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2009 | The Year in CDs

LET'S HEAR IT: The Globe's music critics pick their favorite 10 albums of the year and from each writer — a noteworthy surprise.
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Album Reviews

Alicia Keys'The Element of Freedom'
Alicia Keys is visceral and compelling in new album.
Music gift guideMusic gift guide
Our picks for the best holiday CDs.

Things to Do

Pet Shop Boys

Upcoming concerts

Blast from the past: Pet Shop Boys plays House of Blues on Sept. 21.
Lady Gaga, M. Ward, and Neko Case

Gaga for small pleasures

Lady Gaga had a big year in 2009, and while certain Globe critics were known to sing along to "Poker Face" in their cars, it was the smaller releases — like M. Ward and Neko Case — that they tended to savor.
Globe critics' top picks
Sharon Van Etten

James Reed

"Because I Was in Love" – the "spare and hypnotic debut" from Sharon Van Etten – makes this pop music critic's list. See what other albums made the cut.
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The Avett Brothers

Sarah Rodman

The Avett Brothers's "I and Love and You" had the best of everything according to this music critic. Find out why, and check out her other picks.
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Andrew Bird

Joan Anderman

One of the ten albums that this arts writer has picked is Andrew Bird's "Noble Beast." "Fourteen slices of sublime chamber-pop," Anderman writes.
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Julian Benbow

"Everything about this album was a push for the pop charts," Benbow writs about Jay-Z's "Blueprint 3. See which other hip hop albums made his list.
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Kat Edmonson

Steve Greenlee

Kat Edmonson's "Take to the Sky" makes Steve Greenlee's top 10 list because of her distinctive voice and inventive style. Check out his other picks.
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'The Nose'

Jeremy Eichler

"Shostakovich's brilliant satirical early opera finally gets the recording it deserves," writes Jeremy Eichler. See more of his classical music picks.
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Siddhartha Mitter

"After Robots" from the Johannesburg foursome BLK JKS makes this critic's list of world music picks for its "textured, driving, psychedelic rock."
Caroline Herring

Scott Alarik

Caroline Herring's "Golden Apples of the Sun" made this critic's list of best folk albums of the year. Find out why, and check out his other picks.