Top Ten Albums of 2010

Think the radio sucks?  It does.  Think there’s got to be real musicians out there producing real music?  There are.  Think I’m going to tell you who they are?  I am.  Think only a-holes ask themselves questions for themselves to answer?  They do.  So read on, if for no other reason than the fact that I listened to tons of crap to compile this list.  You’re welcome, America.

Top Ten Albums of 2010:

  1. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs:  People like to joke about how many people are in this band.  Yes, there are several hundred but it works.  It’s up for several Grammies which means this band could go big but are more likely to lose to people more known for their boobs (Katy Perry) or haircut (Justin Bieber) instead of their music.
  2. Black Keys – Brothers:  Went back and forth on whether this album should be number 1.  It’s hard to compare this band with Arcade Fire because the Black Keys are just two guys with like three instruments tops.  While discussing this album with a friend, he said “The best music is the music you can’t pin down when it was recorded”.  If you’re having trouble understanding that quote, this album is exhibit A.
  3. Vampire Weekend – Contra:  Sophomore slump?  Nope.   The Ivy League rockers picked up right where they left off from their first release.  Sure, the lead singer looks like the preppy jerk who eventually loses the girl to the scrappy underdog in an 80’s movie, but he can belt out some catchy tunes.
  4. Broken Bells – Broken Bells:  Need a Shins fix?  Here you go.  The lead singer of the Shins and Danger Mouse team for a Postal Service-ish album.  Hopefully, this will be the first of many releases (unlike the Postal Service) or the Shins will go back to recording again.
  5. Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More:  Kind of like any angrier version of the Avett Brothers although definitely not as good as the Avetts.  Side note – if you haven’t checked out the Avett Brothers yet, you’re stupid.
  6. Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards: Another of Jack White’s side projects that is a little louder and a little darker than the rest of his bands. 
  7. Carolina Chocolate Drops – Genuine Negro Jig:  An uber-talented African American bluegrass trio that I had the pleasure of seeing live twice this year.  And if you’re curious, when they say they’re playing bones they are playing bones – literally.
  8. Interpol – Interpol:  Despite naming their FOURTH album after themselves (how lame is that anyway?  Hey guys, what should we call our new album?  I don’t know.  I’ve always thought ‘Interpol’ was pretty cool.  Yeah, let’s call it that), this is another great release by an underrated band.  I expect they’ll take off after touring with U2 next year. 
  9. South Memphis String Band – Home Sweet Home:  An interesting cross between bluegrass and blues.  I would call it bluesy-grass but I don’t want anyone to punch me. 
  10. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: Yeah, he’s a d-bag but this a great album.  And if you refuse to listen to Kanye because you’re loyal to Taylor Swift, then there’s nothing I can really do for you.
Top Ten Songs of 2010

Top Ten Songs of 2010:

  1. Vampire Weekend – Holiday:  I’m a little pissed that they sold this song to at least two businesses (Honda & Tommy Hilfiger) but it’s so f#$ing catchy.  Every time I catch a riff of it, I’m automatically playing the air drums.
  2. Arcade Fire – Suburban War: Really, I could have taken like five or six songs from this album and put it here.  Such a great release.  This is probably its darkest track.  Love the tempo change at the end.
  3. Carolina Chocolate Drops – Snowden’s Jig:  Easily the best instrumental I heard all year.  I hear this song and want to go back in time and beat up my junior high self until I agree to learn to play the violin.
  4. Mark Ronson & the Business International – Bang Bang Bang:  English white guy rapping?  Check.  French lady singing the chorus?  Check.    Funky fresh dance beat?  Check.  All of three of these things I wouldn’t normally go for, but put them together and somehow it works.
  5. Black Keys – Ten Cent Pistol:  I dare you to listen to this song and not be amazed that its only two dudes playing.
  6. The Dead Weather – Old Mary:  Man, I get chills when I listen to this song.  So f@#ing spooky.  I haven’t felt this weirded out by a song that I couldn’t stop listening to since I first heard Motley Crue’s Shout at the Devil in junior high.
  7. Interpol – Barricade:  Saw the video for this song the other day.  Never knew what the band looked like even after listening to them for years.  Was picturing them a little more trench-coaty.
  8. Of Montreal – Like a Tourist:  One bright spot on an otherwise disappointing release by the Athens, GA indie band.  Starting to think they jumped the shark two albums ago.  Sad.
  9. Carolina Chocolate Drops – Cornbread and Butterbeans:  This song makes me happy.  I’m not a dancer but when I hear this song, I want to go dance in a wheat field or something.   Does that make me gay?
  10. She & Him – Lingering Still:   I ask myself if I would still like this band if I didn’t have a crush on Zooey and the answer is yes.  I think I could even get my mom to like this band if I made her listen to them.  To She & Him.  To they..them.

Thanks for skimming!

Steve