Favorite Albums of 2010

Posted by Greg , Friday, December 17, 2010 1:41 PM

I try to avoid writing "best of" lists, as I find it difficult if not impossible to say that one record is "better" than another, especially considering they all have divergent styles, motivations, and goals.

Furthermore, there's only so much time in a year, and I like to actually listen to these albums more than once!  I understand that major music news outlets have teams of people creating their lists, but I'm blown away when I see individual people making Top 50 lists for a single year.  Fifty albums?  That's an album a week.  I buy a lot of music, but I'd think an album should have some staying-power before it gets considered for a best-of list.

It makes me wonder how honest those lists really are...or whether other music fans are just adding albums because of one great song (or, possibly, because everyone else says it's good).  That's why you won't find Mimicking Birds, for example, on my list.  I love "Burning Stars" and "Cabin Fever," but I haven't heard the rest of that album.  Likewise for the New Pornographers, Shout Out Louds, Freelance Whales, and others.  Unfortunately those albums fall into the black hole of best-of lists: Not heard in 2010 and not eligible for 2011.

With that too-long disclaimer out of the way, here are my favorite albums released in 2010:

20. Vampire Weekend - Contra

Highlights: "Cousins," "Holiday," and "Giving Up the Gun."

19. Rocky Votolato - True Devotion

Highlights: "Sparklers" and "Red River."

18. Warpaint - The Fool

Highlights: "Composure," "Shadows," and "Baby."

17. Glen Phillips - Tornillo
Highlights: "Better Off Here" and "Let it Pass."

16. Eels - End Times

Highlights: "A Line in the Dirt," "Mansions of Los Feliz," and "Gone Man."
15. Local Natives - Gorilla Manor

Highlights: "Wide Eyes" and "Cubism Dream."

14. Secret Knives - Affection

Highlights: "Wicker Park" and "The Northwest States."

13. The Black Keys - Brothers

Highlights: "Tighten Up" and "Everlasting Light."

12. We Are Scientists - Barbara
Highlights: "Nice Guys," "I Don't Bite," and "Central AC."

11. Joe Pug - Messenger

Highlights: "Bury Me Far From My Uniform," "Unsophisticated Heart," and "Speak Plainly, Diana."

10. The Gaslight Anthem - American Slang

Highlights: "American Slang," "Orphans," "The Diamond Church Street Choir," and "The Boxer."

9. Wolf Parade - Expo 86

Highlights: "What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had to Go This Way)," "Yulia," "Cave-o-Sapien," and "Little Golden Age"

8. Gold Motel - Summer House
Highlights: "Safe in L.A." and "Summer House."

7. The National - High Violet

Highlights: "Bloodbuzz Ohio," "Conversation 16," "Sorrow," and "Terrible Love."

6. Spoon - Transference

Highlights: "I Saw the Light," "Written in Reverse" and "Got Nuffin."
5. Guster - Easy Wonderful 

Highlights: "Hercules," "This Could All Be Yours," "Do You Love Me," and "Do What You Want."

4. Frightened Rabbit - The Winter of Mixed Drinks

Highlights: "Swim Until You Can't See Land," "Nothing Like You," and "FootShooter."

3. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

  Highlights: "Deep Blue," "The Suburbs," and "Ready to Start."

2. Ra Ra Riot - The Orchard

Highlights: "The Orchard," "Boy," "You and I Know," "Shadowcasting," and "Too Dramatic."

1. Ryan Adams & the Cardinals - III/IV

Highlights: "Breakdown into the Resolve," "Star Wars," "The Sewers at the Bottom of the Wishing Well," "P.S."

1 Response to "Favorite Albums of 2010"

Aaron Says:

50 albums is like a no-playoff system. 20 albums is like an NBA playoff system: everyone with a .500 record gets in.

That being said, now I have a playlist for the next 3 years, so gracias Greegs.

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