Nearly two months after the voting booths have closed, two months of meticulous deliberation, (and presumably, two months after any of the following is at all relevant or of any interest to my readers), it is finally finished.
This list was kind of difficult to make, and the rankings of certain albums on this certainly surprised me (see #2). There was no clear-cut #1 album when I first sat down to craft this list, but I think the album that took that spot definitely deserved it.
What was holding this list back was my ability/motivation to write a capsule for each album. So I finally said ‘screw it’ and just threw up capsules for my top five.
ZOLO was a great year for music, and 2011 is shaping up to look even better. So without further ado: The Faderist’s Top 20 Albums of 2010.
20. Broken Bells – Broken Bells
19. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
18. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Let It Sway
17. Tired Pony – The Place We Ran From
16. Ben Folds & Nick Hornby – Lonely Avenue
15. Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz
14. Minus The Bear – OMNI
13. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
12. Of Montreal – False Priest
11. Belle and Sebastian – Write About Love
10. Brian Eno – Small Craft on a Milk Sea
9. Cee Lo Green – The Ladykiller
8. Vampire Weekend – Contra
7. Against Me – White Crosses
6. The National – High Violet
5. God is an Astronaut – Age of the Fifth Sun
I find it interesting that this list contains three separate, unrelated instrument, ambient/post-rocky-y records, despite the fact that Explosions in the Sky have yet to release a follow up to 2007’s All of the Sudden I Miss Everyone (we’re waiting with anticipation for 2011’s album!). This record is one of my favorite God is an Astronaut releases yet, and demonstrates their musical and artistic growth, as each subsequent release arguably has in the past.
4. 65daysofstatic – We Were Exploding Anyway
65daysofstatic is one of those bands that not many people know about, but really ought to. The instrumental post-rock math-rock-y band is severely underrated, as far as I’m concerned, and We Were Exploding Anyway may be one of my favorite releases yet. The opening track “Mountainhead” blew my mind with an ever expanding layered track of percussion and synth. If you haven’t heard it, check it out.
I promise this is the last collaboration on the list for this year. I found it interesting (back when Cee Lo’s “Fuck You” single was released) that my list would probably have two gospel albums on it, when I had never had a gospel album on my list in the past. But here it is, the second gospel album to appear in the top 20 of last year, and it’s most definitely a must-hear.
Yep, so here it is. This album as absolutely no right to be this high on this list. But it’s really, really good. I spun it probably more than any other album on this list, and for good reason. The tracks are catchy, full of energy, and can turn 65mph into 85mph without you even realizing it. The post-apocalyptia aesthetic was a nice touch too, accented by a full rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” toward the end of the album, and a “wastelander DJ” popping in from time to time.
I have to agree with my esteemed colleague Charlie Petrey about this album: it’s no Funeral. This album, however, invoked an incredible feeling of nostalgia, regardless of what you have to be nostalgic about. And as a firm proponent of all things innovative, the interactive music video for “We Used To Wait” was absolutely fantastic.