What we’re listening to: Best Albums of 2009


As Nick already mentioned, this past weekend we had colleagues in from around the world for our annual holiday party. As a result, this week you’ll see some new names from other departments and offices. And in the coming weeks and months, we’ll continue to extend the invite to folks in the UK, id, Zenimax Online Studios, etc. — so they can share the games, music, movies, soap operas, and books they’re keeping up with.

So this week we’re looking at our favorite albums of the year, and as I expected, the results are quite diverse (Mastodon’s Crack The Skye was one of the few albums I saw mentioned multiple times).

Here’s the full rundown. We’ll be back later this week with more of our 2009 favorites.

Brian Bloomfield: Behemoth – Evangelion, Nile – Those Whom The Gods Detest, and Between the Buried and Me – The Great Misdirect.

Rob Bartholomew: Florence and the Machine – Lungs.

Deven Winters: Rise Against – Appeal to Reason, Stone Sour (self titled), and Smile Empty Soul – Vultures.

Peter Sokal: Thrice – Beggars.

Alistair Hatch: Late of the Pier – fantastic debut album that came out last year and still blows my mind when I listen to it. I went to see these guys play live this year and they fully lived up to my expectations; energetic, passionate, exciting and unadulterated. DJ Shadow – Entroducing. Re-discovered this seminal album when I moved home and it hasn’t left my ipod since. Met him this year at the Golden Joystick awards. Chemical Brothers – We are the night. Think this came out last year, but in my eyes (ears?) this reaffirmed the Chem Bros as the most exciting dance act to cross over into the mainstream. Spotify – this online music tool has become the staple of supplying me with music. It just gets better and better with their constant developments. I highly recommend it to anyone with a thirst for music both new and old.

Sam Bernstein: Bishop Allen – Grrr…, Sigur Rós – Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, Dead Man’s Bones – Dead Man’s Bones (self titled), Easy Star All-Stars – Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band, Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes (self titled), Andrew Bird – Noble Beast, Metric – Fantasies, and Loney Dear – Dear John.

Pete Hines: Jim Gaffigan – King Baby, Foo Fighters’ Greatest Hits

Greg Ruddick: Animals as Leaders – Self-titled, After the Burial – Rareform, and Mastodon – Crack the Skye.

Alan Nanes: Devin Townsend Project – Addicted, Katatonia – Night is the New Day, My Dying Bride – For Lies I Sire, Novembers Doom – Into Night’s Requiem Infernal, Megadeth- Endgame

Michael Musick: Mastodon – Crack The Skye, The Paper Chase – Someday This Could All Be Yours, Dethklok – Dethalbum II, Devin Townsend Project – Addicted, and Systems Officer – Underslept.

Matt Ponton: Theory of a Deadman – Scars and Souvenirs and Masterplan – Aeronautics.

Jon DeVriendt: Behemoth – Evangelion, Nile – Those Whom the Gods Detest, Ensiferum – From Afar, and Epica – Design Your Universe.

Matt Killmon: Kings of Convenience – Declaration of Dependence, Neko Case – Middle Cyclone, Fever Ray – Fever Ray, Deadmau5 – For Lack of a Better Name, Bat for Lashes – Two Suns. As for things I’ve discovered this year but were released well prior: the entirety of Steely Dan’s catalog, and The Mountain Goats two albums “The Sunset Tree” and “Heretic Pride.”

Dane Olds, Artist: Wow this one is really tough for me. I’m a big metal fan and some excellent metal came out this year. If I had to make a top five though…1.) Blue Record – Baroness, 2.) Breathing the Fire – Skeletonwitch, 3.) Deflorate – The Black Dahlia Murder, 4.) 55 Cadillac – Andrew W.K., and 5.) Oracles – Fleshgod Apocalypse.

Mike Onufrak: Cage the Elephant – Cage the Elephant, Hilltop Hoods – State of the Art, Muse – The Resistance, and Alice in Chains – Black Gives Way to Blue.

Jen Tonon: Deer Tick – Born On Flag Day, Thursday – Common Existence, Spinal Tap – Back From the Dead, Iron Maiden – Flight 666, Morrissey – Years of Refusal, GWAR – Lust In Space, Doves – Kingdom of Rust, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force – Have Yourself A Meaty Little Christmas.

Adam Adamowicz: Eartha Kitt, Jesus and Marychain, Dutch Hip Hop, Raveonettes, Raconteurs, and the theme song from Fat Albert.

Natalie Gaudsen: The Bronx (III) – The Bronx.

Jeff Gardiner: Mastodon – Crack the Skye, and Baroness – Blue Record.

Gary Powell: Darkest Hour – The Eternal Return, Austrian Death Machine – Double Brutal, and Rumpelstiltskin Grinder – Living For Death, Destroying The Rest.

Aaron Mitschelen, QA: Persona soundtrack and Ratatat – Lex.

Shannon Bailey: Marissa Nadler – Little Hells, The Decemberists – The Hazards of Love, Modest Mouse – No One’s First and You’re Next, and Black Moth Super Rainbow – Eating Us

Matt Grandstaff: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz, Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Muse – The Resistance, and Franz Ferdinand – Tonight.

Reader Comments

  1. The Dead Weather – Horehound. I saw them live (w/ Violent Soho, a fantastic band if you love early 90s grunge), it was a great show and is an amazing album.

  2. Havent really been listening to any new music this year mostly oldies like:

    Cathedral-The Garden of Unearthly Delights.

    Ulver- Silencing The Singing.

    Nahash- Nocticula Hecate.

    Merzbow,Genesis P-Orridge- A Perfect Pain

    Trent Reznor- QUAKE game soundtrack.

    Halloween movie soundtrack.

    Battlespire game soundtrack.