#10: Yeah Yeah Yeahs It's Blitz!

The Complex Co-Sign: Karen O and company used to make records filled with distorted guitars and indecipherable screaming. This year, they switched things up and made a synth-heavy, borderline electro album. The risky choice paid off and the band proved themselves just as capable of producing bangers for the dancefloor.

Listen:
"Heads Will Roll"

[CLICK HERE TO BUY THE MP3 ALBUM FOR $5.00]
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#9: Gucci Mane The State vs Radric Davis

The Complex Co-Sign: This was undoubtedly Gucci's year, but after what felt like a million mixtapes and guest verses, there was reasonable concern about whether there would be Gucci Mane burnout by the time the album dropped. No worries. No burnout. In fact, we love this album for the focus it has that was lacking on some of his tapes, mixing in some surprising moments of clarity with his goofy lo-fi trap anthems.

Listen:
"Worst Enemy"

[CLICK HERE TO BUY THE MP3 ALBUM FOR $8.99]
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#8: Passion Pit Manners

The Complex Co-Sign: Indie critics are great at building bands up just to tear them down, and it seemed like Passion Pit might be the next victim. They had all the tell tell signs: overhyped EP, Pitchfork approval, that one song ("Sleepyhead"). Then Manners dropped and it was clear that this Massachusetts band meant business. Every hipster has some snobby opinion about Passion Pit, but sift through all of that and you have an undeniably dope collection of songs.

Listen:
"The Reeling"

[CLICK HERE TO BUY THE ALBUM FOR $7.99]
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#7: Jay-Z The Blueprint 3

The Complex Co-Sign: Since his return to rap a few years ago, Jay-Z has done plenty, but he hadn't been able to come through with a definitive album. Well, until Blueprint 3. The third chapter of his trilogy isn't perfect, but with production and features from some of the biggest names in the game and a strong lyrical showing from Hov himself, it's pretty damn good.

Listen:
"On To The Next One" f/ Swizz Beatz

[CLICK HERE TO BUY THE MP3 ALBUM FOR $8.99]
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#6: Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

The Complex Co-Sign: All things considered, Phoenix is probably the breakout band of the year. Yeah, WAP is their fourth album, but no other project in their catalogue landed them on every late night TV stage and in multiple commercials. Not to say that endorsements are the ultimate signifier of a good album, but their exposure increased because their songs got better. Whether it's the urgency of "1901" or the delicate buildup of "Rome," most of the records on WAP will be remembered as staples of 2009.

Listen:
"1901"

[CLICK HERE TO BUY THE MP3 ALBUM FOR $7.99]
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