Top Albums of 2010: 10-1

10Sleigh Bells: Treats

Total Votes: 7; Highest Ranking: #2

Choice comment: “Every time a song from this record pops up on my iPod, I just want to punch someone in the face.”—Robin Hilton on NPR, All Songs Considered. … Will I want to punch someone in the face 3 years from now? Miya T

09The Mynabirds: What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood

Total Votes: 5; Highest Ranking: #1

Choice comment: But besides Joni, I don’t think there’s a ’60s or ’70s female singer-songwriter with a better sound than Laura Burhenn. iTunes’s stats tell me that this was, by far, my most-played album of 2010 — just edging out Cobra Starship. –Matt K

08Black Keys: Brothers

Total Votes: 6; Highest Ranking: #2

Choice comment: There’s nothing epic about Brothers, just a lot of heartbreaking, pitch-perfect rhythm and blues that couldn’t be catchier. …also an apparent breakthrough in the Black Keys’ mainstream popularity. Even the kid on Two and a Half Men played it at his party on a recent episode.Chris T

07Vampire Weekend: Contra

Total Votes: 8; Highest Ranking: #1

Choice comment: I like this album a lot, even though Ezra Koenig sounds like Adam Sandler. – Miya T

06LCD Soundsystem: This Is Happening

Total Votes: 7; Highest Ranking: #1

Choice comment: But the album’s uneven, but maybe that’s unfair: In a city’s downtown, shadows fall even on late three point-threat Manute Bol.”David G

05Robyn: Body Talk

Total Votes: 8; Highest Ranking: #1

Choice comment: This is a stunning album. Robyn pulled out all the stops, and Body Talk runs the full gamut of emotions.Andrew B Swedish SasscakeDaniel S

04Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest

Total Votes: 9; Highest Ranking: #1

Choice comment: Track after track of burning, unyielding incredulity that we will all die. All packed into pitch perfect craft, gently deformed. That Deerhunter would be better with an expanded sound (even horns!) is a revelation. It’s an album haunted by youth’s loss, in a way that Arcade Fire are not gifted enough to articulate in their suburbs. But not satisfied with moaning over mortality, it drives and claws towards a manufactured other-ness, a distorted skeleton of life to hang its weary flesh on. Kissing a friend, a suicide, an in-the-end nihilist goodbye with a baroque, pedaled guitar that hints at harpsichord and pearly gates autoharp. “I won’t rest until I can’t breathe / I can’t breathe when you’re looking at me.”David G

03Beach House: Teen Dream

Total Votes: 12; Highest Ranking: #1

Choice comment: It’s been years since I’ve heard an album with Teen Dream‘s ability to flow into every sonic nook and cranny. Wave upon wave of impossibly slow and aching sound. The most beautiful album of the year.David G

02Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Fantasy

Total Votes: 11; Highest Ranking: #1

Choice comments: Could any idea seem worse than bringing Justin Vernon onto a Kanye album? Could the resulting “Lost in the World” be any more sublime? Does Kanye know who he is, or what this album *is*, any more than we do? Bubbling, bubbling, bubbling, bubbling.David G

Kanye may be a douchbaaaaaag, but there is something infectious about his juvenile ramblings and his alarmingly good taste in samples.Drew L

“I knew I would like this album as soon as Kanye started rapping his first verse around 1:15 into Dark Fantasy (“How you say broke in Spanish? / Mi no hablo”)Matt S

Totally unpredictable, and often humorous, Kanye’s album was a reminder that sometimes the cause of insanity really is genius.Greg W

I wanted to make at least one neckbeard irate that I had the audacity to put this universally lauded album on my list.Greg H

I’m not sure if it’s the hype, the constant discussion among the Noise Narcs crowd, the ridiculous/gorgeous video but over the past weeks, I’ve fallen in love with Kanye.KandaceG

It’s pretty cussing good.Kenny Pop-Pop

01Arcade Fire: The Suburbs

Total Votes: 18; Highest Ranking: #1

Choice comment:

Well duh.Miya T

I bought this in August. I still listen to it at least once a week.Drew L

The Suburbs is an album that is more evolutionary than it is revolutionary.Matt S

This album only turned the corner for me about two weeks ago, on re-re-listening. But what a turn, and what a corner! Matt K

Upon first hearing the muted guitar verses of “Modern Man,” I thought, What is this? The Cars? Is this “Jesse’s Girl”? Then I realized how much I like the Cars and wish that I had Jesse’s girl.Chris T

You get to have shitty rock star hair cuts when you make albums like this.Kenny Pop-Pop

But even so, it’s pedestrian gait is fitting, an album that floats over the suburban mindscape, sentimental while it attacks. And then dances, to Abba, over the suburbs’ grave.David G

3 Responses to Top Albums of 2010: 10-1

  1. Nice list, y’all. However, I must point out one lil thing…Laura Burhenn is from DC, no? Give us a little love, won’t you? 🙂

    • David G says:

      Thanks. Ha, she is, but their Myspace identifies them as from Omaha. A little love to DC? Nah. Who else are we going to start a musical war with? Baltimore? They’d chillwave us to death.

  2. Megan Terrible says:

    Man alive. All the good bands end up seem to end up leaving DC. I can’t imagine why…

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