10 Best Albums of 2010
1. Beach House - Teen Dream
The rock critic music snob in me wants to put Newsom at No. 1, as she’s breaking boundaries while this is just a collection of amazing tunes. But my Last.fm stats speak for themselves - I’ve played nothing else as much this year. It’s a staggering record.
2. Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me
This era’s Blonde On Blonde, in terms of its scope, genre-mashing playfulness and lyrical magic.
3. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
I doubted Murphy could successfully follow-up a masterpiece like Sound Of Silver. This doesn’t match it, but it’s still several million analogue synth stabs ahead of almost anything else released this year.
4. Caribou - Swim
The decade ends with an electronica album as refreshing as the one that kicked it off, Royskopp’s Melody AM.
5. Midlake - The Courage Of Others
Midlake go folk rock. And do it just as well they did coke rock. Plus they’re lovely blokes, as I can attest having had an accidental pint with them after their Shepherd’s Bush Empire show at the beginning of the year.
6. Charlotte Gainsbourg - IDM
Serge-obsessed Beck teams up with Gainsbourg fille. What could go wrong? Well, nothing. A fantastic continuation of the family legacy.
7. Belle & Sebastian - Talk About Love
Not their finest hour by a long-shot, but contains perhaps their greatest late-period song (see below). Merits inclusion for that alone.
8. Broadcast and The Focus Group - Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age
Psychedelic nonsense. Lovely.
9. Sleigh Bells - Treats
I’ll probably never listen to this album again, but as far as hip, loud, flavour of the month noise-pop goes, this is pretty unbeatable.
10. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
I’m still living with this, and while I can hear some classics on it, it’s included because I enjoyed the event as much as the music. Albums - and artists - like this don’t come along very often.
TRACK OF THE YEAR