Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Year in Lists. 20 favourite albums of 2010

Here's a wee list of my 20 favourite full-length albums released over the course of 2010. You may notice there aren't any South African albums on this list; for the list of my favourite local releases head here. The order of albums included in that lists was totally random, but in the case of this list I tried to order them from my least to my most favourite of the favourites.

20.
Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History
19.
We Have Band - WHB
18.
Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock
17.
Errors - Come Down with me
16.
Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
15.
Tubelord - Tezcatlipocat & For the Grandparents
(two half albums make a whole one right?)

14.
Tanlines - Volume On
13.
Broken Bells - ST
12.
Tame Impala - Innerspeaker
11.
Best Coast - Crazy for you
10.
Dangerous Ponies - ST
9.
Fang Island - ST
8.
LCD Soundsystem - This Happening
7.
Janelle Monae - The ArchAndroid
6.
Los Campesinos - Romance is Boring
5.
Everyone Everywhere - ST
4.
So So Modern - Crude Futures
3.
Tera Melos - Patagonian Rats
2.
Les Savy Fav - Root for Ruin
1.
Tokyo Police Club - Champ

So there you have it! 2010 held some disappointments (Ratatat I'm looking at you. Thanks for breaking my heart you dicks). I'm sure there are albums I will adore but have missed, but I did find a bunch of things I loved. From the almost irritating niceness of Two Door Cinema Club to the absurdly ambitious genre-melting sci-fi wonder of Janelle Monae, there was a lot for me to like this year. But it's the albums in the top 5 that I was most obsessed with.

The surprise joy of Junior filling me in on Everyone Everywhere, a band who sound like they're sitting in Philly recording songs just for him in Birmingham and me in Jozi. The shock of discovering So So Modern somehow metamorphosised into a post-rock art-punk mammoth; realizing the synth-driven promise that always got me excited about Errors and merging it with a freak-fuck-out exuberance to match Fugazi. The pleasure of seeing Tera Melos going post post-rock; (like favourites Trail of Dead and Blood Brothers did before them) coming from abrasive beginings, bravely adding a bucket-load of pop-sense to the mix and ending up a far better band because of it. The satisfaction of seeing Les Savy Fav doing what they've always done best. And finally the total euphoria I felt every single time I listened to Champ; hearing Tokyo Police Club living up to the great promise of their debut EP, releasing an album that's as catchy, emotive and sincere as anything I heard all year.

These last five albums become friends I'd hang out with every day, engravings that'll always be etched in my mind when I think of 2010 and treasures I'll happily carry with me into the future.

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