2009 was quite a year. A lot happened in the world, in my life, and in music. In theory, those all seem like distinct things - but retrospectively, they can be hard to differentiate from one another. Events blur together, timelines become jumbled, memories get obscured by the haze of passing time; memories of how I felt, memories of people I know (or knew), and memories of the music that soundtracked it all. Most people seem content to simply let these things slip into the past, marching merrily into the future, but I'm never able to fully let go, it seems, and this process of archiving my favorite albums of the year reflects that in a big way.
When I look back at this list in the year(s) to come, I'm not going to see an objective list of the best albums of 2009; I'm not even going to see a list I agree with anymore. Even while I was making it, I knew that six months from now I won't feel the same way about it. But hopefully seeing these albums will trigger the memories I have associated with them, and let me drift, at least for a while, amongst my own self-imposed catharsis.
Of course, these associations aren't present for you; you didn't have the same experiences I did, and thus won't feel the same way about many of these albums. This list is wide-ranging in terms of genre, level of exposure, and critical acceptance, because those things don't really matter to me; this is a purely subjective list of my own tastes and preferences, and I don't claim it as anything else. Still, I think that this is all wonderful music, and I hope you think so too.
While this list is a retrospective one, it's also a way to begin closing the door to the past year and decade, and marching, as I put it earlier, merrily into the future. Here's to the new decade ahead of us, and all the crazy times, people, shows and albums it's going to bring us.