Sunday, December 5, 2010

Top 10 Albums of 2010

I truly can't express how much I miss blogging about music. However, though it is ridiculously fun, it is very time consuming. Anyways, who cares about me, let's talk about the music of 2010! Here are my picks for the top albums of 2010.


Sonny and the Sunsets - "Tomorrow is Alright" / "Gorillaz - Plastic Beach"

As I was making my list I was struggling to choose between these two albums. Gorillaz' "Plastic Beach" is like a playground of different songs and Sonny and the Sunsets' "Tomorrow Is Alright" is just a straight up folk jam! So I just combined the two for the #10 spot.

Sonny and the Sunsets - "Death Cream"
Gorillaz - "White Flag"


Laarks - "An Exaltation of Laarks"

 I'm not really sure what a "Laark" is but what I am sure of is that Laarks' debut album "An Exaltation of Laarks" is a promising debut album. This album is chalk full of energy, synthesizers and one hell of a drummer. Lets say....Postal Service meets The National. Probably not a very good comparison but it'll do. Laarks may have an ordinary and similar sound to most bands, but they have a unique of constructing and delivering their songs. 


The War On Drugs - "Future Weather EP"

Even though this EP was released at the end of October it reminisces summertime. These ambient, folk jams that feel like they are played in a stadium, urge to be played while traveling on summer day as the sun dies into the hills.

The War On Drugs - "Comin' Through"

Damien Jurado - "Saint Bartlet"

I could have added this album for the opening song "Cloudy Shoes" alone. However, the whole album follows in "Cloudy Shoes" Subtle, simple and sad but easily enjoyable folk songs fronted by Jurado's Neil Young esque vocals. "Love is not painless, it's poison"!

Damien Jurado - "Cloudy Shoes"
Damien Jurado - "Arkansas"


Menomena - "Mines"

"Mines" is another chapter in Menomena's avante-garde approach to music. The songs that make up "Mines" require multiple listens in order to catch the quirky 2-measure sounds that pop up and leave. From straight forward jams like "Queen Black Acid" and "TAOS" from inconsistent, head-scratchers "Killemall" and "Lunchmeat", "Mines" will have you indubitably (pretentious word, I know, really wanted to use it though) listening closer and closer with each listen.

Menomena - "Queen Black Acid"
Menomena - "Killemall"


The Black Keys - "Brothers"

"Brothers" is a rock album. A damn good rock album. With the exception of "Too Afraid To Love You" and "The Go Getter" it's evident from the opening track (probably my favorite on the album) "Everlasting Light" that The Black Keys wanted to relax and make an enjoyable rock album. Though there are deeper stories within some songs they are usually masked by an accessible bluesy rock outfit. Whether you want to indulge in the stories and lyrics in context with the music or just straight up jam, this album delivers.

The Black Keys - "Everlasting Light"
The Black Keys - "Tighten Up"


Tame Impala - Innerspeaker

If I had a list of top summer albums, Tame Impala's debut album "Innerspeaker" would probably top it. I'll never forget starting the album with no expectations to go by and hearing "It Is Not Meant to Be" begin. I was in love with the band from the opening track. But to my good fortune that rest of the album continued to deliver just as good atmospheric, classic-rock sounding songs. "Lucidity" sounds like it is coming straight from the Beatles, only better and "Solitude is Bliss" sounds like a Phoenix song, only better. Aussie's Tame Impala is definitely one of the best new bands to arrive in 2010. 

Tame Impala - "Lucidity"


Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest

Halcyon Digest is the name of Deerhunter's latest album, and is an apt description for the album. Everything about this album suggests a halcyon feel, whether it's upbeat, headboppers like "Revival" (one of my favorite songs of the year) and "Desire Lines" or slowed down indulges like "He Would Have Laughed" and "Helicopter" (even though I prefer the live BBC version to the studio version).

Deerhunter - "Helicopter"
Deerhunter - "Revival"


Liars - Sisterworld

"Sisterworld" is probably the most unique album of 2010, in my opinion. Throughout this entire album there lingers this subtle, eery feel. Just listen to opening track "Scissor" and you will know what I'm talking about. Songs like "No Barrier Fun" and "Drip" are straight up 100% chillers, while "Scarecrows On A Killer Slant" and "The Overachievers" are in your face rockers. Nearly every melody is creepy and unusual. Standout moments on the album arrive with creeping violens, whispers, and harmonized vocals. This is one of those albums where you have to listen to it from start to finish. Near the end you might feel creeped the hell out, pumped on how awesome the album is....or like me.... both. 

Liars - "Scissor"
Liars - "Proud Evolution"


The Walkmen - Lisbon

Ah yes, The Walkmen. My most anticipated album of 2010. I was somewhat apprehensive to listen to this album. You know when you look forward to something so much and find out it's not what you expected? That's what I was afraid of. But oh boy did these guys deliver. I love every Walkmen album, but this is probably one of my favorites, up there with "You And Me" and "Everybody Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone". This is a much cleaner and polished album than its predecessors. Don't get me wrong, their earlier albums were meant to sound a bit rugged and that's is what I loved about them. But this album is a more clear version of the Walkmen. Still the same unique melodies with additional horns and tingy guitar all the while fronted by Hamilton Leithauser's somewhat whiny and raspy voice. Some songs on the album reminisce old gloomy 50's style songs like "Torch Song" and "Stranded" which is something The Walkmen have always been competent in doing. Lisbon is a polished, accessible album that continues The Walkmen's signature sound.

The Walkmen - "Stranded"
The Walkmen - "Angela Surf City"
The Walkmen - "Juveniles"

Well, there's my list. What you think? Agree? Disagree? "Wheres the National"? "Where's the Arcade Fire"? "Wheres (insert band you feel deserves 1st)"?
Lemme know what you think.