10. Warpaint – The Fool
When I play this album at work, I’m afraid my coworkers think that at home I stay in bed all day crying and eating. This album is dark, haunting, and emotional. But while the sound may skew a bit quiet, it’s impossible to deny that these girls rock. At their live shows, the ooze a careless coolness I can only hope to achieve someday.
Favorite Track – Composure
9. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
I’m a little weary of adding this one to my list since it hasn’t been out very long. But yeah, I’m feeling this shit. I don’t think we can go so far as to call it perfect but it’s damn good. Damn you Kanye, stop being such a jerk.
Favorite Track – Lost In The World
8. Diamond Rings Special Affections
I’ve been waiting for John O’Regan to release an album’s length worth of material since I couldn’t stop pushing the repeat button on summer 2009’s “All Yr Songs.” Special Affections is a bit less poppy, but still captures the unique sound I had expected.
Favorite Track – Wait And See
7. Robyn – Body Talk
Robyn has been releasing material for her Body Talk series all year and it’s pretty much all dance-pop music perfection. She’s definitely one of the coolest girls around.
Favorite Track – Dancehall Queen
6. Wavves – King of the Beach
Wavves is one of the hardest bands to get my friends into. He has a crunchy sound that toes the line between music and just noise. Thankfully, King of the Beach was a more polished and produced record that converted a few of my followers. He still may sound like The Beach Boys put through a blender, but at least now I have some friends that will go to the shows with me.
Favorite Track – King of the Beach
5. Suckers – Wide Smile
The debut full-length from a band I’ve been following for quite a while, there is no way this wasn’t going to make my top 10.
Favorite Track – Roman Candles
4. Sleigh Bells – Treats
This blog is less than a year old and its name was inspired by a playlist title that was inspired by Sleigh Bells’ song “Infinity Guitars.” “Infinity Guitars” takes its cue from Gwen Stefani classic “Hollaback Girl” with its yelled-rather-than-sung lyrics but the result is much rockier and more hardcore. The rest of Treats is equally good. The Brooklyn/Florida-based duo combine hip-hop beats with electric guitars and sweetly-sung female vocals for a sound that is almost seizure-inducing, but in an awesome way. Other stand-out songs include original single “Crown On The Ground,” lead-off track “Tell ‘Em,” and the sing-a-long worthy “Rill Rill.”
Favorite Track – Infinity Guitars
3. Foals – Total Life Forever
I have to admit that I’m still a bigger fan of the upbeat tempos on Foals' first album Antidotes, but their Mercury Prize nominated sophomore effort is still brilliant enough to make my top three. Echo-y vocals and ethereal math rock are at the center of Total Life Forever, but the Foals live show is still a rock and roll dance party. They may be number 3 here, but they are number 1 for gig of the year.
Favorite Track - Blue Blood
live review and video of the gig of the year at Music Hall of Williamsburg on 10/2/2010
2. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
OK, so basically I have been in love with everything James Murphy since 2005 when a good friend put “Disco Infiltrator” on a mix for me. Every LCD Soundsystem release has been better than the last. An excellent album with virtually no duds and a slew of incredible live shows this year has made 2010 quite a year-long LCD Soundsystem party for me.
Favorite Track – I Can Change
1. Local Natives – Gorilla Manor
I’m kind of cheating here. We’ve all been listening to this album since about October 2009, but it didn’t come out in the US until February 2010 so that’s good enough for me. The reason this is my number one is because not only are there no bad songs on Gorilla Manor, but also because every song is so good. Local Natives have been called a west coast Grizzly Bear but I can't really agree with that. Their harmonies are just as interesting and warm as the Grizzly Bear boys’ but their songs are bigger, more rhythmic anthems. This past weekend I heard “Sun Hands” in a bar for the first time ever. It came on just as we were leaving, but all of us agreed we had to stay for the extra five minutes just to dance it out. Seriously, any time someone asked me for music recommendations this year, I always suggested Local Natives and I always got real positive feedback. I can’t wait to hear what these guys do next.