This is the time of year — and the time of decade (more on that next week) — to make lists. I like lists. They make life so much more orderly. Here’s my top ten albums of 2009 in order of release date.

To Lose My Life, White Lies (Released Jan. 12): How can a bunch of guys barely into their twenties already sound so world-weary? Smooth, accomplished and very mature. I knew this was going to be on my best-of list the first time I heard it.

Ruins of Berlin, Dex Romweber Duo (Feb. 10): Some of the scariest psychobilly I’ve ever heard. Check out Dex’s sister wailing on The Wind Did Move.

Primary Colours, The Horrors (May 5): Primary colours? The only colour that matters here is black — and that’ll have to do until something darker comes along. If you’re hoping for a shoegazer revival, it might have started here.

Vickatimest, Grizzly Bear (May 26): The hipster bloggers got this one right. Hugely ambitious and challenging yet understandable and accessible. Can’t wait for the next album.

Lungs, Florence + The Machine (July 7): Florence Welch looks like she stepped out of a Renaissance painting (and with good reason — she comes from a long line of art historians). Brilliant, bewitching, beguiling and wonderfully quirky. Kate Bush/Tori Amos fans take note.

Horehound, Dead Weather (July 14): I can just hear the voicemail from Jack White’s wife: “Honey? Can you take a break and maybe come home so you can learn the names of your children?”

Backspacer, Pearl Jam (Sept. 22): Eddie and the guys get back to basics with a short, concise and optimistic album that rocks better than anything they’ve released in years.

Black Gives Way to Blue, Alice in Chains (Sept. 29): Against the odds, they pull it off with a new singer. Dark, muscular and complex, it’s a reminder of AIC’s original potential. There may yet be a second act for these guys.

Landing, Githead
(Nov. 10): Surely the greatest album of 2009 that no one’s heard. Featuring Colin Newman of Wire, the album harkens back to the post-punk art-rock of the late 70s.

Them Crooked Vultures, Them Crooked Vultures (Nov. 17): A supergroup that actually lives up to its promise. Imagine that.