Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Best Most Listened-To Albums of 2010 - Honourable Mentions

It's become a yearly December tradition to highlight the music I've been listening to in the previous year. I keep track of all my music listening through, and often find myself disappointed when some of my favourite albums weren't actually the ones I listened to most (after all, longer albums and albums released earlier in the year have an unfair advantage). I'll be back tomorrow with the ten albums that objectively vibrated my eardrums the most, but here are ten that vibrated my heartdrums even if I only listened to them on special occasions.

Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More

Yeah yeah, everyone's talking about this album. But it holds a special place in my heart, because it was playing the first time I got laid after a significant dry spell. Apart from that, it's a solid little indie-folk record with a certain special quality that managed to shoot it into the mainstream.

Hot Chip - One Life Stand

Just watch this:

And the actual album is pretty kickass too.

Rihanna - Loud

As the title promises, Rihanna's latest is an irresistible celebration of sex, violence, and that special place where the two meet. After seeing her in concert, I think we have a pretty strong bond, Rihanna and I, and I'm glad this new album didn't mess it up. Just check out this hotness with Drake:

The boy's come a long way from Degrassi. Speaking of which:

Jakalope - Things That Go Jump in the Night

Jakalope are a perplexing band, headed by a producer who's worked with Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails, but sounding more like pop with only a slight industrial edge. Even more out of left-field was their opening theme for Degrassi: The Next Generation, which sounded nothing like their previous music. Add to that an all-new lead singer, and this new album could have been a disaster. Luckily, that wasn't the case. Things That Go Jump in the Night sounds like maple syrup - sugary but with a wintery edge and an ineffable Canadian vibe.

Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

[Insert fishsticks joke].

Despite everything, Kanye puts out some damn impressive music to back up his cocky douchebaggery. There's some self-indulgence that gets in the way (what the fuck is this Chris Rock shit in Blame Game?), but I still can't stop listening to this.

Girl Talk - All Day

It's just more songs mashed up in semi-clever ways, but it's hard to not love what Girl Talk does. Plus he gives it away free and somehow evades being shut down for copyright infringement, so that's worth rooting for.

Zeus - Say Us and Land of Talk - Cloak and Cipher

Both of these bands rocked LOLA Fest 2010 here in London, and both released kickass albums in 2010. I think we'll be seeing more of them. Well, even more than this:

Warpaint - The Fool

This came out of nowhere to be one of my favourite albums of the year. Comparisons with The xx (who put out one of my favourite albums last year) are appropriate, with the lazy dreamy vocals, sparse instruments, and occasional electronic layers. I don't know how I even stumbled across these dudes, but I am so glad I did.

Robyn - Body Talk (Parts 1, 2, and 3)

Robyn would actually have taken #3 on my top ten most listened to albums if all of Body Talk was considered one album. Her comeback from being a 90s two-hit-wonder has resulted in some of my favourite pop music of the year. I also dig the way she's released this trilogy, with short albums released every few months, as they are completed. This may be the future—or a step towards the future—of music distribution in a world where real-time updates are the norm. Like a Twitter stream of album releases.


Here are some more albums I love that came out this year:

  • OK Go - Of the Blue Colour of the Sky
  • Coheed and Cambria - Year of the Black Rainbow
  • Spoon - Transference
  • The Love Language - Libraries
  • Hanson - Shout it Out
  • Diamond Rings - Special Affectations
  • She & Him - Volume Two
  • Belle and Sebastian - Write About Love
  • The Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Here are some albums that were OK but I just couldn't get into for some reason:

  • The National - High Violet
  • Weezer - Hurley
  • Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - The Brutalist Bricks
  • Crystal Castles - II

I'll be back tomorrow (if I have time) with my most listened-to albums of the year.

See also:


stevenshelby said...

Great list! Didn't even know that Robyn was around any more.

I never really "got" but was really into slacker radio on my android phone until I upgraded the phone and broke the app.

I might check out Warpaint just because the name sounds cool.

Also, if you know how to change my google account name from Poopteam, I would be grateful. lol. Don't even know how that got there.

Johnson said...

Yes, not to sound like a tumblr noob, but what the hell is I always see people's "top artists this month" (namely yours) and I'm always curious.

Also, hehe, Poopteam.

Hey Lady! said...

Hanson! Thats awesome. I recently heard they were still recording albums, though I have not hard any of their music past "MmmmBop" or however you spell it. I'm glad those kids are still around. They seemed upstanding, not like Chris Brown...

Anyway, I have only one of the albums you mentioned and have only heard of two. But really who doesn't have that Mumford and Sons album? And thanks for including the videos, I like to get an idea of what you're talking about.