musicOMH's Top 50 Albums Of 2010

Original Source

1. The National - High Violet

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

If all of the band’s records had a loose thematic core running through to them, High Violet is the band’s most grown up record – mirroring the now late-30something group’s outlook on life.

2. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

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

Arcade Fire have never been a band shy of tackling big themes. Their momentous debut album Funeral addressed death, somehow making it seem invigorating and inspiring, as well as tragic, epic and heartrending, while 2007's Neon Bible melded religion and natural disasters (the tsunami, the New Orleans floods) in a portentous, unsettling blend of pomp and darkness.

3. Janelle Monáe - The ArchAndroid

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

One can but marvel at the impressive range, ambition (realised) and detail of this deeply polished, professional yet utterly, brilliantly bonkers album. An album destined, surely, to take its place among the classics of its age.

4. Caribou - Swim

Caribou - Swim
April 20, 2010
Electronic
Critic Score
82
22 reviews
User Score
83
127 reviews

5. Beach House - Teen Dream

Beach House - Teen Dream
January 26, 2010
Dream Pop
Critic Score
82
26 reviews
User Score
87
245 reviews

It’s an incredibly rewarding listen, even if the self-observing anxiety that’s writ large throughout means it doesn’t quite reach the lofty heights to which its creators have bravely aspired.

6. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening

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

7. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest

Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
September 28, 2010
Indie Rock
Critic Score
84
27 reviews
User Score
88
191 reviews

Halcyon Digest is a triumph of multilayered nuance, and repeated listens reveal its genius buried just beyond the obvious.

8. Foals - Total Life Forever

Foals - Total Life Forever
May 11, 2010
Indie Rock
Critic Score
79
22 reviews
User Score
80
74 reviews

9. Four Tet - There Is Love in You

Four Tet - There Is Love in You
January 26, 2010
Electronic
Critic Score
83
22 reviews
User Score
83
76 reviews

10. John Grant - Queen of Denmark

John Grant - Queen of Denmark
April 19, 2010
Folk
Critic Score
79
5 reviews
User Score
85
10 reviews

11. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
March 9, 2010
Electropop
Critic Score
81
24 reviews
User Score
80
118 reviews

12. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
November 22, 2010
Hip Hop
Critic Score
91
32 reviews
User Score
89
420 reviews

After a goofy intro on Dark Fantasy, ‘Ye takes it all back to his fantasies in Chicago, when he was producing beats and managing artists with a dream of making it big.

13. Yeasayer - Odd Blood

Yeasayer - Odd Blood
February 9, 2010
Experimental
Critic Score
76
26 reviews
User Score
78
42 reviews

Mischievous from the word go, Yeasayer's second album Odd Blood opens with a musical red herring. With its clunky electronics, cow bells and slo-mo vocals, The Children sounds like a nasty 1970s Peter Gabriel single played at 33rpm. It's best taken as a palate cleanser, providing a clear break between the stately mystique of their debut All Hour Cymbals and the unashamedly crowd-pleasing yet deceptively complex remainder of the new album.

14. Jónsi - Go

Jónsi - Go
April 6, 2010
Post-Rock
Critic Score
82
22 reviews
User Score
81
29 reviews

15. Warpaint - The Fool

Warpaint - The Fool
October 26, 2010
Indie Rock
Critic Score
78
25 reviews
User Score
79
27 reviews

While not perfect, The Fool is a very promising début that grows in stature on every listen. If you're willing to put the time in, this could easily live up to the hype.

16. Vampire Weekend - Contra

Vampire Weekend - Contra
January 12, 2010
Indie Rock
Critic Score
79
27 reviews
User Score
82
192 reviews

When Vampire Weekend first appeared in 2006, they seemed to strike the same regenerative effect into the indie-rock circuit that fellow New Yorkers The Strokes had managed at the beginning of the new century.

For, with the simple act of imbuing their songs with some Afro-pop rhythms, Vampire Weekend pulled off the not inconsiderable trick of making music that sounded gloriously familiar and intriguingly different and fresh at the same time. Blo gs buzzed, indie-discos rocked and songs like A-Punk and M79 soon sounded like old friends.

17. Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me

Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me
February 23, 2010
Indie Folk
Critic Score
84
22 reviews
User Score
84
69 reviews

18. Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep

Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep
September 13, 2010
Rock
Critic Score
74
12 reviews
User Score
77
2 reviews

19. Surfer Blood - Astro Coast

Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
January 19, 2010
Indie Rock
Critic Score
76
18 reviews
User Score
77
37 reviews

Surfer Blood are JP Pitts, Tyler Schwarz, Thomas Fekete and Brian Black, four men in their early twenties from Palm Beach, Florida. No surfers themselves, despite their band's name, the music that they produce does nonetheless seem, on some level, informed by the ocean besides which they grew up.

20. Field Music - Field Music (Measure)

Field Music - Field Music (Measure)
February 16, 2010
Indie Pop
Critic Score
77
14 reviews
User Score
81
2 reviews

21. Menomena - Mines

Menomena - Mines
July 27, 2010
Experimental Rock
Critic Score
79
19 reviews
User Score
82
9 reviews

Portland, Oregon trio Menomena take a lot of disjointed loops and tear them apart, spin them round and reconstruct them. It's a bit of musical puff-puff-pass, with each band member contributing something and feeding the data into a band-built looping computer program. Sounds alarmingly avant garde, right? And perhaps it is, in theory, but Menomena come across as surprisingly accessible and pop-oriented, even in the midst of all their computerised hyperactivity.

22. Owen Pallett - Heartland

Owen Pallett - Heartland
January 12, 2010
Chamber Pop
Critic Score
81
16 reviews
User Score
80
26 reviews

23. Grinderman - Grinderman 2

Grinderman - Grinderman 2
September 14, 2010
Garage Rock
Critic Score
81
17 reviews
User Score
84
23 reviews

For what it sets out to do, it's damn near perfect, and what higher praise is there than that?

24. Best Coast - Crazy for You

Best Coast - Crazy for You
July 27, 2010
Indie Pop
Critic Score
75
17 reviews
User Score
76
59 reviews

Bethany Cosentino, until recently, was part of an obscure California-based psychedelia outift called Pocahaunted. Although to some extent they rose to popularity, it's incomparable to the success Cosentino has already achieved under the more streamlined pop direction of Best Coast in the space of just over a year.

25. 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
87
21 reviews
User Score
83
58 reviews

That brilliant title is certainly a good start. Such inventive use of language immediately undercuts the argument that Antwan Patton has always been the lesser half of OutKast.

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

Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here
February 9, 2010
Soul
Critic Score
79
20 reviews
User Score
80
36 reviews

27. Jaga Jazzist - One Armed Bandit

Jaga Jazzist - One Armed Bandit
January 26, 2010
Progressive Rock
Critic Score
81
8 reviews
User Score
84
2 reviews

28. Bellowhead - Hedonism

Bellowhead - Hedonism
October 4, 2010
Folk
Critic Score
80
2 reviews
User Score
NR

29. Stornoway - Beachcomber's Windowsill

Stornoway - Beachcomber's Windowsill
August 10, 2010
Indie Folk
Critic Score
75
8 reviews
User Score
81
4 reviews

30. Pantha Du Prince - Black Noise

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

31. 65daysofstatic - We Were Exploding Anyway

65daysofstatic - We Were Exploding Anyway
May 11, 2010
Post-Rock
Critic Score
83
4 reviews
User Score
84
9 reviews

32. Phosphorescent - Here's to Taking It Easy

Phosphorescent - Here's to Taking It Easy
May 11, 2010
Folk
Critic Score
77
11 reviews
User Score
81
8 reviews

This fourth album from Matthew Houck's Phosphorescent project originally came out in May but is being reissued so soon simply to tie in with Houck's early September UK tour. As its title might imply, it's not exactly the most radical or original of 2010 releases. However, its handling of various Americana and alt-country tropes is so assured and lush that it certainly deserves a second push.

33. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles

Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles
May 25, 2010
Electronic
Critic Score
73
18 reviews
User Score
83
114 reviews

34. Marnie Stern - Marnie Stern

Marnie Stern - Marnie Stern
October 5, 2010
Experimental Rock
Critic Score
80
14 reviews
User Score
81
6 reviews

It all adds up to Stern's most fully realised, most rounded album yet, and a huge step in her evolution as an artist.

35. The Irrepressibles - Mirror Mirror

The Irrepressibles - Mirror Mirror
January 11, 2010
Chamber Pop
Critic Score
80
4 reviews
User Score
85
1 review

36. Titus Andronicus - The Monitor

Titus Andronicus - The Monitor
March 9, 2010
Indie Rock
Critic Score
81
20 reviews
User Score
84
61 reviews

37. Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can

Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can
April 6, 2010
Folk
Critic Score
81
12 reviews
User Score
81
28 reviews

38. Sleigh Bells - Treats

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

A degree of wariness is to be expected when confronted with yet another hipster-endorsed New York band - after all, there seems to be a different one every month. Yet, for once, it looks as if Sleigh Bells may just justify the hype - for from the very first note of Treats, you know you're listening to something extraordinary.

39. The Walkmen - Lisbon

The Walkmen - Lisbon
September 14, 2010
Indie Rock
Critic Score
82
21 reviews
User Score
83
39 reviews

40. Allo Darlin' - Allo Darlin'

Allo Darlin' - Allo Darlin'
June 7, 2010
Indie Pop
Critic Score
69
7 reviews
User Score
81
5 reviews

41. These New Puritans - Hidden

These New Puritans - Hidden
March 2, 2010
Art Rock
Critic Score
82
18 reviews
User Score
83
37 reviews

42. Nedry - Condors

Nedry - Condors
April 20, 2010
Dubstep
Critic Score
74
7 reviews
User Score
89
2 reviews

43. Villagers - Becoming a Jackal

Villagers - Becoming a Jackal
June 8, 2010
Folk
Critic Score
76
15 reviews
User Score
79
15 reviews

44. Wild Nothing - Gemini

Wild Nothing - Gemini
May 25, 2010
Indie Pop
Critic Score
77
11 reviews
User Score
81
45 reviews

Music tends to follow the general rule of thumb that if you can get three examples of something then it can be called a trend. Only in music it's called a genre, and it usually ends up slowly ruining the thing it's supposed to be defining. You get the feeling that as 'chillwave' slowly becomes shorthand for everything vaguely summery or a little bit hazy, that in amongst the shimmering keyboards and padded drums you can make out the death knell.

45. Mulatu Astatke - Mulatu Steps Ahead

Mulatu Astatke - Mulatu Steps Ahead
March 30, 2010
Jazz
Critic Score
82
5 reviews
User Score
93
1 review

46. Everything Everything - Man Alive

Everything Everything - Man Alive
August 30, 2010
Indie Pop
Critic Score
70
11 reviews
User Score
74
16 reviews

47. Hot Chip - One Life Stand

Hot Chip - One Life Stand
February 9, 2010
Electropop
Critic Score
75
25 reviews
User Score
80
58 reviews

While the capricious, erratic behaviour of musical mavericks like Neil Young and Bob Dylan might enthral their followers, it's always nice when a recording artist behaves in a rather more sensible, rational way. Five-piece pop act Hot Chip are a case in point. From the listener's perspective, it seems as if Hot Chip have behaved rather like a customer services-orientated business: they've listened to their customers' complaints, and they've sought t o remedy their faults.

48. Liars - Sisterworld

Liars - Sisterworld
March 9, 2010
Experimental Rock
Critic Score
81
21 reviews
User Score
82
23 reviews

49. Bryan Ferry - Olympia

Bryan Ferry - Olympia
October 26, 2010
Glam Rock
Critic Score
72
14 reviews
User Score
NR

50. Gold Panda - Lucky Shiner

Gold Panda - Lucky Shiner
October 12, 2010
Electronic
Critic Score
76
20 reviews
User Score
76
14 reviews
Original Source: http://musicomh.com/music/features/2010-top-50-albums-50-41_1210.htm

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Check out our 2010 Year End Summary.