AD 2010 TOP 10: Staff Writer Alexandra Davis
Tue, 21 Dec 2010 12:31:43
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ARTISTdirect.com Staff Writer Alexandra Davis's Top Ten Albums of 2010
10. IRM — Charlotte Gainsbourg
Elektra, January 2010
2010 was the year of classic French culture being adopted by fashionable American urbanites; so it's only fitting that Charlotte Gainsbourg's album, IRM, was so embraced by audiences. Beck's pop orchestration mixes extremely well with Gainsbourg's nonchalant French timbre, creating an energetic yet hauntingly somber album.
9. The Wild Hunt — The Tallest Man on Earth
DEAD OCEANS, April 2010
Swedish musician Kristian Matsson, despite his somewhat rough grating voice, sings with such beautiful earnest that it is hard not to fall in love with the man through his music. Especially poignant is "King of Spain," which still stands out as my favorite of the album.
8. Brothers — The Black Keys
Nonesuch, May 2010
Black Keys have always done well mixing blues and rock, but their latest album brings the same formula to new heights. Dan Auerbach ekes out his lyrics above Patrick Carney's tight beat, managing to create a perfectly balanced sound. Single "Tighten Up" is so catchy that you'll be tapping out the rhythm for days.
7. Tourist History — Two Door Cinema Club
Glass Note, April 2010
Tourist History opens up strong with "Cigarettes in the Theatre." This track, like the rest of the album, is layered with sound and full of energy: from shouts in the background to synth battling live instrumentation. Throughout, the music is perfectly danceable and fun, making History the best alternative pop album of the year.
6. Innerspeaker — Tame Impala
101 DISTRIBUTION, May 2010
I discovered Tame Impala only after watching their incredible video for "Solitude is Bliss." Ever since, I've been completely in love with the Australian psychedelic rock album. If at times the vocals sound a bit too much like The Beatles, the ingenuity of the complete sound erases all such comparisons from the mind.
5. The Drums — The Drums
Downtown, September 2010
The Drums are a highly polarizing band. Some people love the nostalgic simplicity of their music, and some people think its complete garbage. I happen to think the self-titled album from the Brooklyn band is incredibly accessible, culturally relevant, and all-around wonderful.
4. High Violet — The National
4ad Records, May 2010
Another album where cultural relevance is an important factor in its success... The National has always been a band that could accurately and movingly reflect on their generation's place in the modern world. With Violet – in particular "Bloodbuzz Ohio" – lead singer Matt Berninger sings about our current economic turmoil with stunning tenderness. You will be hard pressed to find another album as poignant and graceful as this.
3. Big Echo — The Morning Benders
Rough Trade, March 2010
Big Echo's "Cold War (Nice Clean Fight)" was my spring anthem. There's little to say about this young band other than that they have perfectly crafted an album full of tight harmonies, vivacious beats, and 20something love and angst.
2. Teen Dream — Beach House
Sub Pop, January 2010
Chatter about this album has been abundant since its release at the beginning of the year. Victoria Legrand's dreamy androgynous sound is gorgeous. Combined with an echoing melody, the album creates the most wonderful sense of yearning and heartache that deep down everyone desperately tries to feel.
1. Coconut — Archie Bronson Outfit
Domino, March 2010
Coconut is an underrated masterpiece. It is the most stimulating album of this entire list. Sound after sound is thrown at the listener, overwhelming all the senses in the best of ways. This gritty rock album still gives me shivers every time I listen to it (which is often).
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