The list author says: "As I think we’re all aware, it’s getting harder and harder these days to find a complete album that’s enjoyable to listen to all the way through. With most people downloading single tracks from iTunes or Amazon (if they pay for them at all), the very concept of an album seems to be falling by the wayside. But every once in a while something does come along that is crafted as a whole, an immersive experience, even going so far as having intros, tracks blending together, skits, whatever. The Decemberists gave us a virtual rock opera in 2009 with “The Hazards Of Love”, and that almost made my list. …Almost. Here’s what did (in no particular order)."
"A soulful voice, sprawling arrangements, a HARP as lead instrument? There really wasn’t much like this in 2009, but it’s not just some quirky experiment, this is solid quality stuff. Stand-out tracks: “Cosmic Love” and “Dog Days Are Over”."
"This sounds a bit like one woke up Zach Galifianakis from a dead sleep, hit “demo” on a cheap keyboard, thrust a newspaper in front of him, and forced him on the spot to come up with songs based on the headlines. Stand-out tracks: “Optimist vs. The Silent Alarm (When The Saints Go Marching In)” and “Traveling Salesman’s Young Wife Home Alone On Christmas In Montpelier, VT”."
"This sounds like it fell through a wormhole from long ago, marrying the hypnotic dreamy fuzz of Velvet Underground with Moog-y garage surf psychedelia. Stand-out tracks: “Future Primitive” and “Dead Love”."
"This would be a guilty pleasure if it wasn’t so damned GOOD. Electronic club music infused with soulful singing and R&B chord changes, this is a simply irrepressible throwback to the New York club scene 80s when women quite possibly, however briefly, ruled the roost of pop music. Do you miss Yaz/Yazoo? Come check this out. Stand-out tracks: “Fascination” and “Bulletproof”."
"Well-crafted pop arrangements, plinky pianos and jingle bells create a warm fuzzy tone to everything, until the whole album reaches a chorale crescendo that would make Frankie Valli proud. Short, sweet, heartachingly gorgeous, and highly recommended. Stand-out tracks: “Providence” and “Gray Court”."
"This may be brand-new, but it definitely sounds like a compilation of previously unheard tracks from The Meters, The J.B.s, Funkadelic, Weather Report, Mandrill, The Blackbyrds etc. Stand-out tracks: “Lowdown Stank” and “Back At The Boathouse”."
"There was no Arcade Fire in 2009. And Matt was sad. Then Matt discovered that Arcade Fire had merely snuck over to London and recorded an album under the name Fanfarlo. …Or at least that’s what it sounds like. And so now Matt is happy. Stand-out tracks: “Luna” and “Drowning Men”."