The 10 Best Albums of 2009

It was a good year for the ladies:

Kylie Auldist/Made Of Stone (Tru Thoughts)

Mayra Andrade/Storía Storía (RCA Victor France)

Sara Tavares/Xinti (Four Quarters)

Oumou Sangare/Seya (Nonesuch)

Peaches/I Feel Cream (XL)

Rokia Traore/Tchamantche (Nonesuch)

Quantic & His Combo Barbaro/Tradition in Transition (Tru Thoughts)

Havana Cultura: New Cuba Sound (Brownswood)

Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics/Inspiration Information Vol. 3 (Strut)

Brownout/Aguilas & Cobras (Six Degrees)

Each of these discs contains an abundance of tracks that will soothe, delight and inspire. While any of them would make a fabulous holiday gift, my recommendation is to treat yourself.

Other fine music from 2009: new releases from Tinariwen, Amadou & Mariam, Vieux Farka Touré (a great year for music from Mali!), Lura, Céu, Alice Russell, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Tony Allen, Puerto Plata, and Staff Benda Bilili. Ignore the pop charts, there is thrilling music percolating all over the planet.

Reissue of the year: Big Star/Keep Your Eyes On The Sky (Rhino): You may already own most of these tracks but they have never sounded better. The live disc is a revelation as well. A worthy monument to a great (and unjustly ignored in their time) band.

(related posts: The 10 Best Albums of 2008, The 10 Best Albums of 2007)

image source: LP Cover Lover

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