Top 10 Albums of 2009: Mike R. Meyer

10. Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures

There was pretty much no way that the debut album by Them Crooked Vultures could possibly live up to the hype (and expectations) that preceded it. After all, the principles involved - Josh Homme (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age), Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters), John Paul Jones (Led freakin' Zeppelin) - have sold more than a quarter-billion albums total and played in bands so groundbreaking that new genres of music - stoner rock, grunge, heavy freakin' metal - were invented to describe them. So when the end result sounds like nothing more than a really, really good QOTSA record, it's probably inevitable that some folks are going to be disappointed. I admit, I was a little disappointed myself. Then I realized that it's been almost a decade since I heard a really, really good QOTSA record, and my appreciation for this album began to grow. Them Crooked Vultures isn't going to make anyone forget about Nirvana or Led Zeppelin, but it's a far cry better than Lullabies to Paralyze or In Your Honor (or freakin' Presence, for that matter).

1. Mastodon - Crack the Skye

Wormholes. Astral travel. An 11-minute song (in
four acts, no less) set in Tsarist Russia. Crack the Skye is every metal dork's
dream come true. I think I already said as much as I could possibly say about
this album here, but since it way only May at the time, I stopped short of
calling it the Album of the Year. Now that it's December, let's make it
official: Mastodon pwns 2009.

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Mike Meyer
Contact: Mike Meyer