BEST OF
2014

Drowned in Sound's Albums of The Year 2010

Original Source

1. Emeralds - Does It Look Like I'm Here?

Emeralds - Does It Look Like I'm Here?
June 8, 2010
Drone
Critic Score
82
5 reviews
User Score
81
13 reviews

2. The National - High Violet

The National - High Violet
May 11, 2010
Indie Rock
Critic Score
86
20 reviews
User Score
87
172 reviews

You don’t really need me to tell you that The National’s High Violet is one of the year’s most feverishly anticipated records, nor do you need it rehashed how 2005’s Alligator and 2007’s Boxer revealed their charms gradually, seeping into listener’s headphones and their hearts long after receiving initial spins. The enduring quality of the New Yorker’s previous long-players means that whether they like it or not, High Violet comes burdened with heavy expectation. It doesn’t just have to be a good album, it must be a brilliant one; it can’t just be better than what it follows, it needs to be an outright modern classic.

3. Deftones - Diamond Eyes

Deftones - Diamond Eyes
May 4, 2010
Alternative Metal
Critic Score
76
8 reviews
User Score
76
16 reviews

4. Perfume Genius - Learning

Perfume Genius - Learning
June 21, 2010
Indie Pop
Critic Score
80
8 reviews
User Score
83
13 reviews

When I was at university my friend and I would play each other music constantly, usually accompanied by a Super Nintendo, a worn copy of Mario Kart and countless rolled up cigarettes. We had this running joke where every so often one of us would put on Grandaddy’s ‘Underneath the Weeping Willow’, leading us to engage in various stages of mock grief, staunching the imaginary tears that coursed down our cheeks. Of course, this wasn’t the only song that brought about such a reaction, and it wasn’t really a joke as such; more us amusing ourselves while tacitly recognising its parent album The Sophtware Slump as one of the saddest and most beautiful of the previous decade.

5. The Knife - Tomorrow, In a Year

The Knife - Tomorrow, In a Year
March 9, 2010
Electronic
Critic Score
74
11 reviews
User Score
76
10 reviews

6. These New Puritans - Hidden

These New Puritans - Hidden
March 2, 2010
Art Rock
Critic Score
81
16 reviews
User Score
83
30 reviews

At some point in the planning stages, These New Puritans front man Jack Barnett must have said: 'Okay, we can either stick to our guns, make another pretty-decent record, or we can go for broke'. I mean, how else does writing a collection of songs around a bassoon come about? Bravado is always easier from the sidelines; that is, don’t dismiss the idea of making Beat Pyramid Part 2 out of hand. After all, TNPS’ debut was actually better than pretty-decent, ticking all the right electro-pop boxes. Mark E Smith vocals, scratchy Gang of Four guitars and strident synth rhythms jostled for space in a strangely evocative way. To be sure, Beat Pyramid was a promising shot across the bow, but no one could have predicted the carpet bombing TNPS intended to unleash.

7. Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago

Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago
February 23, 2010
Folk
Critic Score
77
12 reviews
User Score
81
3 reviews

If you’ve visited Shearwater’s website over the last couple of months, you’ll have been greeted by an arresting, scratchily-filmed series of images – of mist over mountains, damaged flags and roiling sea-waters; of travel journals and captains’ logs, bloodied bird carcasses and satellite grabs. It’s all part of the story.

8. Yeasayer - Odd Blood

Yeasayer - Odd Blood
February 9, 2010
Experimental
Critic Score
74
15 reviews
User Score
79
30 reviews

9. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening

LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
May 18, 2010
Dance Punk
Critic Score
85
21 reviews
User Score
87
152 reviews

If Sound of Silver was the sound of someone reaching far enough to make something just plain great, then This is Happening is the sound of a man with great taste who really understands music, making dumb body music with hidden depths if anyone cares to investigate.

10. Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz

Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz
October 12, 2010
Chamber Pop
Critic Score
78
17 reviews
User Score
85
74 reviews

The Age of Adz is not an unqualified success; occasionally it does feel like a little too much, and until the dust has settled it is difficult to say where it will sit in his discography as a whole.

11. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
August 3, 2010
Indie Rock
Critic Score
87
23 reviews
User Score
86
253 reviews

A few nights ago, I decided that it would be a brilliant idea to write my review of Arcade Fire’s third album in real time. I would allot myself its not inconsiderable running length to bash out this article, whilst also, crucially, knocking back a finger of beer for each mention of “the kids” or “the suburbs” in Win Butler’s lyrics.

12. Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty

Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
July 6, 2010
Hip Hop
Critic Score
86
18 reviews
User Score
84
37 reviews

Detroit owes the dirty south. For, as Detroit's slump has hit the headlines, the Dirty South has hit a very different kind of headline: a movement of new hip hop artists, spearheaded by the inimitable L'il Wayne, has renewed airtime given to one of Detroit's finest and most American exports: the Cadillac. As more than one hip hop blog has announced: this Southern shit is getting out of hand.

13. Weezer - Hurley

Weezer - Hurley
September 14, 2010
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
59
12 reviews
User Score
56
16 reviews

Those who optimistically purchased Make Believe and Raditude will know that a good first single does not a great Weezer album make, but Hurley is packed solid, with a sense of fun and good-time melodies cropping up at every juncture.

14. Rufus Wainwright - All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu

Rufus Wainwright - All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu
April 20, 2010
Folk
Critic Score
67
9 reviews
User Score
69
4 reviews

15. Pantha Du Prince - Black Noise

Pantha Du Prince - Black Noise
February 9, 2010
Electronic
Critic Score
82
14 reviews
User Score
81
10 reviews

16. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
November 22, 2010
Hip Hop
Critic Score
93
25 reviews
User Score
89
278 reviews

For rap fans it's both a testament to the versatility of the genre and Kanye's own brilliance that he can make something so refreshingly different which still fits comfortably in the rap canon.

17. Mount Kimbie - Crooks & Lovers

Mount Kimbie - Crooks & Lovers
September 14, 2010
Dubstep
Critic Score
81
8 reviews
User Score
84
13 reviews

18. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles

Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles
May 25, 2010
Electronic
Critic Score
77
12 reviews
User Score
84
85 reviews

Every punk goes pro one day, and Crystal Castles are no exception. Upon emergence a couple of years back, Alice Glass and Ethan Kath came and glared at the world with the cynicism of Lydon, the nihilism of The Germs, and – in their harder moment – the brutal electronics of Atari Teenage Riot. Debut album Crystal Castles was a belligerently stitched together mix of chipcore fury, vaguely Satanic electro-pop and meandering ambient workouts. Even five years ago it might have only found an audience of about five 'troubled' European teens. In the heady d ays of 2008, however, teenage lifestyle brands Skins and NME cheerily latched onto ‘Alice Practise’ – CC’s most brutal, fuck-the-lot-of-you moment – and packaged it as an essential anthem for Top Shop shod-youth. There’s nothing really wrong with that, but when your harshest musical moment has been installed as soundtrack to a scene in a teen soap in which two boys get in touch with their feelings, and when you appear on said teen soap playing said song, it’s going to look sussed if you play the rebel card on your second album.

19. Caribou - Swim

Caribou - Swim
April 20, 2010
Electronic
Critic Score
82
18 reviews
User Score
83
86 reviews

20. Kelis - Flesh Tone

Kelis - Flesh Tone
July 6, 2010
R&B
Critic Score
69
8 reviews
User Score
79
6 reviews

21. Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma

Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma
May 4, 2010
Electronic
Critic Score
88
22 reviews
User Score
86
89 reviews

To paraphrase Joseph Goebbels, when I hear the words 'space opera' I reach for my revolver. Or perhaps, given the way in which Flying Lotus reflects a modern vision of the same combined spiritual ritual and synapse-frying freak-out expressed by Parliament-Funkadelic, the weapon of choice should be a bop gun. It’s staying holstered, though: while in science fiction the term denotes melodramatic claptrap, and its musical relation the rock opera is always melodramatic claptrap, FlyLo’s so self-described third album is a serious proposition. In fact, for over half its length it’s masterful.

22. The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night

The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes are the Roaring Night
March 9, 2010
Indie Rock
Critic Score
78
12 reviews
User Score
85
5 reviews

23. Oneohtrix Point Never - Returnal

Oneohtrix Point Never - Returnal
June 21, 2010
Drone
Critic Score
81
5 reviews
User Score
84
11 reviews

24. Villagers - Becoming a Jackal

Villagers - Becoming a Jackal
June 8, 2010
Folk
Critic Score
75
14 reviews
User Score
81
7 reviews

25. Blood Red Shoes - Fire Like This

Blood Red Shoes - Fire Like This
March 1, 2010
Indie Rock
Critic Score
68
6 reviews
User Score
78
5 reviews

26. The Phantom Band - The Wants

The Phantom Band - The Wants
October 25, 2010
Indie Rock
Critic Score
77
8 reviews
User Score
81
2 reviews

27. Errors - Come Down With Me

Errors - Come Down With Me
March 1, 2010
Electronic
Critic Score
76
7 reviews
User Score
83
1 review

28. White Hinterland - Kairos

White Hinterland - Kairos
March 9, 2010
Indie Pop
Critic Score
75
10 reviews
User Score
84
1 review

29. Max Richter - Infra

Max Richter - Infra
July 20, 2010
Ambient
Critic Score
79
13 reviews
User Score
83
3 reviews

Infra was originally conceived as a 25-minute score for a Royal Ballet collaboration between composer Max Richter, choreographer Wayne McGregor and visual artist Julian Opie which premiered in November 2008 and was also broadcast on BBC2. Fleshed out to just over 40 minutes through the inclusion of outtakes and extended sections, the soundtrack was recently revisited and recorded by Richter and a string quintet with a view to documenting the ballet and giving the musical accompaniment a life of its own. Unsurprisingly, he achieves this and more with his fourth studio album on FatCat's classical imprint 130701, further solidifying his reputation as one of Britain's most versatile and identifiable classical voices.

30. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest

Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
September 28, 2010
Indie Rock
Critic Score
85
22 reviews
User Score
87
140 reviews

Yet I think conversely it’s Cox’s inability to totally connect to an audience that makes him such a spectacularly special songwriter.

31. Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh

Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh
March 30, 2010
Soul
Critic Score
84
11 reviews
User Score
77
13 reviews

32. Los Campesinos! - Romance Is Boring

Los Campesinos! - Romance Is Boring
January 26, 2010
Indie Pop
Critic Score
79
15 reviews
User Score
77
12 reviews

33. Foals - Total Life Forever

Foals - Total Life Forever
May 11, 2010
Indie Rock
Critic Score
76
13 reviews
User Score
80
56 reviews

Since the moment they uploaded a bold draft of first single 'Hummer' to their MySpace page almost four years ago, Oxford five-piece Foals have boasted an extraordinary confidence. From discharging Dave Sitek as producer of their first album, Antidotes, to frontman Yannis Philippakkis' Angry Young Man-esque onstage swagger, they have insisted on doing things in an 'our way or no way' style. But their instant endorsement by the yooth music media worked both to their advantage and detriment – at the same time as teenagers up and down the country were scrambling to book them for their famed houseparties, an equal number of jaundiced critics were dismissing them as a flash in the pan, as yet another angular-soun ding band of haircuts with arty pretensions. And, in planning their second album, Yannis, Ed, Jack, Jimmy and Walter have been a long time absent from the current scene, which changes with the tide – something sceptics who've got them down as a 'fashion' band would think unwise.

34. Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me

Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me
February 23, 2010
Indie Folk
Critic Score
86
18 reviews
User Score
85
44 reviews

35. Uffie - Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans

Uffie - Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans
June 22, 2010
Electropop
Critic Score
44
9 reviews
User Score
62
7 reviews

36. Richard Skelton - Landings

Richard Skelton - Landings
January 19, 2010
Critic Score
80
2 reviews
User Score
NR

37. Marnie Stern - Marnie Stern

Marnie Stern - Marnie Stern
October 5, 2010
Experimental Rock
Critic Score
79
10 reviews
User Score
81
5 reviews

38. 65daysofstatic - We Were Exploding Anyway

65daysofstatic - We Were Exploding Anyway
May 11, 2010
Post-Rock
Critic Score
83
4 reviews
User Score
83
7 reviews

39. Gold Panda - Lucky Shiner

Gold Panda - Lucky Shiner
October 12, 2010
Electronic
Critic Score
75
13 reviews
User Score
76
9 reviews

Whatever angle you examine it from, Lucky Shiner is an impressive statement, especially for a debut, and when Gold Panda lets the house beat sink into the background and experiments a little more with space and structure the results are gorgeous.

40. Sleigh Bells - Treats

Sleigh Bells - Treats
May 11, 2010
Noise Pop
Critic Score
84
21 reviews
User Score
81
65 reviews

41. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today
June 8, 2010
Psychedelic Pop
Critic Score
81
11 reviews
User Score
84
56 reviews

There’s a passage in Bill Drummond’s The 17 where he recalls traveling to Los Angeles in the mid 1980s, ostensibly to oversee the work of a hair metal band in his capacity as an A&R man for WEA. While trying to find the group in a labyrinthian studio complex, Drummond stumbled across a bloated Stevie Nicks, who was dancing eyes-closed to one of her own songs, lost to herself and the world. Ther e are many styles covered on this, the first album by Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti since signing to 4AD, but that glassy Fleetwood Mac production, which flourished on Rumours, gloriously saturated their sound on Tusk, and continued to be an obsession for Lindsey Buckingham on later hits such as ‘Big Love’, is glazed all over Before Today.

42. Janelle Monáe - The ArchAndroid

Janelle Monáe - The ArchAndroid
May 18, 2010
Soul
Critic Score
86
19 reviews
User Score
84
54 reviews

The 'plot' of Janelle Monáe’s The Archandroid revolves around Cindi Mayweather; a character embodied by the staggeringly varied talents of Monáe herself. Cindi is actually cloned from the DNA of Monae, who had been kidnapped, cloned and then sent back to our time in the 21st century. The Archandroid is snippets of Cindi’s effort to realign the wrongs made in the year 2719 in the city of Metropolis by the Great Divide, 'a secret society which has been using time travel to suppress freedom and love throughout the ages'. It’s Cindi’s duty to bring them down. And, by default, Monáe’s to formulate an idea of the error of their ways.

43. Liars - Sisterworld

Liars - Sisterworld
March 9, 2010
Experimental Rock
Critic Score
80
18 reviews
User Score
83
19 reviews

44. Forest Swords - Dagger Paths

Forest Swords - Dagger Paths
March 1, 2010
Psychedelic
Critic Score
87
4 reviews
User Score
82
8 reviews

45. Broken Bells - Broken Bells

Broken Bells - Broken Bells
March 9, 2010
Indie Pop
Critic Score
72
13 reviews
User Score
73
28 reviews

As musical collaborations go, the one embarked upon by James Mercer, mercurial singer/songwriter with esteemed Portlanders The Shins, and Brian Burton, better known as producer extraordinaire Danger Mouse, has to go down as one of the most unlikely. While perhaps not in the sublime bracket of ridiculousness inhabited by Burt Bacharach's mutual love-in with Elvis Costello and Dr Dre that reared 2005's ill-advised At This Time or Bing Crosby and David Bowie uttering Christmas carols to one another, it certainly set the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons late last year when Mercer announced Broken Bells was a fully projected work in progress and an album would be imminent.

46. Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here

Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here
February 9, 2010
Soul
Critic Score
77
15 reviews
User Score
82
24 reviews

47. Four Tet - There Is Love in You

Four Tet - There Is Love in You
January 26, 2010
Electronic
Critic Score
84
15 reviews
User Score
83
53 reviews

48. Ikonika - Contact, Love, Want, Have

Ikonika - Contact, Love, Want, Have
April 6, 2010
Dubstep
Critic Score
77
7 reviews
User Score
NR

49. No Age - Everything in Between

No Age - Everything in Between
September 28, 2010
Indie Rock
Critic Score
80
15 reviews
User Score
83
25 reviews

Everything In Between is undoubtedly a step onward from its predecessors – it’s more developed in every way, though admittedly lacks a little of the sheer raw bite that made Weirdo Rippers in particular so exhilarating.

50. Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network
October 15, 2010
Electronic
Critic Score
73
4 reviews
User Score
85
7 reviews
Original Source: http://drownedinsound.com/lists/bestof2010

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