am still compiling my top list of the decade, but I already posted a top albums of the year in another forum with explanations, so it's worth posting here.
In no particular order, my favorite of 2009:
Amesoeurs - Amesoeurs
This one actually is my album of the year. It can be atmospheric, catchy, emotional, soft, harsh and overall is beautifully dark. It justaposes so many elements well and creates a sound that is worth much more than the sum of its parts. I might go as far as to call it France's greatest black metal release. Something Neige did had to be, anyways.
Sunn O))) - Monoliths & Dimensions
I think this is really the epitome of Sunn O)))'s studio albums thus far. The songs feature a lot of subtle evolution and creates a more dynamic dark atmosphere than the band has ever produced before. The addition of Attila's vocals and the fantastic use of orchestral elements underline the pieces awesomely.
The Mountain Goats - The Life of the World to Come
I don't think I've heard a bad Mountain Goats album, yet. Though not my favorite of their releases, it still is packed full of great songs that only John Darnielle could have written. His brilliant lyrics highlighted with perfectly fitting folky tones is always a winning formula and "Psalms 40:2" is easily one of the bands greatest songs yet.
Lightning Bolt - Earthly Delights
This album really brings out many of Lightning Bolt's best elements; energetic noise rock that can evolve subtly and fuck with your mind quite well while ensnaring you in its intense sound.
Black Pyramid - Black Pyramid
Awesome doom/stoner release. There are moments that feel as if Om and High on Fire joined together, forming an evolved version of Sleep. Though not quite as good as those stoner legends, it still proves to be an awesome release in the genre.
Tyondai Braxton - Central Market
An amazing blend of classical style with experimentation that could only occur in this modern age. It reminds me of Frank Zappa a fair bit in the way they introduce unconventional instruments and themes to the genre without making them a gimmick or a liability. Reminding me of Frank Zappa earns tremendous points alone.
Oranssi Pazuzu - Muukalainen Puhuu
Amazing combination of black metal, psychedelia and progressive rock. The combination has been done before, but they're able to blatantly express each element without sacrificing any of the qualities that make them great by themselves. Really fun to listen to.
Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms
Yes, this one was hyped a lot in the hipster community, but I can't help loving it. It's just so trippy and discordant while remaining catchy. This feels like an overload of acid-laced cotton candy and I love every minute of it.
Sore Eros - Second Chants
Brilliant lo-fi psychedelic album that just flows and changes so subtly. It feels so otherworldly with distant-sounding instruments that are soft to the touch. It's like the hand that gently caresses your hair just before it tucks you into blissful sleep.
Tombs - Winter Hours
Great sludgy post-hardcore stuff. It can feel desolate and crushing or crowded an noisy Sometimes even both. It's title invokes appropriate cold imagery as the song can feel like a blizzard or a hailstorm with few brief moments of light snow. Such a nice cold release without having to be black metal.
I've also got a working list going for the decade. There's no descriptions and it's not too definite. Only ones marked with * are definite:
Hammers of Misfortune - The August Engine*
Electric Wizard - Dopethrone*
The Mountain Goats - Tallahassee*
Lightning Bolt - Wonderful Rainbow*
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven*
Amesoeurs - Amesoeurs
Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - Univers Zen ou de Zéro à Zéro
Baroness - Red Album
Jesu - Conqueror
Sunn O))) & Boris - Altar
The ones without * are kind of filler. They came to mind, though I'm sure their may be better ones out there that I'll eventually replace them with.
Edit: Added samples for the 2009 bands