Category Archives: Best of 2010

#20: Jukebox the Ghost – Everything Under the Sun

Most people haven’t heard of Jukebox the Ghost. It’s odd that all too often, great bands slip through the cracks and get unnoticed. JTG, for example, released their second album this year. You probably didn’t even know they came out with a first album a few years back.

Everything Under The Sun is a very catchy and fun album that reminds me of Vampire Weekend. The songs are short and to the point. The beats are fast and funky. And the vocals and melodies are catchy. The album offers all the right ingredients for a great pop collection.

There are a number of songs that I enjoy on the album. However, the insanely catchy song titled “Empire” is definitely on the top of my list. Check it out in the video below. It will be in your head for days.

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

#21: LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening

Do I really need to explain why LCD Soundsystem is so darn good? If you’re unfamiliar with the group, I feel bad for you. If you have heard them, you must be a fan. That’s just how it works. Their music is always so original and so much fun to listen and dance to.

Their 2010 release called This is Happening is another solid effort from the troop. It may not be their best release to date, but it seems that they can never go wrong with their unique style.

One of the main reasons people love LCD so much is probably the fact that they don’t take themselves so seriously. Go see them live. They have a good time and are not as conceited as a lot of the other critically acclaimed artists out there.

There happen to be a lot of standout tracks on This is Happening. To represent the album the best, however, I have embedded their first single off of the record, titled “Drunk Girls.” It’s a lot of fun and is amongst the best songs of this year.

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

#22: Rusko – O.M.G.

To be honest, the #22 spot was moved around a lot prior to the finalization of this year’s countdown. Originally, Hilltop Hoods’ latest album took the spot, but after a little more research, I discovered that it came out late in 2009 (even though it’s an import from Australia) and therefore must be disqualified from this year’s countdown. In order to be amongst the best albums of 2010, the album does, in fact, have to be released within the same year (December to December actually).

So, throughout all of the moving around, the amazing dub-step album by Rusko ended up taking the #22 spot. Rightfully so, too. O.M.G. is a very diverse and electrifying album filled with musical hooks that will stay in your head for weeks on end.

My favorite song on the album happens to be the first single called “Woo Boost.” It’s fun. It’s catchy. And it’s just an overall great song.

See for yourself by watching the music video embedded below.

To buy this album from Amazon.com, click on the album cover embedded below.

#23: Kings of Leon – Come Around Sundown

Coming in at number 23 this year is a group that I thought would not be able to rank after their impressive release in 2008. After hearing rumors that their new album was going to be “more eclectic” and “take them back to their roots,” I assumed we’d have a collection of songs that resembled some of their older (less put together) material. Well, much to my disbelief, I ended up really liking the new Kings of Leon album.

Of course, it’s still no Only By The Night, but I don’t think they’ll ever be able to recreate that album. What they did instead is create a collection of songs that falls somewhere in between the pop brilliance of Only By The Night and some of their odd attributes of their older albums.

For me, my favorite track is definitely the opener. The song, “The End” offers a simple drumbeat, simple instrumentation, but a powerful and infectious vocal melody throughout its entirety. This song goes to show that simplicity is sometimes the best option.

Due to not being able to find a real video of “The End” online, I have pasted “Radioactive,” which is the first single off of the album. This is also a standout song on the album.

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

#24: Maximum Balloon – Maximum Balloon

Historically, TV on the Radio does very well on these countdowns. TV on the Radio is a very critically-acclaimed group that wins everyone over with their unique sounds and even more interesting cultural diversity.

Maximum Balloon is the side project of TV on the Radio’s guitarist, David Andrew Sitek, who arguably is the most interesting and creative member of the group. You can quickly realize that simply through the songwriting on this album that he has a heavy hand in TV on the Radio’s writing process. The first track “Tiger,” for example, features Aku (the video is featured below). On the track, you’ll notice that Aku actually sounds like TV on the Radio’s original vocalist. The result is a song that would fit perfectly onto any TV on the Radio album.

One can only hope that David Andrew Sitek is planning more of these masterpieces in the future. Inevitably, we must assume he’ll be going back to handling the guitar for TV on the Radio on their next release, but let’s keep our fingers crossed that he’ll get back to this project before too many years pass by.

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

#25: Stone Temple Pilots – Stone Temple Pilots

It may not be Core or Purple, but it’s just really good to have them back. I must preface this placement into the top 25 with the fact that STP was my favorite childhood band growing up. To me, Scott Weiland was untouchable and every song they made was groundbreaking for rock music. Their tour following Tiny Music in 1996 is still the best concert I have ever seen. I was 12 years old at the time.

While some may argue that the “new” Stone Temple Pilots is elderly and passed their prime time, I’m sticking by their side. Fourteen years after seeing them blow my mind, I witnessed them live on their new tour. They may not be in their prime anymore, but they were still pretty amazing.

The new self-titled album is more than a collection of songs for me. It’s the return of a musical juggernaut that can revive the music industry. It’s a symbol that says to me that rock music isn’t dead. It’s enhanced my relationship with music again.

In a marketplace where singles mean everything, it’s unfortunate that the guys can’t write songs like “Plush” and “Interstate Love Song” anymore. What they don’t have in radio power, they make up for in hidden gems laid out through the album. The result is just a solid collection of songs. My personal favorite track, “Maver” has been posted below for your enjoyment.

You can purchase the album from Amazon.com by clicking the album cover below.

25 Days of Music Countdown Starts Tomorrow

Like I have done every December, tomorrow will be the fourth annual “25 Days of Music” countdown.

If you are new to this blog, it’s simply when I countdown the best albums of the year beginning on December 1st and concluding on December 25th (Christmas Day).

The clever title “25 Days of Music” is a way for me to brand it around gift-giving and the holiday season.

If you are interested in seeing what my tastes are like, feel free to review the countdown of years’ passed.

Best of 2007

Best of 2008

Best of 2009

So, I’ll see you tomorrow with the #25 album of 2010.