Continuing our celebration of PopMatters' 20th anniversary, we revisit our 10 picks for the best debut albums of 2009. It turns out our selections were prescient as many of these artists have gone on to storied careers. Travel back to 2009 and see them again for the first time.
For a group like Florence + The Machine, the risks of playing in a stripped-down setting are exceptionally high, but as they display on MTV Unplugged, the rewards they serve through their masterfully reworked songs were worth the gamble.
The selections on this list aren't necessarily bad albums -- some actually happen to be among the most critically acclaimed of this year. In some cases, it's just that the albums weren't what fans were expecting, and in others, they were exactly what they were expecting.
In the wake of Amy Winehouse's death, record industry types and music journalists dusted off their Rock 'n' Roll 101 handbooks, revisiting the chapter on how to report on a Young Rock Star's death. Has it been handled any differently this time around than in the past?