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Old 12-31-2010, 11:20 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by iron yuppie View Post
23. Zola Jesus: Zola Jesus Meets LA Vampires
Holy shit. Is this really Interference...? If you've heard (of) the Matrix Metals stuff, then we have truly broken through and into another plane of reality.

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Old 12-31-2010, 11:32 AM   #17
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Interference FTW!

Never grow up. Memorize what it sounded like when your dad got home. Remember the footsteps, remember the words in all your little brother's favorite songs. Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room. Don't lose the way that you dance around in your PJs getting ready for school. It can stay this simple.

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Old 12-31-2010, 02:22 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by If you shout... View Post
Holy shit. Is this really Interference...? If you've heard (of) the Matrix Metals stuff, then we have truly broken through and into another plane of reality.
I have heard of Matrix Metals, but I have not listened to it. I know Zola because she and I attended the same university. School publications began to mention her.

Zola Jesus Meets LA Vampires is an intense listening experience. The song title "Bone Is Bloodstone" pretty well summarizes the feeling of the EP. She also released two other EPs, Stridulum and Valusia, this year; both of them could also have featured on my list.
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Old 12-31-2010, 02:51 PM   #19
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Yeah, I know. I think I own all of that shit. Hated the LA Vampires split, as well as their split with Psychic Reality. Can't please everybody, I guess. I just think it's cool that somebody else has heard of LA Vampires. It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world. Listen to Evangelista.
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Old 12-31-2010, 05:04 PM   #20
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1. The Black Keys: Brothers (15)
2. Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (9)
3. Cee-Lo Green: The Lady Killer (9)
4. Twin Shadow: Forget (9)
5. The National: High Violet (8)
6. Morning Benders: Big Echo (7)
7. The Fresh & Onlys: Play It Strange (6)
8. Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest (6)
9. Band Of Horses: Infinite Arms (6)
10. Wild Nothing - Gemini (6)
11. Tame Impala - Innerspeaker (5)
12. Surfer Blood - Astro Coast (4)
13. Abe Vigoda - Crush (4)
14. Beach House - Teen Dream (3)
15. Broken Bells - Broken Bells (3)
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Old 12-31-2010, 09:16 PM   #21
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01 Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (250 pts)
02 Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (250 pts)
03 Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (250 pts)
04 Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (250 pts)
05 Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (250 pts)
06 Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (250 pts)
07 Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (250 pts)
08 Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (250 pts)
09 Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (250 pts)
10 Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (250 pts)
11 Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (250 pts)
12 Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (250 pts)
13 Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (250 pts)
14 Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (250 pts)
15 Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (250 pts)
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:13 PM   #22
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Too early for me. Though it was a good year for bands that have the word 'black' in them. A stellar debut from Black Dub, one of The Black Keys' best yet, and an impressive return to form from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
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Old 01-01-2011, 02:28 PM   #23
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Not very well written, but oh well, gotta start with something...

#15) LATIN
Holy Fuck
1 point

Our list starts with a band from Canada, the country of music producer Daniel Lanois. He is what you could say, a music scientist, always experimenting within his own genre. The same can be said for this canadian band called Holy Fuck, which released their third album Latin back in May. Their best yet, an entire instrumental album that showcases the musical creativity of its four members, which, in the realm of electronic travel through many genres. Hard beats, swimming keyboards, heavy bass, all traveling through the space between the stereo and our ears in a voyage where the listener will flow through the waves of sound. Pretty unique in its own way, even when it's pretty average, Holy Fuck managed to design songs that lead us all through the most different roads, each one to its own listener and its own time, and at the same time an album that feels like one song, joining us all at the end of its countless paths.

The National
1 point

The National is a band I know for quite some time. My relation with the band consists of a two year long history of coming backs. The truth to be said is that I never quite connected to their music. It was good, the singer's voice was beautiful, but there was something missing. This year, with High Violet they've found the missing link. From first to last track, the band creates a work that flows, a work that's cohesive, aspects where their other albums doesn't differ, but now, on each track, on each melody, a grandiose never to be found in their music before, is present. They finally start to show what they've came for, and what keeps this from being higher in the list is only the fact that they can't manage to sustain it for the entire record. However, Matt Berninger and brothers Dessner and Devendorf 's band has reached a new point in their carrer, and if they keep on this road, we can only expect to be blown away by even greatest records.

2 points

Goldfrapp's fifth album was released in March, without much fuss, unfortunately. As in previous times, they once again moved into new territory with Head First, dropping the folk style of their previous album Seventh Tree. This time the duo composed by Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory time-traveled back to the 80's, revamping the electropop of those days in their own fashion, making it sound fresh and modern, much like Madonna and her Confessions on a Dance Floor did with 70's disco back in 2005 (albeit with more success, artistically and commercially). Nonetheless, even if it's not their best (they have yet to surpass Supernature and Felt Mountain), Goldfrapp once again fullfills the promise that each new album they release creates, delivering one of the best recordings of the year.

of Montreal
2 points

of Montreal is one of the bands that I got to discover this year, and it was quite a discovery. An discography with works like Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? and The Sunlandic Twins isn't something to dismiss. Quite the opposite. Some might be disappointed by their last effort before this one, the weak Skeletal Lamping, and that's understandable; however Kevin Barnes has not lost his touch, and it sounds very easy for him to prove that in False Priest, the band's latest effort. An joyous album, with even more innuendo by Barnes, even more flamboyant instrumentation, even more everything. If there's an album where you can see that the performers had fun this year, this is it, it's almost like you can join them in the party that is this album. And... what the hell, you can! That's what makes it so good. 50 minutes and something to dance, to feel, to laugh, to be, to forget. This is of Montreal at its best days; they've been goin' on it since 2004, almost ininterruptly. Why miss on it? Come on, there's time yet.

Band of Horses
2 points

Tenderness, confort, affection. All feelings evoked by this beautifully crafted album by Band of Horses. Infinite Arms, another release from this year's first semester is a an album of sheer beauty. It's not interested in creating new sounds, in gain new sonic gorund or any of those things. It's a soundtrack. A soundtrack for rainy days, for lonely nights, for sunny mornings, for kisses in the twilight. Be a joyous moment or a dark period, it's music to join us in both. Whenever you just want to relax, to feel alright, this is the album for you. Band of Horses is not one of those bands that you go for to explore; you won't find a largely diversified discography, but you might find everything you didn't know you were looking for. So let us all be happy in their infinte arms.

Two Door Cinema Club
3 points

An habit I acquired last year: I'm always trying to check bands I find interesting without searching too much about them before downloading their albums, if I search at all. Two Door Cinema Club was one of those cases. Quite early this year their debut album Tourist History leaked. And I'm in the lucky group of people that's been listening to them since then. At the time, I was pleasantly surprised by this indie rock record, a album that seemed to have no other pretetions than to be fun and to make whoever was listening to it have a good time. And it does. Not more than a day after the leak I had they playing ad nauseum in my stereo, and 11 months after that it's yet to bore me in any way. It may be nothing new to most ears, but oh boy, it's nothing new quite well done. There has been several bands trying to do well in this genre, and Two Door Cinema Club is one that have done it better so far to me.

Big Boi
5 points

OutKast released some of the best music of this decade. That's a fact. André 3000 crafted one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time in Speakerboxxx,his solo half of OutKast's magnum-opus. That's another fact. So did Big Boi with his, right? Yes, right! For some reason out of my understanding people forgot about The Love Below and are surprised by Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, another magnifcent deliver from one of the components of hip hop's greatest duo in activity. From its intro to the last track, clocking at 57 minutes and 5 seconds, Big Boi, in its truly first solo record proves once again for those that were in doubt that André 3000 is not one percent above 50 of what is OutKast. He's joined by an all-stars team of feats through almost all songs on the album, but not for one moment he's outside the spotlight; instead showcasing the talents of many others as an instrument of his own abilities in rapping and songwrting. A perfect flow in his deliver, all the necessary beats and all the right moods are on this album. An album to stand side by side with OutKast's best output. Rest assured Mr. Patton, there's no need for a back up plan.

Midnight Juggernauts
6 points

Curiously, the two best acts of the alternative dance scene are compatriots. Australian bands Cut Copy and Midnight Juggernauts are on the top of their game right now. The only wrong thing in all this is the large amount of praise that the former recieves when the latter is relatively neglected by the especialized press. Not that Cut Copy doesn't deserves, it does, but Midnight deserves it as much. Presented to this band by my lovely girlfriend Ali sometime ago, when they haven't released The Crystal Axis yet, I went for their debut album Dystopia and how well I was rewarded for that. On that album, space dance melodies that guided me through boreal labyrinths in my mind... and on this one too. More somber and less pop oriented than their australian mates, they have a unique sound. And they can give you all kinds of trips, all there put together on the album. The price of the ride is only a listen. It couldn't be more cheap.

Bruce Springsteen
8 points

The year was 1978 and Bruce Springsteen still was a few years away from his worldwide fame. However, Born to Run had been a huge critical sucess and it wasn't different that year with Darkness on the Edge of Town. As with any artist, many songs were produced for the album, but were left out for what the performer believed to be the best. Now, 32 years later, we happen to find out that Bruce at that time had in his hands what could easily be one of his best albums, a chart topper and a hit packed record. The Promise, a collection of songs from Darkness sessions is not just full of gems he could have used. It's a fuckin' gold mine! Sure to be regarded as Bruce's lost masterpiece, it's composed of two discs almost all full of compositions that any band or songwriter would kill for. All left behind in Springsteen's long career, now they finally catch up to our ears.We can only imagine what would happen if he had released this instead of Darkness, but I assure you it would be nice things.

LCD Soundsystem
10 points

I hope James Murphy is a fuckin' liar. I sure hope he is a cold-blood stone-heart liar. No, I don't care if he said there will be singles, 12"s or whatever. I don't want to know that this is LCD Soundsystem's last album.
This Is Happening was probably the second best album title of this year, 'cause it couldn't be more precise. James couldn't have sounded more contemporary than he did on this album, still standing head and shoulders above most of his contemporaries. Themes of our times, soundtracked by melodies of our days in a paradox where these will be for many the melodies of furture times, and the themes will adapt into their days. That's when you know you have more; something that can cross generations and sound freshier with each morning, or night. I like to think this is an album for the big cities late night lights; like them it's crafted to its beauty by its own imperfections. LCD intricates and disconnects in order to sound tight and cohesive, showing a talent that few have in a work of art dedicated to our life. This album is happening.

10 points

Once again, props for Ali for presenting me this band, found in her perigrinations through countless albums when looking for good music in the internet.
In the middle-80's, coming from the Queen's land, dream-pop is a genre that's almost a subversion of what was actually popular then. Its ethereal, dreamy soundscapes would contrast with everything at the time, a time of turbulence. Texture and moods over power and speed in a genre that has spawned some of the great bands of our time, like Cocteau Twins and My Blood Valentine and that has came through all these years into the 00's with great force, especially at the end of the decade. One of the responsibles of such great production is Engineers. With its magnificent debut album released in 2005, they stayed out of scene until last year, picking up where they stopped with another beautiful album. And in 2010, it wasn't different. In Praise of More feels almost like a wonderfully sequenced best of; there's no weak track or link. On this album the band joins forces with electronic music genious Ulrich Schnauss on keyboards to make a relaxed, textured record sound like an epic wandering through the dreams of music they create. Much like The National, but done with the utmost perfection here, they add an larger-than-life sensation to their softness, proving that the most simple story can be made into the greatest jouney when told the right way. There's points where this feels as epic as the most heart-wrenching love-story or as greatest as the largest battle ever to be fought still being as delicate as the waves created by a lonely raindrop in a drying pool. Beach House had a great album, but this year the dream-pop scene can rest assured that definitely there's a band that can make it as good as it ever was, and maybe even better. Let's praise them for giving us more and more.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
10 points

The most uncharacteristic and unexpected sounds in 2010 make one of its best albums. Before Today is the latest album from Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, a project created by the lo-fi musician Ariel Pink. In his first studio album, given that all his other releases were self-recorded, we can finally hear all that he has to offer us, leaving his lo-fi tendencies behind for the first time. Sound-wise is an album with no equal in this year, and maybe the whole decade. Its beautiful and delicate melodies are transported to the past, to times impossible to define there. An album made in 2010 that sounds like coming from the late 60's in all its psychedelia, from the 70's in all its rocking, from the 80's in all its popiness and it goes on. You can't tell where it comes from, but you sure as hell will know it is a place of great music. All songs take you to a different time and location, but they all feel the most possiblle cohesive when put together on the album. It can be said that this a concept album, a concept in its sound and very few albums that I'm aware of achieved such a result when trying that. I'm pretty sure that 10 years from now, when we will be revaluating the best albums in the decade, Ariel Pink's Before Today will be a must-include, still sounding as timeless and beautiful as it did on any person's first listen.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre
12 points

Anton Newcombe's latest creation, the twelfth album by The Brian Jonestown Massacre is this year's greatest and better experimental album. To my surprise it was forgot by almost all music publications, in what I would say that's quite an injustice. Maybe the string of records good-but-not-great that Anton was in caused some prejudice. Oh well, I'm sorry for those who are missing on this; Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? is an album to stand side by side with the band's greatest, and even surpass them. The longest album on this list, with over 70 minutes, it's worth every second of all Anton put us through. Recorded in the cold Berlin and even colder Iceland, it's like the band made all songs on the album sound as freezing as the places where they were concieved. It's coldness makes it a tough album, a tough beauty in which you will never be able to connect emotionally for other reason than the beauty itself, like a magnificently lapidated diamond. And as hard to find as one too. No other album in this year pushed so hard out of anyone's comfort zone with such great sucess. Where so many bands failed, the Jonestown Massacre creates an inspired, original and complex music. This could be the best album of the year if it wasn't for the two masterpieces that come next, but it's an album hard to describe, for me, and I feel words won't ever quite pass the feeling of what it feels like listening to it. So try it if you trust me. Maybe not today, maybe not for years, but one day you feel it was worth the trying.

Janelle Monáe
13 points

Big Boi should be given a medal or something. The guy is in OutKast, awesome. The guy makes great music on its own too, awesome. And Janelle Monáe is his protegé. There was almost no match for this girl's creativity this year. Starting three years ago with his debut EP, Janelle is working on deliver a epic lyrical concept that spawns four suites, The ArchAndroid consisting of the middle two. That on its own would be a project hard to come by, and a risky one too; but if on previous days ideas like this could be swallowed and destroyed by its own grandiose, it seems that this year, the most epic you go for, the greatest rewads you'll get. Well, it seems that way because this time, the ones trying are the best ones too, Janelle is no exception. And if she has a tight concept on her lyrics, it couldn't be more different in her music. Shooting to all sides, she goes for everything, going through the most diverse genres and doing no less than great on every one of them. Almost never before a debut sounded so much like the work of an experienced artist, refined and crafted through years of learning from his own wrongs. It looks like Janelle doesn't need to do wrong to know how to do right, leaving us nothing less than thrilled for her finale to this epical effort. Bring on Suite IV!

Kanye West
15 points

Let's have a toast for Kanye West, douchebag or not.
What can I say about this album that a thousand other magazines, blogs or else haven't said already? Well, maybe a fuckin' book, 'cause the music on this album can allow for people to talk about it for years and years to come. Kanye West hasn't just released his best album so far, hasn't just relesed this year's best, he released the album of a lifetime, and the album of an era. The album which by his next ones will be judged.
How many times have you seen a egotistic artist trying to make a record as large as his ego? How many times did it work? Very few. And here Kanye did exactly that, a feat that only the greatest artists were able to pull, 'cause while it's love for the epicness is what drives him, the themes couldn't be more personal, more passionate and down to the man, Kanye Omari West; showing that his ego is actually his way to keep pushing himself in ways no one else is trying, his way to defend himself from the lack of confidence projected by others and his own. And it pays off, 'cause - much like a certain Irish band which Kanye would be flattered to be compared with, since they are one of the few musical acts today to have a music bigger than his ego - he's only 6 years and something into his career, and has done more than anyone rapping so far.
This record is larger than everything this year, because Mr. West is one of the most talented musicians on his genre. The most talented to me. He revolutioned the hip hop scene two times already and here the third one comes to overcome the two before, fusing genres in a way no one has done before in rap. Unique songs, each one woking on its own like the most thought-put-into single, however with the whole still being greater than the sum of its parts. This is truly an album, an album like no one has done in quite some time, permeated by an ambition rarely seen in music. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is the perfect title for this.
He's not a douchebag, after all.
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:25 AM   #24
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1. These New Puritans - Hidden (13)
2. Grinderman – Grinderman 2 (12)
3. Laura Veirs – July Flame (10)
4. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (9)
5. Eliza Carthy & Norma Waterson – Gift (8)
6. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – The Social Network soundtrack (8)
7. Robyn – Body Talk (7)
8. Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me (7)
9. UNKLE - Where Did The Night Fall (6)
10. Kyu – Kyu (5)
11. The Like – Release Me (4)
12. Caribou – Swim (4)
13. Robert Plant – Band of Joy (3)
14. Holly Miranda - The Magician's Private Library (2)
15. David Byrne & Fatboy Slim – Here Lies Love (2)

16. Orb featuring David Gilmour - Metallic Spheres
17. The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards
18. Evelyn Evelyn – Evelyn Evelyn
19. Erland & The Carnival - Erland & The Carnival
20. Karen Elson – The Ghost Who Walks

Most disappointing album:
M.I.A. - Maya

There were a few releases by the artists I love this year that I found underwhelming, but none of them released a stinker like this What the hell happened?
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:59 AM   #25
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I logged back into this part of the forums/boards just to seek out this thread.

Good job so far.

Over at the webzine, we posted a little roundup.

Mine is in playlist form & will air tomorrow night on Teacher On The Radio. I will eventually do a ranked version with points to participate in this annual awesome.

Kanye West–Lost In The World (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, released November 22, 2010) Without weighing in on the layers of love, hate, and hype that surround Mr. West, “I'm lost the World/I'm new in the city” captures a year of much transformative transition for me where the angels and devils of reality revealed their faces oh-so-clearly.

Cee Lo Green – Old Fashioned (The Lady Killer, released November 5, 2010) In a century where old-school has felt entirely fresh, it’s hard not to get intoxicated by records that sound this timeless.

Yeasayer – I Remember (Odd Blood, released February 8, 2010) A hidden spring gurgles up tribal memories for the future, narrating liberation and romance as it goes down, outside my head and in my headphones.

Jonsi – Go Do (Go, released April 5, 2010) Euphoric Icelandic vegetarian falsetto sings in English what could easily be the anthem for my life (and also, apparently, for car commercials) on an album of sweet affirmation. “You will survive we´ll never stop wonders/You and sunrise will never fall under/We should always know that we can do anything.” May it be so! And what are we waiting for?

Sufjan Stevens – Now That I’m Older (The Age of Adz, released October 12, 2010)
Wisps of wisdom, whispers of reflection, and in this refraction, I finally got infected by Sufjan’s vision. Impending maturity feels better by the day.

Frightened Rabbit – Swim Until You Can’t See Land (The Winter of Mixed Drinks, released March 1, 2010) An anthem and epiphany of letting go and moving on. Song still moves after multiple listens. Listen: “Swim until you can't see land/Are you a man or are you a bag of sand?/Up to my knees now, do I wait? Do I dive?” And finally: “Let's call me a baptist, call this the drowning of the past.”

Band Of Horses – Evening Kitchen (Infinite Arms, released May 18, 2010) Crafted songcrafters come crisply into cozy maturity, singing songs that linger on the soul, leaving a sweet aftertaste of truth: “And if you're ever left with any doubt/What you live with and what you'll do without/I'm only sorry that it took so long to figure out.”

Kings Of Leon – Pickup Truck (Come Around Sundown, released October 19, 2010)When I moved to the mid-south from the midwest in the mid-90s, I had no idea that our music city would become the icon of rock that it is. These kings follow the footsteps of the king and give good guilty pleasure and hometown pride.

J Roddy Walston And The Business – Used To Did (J Roddy Walston And The Business, released on July 27, 2010) I “used to did,” but “now I didn’t.” Tell it like it is (!) in balls loose lightning boogie.

The Black Keys – Next Girl (Brothers, released on May 18, 2010) On Brothers, the Keys get honest, and so must I: as in life, so in love, we make mistakes, and we move on. I am so glad that I too got another chance.
John Mellencamp – No Better Than This (No Better Than This, released August 17, 2010) It defies and fulfills logic that the same man who thrilled the radio with “Hurt So Good” or “Jack and Diane” some three decades ago would be a wise-and-fit elder and prophetic poet of a country-church-meets-hotel-room Americana. Go John.

Robert Plant – Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down (Band of Joy, released September 14, 2010) Traditional and medicinal, this magical hymn makes amends and bends the narrative. Nothing against Zepheads pining for a reunion, but these Nashville-fueled folk-fusions bury the dead of that epic past with a musical dawn we all hope will last.

Laura Marling – Devil’s Spoke (I Speak Because I Can, released March 22, 2010) Forget all notions that folk this good, this haunting, and this beautiful is all pentangled up in the past. Marling moves the mountain of your soul with her sole sincerity and stunning singing.

Ray LaMontagne And The Pariah Dogs – Devil’s In The Jukebox (God Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise, released August 17, 2010) Maple syrup slips on an old mountain road as Ray rips Joe Cocker-croons about yellow moons, a slinky serenade with slow sexy steam—kitchen kicking summer soundtrack still soothes on winter playback.

Delta Spirit – Devil Knows You’re Dead (History From Below, released June 8, 2010) Give a man a roof and road and a lyric sheet to pen eulogies like this.Matt Vasquez visualizes with his mouth a musical truth outside time but for our times and of our time. I am honestly surprised this record has not found a wider audience and a higher acclaim.

The Tallest Man On Earth – Burden of Tomorrow (Wild Hunt, released April 13, 2010) Gritty folksinger Kristian Mattson is “carving riddles,” and we are fed when we listen.

Justin Townes Earle – Workin’ for the MTA (Harlem River Blues, released September 13, 2010) Just his name conjures a jones for his voice, Justin Townes Earle owns retro folkabilly with metro sensibility and sears the ears and banishes fears.

Ryan Bingham – The Weary Kind (Crazy Heart Soundtrack, January 19, 2010) Bingham brings it on this song and on his album Junky Star. I began the year in a ball of tears in an almost-empty Nashville movie house on a weekday afternoon. We drove an hour to see a film which unrolled our lives on celluloid. This song won an Oscar for its plaintive summary of the alcoholic artist’s path. It sounds so sad, but it’s message is ultimately so hopeful.

Mumford & Sons – Roll Away Your Stone (Sigh No More, released February 16, 2010) On the hottest and dustiest of afternoons that would be Bonnaroo, I crammed to the front of the tent to sing this song out-loud with a few thousand other frenetic fans. Like so many other songs this year, the lyrics here say what I am thinking before I think, tapping my feelings with profundity: “It seems that all my bridges have been burned/But you say that’s exactly how this grace thing works/It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart/But the welcome I receive with the restart.”

Anais Mitchell – Why We Build The Wall (Hadestown, released March 9, 2010) Duets and collaborations remind that music is ultimately a community affair for campfires, barn-raisings, work parties, weddings, funerals, rallies, protests, and prophecies. Mitchell and an army of friends make it real for all-of-the-above-and-them-some, preachin’ it with such precise passion that we don’t mind her preachin’ about walls and how wars are never won and how poverty is the enemy.

Natalie Merchant – Peppery Man (Leave Your Sleep, released released April 13, 2010) While some critics cast aspersions at Merchant for getting too maternal and professorly on this dynamic and dissertationesqe collection, the combination of folk genres and folksy themes is anything but sleepy. When Natalie toured through Nashville and brought these songs to the Ryman Auditorium, she mentioned the powerful experience of working with our own gospel luminaries the Fairfield Four on this phenomenal track.

Mike Farris & The Cumberland Saints – Down On Me (The Night the Cumberland Came Alive, released October 26, 2010) Another great gift of the last year: further discovering rock-blues-gospel-Americana sparkplug Mike Farris and getting the spirit at the revival of his live shows. On this disc, a cast of collaborators (including the McCrary Sisters, daughters of the aforementioned Fairfield Four) and local champions take it to church (literally, in this live recording cut in a local sanctuary) to offer musical healing and Nashville flood relief.

Patty Griffin – Move Up (Downtown Church, released January 26, 2010) Mike Farris most likely got the idea to record at Nashville’s Downtown Presbyterian Church after collaborating on Patti Griffin’s deeply personal, heartfelt, and universally-appealing folk-gospel album simply called Downtown Church, one of many recent efforts to tastefully and dramatically bridge the indy-folk-Americana and traditional gospel genres.

Mavis Staples – Wrote A Song For Everyone (You Are Not Alone, released September 14, 2010) Getting “born again” (again!) as a Christian in middle age can really alter one’s music-listening-as-meditation habits, and I am so thankful for all the great gospel that crosses-over to indy and inclusive and intelligent, making an altar of sound in my heart and mind. Mavis Staples is a grand matron of rock-pop-gospel anthems, and this new record really earns an “Amen.”

Lizz Wright –I Remember, I Believe (Fellowship, released on September 28, 2010) Following in the steps of the Staples family tradition as well as that of Bernice Johnson Reagon, Lizz Wright spins so much sweet honey to soothe the sinner’s soul with a testimony towards salvation and liberation.
Stand up to rock stars!
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:23 PM   #26
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It was pretty difficult to rank 15 as I've only listened to about 30 albums this year (that is a lot for me). But here goes:

1. The National - High Violet (14)
2. Interpol - Interpol (14)
3. Sufjan Stevens - Age Of Adz (11)
4. Yeasayer - Odd Blood (10)
5. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs (10)
6. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach (8)
7. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest (7)
8. Tame Impala - Innerspeaker (5)
9. Four Tet - There Is Love In You (5)
10. The Black Keys - Brothers (4)
11. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (3)
12. Balthazar - Applause (3)
13. Crowded House - Intriguer (3)
14. Jónsi - Go (2)
15. The New Pornographers - Together (1)
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:47 PM   #27
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01. Natalie Merchant - Leave Your Sleep (18)
02. Joanna Newsom Have One On Me (14)
03. Dillinger Escape Plan - Option Paralysis (12)
04. Elvis Costello - National Ransom (10)
05. Marc Ribot - Silent Movies (8)
06. Grinderman - Grinderman 2 (7)
07. Antony & The Johnsons - Swanlights (6)
08. Belle & Sebastian - Write About Love (5)
09. Crowded House - Intriguer (4)
10. Bill Frisell - Beautiful Dreamers (4)
11. Laura Veirs - July Flame (4)
12. Kurt Wagner and Cortney Tidwell present KORT - Invariable Heartache (3)
13. Robert Wyatt - For The Ghosts Within (2)
14. Ray LaMontagne And The Pariah Dogs - God Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise (2)
15. Four Tet - There Is Love In You (1)
“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.”
~Frank Zappa
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:23 PM   #28
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Salome, you have to adjust your math. The max number is 15, you have one that's 18.
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:53 PM   #29
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Album of the Year

just do it right, make it perfect and real
because it’s everything, though “everything” was never the deal
so grab your things, and stumble into the night
so we can shut the door and shut the door on terrible times

so do it right, and head again into space
so you can carry on, and fall over the place
this is the trick: forget a terrible year
so we can break the laws
until it gets weird

and this is what you waited for
but under lights we’re all unsure
and so tell me:
what would make you feel better?

as night has such a local ring
and love and rock are fickle things
and you know it, yeah you know it, yeah you know

forget your past, this is your last chance now
and we can break the rules like nothing will last
you might forget, forget the sound of our voice
but you should not forget yeah don’t forget
the things that we laughed about

and after rolling on the floor
and thankfully a few make sure that you get home
and you stay home
and you’d better

cos you’re afraid of what you need
yeah you’re afraid of what you need
if you weren’t, if you weren’t, i don’t know what we’d talk about

yeah no one ever knows what you’re talking about and i guess we’re already there
and no one opens up when you scream and shout so it’s time to make a couple things clear
if you’re afraid of what you need
if you’re afraid of what you need
look around you
you’re surrounded
it won’t get any better
and so good night


I had never heard of this band prior to January 2010. I’m not even sure why I was reading the thread to be honest. But if I was really going to listen to more albums than ever in 2010 then a much-hyped album seemed a good place to start.
From the moment “In Medias Res” began, I was captivated, and well on my way to giving this album at least 20 spins for the year. The duelling guitars, the huge, busy sounds that were flying out of my speakers in a million different directions, the lyrics – relatable, unique, original, eloquent and emo all at the same time – the frenetic pace that barely lets up – all these combined to make Romance is Boring the most exciting album I heard in 2010. I listened to it less as the year continued but whenever I did those horns in the final minute of “In Medias Res”, the blistering “I Just Sighed”, the shattered protagonist in “Coda”, among the rest, delivered almost everything I love about music, even if I was maybe the only person in Australia to buy the album.

if you were given the option of dying painlessly in peace at forty-five
but with a lover at your side
after a full and happy life
is this something that would interest you?
would this interest you at all?


I’ve barely shut up about Outkast since I joined this forum, but with good reason. The rest of the hip-hop world have struggled to keep up with Atlanta’s most innovative sons at the best of times, so when Big Boi, so often relegated to “the other guy in Outkast”, dropped his long-awaited solo album, you believe him when he raps, “niggas wish I would retire / cos of the pressure I apply / every time I bust a rhyme” in the explosive “Daddy Fat Sax”. The rest of the album is a joyous ride through
Antwan Patton’s world full of Cadillacs, bitches, drinks and blunts. More upbeat and less of a slog than Speakerboxxx, Sir Lucious Left Foot delivers one great song after the other. “Shutterbugg” has Big Boi in as fine form as ever and “Shine Blockas” combines traditional ATL-style production with a celebratory rap. “General Patton” reassures anyone who may have felt Big Boi had lost his edge, opening with the line “get the south dick up out your mouth” before the Funk Soul Crusader lays down the law over menacing horns and a choir while “Turns Me On” features Sleepy Brown and Joi over a slunky beat. With Sir Lucious… Big Boi proves that even without Andre 3000 he can still be at the top of the hip-hop game.


Another band I’d not heard of before 2010. I randomly opened the thread one day to find someone had posted a link to “World Sick” the six-minute epic opening track from this album (something that is not uncommon for BSS, I soon found out). I bought the album when it came out to much derision from mates, who proclaim to be “anti-indie”. I always wanted to be against the scene as well, but the more I listened to its music the more I was won over. From track to track, Forgiveness Rock Record offers something different every few minutes – sometimes even within the same song. There’s the laid back, summery feel of “Texico Bitches”, the storming instrumental “Meet Me in the Basement” and my personal favourite “Chase Scene”, which picks up in pace and menace with every “I’m ready to go / I’m ready to fight / for the scene of my life” before drowning in horns. “Art House Director” became a favourite amongst the few BSS fans in Australia for its “surfer from Australia” line, but it would take a cold-hearted person to not enjoy it otherwise. “Sentimental X’s”, sung by my future wife is gorgeous and “Water in Hell” was my ringtone for three months. And then I went and listened to YFIIP and the self-titled. I love Canada.


It’s an album I’ve spent more time deriding than appreciating, but I know an album has won me over when I continually put it on when in the car. My qualms with the album are almost entirely about length; most of the songs would benefit from an edit. But ignoring that factor reveals a truly stunning “work of art” from perhaps the hottest man in hip-hop. Every single song is completely different, yet somehow it all coalesces seamlessly. “So Addicted” is my personal favourite, featuring an outstanding verse from Jay-Z, but hits abound. It is the most overrated album of the year, and is an early contender for most overrated of the decade, but few more enjoyable albums you will find.

#6 – Cee-Lo Green – The Lady Killer
“Fuck You” immediately caught everyone’s attention and two days into 2011 it’s still a great song. So often you like these radio hits only to end up hating them; with Cee-Lo, one of Atlanta’s most versatile artists, it’s different. The funk and soul and pop on this album make an incredible combination.

#7 – The National – High Violet
I’m still not a National fanatic like so many others here but it’s hard not to walk around singing their songs for a day after you’ve listened to an album. High Violet is no different, from the despondent rock of “Bloodbuzz Ohio” and “Afraid of Everyone” to the gorgeous, swelling “Terrible Love” and “England”, High Violet is everything The National do well.

#8 – Massive Attack – Heligoland
It’s no Blue Lines. It’s no Protection. It’s certainly no Mezzanine. But leave aside your innate desire to compare for a moment and you’ll find one of the better moody albums released in 2010. A collaborative effort, the album’s best moment, “Girl I Love You”, is all Massive, and could slide easily onto Mezzanine. Elsewhere Tunde Adebimpe croons over a tribal beat in “Pray for Rain” and Damon Albarn wails in “Saturday Come Slow”. A real treat for those prepared to listen.

#9 – Hot Chip – One Life Stand
One Life Stand lacks the personality of their other releases which made me such a fan, but they still wrote some damn good dance songs. “Take It In”, with its dark opening beat followed by swirling chorus, was one of the best songs of the year and “Hand Me Down Your Love” is propelled forward by some fierce keyboards. The pretty “Alley Cats” even proved the humour was still there – “two people are alley cats / we have an unhappy cat / he is restless needs attention / loses patience seeks affection”.

#10 – Tame Impala – Innerspeaker
The best album that Australia had to offer in 2010. Once you get past the fact the singer sounds almost exactly like John Lennon all the way through, there is a thoroughly enjoyable trip through all things psychedelic to be found. The gorgeous “Alter Ego” can easily transport your mind elsewhere for five minutes and for a cold winter’s day Innerspeaker works surprisingly well.

Honourable Mentions
Deadmau5 – 4x4 = 12
I love dirty beats. I think I could safely say I’m the only one on this forum who could sit through this entire album but if you’re getting ready to go out there aren’t many better choices.

Crowded House – Intriguer
LMP said they’re like Ambien; I’d overdose on that shit if it had a back catalogue like Crowded House. The second album for the reformed group is really impressive, pushing boundaries they haven’t before and yes, Neil Finn can still write some brilliant lyrics.

Beach House – Teen Dream
I will never forget driving from Vancouver to Banff, on a cold, dreary, overcast day, looking out of the car and seeing snow-capped mountains and unbelievably green grass in every direction, as Teen Dream played on my ipod. Majestic.

Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
Couldn’t name one of the songs, and I was hesitant to listen to it in the first place because I was expecting dissonant electronic bleeps for an hour. I was half-right, but the jazz and hip-hop inflections and all the other left-turns make Cosmogramma very satisfying.

The Black Keys – Brothers
The fact that I even liked this album is a real sign of how good it is. I have never been a fan of the 2000s bluesy-rock sort of sound (Dead Weather, White Stripes, etc) but something about this record had me coming back to it again and again.

Best Non-2010 Albums


A few years ago I made a thread called something along the lines of “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is the best rap album ever”. People generally agreed that it was a good album but had a hearty chuckle at it being called the best ever of the genre. Now I know that it’s not even Outkast’s best album. Aquemini is not what I’d call an accessible album, but there are enough songs on it after the first few listens to keep you coming back for more: the awesome “Rosa Parks”, a song that could only have come from Atlanta, Georgia (it’s got a harmonica break for god’s sake!!), the catchy, funky single “Skew It On The Bar-B”. But it’s the lyrical themes, the live instrumentation, the soulful music and the skilled rapping that makes Aquemini a deeply satisfying album. “Da Art of Storytellin’ (Pt. 1)” has Big Boi and Andre 3000 rapping full of regret over mournful synthesisers, “SpottieOttieDopalicious” is a seven-minute half-spoken/half-sung ode to life complete with horns, “Liberation” is a dark, soulful tune with Cee-Lo and Erykah Badu that reaches to almost nine minutes and this was all before they made it huge with Stankonia. As good as hip-hop gets.


Mixing five outstanding vocal tracks with nine highly evocative instrumentals, Another Green World is a richly rewarding album to listen to. The titles accurately reflect the music, not an easy feat when there are no lyrics, and when I felt like doing nothing but being one with music, this was the album I came to. “Becalmed” would lower the heart rate methamphetamine addict, “Zawinul/Lava” has a hypnotic, calming effect on the listener and “In Dark Trees” is more eerie and creepy than many thriller-type movies. Eno himself isn’t a very good vocalist but his voice is suited perfectly to tracks like “Sky Saw”, where his voice drifts in and out as if it were just another instrument to complement the duelling instruments, and “Everything Merges With The Night”, a lovely piano ballad.


“Bombs Over Baghdad” packs synthesisers, furiously quick rapping, pounding percussion, guitar solos, turntable scratching, and a gospel choir into a gloriously chaotic five minutes. And that’s just one track on Stankonia, one of the most exciting releases of the decade. Elsewhere there is everyone’s favourite single, “Ms. Jackson”, a funky letter of regret to Erykah Badu’s mother that everyone still knows the chorus to 10 years on, the angry “Gasoline Dreams”, the cool “So Fresh, So Clean”, the dangerous “Snappin’ & Trappin’”, which was almost solely responsible for the language stickers on the front cover and other album tracks with awesome choruses like “Humble Mumble” and “Red Velvet”. We all hope that 2011 will see Big Boi, Andre 3000 and Organized Noise come together again.


Everyone who’s ever watched House knows “Teardrop” but on the downtempo masterpiece Mezzanine it’s just another beguiling track. Dark, menacing, yet strangely peaceful, each of the 11 tracks conjures up so many different sounds and textures there’s something new to hear with each listen. “Exchange” (the instrumental) is one of my favourites, with its gentle, dreamlike feel. The vocals on most of the tracks are sung so low, so restrained, that it’s almost unnerving at times. Not an album for those with paranoia, it could be the soundtrack to a nightmare.


“Pet Sounds of the 1990s” is a pretty big title to bestow upon an album, but The Soft Bulletin, The Flaming Lips’ first real turn to a more accessible sound, is worthy of such plaudits. An album of and about humanity, it’s impossible not to feel good as the reverb-drenched “Race for the Prize” – a song that should be played as loud as possible – fills the room. “The Spark That Bled” is replete with harmonies and changing structures and elsewhere it’s hard not to get lost amongst the beautiful and whimsical songs like “Suddenly Everything Has Changed” or “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate”. Ever since I heard this album I’ve thought to myself if the world was ending, hearing “Race for the Prize” would make it seem like not such a big deal.

#6 – Something for Kate – Echolalia
One of my favourite Australian bands, I’d never actually heard this album of theirs in full until this year. It features the two big singles, the amazing ode to inner demons “Monsters” and dissatisfaction (“Three Dimensions”) but also a treasure trove of other intricate delights.

#7 – The National – Alligator
I genuinely love about half the songs here – the others I can take or leave – but “Abel”, “Mr November”, “Secret Meeting”, “Lit Up”, these are some of the best songs the decade had to offer. Can’t wait to see them live in a few days.

#8 – De La Soul – 3 Feet High and Rising
The only De La Soul I knew prior to listening to Bonnie’s DI7 list was the verse in “Feel Good Inc” so you can imagine my bewilderment when a gorgeous love song sampling Otis Redding and Steely Dan became one of my favourite hip-hop songs of all time. The rest of the album, I feel, is a bit thin at times, but the highlights are truly stunning, especially when you think of people’s common perceptions of hip-hop. “Me Myself and I” is still being used in clubs today.

#9 – The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
One of those albums that is almost unanimously praised, I was pleasantly surprised to find that despite the album having a distinct 80s sound, it is brilliant from start to finish. And there aren’t many albums where reading the lyrics is as entertaining as listening to the music.

#10 – LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
“Someone Great” and “All My Friends” are the absolute standouts but there’s great value in the opener “Get Innocuous” with the way the beat builds and builds and the 70s-Bowie-aping vocals, the cheeky “North American Scum” and the closer “New York I Love You”, which could easily slide right on to Ziggy Stardust. Filler doesn’t seem to matter much when you’ve got two tracks as good as #4 and #5 however.

Worst Albums of 2010*
MGMT – Congratulations
All I wanted was another Kids, another Time to Pretend and another Electric Feel. Instead, I listened to 40-plus-minutes of directionless, pretentious garbage that thankfully wasn’t hailed as a brilliant career reinvention by everyone else.

Kele – The Boxer
One can only hope that he’ll get all the mundane, crappy club music out of his system before hopefully restarting with Bloc Party.

Kid Cudi – Man on the Moon II
I’m not really sure what Kid Cudi has to whinge about. His life seems pretty good to me. I’m also not sure documenting how much life sucks over an hour was a good idea. There’s some good songs here; but the others aren’t enough to sustain them.

*these are just the albums that I can recall music from that I didn’t enjoy. There were plenty more albums I listened to in 2010 that I can’t recall a single thing from.

New Discoveries of the Year

LCD Soundsystem – I went from not being able to name a song of theirs at the beginning of the year to mentioning them in every second post by the end of the year. All three of their albums are superb, and their live show was just stupidly good.

Hip-hop and subgenres – Before 2010 I used to think I was a huge hip-hop fan. After listening to Cassie’s DI7 list and perusing the hip-hop thread I realised I had no idea. By the end of the year I was fiercely defensive of the genre and never have I been more annoyed by those simply dismissing it as music. De La Soul, Outkast, Nas, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, NWA, Ice Cube, the list goes on and on.

Massive Attack – I also really got into downtempo/instrumental/moody/electronic/chillout/etc music this year (DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing… became one of my most listened-to albums of the year) but it was Massive Attack’s music that I enjoyed the most. There’s some outstanding tracks on Blue Lines, and Protection is perfect for driving around the city in the middle of the night. Mezzanine is an out-and-out masterpiece.

Best Concerts

I sang every word to In a Little While at each of the three concerts I went to and Where the Streets Have No Name live is an experience like no other. Life genuinely seems better when U2 are around.

LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip
Hot Chip are my boys, so to say that they paled in comparison to LCD should give you an idea of how good JMurph and his cohorts are. There was no Dance Yrself Clean, Home, All I Want, You Wanted a Hit or Someone Great, and I couldn’t have cared less. All My Friends was amazing and Yeah was the most fun I’ve had in 10 minutes in my entire life. I woke up sore the next day.

Broken Social Scene – How BSS managed to fit all their members and gear on stage inside a cramped, small pub/club and still put on a high-quality show in terms of both sound and performance is beyond me. Five months on and I’m still replaying my future wife singing Anthems. Only the lack of Ibi Dreams of Pavement and the presence of annoying hipsters soured the show.

Interference Posts of the Year

Dalton’s Hipster 101: Broken Social Scene ARE the new Menudo! (shouter’s confusion over the joke made it funnier)

GAF throws up many candidates but this one was very good: Likelihood of hooking up at a U2 concert?

And why miss an opportunity to pump myself up: After over 20 yrs... Finally Aung San Suu Kyi will be free.
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:09 PM   #30
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If you throw some points at those top 15 albums, I'll add your list in.

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album rankings, album reviews, b&c, best of 2010

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