Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Top 50+ Albums of 2010

2010 turned out to be another pretty good year for music, but no album ran away with the top spot this year. LCD Soundsystem's This Is Happening gets the nod for me, by a nose, but it's not even really James Murphy's best effort (that would be Sound of Silver). The rest of the more than fifty releases below are an eclectic collection, although my rockist bias is still probably apparent. But how many lists out there are you going to find with Ty Segall, Kanye West and John Mellencamp on it. (Yeah, the last one surprised me as well, but it's gooooood.)

Playlist: Top 50 Albums of 2010

LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening1. LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

If this is indeed the last album that LCD Soundsystem releases, and James Murphy has hinted as much, then this is the way to go. This is Happening, lyrically, is Murphy's most personal release, continuing the inward trend since LCD SS' beginnings in detached irony.

Review, May 18, 2010

Deerhunter - Halycon Digest2. Deerhunter - Halycon Digest
Stream / Purchase [mp3

The slow and steady progression for Deerhunter from damaged art rock to accessible (yet still damaged) pop band has been fascinating to witness, and with Halycon Digest, they've perfected the right balance between the two for a artful pop album that rewards on repeat listens.

Review, September 28, 2010

Wavves - King of the Beach3. Wavves - King of the Beach
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

Nate Williams rebounded nicely from an up and down 2009. Enlisting the late Jay Reatard's old band to back him, King of the Beach finds Williams still in the loner/outsider role, but now the music backing the loser-based lyrics are far more rich. Easily one of the most exhilarating releases of 2010.

Review, August 3, 2010

Titus Andronicus - The Monitor4. Titus Andronicus - The Monitor
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

With every repeat listen of The Monitor, the seams holding together New Jersey split just a little more, as the love/hate relationship Titus Andronicus has with their home state is volatile, to say the least. And this from an album allegedly about the Civil War, complete with spoken word cameo from Craig Finn as Walt Whitman (the best recording Finn took part in this year).

Los Campesinos - Romance is Boring5. Los Campesinos - Romance is Boring
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

Romance is Boring is anything but boring, instead at times white hot and most of the time unable to sit still. It's pop at in the face of chaos. An album that seems to have been overlooked by many (maybe some were assuming they'd be releasing more like the year prior).

Review, January 26, 2010

Sleigh Bells - WTreats6. Sleigh Bells - Treats
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

As if The Go! Team's cheerleaders decided to make out with the AV club guys, sending the dial into the red. Distortion and pep don't often go together, but this noisy affair is one for the eardrums.

Male Bonding - 7. Male Bonding - Nothing Hurts
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

The album I played the most in 2010. Combines everything I loved about the early 90s and turned the BPMs up to workout pace. Lift those knees!

Review, May 11, 2010

Ariel Pinks Haunted Graffiti - Before Today8. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

Much like Deerhunter, Ariel Rosenberg has graduated a bit from the lo-fi art noise of his earlier recordings, moving from the bedroom to an actual studio. The songs, however, are still warped by the sun and probably under the influence of illegal substances. So there's that. Wheee!

Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy9. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

Might have topped my list had it been released sooner/Kanye didn't seem like such a douche bag/it weren't for my aforementioned perceived rockist bias. Certainly wins for Best use of a King Crimson song on the scorcher, "Power."

(Review November 23, 2010)

Beach House - Teen Dream10. Beach House - Teen Dream
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

The Baltimore duo Beach House also upgraded their recording studio this year, in their first Sub Pop debut, putting some extra polish on their already lush and dreamy sound.

(Review January 26, 2010)

11. Vampire Weekend - Contra
(Review January 12, 2010)

12. Ty Segall - Logos

13. The Posies - Blood/Candy

Review, September 28, 2010

14. Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me

(Ear on TV preview December 13, 2010)

15. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
(review August 3, 2010)

16. Best Coast - Crazy For You

17. Spoon - Transference

18. Twin Shadow - Forget

19. John Mellencamp - No Better Than This

20. The Fresh & Onlys - Play it Strange

21. Superchunk - Majesty Shredding

(review September 14, 2010)

22. Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz

(review October 12, 2010)

23. Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky

24. No Age - Everything In Between

Review, September 28, 2010

25. Off! - Four EPs

26. The Walkmen - Lisbon (review September 14, 2010)
27. Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here
28. The Soft Pack - The Soft Pack (review February 2, 2010)
29. The Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt
30. Grinderman - Grinderman 2 (review September 14, 2010)
31. The Intelligence - Males
32. The Black Keys - Brothers (Ear on TV preview)
33. Field Music - Measure (review February 16, 2010)
34. Bottomless Pit - Blood Under the Bridge (review August 17, 2010)
35. She & Him - Volume 2 (review March 23, 2010)
36. Janelle Monae - The ArchAndroid (Ear on TV preview for May 24, 2010)
37. Jenny & Johnny - I'm Having Fun Now (review August 31, 2010)
38. Robyn - Body Talk
39. Liars - Sisterworld (review March 9, 2010)
40. Crystal Castles - II
41. Baths - Cerulean (review 05/19/09)
42. Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot...The Son Of Chico Dusty (review July 5, 2010)
43. Marnie Stern - Marnie Stern
44. Yeasayer - Oddblood (review February 9, 2010)
45. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More (Ear on TV preview February 15, 2010)
46. Tyvek - Nothing Fits
47. The Roots - How I Got Over (review June 22, 2010)
48. The National - High Violet (review May 11, 2010)
49. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
50. New Pornographers - Together (review 05/19/09)
Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record (review May 4, 2010)
Women - Public Strain
Charlotte Gainsbourg - IRM (review February 13, 2010)
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - Brutalist Bricks (review March 9, 2010)
Dum Dum Girls - I Will Be (review March 30, 2010)
Hot Chip - One Life Stand (review February 9, 2010)
Perfume Genius - Learning
Boston Spaceships - Our Cubehouse Still Rocks (review September 21, 2010)
Delorean - Subiza

Previously: Top 50 Albums from 2009, Top 50 Albums from 2008, Top 100 Albums from 2007, Top 100+ from 2006, Top 50 from 2005, Top 10 from 2004


~~~hechter said...

I just fell in love with Grinderman's "Grinderman 2". IMHO, should have been placed higher...maybe top 20?

Shawn Anderson said...

It could've been as high as 15... in my mind there wasn't too much difference from #s 15 through 30.