What a year for music. Seriously, this year has been just a whopper for music, something that I could not have even tried to predict. When 2010 was just peaking it’s head around the corner I was honestly a little bummed. I looked at the music that had come out in 2009 and was glum, believing it would be impossible for 2010 to come in any way close to the music of 2009.
Boy, was I wrong.
Actually let’s take that ‘boy’ exclamation up a notch.
Man, was I wrong. And in so many ways that I still don’t understand...
So I’ve looked at all the music I’ve listened to in 2010 and have humbly selected my Top 10 Albums along with the Stand Out Track from that album.
You probably won’t agree with any of my choices past my number 1 pick, but that’s okay. I’m the one doing the writing and you’re the one doing the reading. Unless you add a comment refuting my opinion. But you wouldn’t do that, would you?
Read on for my Top 10 Albums of 2010!
P.S: If you click on any of the album links and buy the record I get a little affiliate money from Amazon. Proper warning and hoping for help! Thanks!
Top 10 Albums of 20101. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark And Twisted Fantasy Stand Out Track: Lost In The World Creating a good bit of distance between himself and all other artists of 2010, Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has found itself sitting securely as my number one album of the year. I’m far from original in that decision, with many other bloggers and critics deciding the same, however you cannot beat the absolute genius of this record. Say what you want about Kanye West the celebrity - when it comes to music he is irreproachable.
Sleigh Bells - Treats Stand Out Track: Rill Rill I’ve listened to ‘noise music’ before. I’ve liked some of what I’ve heard, however I usually don’t. Sleigh Bells’ debut album Treats not only takes ‘noise music’ to a whole new level, it does so while remaining incredibly catchy and melodic. Put this record on and listen to it. You’ll be surprised to notice how catchy ‘noise’ can be. And then after you’re done with your first listen, put the record on again. And dance. And now you won’t have to go to the gym that day. Or dance while at the gym. Two workouts in one. Excuse me, I need to go to my gym. And dance. Workout +2
Menomena - Mines Stand Out Track: Dirty Cartoons This choice is heavily swayed. Menomena has long been a favorite band of mine, and with their fourth record Mines they continue to rock as hard as they did on their first record. The most important thing to know about Menomena - the band - is how incredibly deft they are at creating songs seeped in melancholy - an emotion that is quite difficult to create. Whether you need some music to accompany a lonely rainy day, or a song to help transition from dusk to night, Menomena is your band.
Foals - Total Life Forever Stand Out Track: Total Life Forever I almost missed this album. It slipped entirely underneath my radar, with my first listen of this record happening a good two months after it was released. Before hearing Foals’ Total Life Forever I knew nothing about the band - and frankly still don’t. I do remember seeing the video for their first single, Spanish Sahara and finding their use of a drum pad to be quite cool. This record is even more moody than Menomena’s but in a very different way. This record is great for early dawns and black midnights. It’s a record that paints silence. Some tracks take a few minutes to really pick up speed, but once they do you remain hooked.
LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening Stand Out Track: All I Want I feel as though, at this point, everyone knows who LCD Soundsystem is. In case you don’t (how do you not!?) LCD Soundystem is a band fronted by the highly talented producer James Murphy that creates incredibly upbeat and catchy dance songs. I was fortunate to see these guys live three years ago, and incredibly lucky to see them live again this year for their new record, This Is Happening. This record is assuredly their best so far, with their live show exceeding the excitement and fun already found on the album. (On an aside, I ran into Aziz Ansari at this show. That was weird - but exciting!)
Hoodie Allen - Pep Rally Stand Out Track: January Jones Not truly an album, this debut mixtape from current unknown Hoodie Allen contains catchy rhymes and hooks, focusing on subject matters near and dear to this suburban kid’s heart. This is a rap record, but it’s rap that I would easily call ‘pop rap’ in the sense that it’s light-hearted and cheerful but not the radio friendly garbage that generally hurts my sensibilities. The entire mixtape is available as a free download, just click on the album name and get your free download on!
Ray LaMontagne - God Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise Stand Out Track: God Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise Adult contemporary? On my list!? Yes please ma’am sir! To be fair I would peg Ray LaMontagne as more of a folk artist and that is the exact reason his record is sitting so pretty at number seven. I’m a sucker for soft voices and acoustic guitar and this record gives me plenty of both, along with excellent production.
Cee Lo Green - The Lady Killer Stand Out Track: Please I feel bad for Cee Lo Green. His album, The Lady Killer is a tremendous record however it is being continuously overshadowed by all the other great albums of 2010. If it wasn’t for his breakout song ‘Fuck You’ I doubt anyone would know Cee Lo Green had released a new album. The rest of his album is as solid as ‘Fuck You’ - however not as radio friendly. Still the record pleases with its soulful sounds and it won’t disappoint. In fact, it’ll definitely please.
Joe Purdy - 4th of July Stand Out Track: On The Wind I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this artist but I am very glad that I did. This is another folk album that was on constant replay for a solid week. More soft voices and acoustic guitars, with melodies and tunes that work so well in their simplicity. You probably won’t like this guy, and that’s okay. For me, I couldn’t get enough of him.
Spoon - Transference Stand Out Track: I Saw The Light Just rounding out the top 10 is Spoon’s latest record Transference. Each album Spoon creates has their distinctive sound, while remaining highly unique. This album continues that trend, further stripping away some of the gloss of their earlier records, leaving an album that is so raw and bare you may wonder if they took any time to practice before recording. I once saw someone describe this album as a ‘5 o’clock shadow rock’ and I haven’t been able to find any better description.
Aside from these 10 stellar albums there have been a whole slew of albums released in 2010 that deserve at least some mention of their existence. You know what this calls for don’t you?
J. Cole - Friday Night Lights The Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History Vampire Weekend - Contra The Walkmen - Lisben A Weather - Everyday Balloons Yeasayer - Odd Blood Gorillaz - Plastic Beach Arcade Fire - The Suburbs Atmosphere - To All My Friends EP The Black Keys - Brothers Caribou - Swim
So there you have it: the Top 10 Albums of 2010. This top 10 list really puts the 10 in 2010. Pschaw!
And now onto 2011! What we might see I can only dream! Let’s get going!!