Not sure what it is about "Best of the year (so far)" lists. It could be the sheer volume of music being released; writers need to take stock midway through the year to make sure it doesn't get out of hand. It might just be music writers itching for something to talk about. In any case, more than one such list has popped up in the past week or so.
Popdose's Music Picks for 2009 (So Far) is a sprawling look at some of the sites' editors' favorite albums. It's very long and in no specific order. "Supergroup" Tinted Windows' record, which I thought was dreck, appears on the list, but overall it's a good rundown of quality music from 2009.
SPIN magazine's list, via Stereogum.com, is significantly more concise, so I'll post it here. Again, not in any order:
Ida Maria - Fortress Round My Heart
Peter Bjorn And John - Living Thing
Blk Jks - Mystery
Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
Mastodon - Crack The Skye
Amadou & Mariam - Welcome To Mali
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
Regina Spektor - Far
Mos Def - The Ecstatic
Glasvegas - Glasvegas
Jarvis Cocker - Further Complications
Bat For Lashes - Two Sun
Mavado - Mr. Brooks... A Better Tomorrow
Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
Sa-Ra Creative Partners - The Age Of Love
Antony And The Johnsons - The Crying Light
Glasvegas was a relatively mundane album. On the other hand, Middle Cyclone has been getting a lot of attention. And rightfully so. It's my Apollo's Cred pick of midway through 2009.
That brings us to MTV's 2009 list. Neko Case doesn't make an appearance, but Lily Allen does? Get your priorities straight, MTV.