Category Archives: Best of 2010

Top 25 Albums of 2010 (Complete List)

25. Stone Temple Pilots – Stone Temple Pilots

24. Maximum Balloon – Maximum Balloon

23. Kings of Leon – Come Around Sundown

22. Rusko – O.M.G.

21. LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening

20. Jukebox The Ghost – Everything Under The Sun

19. Titus Andronicus – Monitor

18. Glasser – Ring

17. Frightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed Drinks

16. Jonsi – Go

15. Laura Veirs – July Flame

14. The National – High Violet

13. Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise

12. Chromeo – Business Casual

11. David Cross – Bigger and Blackerer

10. Eminem – Recovery

09. Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz

08. Band of Horses – Infinite Arms

07. Coheed and Cambria – Year of the Black Rainbow

06. Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More

05. Broken Bells – Broken Bells

04. Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History

03. Marina and the Diamonds – The Family Jewels

02. Local Natives – Gorilla Manor

01. Everything Everything – Man Alive

#1: Everything Everything – Man Alive

I bet you’ve never heard of Everything Everything. Don’t worry. Most people haven’t. I consider the discovery of this group one of my best musical findings ever. They are still new. They are still indie. And they are still very underground.

Although you can find an import of Man Alive on Amazon.com, I would venture to guess that this album is not seeing much U.S. distribution.

A product of the U.K., I’m not even sure the British know who they are yet. All I can say is that they will.

This album can definitely be listened to in its entirety. Every song is different, creative, and brilliant. The lead singer has such an attractive and addicting voice.

I love it when the band gets to rock out a little bit. Some of the songs feature a little bit of progressive tendencies. In fact, there are some odd-time signature moments on the album.

I have embedded the music video for the song “Suffragette Suffragette” below. When I first heard the song, I was pretty sure he was saying “Who’s going to sit on your face when I’m gone?,” but then I realized he was saying “fence” and not “face.” It makes a lot more sense now.

To purchase this album from Amazon, click on the cover pasted below.

#2: Local Natives – Gorilla Manor

I really don’t know what to say about Local Natives and the incredible album they released this year called Gorilla Manor.

Well, one thing I will mention is that I thought the album wasn’t qualified to be in this countdown because I thought it was released in November 2009 and I was just late to get to it. I was surprised to later find out that it was, in fact, released in 2010 (February to be exact). This immediately guaranteed for a spot in the top 5.

This album is, without a doubt, my most listened to album of the year. I loved it and listened to it for a few months and then my wife started to like it. This meant that she was going to continue to play it for a few more months. Needless to say, this album has conquered my music players for over 6 months this year.

I love the band’s vocal melodies and tribal beats. It’s a unique combination that offers a lot of depth and versatility to their musical capabilities.

I have embedded one of my favorite songs of the year. It’s called “Airplanes.”

To purchase this album, click on the album cover below.

#3: Marina and the Diamonds – The Family Jewels

The #3 album of the year is yet another import (Don’t American artists make good music anymore?). This one hails from the UK and goes by the name of Marina and The Diamonds.

Not only is Marina a gorgeous woman… she is also an excellent singer and performer. It’s rare that you find a solo artist with an exceptional debut album like this (rewind to Mika in 2008). The Family Jewels is simply an incredible collection of short, poppy songs that will stand the test of time.

Surprisingly, Marina still hasn’t hit the U.S. very hard. In fact, now that I can see other “Best of 2010” lists on the web, I am seeing no recognition for her. It’s disappointing, but I guess that just means I have a better ear for the undiscovered.. wink wink.

Honestly, every song on this album is excellent. Some standouts would be “I Am Not a Robot” and “Hollywood.”

I have embedded the official video for “Mowgli’s Road.” It’s a sexy and creative video. One of the best of the year in my opinion.

To purchase this album, click on the album cover below.

#4: Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History

This trio from Northern Ireland took me by surprise this year. I stumbled upon a song of theirs in a promo video somewhere and was instantly intrigued. The music sounded catchy, electronic, fast, and a lot of fun.

Lo and behold, at first listen of Tourist History in its entirety, I was in love. I was surprised to find out that one of my favorite rappers of the year remixed a song off this album and that I knew another song randomly. Somehow, they slid under my radar up to that point. Regardless, I’m glad I got a solid hold of them. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be #4 on this countdown.

It’s hard to compare Two Door Cinema Club to a popular group out there. I hate to say it, but their fast and catchy beats can remind some of The Killers. The Postal Service would be another decent comparison. But overall, they’re tough to categorize, but definitely easy to dance to.

Here’s the video for “I Can Talk,” which I am very surprised to see is a single. Compared to all of the other great songs on the album, this song would be one of the last ones I would guess is a single. It’s still a great song though.

Click below to purchase this album from Amazon.

#5: Broken Bells – Broken Bells

Broken Bells is the brain child of Shins frontman, James Mercer, and instumental mastermind, Danger Mouse. I was pleasantly surprised when I first heard that this collaboration was taking place. I happen to be a huge fan of the Shins and respect the smooth sounds of Gnarls Barkley a great deal as well.

This album is almost exactly how I would have expected it to be. Danger Mouse makes some killer backing sounds while James Mercer crushes it with his tasty signature vocals.

There are quite a number of noteworthy tracks on this album including, but not limited to, “The High Rood,” “The Ghost Inside,” and “Trap Doors.”

I have embedded the video for “The Ghost Inside” below. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

To purchase this album from Amazon, click on the image below.

#6: Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More

We might have the next “big” artist in Mumford & Sons. I don’t want to jinx their future success, but to me, they could become the next Dave Matthews Band. I know it’s extremely premature to say something like that after only one full-length record, but they are just THAT good and they have one of those timeless sounds.

I’d like to call Mumford & Sons’ signature style “Post-modern folk rock.” It’s a unique blend of folk, rock, pop, progressive, and straight up acoustic charm.

It’s not often that a band comes out of nowhere and blows me away with their debut record. To make it in my top 6 list for 2010 could just be the beginning for them, but regardless, it is an amazing accomplishment.

You may have heard the album’s first single on pop radio the last few months. It’s called “Little Lion Man” and the video is embedded below.

To purchase this album from Amazon, click on the album cover below.

#7: Coheed and Cambria – Year of the Black Rainbow

Before I write anything, I need to tell everyone that Coheed and Cambria is BY FAR my favorite band. They are actually competing for the spot in my mind as the “Best Rock Band Ever.” I don’t know what it is. Call me a sci-fi nerd that loves the story that Claudio has conjured up; or call me a progressive rock fiend that loves the blend of intricate musical arrangements with delicious melodies. Either way, I am in love with them.

Therefore, this #7 positioning speaks for itself. Some might think this album doesn’t deserve a spot amongst the best albums of the year, while others might wonder why I didn’t put it at #1. To tell the truth, it COULD be #1, but in this countdown, I analyze ALBUMS and not SONGS or MY EXISTING LOVE FOR AN ARTIST. That’s why Year of the Rainbow is at #7.

I fear that if I decide to analyze the album at all, I will end up writing 2,000 words about how amazing these guys are. That is why I am going to digress right here and just embed the video for “Here We Are Juggernaut.”

Note: I think “Here We Are Juggernaut” was the best individual song of 2010. What do you think?

To purchase this album from Amazon, click on the image below.

#8: Band of Horses – Infinite Arms

I didn’t know how Band of Horses was going to follow-up such an incredible album in Cease To Begin. Honestly, I feared they weren’t going to be able to come close to creating another masterpiece. After all, BOH kind of fell onto the musical map with that release. They needed to prove to everyone they were hear to stay.

I had the pleasure of previewing all of Infinite Arm’s songs live in concert months before the album was released. Not only did I enjoy the show immensely, but I was astonished as to how good the new songs sounded. Were they really about to create another incredible album? Who would’ve guessed it?

Lo and behold – I loved Infinite Arms the second I finished listening to the whole album. It was the same BOH that I fell in love with, except it did have its own unique feel to it.

BOH now ranks atop my list of favorite artists around today. My unofficial wedding song happens to be “No One’s Gonna Love You” off of Cease To Begin. That goes to show how much I adore these guys.

I have embedded the video for “Laredo” below.

To purchase this album from Amazon, please click on the album cover below.

#9: Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz

What can be said about the interesting and mysterious, Sufjan Stevens?… Hmmm. A lot.

In his short career thus far, he has managed to build a loyal underground fanbase without ever performing live (with a few exceptions). Whenever I talk to club promoters, he is always atop their artist wishlist, but yet he still decides to be distant. It’s obvious that he is trying to be unique and do things differently than most others do. I guess that’s what makes him so appealing in the first place.

At the very forefront of his appeal is his genre-bending music. I am not even going to attempt to place his style into genres. All of his releases are different and they each offer up concepts all their own. He’s very diverse. He’s extremely smart.

His latest LP is called “Age of Adz” and it’s a strong return to actual albums. Prior to this, he released a Christmas boxset (featuring Christmas songs that he wrote for him and his family) and an EP titled All Delighted People.

I have embedded a YouTube clip of the song “I Walked” off of The Age of Adz.

To purchase this album from Amazon, click on the album cover below.