Thursday, December 16, 2010

Top 2010

Continuing on from last year's instigated tradition! This time I made it tougher on myself and have squeezed the list down from 20 to 10.

10. Plastic Beach - Gorillaz The album is far more experimental than its predecessor, bringing in more collaborations and eccentricities to make a fantastic pop album.
Recommended track: Stylo

9. The Suburbs - Arcade FireA bit more rock 'n' roll; like The National, Arcade Fire sing about disenchantment, the dark of life, the paranoia; however still holding us on a string of hope.
Recommended track: Rococo

8. The Creatures in The Garden of Lady Walton - Clogs
Beautifully structured folk pieces. Shara Worden's voice is always a delight. The album is enchanting; moving through a forest, finding peace and rest.
Recommended track: The Owl Of Love

7. All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu - Rufus Wainwright
A far underrated album of 2010. Heartbreaking. Rarely do we get an album that allows the listener to directly connect to what has recently happened to the artist in his personal life. It is Wainwright's personal catharsis released to us.
Recommended track: Zebulon

6. I'm New Here - Gil Scott-HeronI'm admittedly pretty new to Gil Scott-Heron, but this album has confirmed my interest. The spoken word, lyrical flow is dark and transcending.
Recommended track: Running

5. Becoming a Jackal - VillagersGreat debut from Conor O'Brien; haunting, melodious.
Recommended track: Becoming a Jackal

4. Have One On Me - Joanna NewsomI will admit, nothing beats Ys, but this is a close competitor. Newsom's vocals are more earthy and subtle, but her lyrics are just as stream-like and descriptive as they've always been. It requires a lot of patience and commitment to go through this album start to finish, but it is worth it in the end.
Recommended track: Good Intentions Paving Company

3. Teen Dreams - Beach HouseTeen Dream probably exceeds Devotion and the debut in terms of being far more structured and thought out, a little more hi-fi, whilst still maintaining the band's defining dream-like sound. The repetitive style of Beach House's sound is beautiful and outstandingly catchy, and Victoria LeGrand's voice is soulful and ethereal. Seeing them live this year was also a bonus.
Recommended track (besides every single track on the album!): Real Love

2. High Violet - The NationalThe National never fail to delight; and High Violet is definitely a top National album. Berninger's lyrics continue to be the main highlight for me. An oddly written but universal exploration of the common man.
Recommended track (besides every single track on the album!): Lemonworld

1. The Age of Adz - Sufjan StevensMy expectation for Sufjan Steven's new album was pretty high, but again and again he aims higher. The Age of Adz [Odds] has everything; weird blitzy blop drum beats and textures, beautiful string arrangements, structured noise, strong melodies. There is no way to describe this album besides listening to it. With every listen, something new is discovered and explored. The articulation and precision of this album is amazing. Lyrically it is still personal and spiritual, with a more conventional slant towards love; however this is unconventionalized by connecting love to parnaoia, schizophrenia and the apocalypse!
Recommended track (besides every single track on the album!): I Want To Be Well

Honorable Mentions!
Ring - GlasserRecommended track: Apply

Volume 2 - She & HimRecommended track: Gonna Get Along Without You Now [cover]

Anticipation 2011

The Magic Place - Julianna Barwick

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