Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Best Albums of 2010

The music list always seems weakest when I do these, and I think it's because new albums are the first thing to fall off my frequent purchases when I'm low on cash. I just rarely go out and buy an album unless it's by an artist I already know. It's not that I don't think these are all really good albums, I just wish I had a lot more to pick between when putting this together. Because I do think these are all really good albums.

Best of 2010

5. Spoon - Transference

I enjoyed Transference about as much as Spoon's last release, though not quite for the same reasons. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga had a lot of really tightly constructed, solid rock songs, while Transference is much looser and jammy. It was a slightly different approach to the same general sound that I liked a lot, and the whole album is just full of grooves that could easily last a lot longer than they already do. Maybe disappointing if you wanted more of the same, but I dug it.

4. Beach House - Teen Dream

I didn't review this because I got it after the new year, which means I won't since I don't do that anymore. But it's a really good album, making "dream pop" a lot more interesting than it sounds. It's really pleasant, well produced, surprisingly catchy music, and something a lot of different people could agree is nice to listen to. It kind of drags a bit by the end, but for the most part it's all really fun.

3. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

Plastic Beach didn't quite live up to Demon Days for me, but I liked it more than the Gorillaz' first album, which was also really good on its own. Maybe there could have been a bit more variety to the guests, but they're well integrated, Damon Albarn does a good job pulling double duty on vocals and production, and a lot of the songs hit just as hard as anything else they've done.

2. The National - High Violet

I have a feeling The National could become one of my favorite bands very quickly. The singer has an awesome baritone voice, and the songwriting matches it perfectly. I'm having a hard time trying to describe it, but it's just really well done, appropriately moody rock for a slightly more mature audience. Not every track is terribly interesting, but most of them are listenable on a nearly endless level.

1. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

The Suburbs seemed like a nice mix between the first two albums by these guys, a bit more consistently fun and interesting than last time but also focusing on slightly more mature topics as they all grow into real adulthood. It doesn't have a single song that really matches the absolute best stuff they've done before, but "Sprawl II" is pretty much there, and almost everything else is at least likable enough that you don't really feel like skipping around. A true album from start to finish.

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