The Absolute Best Songs of 2009 (.25 of the way through)

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Today is the 91st day of 2009, or (almost) exactly one quarter of the way through 2009. Is it too soon to start thinking of “Best Songs” honors? I don’t think so!

Before I get into the list, I want to set up some ground rules: The only songs eligible are songs that were released as singles in 2009 (Jan 1st – March 31st, in this case). This will really limit this initial list, as some of my favorite songs of the year have been non-single album tracks, like “Summertime Clothes” by Animal Collective, or “Dull Life” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Well, actually, I think that’s the only rule.

Let’s get on to the list, shall we?

Here is a nifty player containing the 10 songs on our list (plus 5 honorable mentions), thanks to IMEEM. I suggest you click here and take a couple of seconds to sign up to IMEEM, so you can get beyond that 30 second-per-song stream limit they put on unregistered users.’s Absolute Best Songs of 2009

Honorable Mentions: The Decemberists – The Rake’s Song, Bon Iver – Blood Bank, Neko Case – People Got A Lotta Nerve, Calvin Harris – I’m Not Alone, Rye Rye – Bang (ft. M.I.A.)

10. St. Vincent – The Strangers

Clearly a Polyphonic Spree graduate, Clark uses the orchestra and choir to her advantage, but rather than utilizing the joyous anthems of the Spree, “The Strangers” contains dark, creepy melodies that have the same ultimate effect. It’s a rewarding song, and one that grows with repeated listens. – Adam Offitzer

09. Phoenix – Lisztomania

“Lisztomania,” with its hypnotic drum beat, smooth vocals, and dance-rock awesomeness, grabs you from the opening beat; exactly what an album-opener needs to accomplish. It becomes truly great once the drums kick out, leaving only the keyboard and the voice of Thomas Mars, who beautifully tells us that we’ve “got to let it go.” – Adam Offitzer

08. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Zero

“Zero” marked the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ long-awaited return and debuted their new sound, served with an extra order of synth. The lead single is driven by blunt, animalistic energy piled over Karen O’s commands: “Shake it like a ladder to the sun… So get your leather, leather, leather on.” Embrace the L.A. gloss and glitz. It’s Blitz!

07. Royksopp – The Girl and The Robot (ft. Robyn)

A standout in one of 2009’s first great albums, “The Girl and The Robot” gives a tasteful, albeit not very subtle, nod to Justice’s more ominous records (think “Let There Be Light,” “Genesis”), as well as Robyn’s own “With Every Heartbeat.” Even though the song has a definite dark tone, it doesn’t take away from its dance-floor appeal. This song will easily remain one of 2009’s best dance songs.

06. Peter Bjorn and John – Nothing To Worry About

I think Kanye West may have put it best when he leaked the song: SHIT IS DOPE!! DRUMS ARE CRAZY AND I LIKE THE KIDS ON THE HOOK.” But allow me to share my thoughts without all-caps and in clearer language. With Nothing To Worry About, PB+J have yet again crafted one of the best singles of the year. The chorus is mind-blowingly catchy, the hip-hop drum beat is hypnotically head-bopping, and the instrumental flourishes before the chorus hits are phenomenal. Even the lyrics are addictive- “trou-ble seems, trouble seems to follow you, it’s always round you like something you subscribed to!” One of the most memorable, replayable, sensational songs of the year. – Adam Offitzer

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