Monday, December 20, 2010

my top 20 favorite albums of 2010

(it was time to dust off this blog for "best of" season)

the mandatory plot line of a "best of" post/article/story is to say if it was a good/bad/important/lame year in music. i think it's too hard to cast those stones. i'm a "favorites" kind of guy, more than a "best of" guy. i realize if you're a rock/hip hop/country fan you may want to stab me after browsing my list. if you're an indie/shoe gazer/post rock fan you may want to text me and hang out.

don't get me wrong i listened to all the same hip hop albums that everyone else did: kanye (there are 2 great songs there), big boi, the roots and cee lo (congrats on your hit song with a bad word in it, rebel). and you know what, i'd rather listen to steddy p's album "style like mine" from 2009 before any of them. yep, #kcpride.

so here are the fruits of my labor. i plowed through 260 plus albums this year. it was a little less than last year, but that's because i was living in bars all year seeing live shows. i always like to point out, of my top 20, i didn't know 9 of the artists before the year began but they won a spot.

here you go...

20 Stars - The Five Ghosts

more great lilting tales from the Canadian songbird and Broken Social Scene contributor Amy Millan and other band mates.

19 Frightened Rabbit - The Winter Of Mixed Drinks

whiskey soaked Scots put together another good batch of songs of longing and desperation, someday people will know their name.

18 Bettie Serveert - Pharmacy Of Love

loud chick rock shaken at you from Carol van Dyk, similar in vibe to local scene heros from the '90s, Frogpond but they're Dutch.

17 Lissie - Catching A Tiger

midwestern singer songwriter with a really good back line that won me over at SXSW, not your typical coffeehouse girl.

16 The Album Leaf - A Chorus of Storytellers

Jimmy LaValle's San Diego ambient synth rock returns to my favorite albums list, just like in 2004 it's a solid collection of soundscapes.

15 School of Seven Bells - Disconnect From Desire

shoegazer electro pop from identical twins from NYC and another dude, not long after their fall Record Bar gig one of the twins left the band.

14 Horse Feathers - Thistled Spring

indie chamber folk kids from Portland return to my list after their 2008 album, great arrangements of voices and strings.

13 Cowboy Indian Bear - Each Other All The Time

local Lawrence indie pop boys on The Record Machine label teamed up to make a great album, with more good to come with the addition of Katlyn Conroy.

12 Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

"best of" darlings team up for another great album full of memorable songs, if they wanted to they could be as big as U2.

(this video is a youtube version, to create your own, which is AWESOME, go here


11 Tracy Thorn - Love & Its Opposite

better known as one half of Everything But The Girl, here standing on her own this Brit pours out painfully beautiful songs.

10 Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz

midwest indie folk rocker puts down the lyric book and picks up a Casio, or five and goes experimental and it's surprisingly successful.

9 Glasser - Ring

newcomer Cameron Mesirow put together an album filled with airy-synth beats she calls "post-pop" that plays out almost like one really long track.

8 Mimicking Birds - Mimicking Birds

3 guys from Portland that won over Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse, got on his label then opened for MM, they're better than MM.

7 Yeasayer - Odd Blood

Brooklyn based quintet pushing out really catchy sythny pop beats with pretty decent lyrics to boot, this has been in heavy rotation for 10 months.

6 Titus Andronicus - The Monitor

these Jersey boys need to go on a US tour and open for The Hold Steady, they share the same feist, grit and drum beats.

5 Sleigh Bells - Treats

it sounds like you ran into the studio, turned every knob and switch to 10 then laid down vocals, it's loud and from just 2 kids from Jersey.

4 The Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt

music in its simplest form, a man with a voice you wish Dylan still had with his guitar making music, he's a Swede but I bet he likes Nashville.

3 Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can

she's the girl next door version of Beth Orton, more approachable, less elusive and not so broken hearted yet, she's only 20.

2 Gonsi - Go

remember that Icelandic volcano that disrupted the world in April, Eyjafjallajökull, Jonsi is the voice of that volcano.

1 The National - High Violet

there's something about Matt Berninger's voice and the darker arrangements coming from the two sets of siblings backing him, they're responsible for my #1 album of 2008 and the decade, love them with me.

1 comment:

  1. Love the list. Did you go to the Bettie Serveert in-store at Kief's on Mass. in 2005?