Looking back, 2010 wasn’t a great year for music. That may be my personal taste not quite meeting the offerings of LCD Soundsystem, Titus Andronicus, MGMT, Broken Bells, Kanye West, Spoon or other names on others’ lists, but could only come up with a few standout albums. There were even fewer that I loved unabashedly. Still, I managed to pull together ten LPs and EPs that I can call favorites and have earned regular rotation inside my ears. As always, agreement and vitriol is welcome in the comments.
1. Beach House – Teen Dream (MP3: Zebra)
Hearing the first few notes of this album, I can immediately taste a fantastic soup and bread made in the cozy kitchen of my friend, Megh. A beautiful album.
2. Pat Jordache – Future Songs (MP3: Get IT)
A late entry, this is experimental but listenable, edgy but catchy.
3. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs (MP3: We Used to Wait)
Another excellent album from a group that does epic just right.
4. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest (MP3: Helicopter)
A fascinating collection of distorted sounds and instruments. Each listen yields something new.
5. Heirlooms – Heirlooms (MP3: Shaker Hymn)
A refreshing and promising debut EP from a Hartford band getting huge buzz right now.
6. The National – High Violet (MP3: Afraid of Everyone)
Most rock bands write songs about love, sex and drugs. The National writes them about the pressures of raising children and protecting a family.
7. The Walkmen – Lisbon (MP3: Blue As Your Blood)
While not my favorite Walkmen album, even their less sterling work is better than most.
8. Jesse Woods – Moon Rocks (MP3: Sparks)
An EP from a singer-songwriter that delivers a tight-package of well-crafted acoustic songs.
9. The Black Keys – Brothers (MP3: Everlasting Light)
Simply, this is groovy blues rock.
10. The Heligoats – Goodness Gracious (MP3: Fish Sticks)
Feel-good acoustic guitar rock that ranges from introspective to furiously exuberant.