The best albums of 2010, much the same as 2009, were ridiculously hard to narrow down into a final 30. But after much of the obligatory mulling over nominees and usual bits of chopping and changing positions i’ve finally got a Top 30 Countdown. It was a pretty spectacular twelve months in terms of music. Full of all sorts of aural delights.
As customary the countdown is from Numero 30 to Numero 1 and with a short little description of each album. I’ve tried to keep it to short as i’m pushed for time and it is a school night afterall so it’s early to bed tonight for me.
30. !!! – STRANGE WEATHER ISN’T IT?
A colourful return to form from the dance punk Cali-NY group.
29. GIL SCOTT HERON – I’M NEW HERE
There’s still life in the old dog yet. Putting most of todays young guns to shame with this “post-modernised” blues album.
28. FUTURE ISLANDS – IN EVENING AIR
Fresh and backed with the unique voice of Samuel T Herring this album provided Future Islands with a huge step towards global recognition.
27. NEDRY – CONDOR
Glitch laden, echo filled debut from this seemingly ever evolving trio.
26. BLACKBIRD BLACKBIRD – SUMMER HEART
Released on Christmas Day, this was the perfect stocking filler from Blackbird Blackbird. A collection of dream pop classics.
25. HOLY FUCK – LATIN
Holy Fuck? Holy Funk more like. Instrumental lords at their best but with added funkability.
24. MEURSAULT – ALL CREATURES WILL MAKE MERRY
23. BATHS – CERULEAN
A wonderfully textured body of work forms the debut of Will Wiesenfeld aka Baths.
22. WARPAINT – THE FOOL
The all girl four piece dropped one of the most anticipated albums of 2010 and didn’t disappoint with “The Fool”.
21. THE NATIONAL – HIGH VIOLET
It had been a while, so to say, since the indie kids favourite miserablists had released a full length effort and this summer release was a blinding reminder of what they’re capable of.
20. MOUNT KIMBIE – CROOKS AND LOVERS
Blending every type of music there is into just under 40 minutes may seem impossible to most. Not to these guys though.
19. THESE NEW PURITANS – HIDDEN
The sounds of a band truly finding themselves has never been more enjoyable.
18. BEACH HOUSE – TEEN DREAM
Beguilling and warm. This mysterious offering only makes me love Beach House more than i already did.
17. WILD NOTHING – GEMINI
Unmistakably influenced by the 80’s, this wide eyed debut from Jack Tatum and co is literally summer on a disc.
16. GAYNGS – RELAYTED
The compelling tribe of artists known as Gayngs were always going to give us something special with all the collective talent they have in their possession.
15. FLYING LOTUS – COSMOGRAMMA
Giving us another multi layered odyssey was always going to be the main target for one of the most consistent IDM artists out there. He succeeded in typical mesmerising fashion.
14. SALEM – KING NIGHT
Mysterious, cold yet tender and encapsulating. A chilling album from these dark hosts.
13. ERRORS – COME DOWN WITH ME
Following up debut album “It’s Not Something…” was always gonna be hard but Errors managed to seemingly effortlessly succeed. Never has electronic instrumental music sounded so cool.
12. SURFER BLOOD – ASTRO COAST
With vocal melodies and lyrics evoking a heavier Beach Boys this was one of the first albums of 2010 that made my ears prick up and pay serious attention when it came out last January.
11. TOBACCO – MANIAC MEAT
The main man from Black Moth Super Rainbow continues his solo project in style. Roping in Beck for some guest vocals on this aggressive 16 track LP.
10. EIGHTIES MATCHBOX B-LINE DISASTER – BLOOD AND FIRE
The Brighton legends returned to form and then some with this tight, well structured sonically enticing outpouring. Sprucing up a few older tracks and adding in some amazing new ones was the perfect way to keep there notoriously loyal fans more than happy.
9. FOUR TET – THERE IS LOVE IN YOU
Keiran Hebden never lets us down and last years album was no different. Maybe more tender/softer than previous releases in some areas and certainly not as complicated but still groovy enough to make you want to dance away to your heart’s content.
8. ARCADE FIRE – THE SUBURBS
The big one that everybody was and still is talking about. The album that turned Arcade Fire from indie playlist stalwarts to world renowned epic song possessing music Gods.
7. PANTHA DU PRINCE – BLACK NOISE
Another early bird, released in February ’10, that stuck around in my head all year long. An expressive and ever expanding work of art.
6. GOLD PANDA – LUCKY SHINER
Previous EP releases from Gold Panda gave us an idea of what was gonna be in store for his debut album but nothing could have prepared us for the twist and turns that “Lucky Shiner” slides through. It’s a story of an album. One that’s worth reading over and over again.
5. DEFTONES – DIAMOND EYES
There’s no doubt about it, the Deftones are timeless. Diamond Eyes was a long time coming. The band have been through a very tough time over the last few year and if anybody deserves to be praised this year it is them. Combining styles form all of their previous albums to create an elegant piece of alternative rock. Nobody does it as good as the Deftones. They’ve been around for over two decades but show no sign of slowing up and tracks like “Royal” show they still have that bite that all other modern rock bands envy. They’ve left their calling card once again.
4. MF/MB/ – FOLDED
This was a late discovery of mine last year. I’m honest enough to admit i’d never even heard of the band until a friend recommended them to me in the winter. And what a recommendation. The material on this album ranges from the simple stuff to the extravagant experimental stuff. Staying sublime the whole way through and not losing sight of the art rock/pop stylings.
3. KANYE WEST – MY BEAUTIFUL DARK TWISTED FANTASY
The best word i can think of to describe this album is primordial. It’s the beginning of a new vein of hip hop and RnB. Jam packed full of special guests ranging from Jay Z to Bon Iver and full of ideas. It’s an essential listen from start to end.
2. 65DAYSOFSTATIC – WE WERE EXPLODING ANYWAY
Colossal riffs and beats as always from the Sheffield masters of post rock. Adding that little something different with each passing song. They’re gaining an ever growing fan base throughout the world and it’s easy to hear why. They’re at the forefront of everything that is modern instrumental music. They’re the pioneers of sonic brutality and this album shows that they plan on keeping that title for a long time to come.
and the WINNER of Best Album of 2010 is…..
1. O.CHILDREN – O.CHILDREN
The self titled effort form O.Children was pretty much a shoe in for Number 1 on this list from the moment i heard it. You’d need to reform Death From Above 1979 and get them in a studio with Queens of the Stone Age to make the best album they possibly could to even make me THINK about changing my mind on this one. Back to O.Children though, being named after a Nick Cave song meant they were always going to be dark/gothic but they’ve just taken dark and made it darker. Eerie in parts,atmpospheric and always moody and intense. They wear their influences on their sleeve (Joy Divison, Echo and the Bunnymen etc) and use them to carve their own niche. They embrace the miserable side of things and somehow turn it into catchy hooks and perfectly timed choruses. They’ve sombrely embraced the world and with this album as their introduction the world will surely return the favour. They deserve it.
I’ve made ZIP files with one track from each album and posted them on mediafire. Below are the tracks included and download links.
SIT WOLF: TOP 30 ALBUMS OF 2010 (Part 1)
30. !!! – AM/FM
29. Gil Scott Heron – Me And The Devil
28. Future Islands – Tin Man
27. Nedry – A42
26. Blackbird Blackbird – Avalanche
25. Holy Fuck – Stay Lit
24. Meursault – One Day This’ll All Be Fields
23. Baths – Maximalist
22. Warpaint – Shadows
21. The National – Runaway
20. Mt. Kimbie – Ruby
19. These New Puritans – Attack Music
18. Beach House – Silver Soul
17. Wild Nothing – Live In Dreams
16. Gayngs – Crystal Rope
DOWNLOAD PART 1 (30-16) here
SIT WOLF: TOP 30 ALBUMS OF 2010 PART 2
15. Flying Lotus – Do The Astral Plane
14. Salem – Frost
13. Errors – Antipode
12. Surfer Blood – Floating Vibes
11. Tobacco – Fresh Hex (feat. Beck)
10. Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – Monsieur Cutts
9. Four Tet – Sing
8. Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
7. Pantha Du Prince – Lay In A Shimmer
6. Gold Panda – Parents
5. Deftones – You’ve Seen The Butcher
4. MF/MB/ – 1000 Times
3. Kanye West – So Appalled
2. 65daysofstatic – Crash Tactics
1. O.Children – Ruins
DOWNLOAD PART 2 (15-1) here