Best Albums of 2009... So Far

Best of the First Half of 2009 & Opinions on Moby and Cheap Trick

Jim and Greg pause to take stock of the first half of 2009. Tune in to hear their lists of the Best Albums of the Year…So Far. Plus, they review new albums from electronic pop artist Moby and rock veterans Cheap Trick.

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The Best of 2009… So Far

Lists are just too much fun to do them only once a year. Here are Jim and Greg's mid-year best album lists.


  • St. Vincent, Actor
  • Neko Case, Middle Cyclone
  • Amadou & Mariam, Welcome to Mali
  • The Decemberists, The Hazards of Love
  • Maxwell, BLACKsummers'night
  • Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion
  • Mastodon, Crack the Skye
  • Dan Deacon, Bromst
  • Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs, It's Blitz


  • Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion
  • Neko Case, Middle Cyclone
  • The Decemberists, The Hazards of Love
  • Lily Allen, It's Not Me, It's You
  • Morrissey, Years of Refusal
  • Franz Ferdinand, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
  • PJ Harvey and John Parish, A Woman a Man Walked By
  • Moby, Wait for Me
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs, It's Blitz
  • Passion Pit, Manners
  • Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • Metric, Fantasies
  • K'Naan, Troubadour
  • Cursive, Mama, I'm Swollen
  • Bob Dylan, Together Through Life
  • Leonard Cohen, Live in London
  • St. Vincent, Actor
  • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
  • Mastodon, Crack the Skye
  • Sonic Youth, The Eternal
  • U2, No Line on the Horizon
  • Wilco, Wilco
  • The Handsome Family, Honey Moon
  • Art Brut, Art Brut vs. Satan
  • Peaches, I Feel Cream
  • Screaming Females, Power Move
  • Dan Deacon, Bromst

A message from Jim: The following, LISTED IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, is my tally of albums mid-year in 2009 that have all warranted 3.5 stars or more on the Chicago Sun-Times‘ 4-star ratings scale (making them all very enthusiastic“buy its”on the“Sound Opinions”scale). I will mention that these are in no particular order (sorry, but that’s reserved for the year-end list), that this list is not all-inclusive (I will no doubt catch up with quite a few discs released earlier in the year by the time I tally the year-end list) and, also, because this always confuses people, THESE ARE IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER. Yet. But they're all really, really, really good albums.

reviewWait For MeWait for Me available on iTunes

Moby Wait for Me

Moby has a new album out called Wait for Me. The musician has spent a decade trying to follow up the success of his 1999 album Play. And if his last record was a night out on the town, this is the comedown for Greg. He recorded it at home, and you can hear that sense of isolation. Greg's only quibble is the length, so he gives it a Buy It. Jim agrees. He hears the newly independent artist connecting with his roots, again taking inspiration from David Lynch. Moby gets a double Buy It.

reviewThe LatestThe Latest available on iTunes

Cheap Trick The Latest

Rockford, IL's own Cheap Trick have been making music for four decades. So, you wouldn't expect much from them now, right? But, as Jim says, these“geezers”are fierce. He calls them one of the hardest-working bands in show business, and says they still have the goods on stage and in the studio. He gives The Latest a Buy It. Greg hears Cheap Trick taking risks again, and states that any band with Bunny Carlos as drummer is great. He also gives the album a Buy It rating.


Featured Songs

  1. The Decemberists, The Wanting Comes in Waves, The Hazards of Love, Rough Trade, 2009
  2. Screaming Females, Sour Grapes, Power Move, Don Giovanni, 2009
  3. Mastodon, Oblivion, Crack the Skye, Reprise, 2009
  4. Art Brut, Slap Dash for No Cash, Art Brut vs. Satan, Cooking Vinyl, 2009
  5. Amadou and Mariam, Sabali, Welcome to Mali, Because Music, 2009
  6. Amadou and Mariam,“Africa,”Welcome to Mali, 2009
  7. Peaches, Mommy Complex, I Feel Cream, Because Music, 2009
  8. Neko Case, People Got A Lotta Nerve, Middle Cyclone, ANTI-, 2009
  9. Animal Collective, My Girls, Merriweather Post Pavillion, Domino Recording Company, 2009
  10. Moby, Shot in the Back of the Head, Wait for Me, Mute, 2009
  11. Moby, Study War, Wait for Me, Mute, 2009
  12. Cheap Trick, Miss Tomorrow, The Latest, Cheap Trick Unlimited, 2009
  13. Cheap Trick, Sick Man of Europe, The Latest, Cheap Trick Unlimited, 2009
  14. Cheap Trick, Sleep Forever, The Latest, Cheap Trick Unlimited, 2009
  15. Tortoise, Penumbra, Beacons of Ancestorship, Thrill Jockey, 2009
  16. Kevin Lyttle, Call Me, Kevin Lyttle, Atlantic, 2004
  17. Built to Spill, Car, The Normal Years, K, 1993
  18. Cursive, Staying Alive, The Ugly Organ, Saddle Creek, 2003

Footnotes Moby Cheap Trick Greg Kot Cheap Trick Review St. Vincent on Sound Opinions Neko Case on Sound Opinions The Decemberists on Sound Opinions Dan Deacon on Sound Opinions Lily Allen on Sound Opinions Cursive on Sound Opinions Wilco on Sound Opinions Art Brut on Sound Opinions