Page last updated at 00:03 GMT, Monday, 28 December 2009

Animal Collective album tops 2009 music critics' poll

Animal Collective
Animal Collective's distinctive psychedelic sound impressed critics

A record by psychedelic indie act Animal Collective has been named best album of 2009 in a round-up of end-of-year polls by UK music critics.

Merriweather Post Pavilion, their eighth studio album, topped retailer HMV's annual "poll of polls" survey.

HMV rock and pop manager John Hirst said the New York band's album "sounded like nothing else out there".

Nominations from press and online critics in the UK and Ireland were collated, with 34 organisations polled.

The music retailer goes through this process each December to find the album with the greatest acclaim across the spectrum.

And in the event of a tie, where two or more albums receive the same number of nominations, the album with the highest combined placings in the critics' selections has been given the higher position.

POLL OF POLLS
1. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz
3. The XX - The XX
4. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
5. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
6. Horrors - Primary Colours
7. Fever Ray - Fever Ray
8. Florence and the Machine - Lungs
9. Bat For Lashes - Two Suns
10. Wild Beasts - Two Dancers
Source: HMV

One notable trend was that eight out of the top 10 acts in the poll are signed to independent record labels.

Another pattern saw New York-based bands dominate the higher ranks in the survey, with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Dirty Projectors and Grizzly Bear joining Animal Collective to claim four of the top five positions.

Merriweather Post Pavilion, which was released in January and reached number 26 in the charts, received 13 nominations.

It was named album of the year by Mojo and Uncut magazines, as well as the Sunday Times.

The Domino-signed three-piece band, who are known for their innovative sampling of other artists' work, narrowly beat the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, whose third studio album It's Blitz was widely acclaimed.

Indie rockers The XX, the highest rated UK act, were third.

The self-titled debut by the four-piece from London, which was released in August, reached number 36 in the charts.

Fourth place was claimed by Brooklyn-based experimental rock outfit Dirty Projectors and Grizzly Bear, another act from the New York borough, was fifth.

Mr Hirst said the Animal Collective album was "selling steadily" after being discovered by fans "through word-of-mouth".

He added: "It's also encouraging to see indie labels doing so well, which reflects on the vibrant state of our music right now."

The Seldom Seen Kid, by last year's Mercury Prize winners Elbow, topped the 2008 poll.

In recent years records from Arcade Fire, OutKast, Kanye West and Daft Punk have been named as the critics' choice.



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