This might be the first year since I got back from my mission where I didn't buy whatever album I wanted whenever I wanted it. So I may not have covered a respectable amount of area in the music industry this year. However, I would like to give props to the albums that did get me through the year. They are in no particular order.
WILCO - Sky Blue Sky
Wilco fans give Jeff Tweedy a lot of well deserved crap for reforming his band every time they record a new album. I loved their previous album A Ghost Is Born so much that when I first heard this one, it felt empty and week and I blamed it on the new line up as well. But then I saw them live in Denver and it blew my mind. In fact, it was one of the top 3 best shows I have ever been to. After the show, I couldn't get enough of it. Walken is my favorite song.
RADIOHEAD - In Rainbows
This is probably an easy one to pick. How could Radiohead ever go wrong when they are all together? Sorry to Thom Yorke's forgettable solo album. I felt like they took a good step back toward their Kid A sound from their previous album on this one. I was most blown away when I heard track 5 All I Need on my new favorite T.V. show of the season, Life. I can't wait to get my hands on a hard copy of this album.
DR. DOG - We All Belong
I will preface this by saying that I know these guys have ripped of The Beatles/Paul McCartney's sound. But it is one of the happiest, pump-me-up albums I have heard in a while. This album is a nice change to the slower, ambient music that has been so popular from bands like Iron and Wine and their sad album Shepard's Dog. If you want to be happy and clap along to some fresh yet vintage sounding music, give this one a try.
PINBACK - Autumn of the Seraphs
I fell out of love with Pinback a while ago. I regained interest with their album Summer in Abbadon and recommitted myself to them completely with this album. It made me want to listen to all of their stuff over and over again. It shows progression and maturity which I though passed them up a while ago. A lot of people disagree with me, but I feel that this album validates all of their previous work.
ARCADE FIRE - Neon Bible
This one is as obvious as Radiohead. A solid album with enough variety to please my siblings, my co-workers and even my wife, this album is nearly flawless. Everyone can listen to this and enjoy it. The only thing I didn't like was the track order. This was another album that to me was 100 times better after I saw the band live.
Here are some other albums that were close, but not top five:
MODEST MOUSE - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
FEIST - The Reminder
LES SAVY FAV - Lets Stay Friends
THE SHINS - Wincing The Night Away
KANYE WEST - Graduation