The Top 10 Albums of 2010

Well, the temperature has dropped, the snow is out, Christmas ads have been on the telly for at least 3 months, that can mean only one thing... We're in December and the run up to the new year. The time where every man and his dog start to organise things into lists.

Surprisingly enough, I am no different and have done just that... So should you be in the midst of putting your Santa list together and looking for inspiration, I'd heartily recommend any (or better still, all of the following records).

Things I've noticed in putting this list together this year:
- British Music is massively under-represented
- It's unsurprisingly guitar based
- There was a lot of synthy type stuff out again this year
- Much of the 'nu-folk' type stuff was really not that great
- January was an unnecessarily strong month for releases

Before we hit the top 10, it's also worth mentioning some other fine records that never quite made the final cut. Some albums I enjoyed this year include:

Goldheart Assembly - Wolves and Thieves, Woods - At Echo Lake, Best Coast - Crazy For You, Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record and Phosphorescent - There's To Taking It Easy... all of whom would definitely have made a top 20 list were I have to have made one...

These, as is customary, are in reverse order, and make up my Top 10 albums of 2010 with a 'twitter friendly' note on why they are so good...

10. Surfer Blood: Astro Coast
Grabbed attention with 'Swim' at the back end of 09. Happily, rest of Astro Coast's surf rock lives up to early hype. More so than The Drums.

Listen: Surfer BloodFloating Vibes
Watch: Surfer Blood - Swim (To Reach The End)

9. Wild Nothing: Gemini

Wild Nothing picked up on the dreamy shoe gaze sound of 2009 and released an immediate, accessible and, frankly, damn fine album in 2010.

Listen: Wild Nothing - Chinatown
Watch: Wild Nothing - Summer Holiday

8. Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest
Ever prolific Bradford Cox found his old Deerhunter hat + produced an incredible record that's both intimate + anthemic in equal measures.

Listen: Deerhunter - Never Stops
Watch: Deerhunter - Helicopter

7. Midlake - The Courage of Others
How a band from Texas can produce such perfect winter music is baffling. Midlake's Courage of Others is akin to a grandiose audio hug.
Listen: Midlake - Winter Dies
Watch: Midlake - Acts of Man

6. Black Keys: Brothers
This is the White Stripes album that Jack White never made. The Black Keys' Brothers is stripped back, bluesy and, put simply, it rocks
Listen: Black Keys - Next Girl
Watch: Black Keys - Tighten Up

5. Avi Buffalo - Avi Buffalo
The debut album by teenage prodigy Avi Buffalo provides a healthy dose of musical sunshine. Lyrically foul at times, but musically delicious throughout.

Listen: Avi Buffalo - Remember Last Time
Watch: Avi Buffalo - What's In It For

4. Beach House - Teen Dream
Every spin brings something new. Whether it's heartbreaking lyrics or getting lost in instrumentation Teen Dream has something for everyone.

Listen: Beach House - Zebra
Watch: Beach House - Silver Soul

3. Magnetic Fields - Realism
Realism is a fine return to Magnetic Fields we know and love following the electric Distortion. Merritt's poetic lyrics are second to none.

Listen: Magnetic Fields - I Don't Want To Get Over You
Watch: Magnetic Fields - You Must Be Out of Your Mind (live)

2. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Arcade Fire are a phenomenon, one of only a few bands who are universally adored. This is because they produce music as fine as The Suburbs.

Listen: Arcade Fire - Ready To Start
Watch: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
1. The National - High Violet
How to follow up an album like Boxer? Well you take your time and come up with something even better. Dark and brooding ballads done with impeccable style. The most accessible record of the year and one that does not fade with time. Has been on pretty much constant rotation round these parts.

Listen: The National - Bloodbuzz Ohio
Watch: The National - Terrible Love (Alternate version)

So, there we have it, my top 10 records of this year. You can listen to them all (well most of them - Arcade Fire and Avi Buffalo are not available) via Spotify here

What you make of this little list? Let me know your thoughts... and your top 10s...


Billy said...

Interesting list. I feel like i'll need to dig out the Magnetic Fields album and give it another shot. However, I just don't get the Arcade Fire record. It's bloated with some of the most inisipid songs i've heard all year. Given that, there are a couple of standouts, i just think they completely overlooked quality control for the album. High Violet is a bit of stonker though.Even now, I still find myself going back to it and finding a surprise buried away in it. Tis very good.

For what it's worth, this is what I submitted to DiS for my records of the year. I'm still not 100% sure of it though -keeps changing day by day.

1. Pantha Du Prince - Black Noise
2. John Knox Sex Club - Blud Rins Cauld
3. Wild Nothing - Gemini
4. The National - High Violet
5. Caribou - Swim
6. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
7. Beach House - Teen Dream
8. Damien Jurado - Saint Bartlett
9. Mount Kimbie - Crooks & Lovers
10. Thee Silver Mt. Zion - Kollaps Tradixionales