My Top 10 ’10 Albums

Are you surprised?  I finally did it.  I am officially letting everyone know my top ten albums of 2010.  I have another surprise for you though.  I had every intention of naming only ten albums (with some Honorable Mentions) when I started reviewing everything but I soon decided that my music ADD would not allow me.  I cannot start my blog saying one album is better than another when my taste changes every three hours (or minutes … or seconds).  So what I have for you here is my favorite albums from the year and my brief review with some suggestions from the album.

Stayed in CD player for weeks

  • Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More – A superb first state-side album.  The mix of slow, fast, bluegrass, folk, punk-folk, rock is great.  I will let the album do the rest of the convincing.  Suggestions: all
  • The National – High Violet – I will say that this album does not touch Boxer (or maybe even Alligator) but that would be extremely difficult.  I recommend buying the expanded edition if you pick this up.  This album is my fall-back for when I want to listen to something newer when nothing good is on XM.  The album might sound dark and a little depressing, but I can listen to depressing music when I am in the happiest of moods (might be an interesting topic for a future post).  Suggestions: “Terrible Love”, “Afraid of Everyone”, “Little Faith”, “Sorrow” … but really, all
  • Broken Bells – Broken Bells – This album is not for everyone.  It is a little more synthy than some people like, but it works great for me.  The only two knocks on this album are that you almost expect more from James Mercer & Brian Burton and it is basically an electric/synthy The Shins album (and I don’t mean that in a bad way).  Suggestions: “Vaporize”, “The Mall & Misery”, “The Ghost Inside”
  • Arcade Fire – The Suburbs – I am not a big Arcade Fire fan, but this album is superb.  Seriously, the only other Arcade Fire song I like is probably “No Cars Go” but I can listen to this whole album.  Suggestions: “Modern Man”, “Ready to Start”, “We Used to Wait”
  • Girl Talk – All Day – You either get it or you don’t so I’m not going to say anything except this is some damn fun music.  Suggestions: “Oh No”, “Every Day”, “Jump on Stage”

Fall back options when I need something else

  • Sam Quinn – The Fake That Sunk a Thousand Ships - Anything by any member of The Everybodyfields will always make any list I make.  I cannot wait to put Jill Andrews new album on my ’11 list.  Suggestions: “Fanboy”, “Hello”, “Late The Other Night”
  • Menomena – Mines – Indie blog-o-sphere new comer of the year probably.  I never gave this one a chance until December and I am now sad that I missed their show at the Mercy Lounge back in November(??).  I was entranced when I first listened while at the gym to the point where I kept working out to listen to it back to back.  Suggestions: “Taos”, “Bote”, “Five Little Rooms”
  • Frightened Rabbit – Winter of Mixed Drinks – Sullen, depressing music.  Think The National except from Scotland … and the instruments sound happy.  Suggestions: “Things”, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”, “Nothing Like You”
  • Best Coast – Crazy For You – Low-fi California girl writes California garage rock about her boyfriend, the summer, weed, and her cat.  Doesn’t sound like much, but it you’ll be suprised.  One song clocks in at over three minutes (3:02).   Suggestions: “Our Deal”, “Crazy For You”, “When I’m With You”
  • Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - She’s hot and I still remember leaving everyone I was with at Voodoo Fest ’08 to go watch her and being in a crowd of about 40 people and getting up right by the stage to see her cover “Paint it Black”.  Suggestions: “Paris (Ooh La La)”, “Medicine”
  • Band of Horses – Infinite Arms – Third album from the band is a little lacking, but it is above average by most standards.  It sounds simpler than their previous two efforts and I think it is a step back for them.  It will not keep me from listening to it again, however Cease… or Everything… would be picked before them.  Suggestions: “Compliments”, “Older”
  • Dr. Dog – Shame, Shame – I have a hard time with this album because I always seem to forget about it, but then I listen again and I can’t stop.  Suggestions: “Shadow People”, “Shame, Shame”
  • The Soft Pack – The Soft Pack – The first thing that popped in my head when listening to this was “The Strokes … but cleaner sounding” and after a couple of listens, I stick by it.  Only two songs clock out at over 3:15, so that helps my musical ADD to like them more. Suggestions: “Down On Loving”, “C’mon”, “Answer to Yourself”
  • Citizen Cope – The Rainwater LP – CC is what he is, lazy day loungin’ music.  He works it and he works well.  Even his faster songs work to lounge around (or “lamp”) to.  Suggestions: “Healing Hands”, “I Couldn’t Explain Why”
  • Black Keys – Brothers – I can never get really into Black Keys, but I do find myself listening to this piece more than their others.  Suggestions: “Next Girl”, “Howlin’ For You”, “Never Gonna Give You Up”
  • JJ Grey & Mofro – Georgia Warhorse – Plain ol’ southern folk rock is the best way to describe JJ Grey & Mofro.  I imagine driving down a country road with windows down whenever I listen to this album (and their others).  Suggestions: “King Hummingbird”, “The Sweetest Thing”, “Georgia Warhorse”

The Best of Synthy/Trance

  • Yeasayer – Odd Blood
  • Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
  • Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles (II)
  • Caribou – Swim

So let me know who I missed.  I may have listened and didn’t like (ex. The Avett Brothers – I & Love & You), but I am always open to give a band another listen.  Oh, and top concerts will be the next post and I can probably rank those.

Some other “tops” that I think you will enjoy or that I check (not that I agree them):

Out The Other

Paul Shirley

Aquarium Drunkard

Consequence of Sound

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