Headphone Commute’s Best of 2009

21Dec09

Headphone CommuteI absolutely hate rating music. I hate dating it too, but rating… That’s just wrong. I mean, how can you compare the minimalist beauty of Taylor Deupree to the pounding beats of Chris Clark? What’s the scale here? Last year, in Headphone Commute’s Best of 2008, I attempted to tier my favorites into “Absolute Must“, “The Very Best“, and “The Essentials“, and even that, of course, is rating music. This year, I wanted to select my favorite releases from each category – but then I was faced with another dilemma – lumping music into genres is probably even worse than rating it! All this negativity has been clouding over me until in a bout of frustration I came out with the answer!

And so, I present you with 15 lists of 10 favorite releases unified by a unique theme in alphabetical order by artist. That’s 150 albums of the year! You will see that these entries tend to fall within similar styles anyway, but I will avoid pronouncing those out loud. Can you guess the genre behind “Music For Vibrating Your Neighbors’ Dusty China“? The selections are limited to only full length albums. See the bottom of this page for links to EPs, Singles and Mini Albums, as well as Mixes and Compilations of 2009.

Think of these as “playlists” of my favorite albums of the year. Choose your mood, the weather, or the time of day, and you shall find my recommendations for the year. There is probably enough music in here to get you through yet another year! I will reveal the winners of each list with one post at a time, one per day. And yes… They are all winners. They truly are…

Also, be sure to check out:
Readers’ Selections [part 1]
Readers’ Selections [part 2]

20 EPs and Singles of 2009 : [ part 1 ] and [ part 2 ]
20 Comps and Mixes of 2009 : [ part 1 ] and [ part 2 ]

20 Overlooked Albums of 2009



12 Responses to “Headphone Commute’s Best of 2009”

  1. Yhea we don’t need charts :) nice list in all groups because 2009 was great year for music, hope new exploration of sound coming to us this year to.

  2. 2 DJ Om

    Great and dedicated work my friend! Some of the lists are full of my favorites too, some others are full of albums I recognize but haven’t pick up for my listening moments, maybe never will.

    So much new music coming out … where to find right time for all of that … ?

    Brilliant descriptions of categories as well as the words explaining them !!!

    Happy 2010 !

  3. 3 goemon4

    Terrific lists <3

  4. 4 KimJackie

    I have to congratulate you, when you first announce you would “categorize” it in this system I thought it would take a lot of trouble and the end result would still be questionable. But I can see now – it is kind of degrading and disrespectful to music to put into rating scale. Especially if the range is from warm slow soundscapes to drilling dirty bass shriek horror. And sometimes there is so much excellent albums to hear at once – all different genres, its even hard to track because each of them deserves attention and devotion.
    You did an excellent job, and you also let the music unhurt.

    • Thank you – this is a very wonderful response…

  5. 6 dgibbs2

    Thanks for all the work! I have discovered numerous bands/artists from this sight. I am excited for the rest of the year end lists!

  6. 7 zelle11

    these titles are as entertaining as the subsequent lists :)
    i realise how much quality sounds i’ve missed out on…
    nice work putting them together.

  7. Blimey, you’ve been busy! Putting up 1 list of 20 titles is hard word enough, so 15 sounds like proper masochism. Still hats off for taking on the challenge. Some great lists so far, and I am looking forward to read the following ones. As ever with reading other people’s list, I’ve pointed out a few things I’ve missed out on (that Murcof soundtrack for starters) so I’ll be ordering some new music in Jan.

    I know what you mean about classifying records and giving them a priority. My year list has changed throughout the year, as new records came out, others suddenly made sense, others again which lost their appeal after a while… I am not doing such a list for the decade, but I will be working on 20 essential records of the noughties, in no particular order, just because I can’t really think of ordering them.

    • Yes. This endeavor has definitely kept me up for a few nights. I’m not sure if I’ll even attempt putting together the list for the decade. Can’t wait for your 20 essentials!

      • I’ve started working on that list and haven’t yet quite got to the 20 mark so it’s not yet too hard but it will be, and I am being quite ruthless too.


  1. 1 [Technicyst Fix] » Blog Archive » List: Best of 2009
  2. 2 Best of Lists Part 2 | undomondo

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