Here it is, the only Best Of 2009 list you’ll ever need. Except for AIV’s list. And romeosidvicious’. And the Bird List. Other than that, though, this is the only one worth reading.

01. Visqueen – Message to Garcia The best rock ‘n’ roll record I’ve heard in years is a love letter to lead singer Rachel Flotard’s deceased father. Not often you hear an epitaph that makes you want to pogo.

02. Neko Case – Middle Cyclone Hey, Neko Case made a great record. Shocking! Just because it has become routine doesn’t mean it’s any less an achievement.

03. Matthew Ryan – Dear Lover A beautiful collection of whispered words that often go unsaid between people.

04. Steve Earle – Townes The most moving eulogy Townes ever received came more than a decade after his passing. One of the best records of Earle’s career.

05. BLK JKS – After Robots Ever wondered what would happen if somebody laid vocals over Explosions in the Sky? Here’s your answer.

BLK JKS – “Lakeside” (from After Robots)

06. Tom Russel – Blood and Candle Smoke The best record of Russell’s career thus far is by turns touching, incendiary and smarmy. Russell makes it work.

07. Tom Waits – Glitter and Doom Live Further proof that if Waits is playing within a 500 mile radius of your town, you need to be there.

08. Blakroc – Blakroc Say whatever you like about this record, please just don’t call it Rap-Rock. This is Hip-Hop at it’s “most purest, most rawest,” to borrow a phrase from Eminem.

Blakroc – “Stay Off the Fuckin’ Flowers (featuring Raekwon)” (from Blakroc)

09. Dan Auerbach – Keep It Hid The Black Keys are many things, but I don’t believe I’ve ever heard their songs described as achingly beautiful. Auerbach’s solo record is exactly that.

Dan Auerbach – “When the Night Comes” (from Keep It Hid)

10. Mos Def – The Ecstatic A welcome return to form for Hip-Hop’s most gifted MC. Now please, don’t make another movie with Bruce Willis, okay? Thanks.

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