Posted by: Paul | December 8, 2010

Albums of 2010

As is customary at this time of year, this is a run-down of my favourite albums of 2010. I do not claim to be a music critic, I make no proclamations that these are the best albums of the year by any standards, they are simply my favourite records of 2010. My criteria? These are the bands and albums that I’ve listened to most in the past 12 months, in order of roughly how much I’ve listened to them. Pretty simple really.

5. Jonsi – Go

Being a big Sigur Ros fan, there was no way I was going to dislike this, really. It picks up where Takk and Me∂ Su∂ i Eyrum… left off, and what surprised me was how it developed both sides of the Sigur Ros coin – both the bouncy, joyful and joyous nature of the ‘Hoppípolla’ end of things with ‘Go Do’, and the heavier, darker and more epic side came through in tracks like ‘Tornado’ and ‘Kolni∂ur’. And in another surprise, it’s largely sung in English this time!

4. Bombay Bicycle Club – Flaws

My only real ‘new'(ish) act of the year, I bought both this and it’s predecessor, I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose on the strength of their televised Glastonbury set which blew me away. They’re two very different records and if I’m honest I’d pick the power of the first over the folksy, acoustic delicacy of the second, but it’s still a great listen, particularly the opening track ‘Rinse Me Down’, and the lovely reworking of ‘Dust On The Ground’ – it’s an entirely different song second time around.

3. The Unwinding Hours

Ever since Aereogramme split up, I’ve been waiting with bated breath for this, and it was as good as I’d hoped – the creative force behind Aereogramme, singer Craig B and guitarist Iain Cook, conjured a record breathtaking in its emotional power and resonance which rivals anything their previous band released. From the opening build of ‘Knut’, tantalisingly previewed last year, to the heartbreaking ‘Annie Jane’ and crushing coda of ‘The Final Hour’, I want to put it on again straight away when it’s over.

2. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

This so nearly made it into the top spot. A record of such depth that it reveals new touches every time I listen to it, it’s almost as good as their monumental first album, Funeral. Almost. If only it wasn’t just that little bit too long…don’t get me wrong, it’s Arcade Fire quality from start to finish, but not quite everything is at such a high level as the brilliant title track, or ‘Mountains Beyond Mountains’ – which was the only song this year that made me feel like getting up and dancing. Until…

1. Foals – Total Life Forever

Foals had been kicking around in the back of my mind for much of the year, having downloaded ‘Spanish Sahara’ from this, their second album, around the time of its release in April. But for some reason I waited until October before I finally picked it up – and since then I’ve listened to almost nothing else. It is, quite simply, a record staggering in its brilliance. I’m not sure I’ve heard a better album in the last ten years. It makes me want to sing, dance, and thump the steering wheel to the drums while driving. There’s not a bad song on it. I think they might be geniuses, so intricate is it’s execution – there are places where I literally can’t figure out how they could have made such complex textures and rhythms work, and make it all so catchy and…musical. It takes my favourite upbeat indie-rock-dancing record from 2009, Friendly Fires, and multiplies it by 100. It’s also just long enough – doesn’t outstay its welcome, it simply makes you want to listen to it again straight away. And I often do. Buy it. Buy it. Buy. It. BUY IT!

(It also helps that it reminds me of the best bits of mid-period Cure. Make of that what you will. For me, it is A Very Good Thing.)



  1. […] Albums of 2010 December 2010 Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)love of mine, someday you will dieFinally, gets a blog, woohoo!My 2009 in 500 words or less! […]

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