Well, I'll be the first to openly admit to failing crs' "Top 5 Albums" challenge. My new music and album dabbling this year was woeful and wholly inadequate. In no particular order I can give you three that I really liked, but without much in the way of commentary.
Third by Portishead
An album I literally waited 10 years to hear, it became one of those albums that each time I listened to it it wormed its way into my brain and stuck there. Favorite tracks are "Machine Gun" and "Deep Water"
...And Now We Can Be Ourselves by Red Light Driver
A little local love. The first thing I thought when I heard Red Light Driver play a show a couple years ago was "Wow, someone gave The Cure some Prozac!". I loved it, but the new album (just released) shows them branching out. Hard to pick favorite tracks from this album as it's solid from 1 to 12 but if I had to pick three I'd say "The Long Face", "Scene Key" and "Pet Rockets"
Float by Flogging Molly
This was a bit of a departure for Flogging Molly. Float is a bit darker, less punk but just as strong as their earlier albums. Favorite tracks: "Requiem for a Dying Song", "Punch Drunk Grinning Soul" and "Between A Man And A Woman" which originally appeared on their first album, the live recording Alive Behind The Green Door.
Bonus Indy Indie Band To Watch in 2009: Heavy Hometown
They opened Red Light Driver's CD Release show for ...And Now We Can Be Ourselves and put on an excellent show. Very simple arrangements and songs but catchy and they put on a good live show.