Animal Collective tops album of '09 poll

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, XX round out top 3 in U.K. critics' list

LONDON -- U.K. entertainment retailer HMV's aggregate poll of polls for 2009's album releases has revealed Animal Collective's "Merriweather Post Pavilion" (Domino) as the critics' album of the year.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs made second place with "It's Blitz!" (Interscope), in a top five dominated by alt-rock U.S. acts. Dirty Projectors' "Bitte Orca" (Domino) is at No. 4 and Grizzly Bear's "Veckatimest" (Warp) made No. 5.

U.K. alternative act the XX made No. 3 in the poll of polls with its self-titled debut, released via Young Turks/XL Recordings.

HMV collates the various album of the year nominations made by music critics and writers from the music and national press in the U.K. and Ireland, as well as from online sites. Animal Collective's album received 13 nominations in total and was selected as album of the year by both Mojo and Uncut magazines as well as by the Sunday Times.

"Animal Collective has a truly unique style all of their own and 'Merriweather Post Pavilion' sounded like nothing else out there -- for me it was one of the stand-out releases of the year," said HMV rock and pop manager John Hirst in a statement. "The album keeps selling steadily as more music fans discover it through word-of-mouth. It's also encouraging to see Indie labels doing so well, which reflects on the vibrant state of our music right now."

Previous poll of poll winners include albums from Elbow ("The Seldom Seen Kid"), Arcade Fire ("Funeral"), Kanye West ("College Dropout") and Daft Punk ("Discovery").