Top 10 Albums, 2010

OK. Here You Go. In No Particular Order.

But Make Sure To Click On The Names.

That Way You Can Listen To These Too.

Nom Nom Nom Nom

Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz

Not your same ol’ Sufjan album for sure—turns out buddy has found the path of Pet Sounds Brian Wilson (crazy, polyphonic, genius) and has crafted one of the most gorgeous and detailed albums I’ve heard. J.Brownhill had to sit me down intervention-style to get me to listen to the title track (J:“This is great” D:“Eh, Sufjan is boring” J:“This is not boring—listen” [music, sound of D weeping]) but I’m damn glad he did. You know that trip where you see God, but God is trying to eat you? Yes. This.

Sleigh Bells – Treats

R & I have been wondering if Treats might be a good gateway drug to the current state of pop. On one hand, you get the sensation of someone kicking a soccer ball into your face high speed for the run of the album. On the other hand, the girl doing the kicking is absolutely stunning, and is wearing a skirt. Do you miss summer? Give this a listen. Do you like holding hands? Listen to this album.

Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma

It’s real rare to hear something really truly thoroughly new in electronic music. Sure, most any album will have some unfamiliar noises, will use samples just so, will mutate dubstep in a new direction, etc., but in Cosmogramma, FlyLo crafts a sound nearly nothing like anything else ever, including his own work.. A jazz band covered in primordial ooze and being hunted world-through-world by Mario, the album is intimidating. This is no excuse for not listening very carefully to it. After all, you like Thom Yorke, right? Everybody likes Thom Yorke. Well guess what. Thom Yorke is on this album. (Bonus points awarded for literal ping-pong percussion)

Salem – King Night

Sick. Sick sick sick. This is sick. Like diseased. Only for sick people. Also, pill thieves. This is also for pill thieves. And/or for people who want to be leprous pill thieves.

A Sunny Day in Glasgow – Autumn Again

Is this Ashes Grammar? Not quite. Has ASDiG hacked into my mind a la Inception and figured out exactly what I would want most to listen to? Yes. Was it consensual? Oh fuck yes. Was it more A Sunny Day in Glasgow? Of course. These guys craft pop songs like Nat Sherman makes cigarettes: dark, smooth, chemically addictive. One of my most blissful moments of the year happened with “Drink, Drank, Drunk” coming through the headphones real, real loud.

Major Lazer & La Roux – LazerProof

Is La Roux someone famous? I don’t know. But if she is, and you listen to her, do you notice how her lyrics sound like they make sense, but don’t? [What is feelings without emotions?] But gosh, she’s great on this. Capable hands grab her vocals, as well as Gucci Mane’s and voices from Major Lazer and mix a propulsive, videogame-level arc of songs. Want to keep on rockin’ with Major Lazer all night long? Grab this too: Major Lazer Summer Mix

Tame Impala – Innerspeaker

Classic psych-rock times modern recording technique plus a bunch of drums divided by a synthesizer twice equals My Favorite Australians. Innerspeaker sounds how that sentence reads.

Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest

Everyone loves this album and I do too.

The Knife w/ Mount Sims & Planningtorock – Tomorrow, In a Year

Everybody hates this album but I don’t! Noise, opera, and The Knife. Great to zone out too, as when it brings you back (say with “Colouring of Pigeons”) it’s like remembering when holding hands was new.

Serena Maneesh – No. 2: Abyss in B Minor

Being a shoegaze fan is frustrating. On paper, every album sounds great—blah blah ethereal blah blah lucid dreams blah blah darkness—but for some reason the overwhelming majority of shoegazers are ass-boring. Why? A lot of people blame it on everybody shooting for the Loveless sound, but that ain’t it! What made Loveless great wasn’t the sound, it was how screwed the song structure was, how every step of the way was a surprise! S-M gank their sound pretty wholesale from Loveless, Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, and post-rock, sprinkle in a bit of world music, and produce a perfectly fucking gorgeous album. The first track might be difficult to wade through at first, but keep with it. My most listened-to album of the year.

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