The conviction that the album is dead has been growing in me and 2010 did nothing to dispel that. Despite trawling several best of lists (thanks Steve!) I found one album that I love released in 2010 (thank you Reach Records) several very good ones, and as usual a couple I love from previous years/decades/millennia.
Without further ado here they are
1) Lions & Liars - Sho Baraka
The best album by a mile. Genre jumping, serious, humorous, intelligent gospel rap. I've been raving about it for most of the year. Check out My Life (Nice Aim), Liars Anthem, Oh Well, Revolutionary Died.
2) Rehab - Lecrae
Lecrae shines on every single track but is let down by lame hooks from guest vocalists. However the disc is more than redeemed by tracks like High, 40 Deep, Used To Do It Too. Read my review here
3) Contra - Vampire Weekend
I was completely underwhelmed by the first album and now I can't understand why. Perhaps it was the sucky name (pun intended). Contra is the son of Graceland & Rhythm of the Saints, right down to the wistful, bemused innocent abroad viewpoint. A band wearing the third world on it's sleeve and not having to try too hard to prove it. Check Cousins, I Think UR A Contra, Taxi Cab.
4) Treats - Sleigh Bells
If The White Stripes had been born in the 22nd century and got all misty eyed for all that retro 21st c. technology, this is what they would have sounded like. A guy, a girl, a guitar, a laptop and a dustbin full of digital distortion. Check out Treats, Riot Rhythm, Straight A's
5) Have One On Me - Joanna Newsom
Joanna was an Appalachian girl, cryogenically frozen in 1926, thawed out in 2001, then locked in a room with only a harp, Kate Bush's first 4 albums and Sufjan Steven's Illinois for company. No wonder she turned out like this. A sprawling 3 disc set of wondrous weirdness that I'm still getting my head round. Start with Easy, Have One On Me, Ribbon Bows
And the Top 5 (non 2010) Albums I heard for the first time this year.
1) Magical Mystery Tour - The Beatles
It may have been a failure as a movie, but as a CD it's filled with awesomeness. From The Fool On The Hill to I Am The Walrus, plus Strawberry Fields & Penny Lane...
2) Whisper House - Duncan Sheik
The soundtrack to a Broadway show that never was, Sheik's music blends memorable & original melodies and concepts with a total lack of concern at using a blindingly obvious and corny rhymes. Oddly compelling. Listen to I Don't Believe In You, Oh You've Really Gone And Done It Now & The Tale Of Solomon Snell
3) Meli Meli - Cheb Mali
True World music from an Algerian Rai star. French hip hop, folk fiddle and bagpipes, dub reggae and Latino guitar sprinkled on top of an Arabic base to make a wonderfully spicy musical pizza. Check out Azwaw 2, Bledi, Meli Meli
4) Trill It Like It Was - The Templeton Twins With Teddy Turner & His Bunsen Burners
This album by a fake 1920's cover band has to be heard to be believed. Sad that you won't be able to as it's been out of print forever. Read my post here. Check out Something, OOH OOH Guru, By The Time I Get To Phoenix
5) Saltbreakers - Laura Veirs
No one can sing out of tune at the bottom of their range and make it sound good like Laura Veirs can. Not a concept album as such, but the reoccurring ocean imagery tie the songs together in a fantastic way. Check out Pink Light, Drink Deep, Don't Lose Yourself
Beauty Will Rise - Steven Curtis Chapman
Simply because it would have made last years list had I not bought it the last few days of 2009. Heart-wrenching honesty distilled into a beautifully melodic album. Listen to Beauty Will Rise, February 20th, Our God Is In Control
Related Posts: Other top 10 lists
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