The past year was filled with unforgettable music. As I was poring over all of the great albums I began agonizing (often vocally to my wife) about how I was possibly going to choose which albums would make this list. Throughout the past two months I’ve been listening to twenty albums on constant repeat and below I present to you the fruits of this labor.
01 : The National – High Violet (amazon) (itunes)
The National crafted an album in 2010 that surpassed all of the hype that has been surrounding them since they released their album Alligator in 2005. Of all the great music in 2010 this album narrowly surpassed the rest of the pack in grabbing and holding my attention the most.
02 : Cloud Cult – Light Chasers (amazon) (itunes)
There are five or six albums in this list that could have easily laid claim to the coveted number one position. Light Chasers sits at number two on the list because every single song adds to the story arc and each track contributes something new, yet cohesive, to the experience.
03 : Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz (amazon) (itunes)
Many people didn’t know what to think of Sufjan’s return to music. He eschewed his well known banjo and modern folk interpretations and instead produced a sprawling epic that combines intricate storytelling with even more intricate electronic compositions. Truly a great album.
04 : Jonsi – Go (amazon) (itunes)
Jonsi went solo this year from Sigur Ros and he came up with an album that sounds as great as his band, but it moves along with a joy and brevity that they don’t typically employ.
mp3 : Jonsi – Kolnidur
05 : Arcade Fire – The Suburbs (amazon) (itunes)
When you see Arcade Fire at fifth on this it’s easy to see just how hard it was to arrange the top ten. The only problem I have with this album (which is the same as everyone else) is that it isn’t full of songs on the same level as Wake Up. I know that isn’t fair, but it’s what we’re all waiting for.
mp3 : Arcade Fire – Rococo
06 : Vampire Weekend – Contra (amazon) (itunes)
In 2008 I was ready to write these Ivy League yuppie kids off as a typical flash in the pan. On their sophomore album they’ve found a way to turn smug indie rock into something worth listening to over and over again.
07 : Broadcast 2000 – Broadcast 2000 (amazon) (itunes)
The only reason this great album doesn’t move higher on the list is that many of the songs appeared two full years ago on their debut EP.
08 : Freelance Whales – Weathervanes (amazon) (itunes)
Having been released back in early April it’s easy to see why many list makers completely forgot about this slice of well crafted folk pop. The entire album is well crafted and infectious.
09 : Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (amazon) (itunes)
While I don’t agree with his lyrics, his message, his ego, or his personality I do agree with critics and listmakers across the globe that realize this album is worth looking past Ye’s flaws.
10 : Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History (amazon) (itunes)
Each year I seem to find one amazing pop album that I can listen to again and again. In 2009 it was Phoenix and in 2010 it was Two Door Cinema Club.
Those are my top ten albums for 20010. If you’d like to see my previous lists follow these links; 2009, 2008, 2007 (or click here to see all 4 years on one page). I’m looking forward to 2011 in music as there will most likely be albums by Radiohead, Coldplay, Bon Iver, and The Strokes. Enjoy the music.