Top 10 albums of 2010:
I’ve struggled the past few weeks to pen a thought. I knew I wanted to write about music and the end of the year is the best time to do so. All of us Rob Gordon wannabes get our little Moleskin journals out and compile our top 5 albums of the years past. So I wanted to post my top 5 of 2010, but I couldn’t rap my thoughts around it. It was a great year for music; James Murphy’s LCD Soundsytem released its 3rd and (we have heard) FINAL record This is Happening. Happening gave us the single Drunk Girls; you may have heard it, got some radio play, a pithy anti-ode to drunk chicks at bars.
We had Kanye West come out of hiding after his Southern Comfort freak out at the V.M.A.’s. His release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy blew us all away and doted a hard to earn Perfect 10.0 score on pitchforkmedia.com.
Let us not rule out Deerhunter’s Halcyon Digest, some are saying their most accomplished record to date. The track “Don’t Cry” an orchestrated wreck of guitar work will be sure to shrink your sack. This music-mess set side by side with Cox’s bellowing out each verse with a unforgettable howl will leave you wanting more. And more you will get.
We heard great things from Ariel Pink, Joanna Newsome, Hot Chip, Spoon, Bonnie Prince Billy, Best Coast, Jason Collette, Badly Drawn Boy, Band of Horses, Magic Numbers MGMT..Damn. I gotta stop and that’s the short version, hence my block, there is just too much.
I’m a music fan; I have been my whole life. I believe music like language and thinking and breathing is a necessity. An unwinding entity that anything with a pulse would be bound to discover. Song, rhyme, lyric, music has seen me through my life. I was a high school out cast who love Eric Clapton and hated Jnco Jeans, a kid who never fit in; I leaned back to lyric. These people were singing about things that I agreed with. No one at school agreed with me, but I agreed with cantos of Van Morrison. Read this and tell me that you haven’t been in a spotty time and reverted to verse. Sang songs in your head to deal with the trappings of human existence. Well I have anyway. “My life is so common it disappears,” Paul Simon says as I stare into the mirror and worry about the state of my refection.
Tragically however I am an appreciator, not a contender. So my trouble with writing this article has been…what if I am wrong? Could I possible say that my top 5 are not good in any sense of the word good? I associate music to life, my life, what may not be progressive or important to the band may be to me because I connect it with a moment.
So all that being said, I write this as a warning, these are my picks, love em’ or hate em’. Right or wrong, they are simply the top 5 records that I have spun over and over again to soothe the voices in my head. Obviously each album comes highly suggested by yours truly, you wont be disappointed.
Now without further ado:
Brett’s top 5 of 2010:
1. The Hold Steady: Heaven Is Whenever.
The Hold Steady you did it again, Heaven is by no means their magnum opus, but If I want to be honest in the past 12 months I have listened to this record more than any. Craig Finn ex-bartender turned rock star poet will never cease to amaze with his cunning way of recounting girls with issues. Heaven is whenever we can get together, sit down on your floor and listen to you records.
2. The National: High Violet
It would be impossible for the National to release an LP and have it not show up somewhere on my top 5. I had the pleasure of seeing The National live before they were the music gods they have become. A night at Schubas in Chicago, standing up with my brother and cousin, so close to the band that I could smell their after shave. After the show I shared drinks at the bar with Matt Berninger himself, a night to remember
3. Frightened Rabbit: The Winter of Mixed Drinks
Scott Hutchison may be the single best lyricist to record a breakup song.
Always saying that he won’t be writing about his failed love life, but never being able to stop. I think I’ll save suicide for another day.
4. LCD Soundsystem: This Is Happening
James Murphy (co-founder of record label DFA Records, and former staff writer for the Conan O’Brien show) kicked off his music project LCD Soundstyem in 2005. Its first self-title album quickly became an underground dance favorite. Murphy noted from the first record that LCD Soundstyem will be a 3 album experiment, after which he will move on to other endeavors. Happenings release in May of this year didn’t let us down, LCD I will miss you.
5. Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Kanye you are by no means a sensible part of society. Your music and lyrics tend to piss of more than inspire. I hated you from the begging, but hell-o this music masterpiece came from nowhere. Listen to the track Runaway, it’s a song toasting the assholes and duchebags in the world. The orchestration of this song is like something I have never heard before. One would think these sounds are coming from a mastermind, and then you hear the lyrics “I sent this girl a picture of my dick”. You quickly remember that Kanye has a warped sense of humor.
Very Well Done.
-Vampire Weekend : Contra
-Broken Social Scene : Forgiveness Rock Record
-Spoon : Transference
-She & Him : Volume Two
-The New Pornographers: Together
-Arcade Fire : The Suburbs
Ahh, that felt good. I had to leave out a few great LPs but that’s what I got. I would love to hear your thoughts and apprehensions about my top 5, and also please feel more than welcome to leave a comment with your 2010 picks.