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[Pick of the Week] The Top Albums of 2010

The Top Albums of 2010

I honestly believe that 2010 was a great year for music.  I'm not talking about Justin Bieber or Ke$sha, who make style without substance (and maybe guilty pleasure music), but holistic albums of themes that stretch the boundaries of storytelling.  Without further ado, here are the Top Albums of 2010.  Feel free to comment and let us know what you think and what your favorite albums of 2010 were.  Here goes:

#10 ) "This is Happening" - LCD Soundsystem

This is the third and last album from James Murphy.  The album does an excellent job of combining electronic punk and dance music with haunting and sardonic lyrics with songs ranging from the the nearly 9 minute feast "Dance Yrself Clean" to the very funny "Drunk Girls."

#9) "Odd Blood" - Yeasayer

This is the second self-produced album by these guys and it's a fun ride.  Drawing from a variety of genres, including being heavily influenced by pop music, the lyrics pay homage to figures ranging from John Lennon to the boxer Joe Louis.  Their song "Ambling Alp" may be the most famous, but the whole album is equally good.

#8) "Sigh No More" - Mumford & Sons

Technically, this band's album was released in the UK in 2009, but it came to the U.S. in February of 2010 so it counts in my book.  This English folk group has put together one of the most complete albums of 2010 and feature great songs from the down and out "I Gave You All" to the driving "Little Lion Man."  These guys are a great band to see live.

#7) "High Violet" - The National

The National has been making the music scene since 1999, from their humble origins of Ohio.  The baritone singing voice of Matt Berninger is iconic and combined with Sufjan Stevens on the song "Afraid of Everyone" is impeccably moving.

#6) "Lisbon" - The Walkmen

This indie group is based out of New York City and this album is a tribute to the city Lisbon in Portugal.  Featuring great songs like "Angela Surf City" and "Blue As your Blood," this album warrants listening to it several times because the songs get even better.

#5) Broken Bells

Broken Bells is the music project of producer Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) and James Mercer (of The Shins) and it is a phenomenal album.  Their single from the album "The High Road" is a good sampler to start out with.  If you enjoyed The Shins, you will probably love this band.

#4) "God Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise"    - Ray LaMontagne

Ray LaMontagne has such a soothing voice and he has been very prolific over the years.  His new album is incredible and the song "Beg Steal or Borrow" was nominated in the Grammy's for Song of the Year and deservedly so.

#3) "Brothers" - The Black Keys

This is the 6th album by the duo Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, produced by Danger Mouse.  Just listen to the album and tell me it's not incredible with heavenly songs like "Tighten Up" and "Ten Cent Pistol."  The band does a good job of molding blues and rock with catchy rhythms that are intoxicating.  I couldn't put this album down.

#2) "The Suburbs" - Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire has put out one of their best albums to date, in my opinion.  It is a pack leader for Album of The Year.  This album is epic and has a wide variety of music.  I love the combination of lead singer Win Butler and Regine Chassagne on the song "Sprawl (Mountains Beyond Mountains)" which is my favorite piece on the album, paying homage to Haiti.

#1) "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy"                                     Kanye West

There's very little dispute when listening to this album that it is the best album of 2010.  Kanye West tells life like it is and he isn't afraid to open his mouth.  With deeply existential songs like "Power" and "Monster" we are given a keen insight into an egomaniac who is at the top of his form.  Every song seems to incorporate samples of other work and the power of Kanye is taking that to a new level.  You may not have the highest opinion of this guy, but he has put together one of the greatest albums of the 21st century and definitely the top of 2010.

Honorable Mentions:

Jamey Johnson, Vampire Weekend, Eminem, Robert Plant, The Dead Weather, Beach House, Neil Young, Big Boi, Spoon, Superchunk, Gorillaz, Cee Lo Green, M.I.A., Janelle Monae, Deerhunter, Flying Lotus, Sufjan Stevens,  Best Coast, Two Door Cinema Club, Robyn, Lost in the Trees,  Sleigh Bells,  Eels, Spoon, Surfer Blood, Los Campesinos!, Against Me!, Band of Horses, Titus Andronicus, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, and Jonsi. What are your top albums of 2010?

-Soren Nieminen


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12/13/2010 8:59AM
[Pick of the Week] The Top Albums of 2010
Please Enter Your Comments Below
12/13/2010 9:03AM
Jared
Kanye? Really? Nice list otherwise.
12/13/2010 10:37AM
Katie
Mumford & Sons by FAR.
12/13/2010 12:28PM
Fresh New Music
You gotta give Kanye a chance! Especially the collaboration with Bon Iver (an indie group from Wisconsin). It's not for everyone, but I encourage giving it a listen to at least once.
12/13/2010 9:46PM
M
I really loved North Hills by Dawes. It was released in 2009 but they've really gained a lot of momentum in 2010. They're another band that is amazing in concert. They really love their fans too.
12/13/2010 11:22PM
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Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!
12/14/2010 10:28AM
gabby
I totally love the One EskimO album.
12/15/2010 11:35AM
Jason
Nice List! I like the indie selections on there. My only two additions would be Treats by Sleigh Bells (great new artist) and The Age of Adz by Sufjan Stevens (which is my number 1). My other honorable mention would be Gorrilla Manor by the Local Natives. I would probably take out Yeasayer's, Ray Lamontange, and Kayne (but I have not heard his album yet).
12/15/2010 11:40AM
Roryg
No particular order : The Eels, Drive By Truckers-The Big To Do (and Go Go Boots for that matter), Jamey Johnson (best performer at Farm Aid),Jonsi, Buddy Guy, Arcade Fire, The Constellations, The National, Eilen Jewell, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Mumfordand Sons, Gogol Bordello, Reissue: Springsteen - Darkness on the Edge of Town (duh)
12/17/2010 5:22PM
Benjy Hart
Just curious....did Triple M actually play all these albums on a regular basis? You really played Yeasayer and Kanye West? Actually admitting that you don't play the best indie music on the air? Bizarre! And Hilarious!
12/21/2010 1:10PM
Gabby Parsons
Stations like Triple M have a format and sometimes a song, while an excellent one, just doesn't fit the format. For example, the Kanye West. However, all it takes is ears and good taste to recognize a good song and like it. Not too bizarre and not even hilarious.
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