So I’m about to commence the end of the year activities, and I’m happy to have finally decided on which albums made 2010 that much more memorable. I put together all the albums I picked up this year (which came to 40) and broke it down to a top 20. For the past couple weeks I’ve been shuffling through nothing but these albums to try and make it easier to decide which albums came out on top. Definitely didn’t help as much as I would have liked, because this was an especially monumental year for music. Maybe it’s just me. All these albums are worth a run through. Be safe in your year ending endeavors! Here’s to my last post of the year:
Top 10 of 2010
10. Wavves – King of the Beach (Surf Rock/Alternative/Punk)
Wavves ditches his old lo-fi sound and brings about a newer, clearer, more fresh look at his unique style in his third project. Throws in a some electronic samples and rocks out through the whole album. Tries to make it apparent that he DGAFs, so let it be known that he actually doesn’t.
Wavves – Green Eyes
9. Beach Fossils – Beach Fossils (LoFi/Indie/Surf)
It’s a sunny, mellow day and you’re wanting to have some “you” time as you lounge on the sand at the beach. This album is all the company you need. Brings about some positive, nostalgic vibes and is bound to make you appreciate the little things.
Beach Fossils – Youth
8. Ty Segall – Melted (Rock/LoFi/Punk)
Oh man, Ty’s third and best album yet. A rock lovers dream come true in the form of an eleven song LP. Just makes you want to get drunk and break beer bottles on your downstairs neighbors patio…not that I’ve done that before or anything.
Ty Segall – Girlfriend
7. Ratatat – LP4 (Electronic/Indie/Alternative)
The dynamic duo from New York came at us harder than ever with this release. They blessed us with the fourth installment of their guitarriffic, electron-tastic classic sound that had us hooked with “Seventeen Years,” “Wildcat” and “Loud Pipes” to name a few. They have a style of producing beats that’s unparalleled by any one else I’ve heard. This album doesn’t have singles to the magnitude of the songs I listed, but overall tops any of their other projects. Definitely my first choice of music when it came to sneaking my iPod into midterms and finals. Big thanks to helping me get those A’s, boys. LP4 flows from beginning to end with really sweet samples and an overall sound that’s come together better than ever before.
Ratatat – Party With Children
6. Harlem – Hippies (Rock/LoFi/Indie)
These guys took me by complete surprise when they entered the depths of my library nearly a year ago. Harlem hails from Austin, Texas, where the beer runs like water and “discretion” is sharpied out of any dictionary you can get your hands on. The carefree and YOLO attitude seeps through your speakers as their chanting voices and free spirited jams nestle comfortably on your ear drums. It’s all about a good time with Harlem, and I’m definitely looking forward to future hangovers with them playing in the background.
Harlem – Gay Human Bones
5. Born Ruffians – Say It (Indie/Alternative/Rock)
Undoubtedly my most anticipated album of the year. After I fell in love with their first full length Red, Yellow & Blue, my expectations were higher than normal on this release. Although this album didn’t match up to the former, it sheds lights on their more developed sound. Luke Lalonde’s voice will woo you even against your utmost resistance. They rock about love, good times, and the bullshit we go through every day. Born Ruffians are on our side! I got to finally see them at the Troubador, and I snagged a video that pretty genuinely encompasses their glory. Check it out here.
Born Ruffians – Nova-Leigh
4. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs (Indie/Alternative/Rock)
There’s nothing like expecting the world and getting back the solar system in return. Arcade Fire always leaves me feeling like happiness is as easily attainable as pressing “play” at the beginning of one of their albums. The Suburbs is more than an album. It’s a story about life. It’s a vacation right on the borders of your comfort zone. It’s everything we could have asked for from an all ready established band. They had nothing else to prove, but went on and proved it anyway. STRONGLY recommend their debut album Funeral as well if you haven’t heard it yet, for whatever reason.
Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
3. The Growlers – Are You In Or Out? (Surf/Rock/Psychadelic)
Costa Mesa’s very own makes it into the top 3! I wasn’t sure where I was going to end up putting these guys, but it didn’t take more than a few tracks to remind me just how beautifully they came together on this album. Are You In Or Out? is the Growlers first legit complete album. It seems as though they got more serious with this one, and it paid off in more ways than one. The Growlers sound like they’re straight out of beach craze era of the 70s..except on a whole lot more drugs with back to back handle pulls of Jim Beam. Their timeless sound makes it enjoyable for most, but necessary for the people who’ve been following them for the past few years. Don’t be surprised if you start fiending their sound after a few listens.
The Growlers – Acid Rain
2. The Black Keys – Brothers (Rock/Blues)
When I first got the Black Keys discography a few years back, I didn’t really know where to start. They have a handful of albums which always makes it overwhelming when you want to get a feel for a new band’s sound. All the years of soulful blues, outrageously creative guitar rifts and toe-tapping drum beats have prepared them to produce a rock album that ranks among some of the best I’ve ever heard. Brothers is the perfect intro for the virgin ears of someone who’s been robbed of hearing the true glory of extraordinary rock talent that is the Black Keys. I wanted so badly to put this at #1, but it’ll have to take a loss by a hair to the next album.
The Black Keys – Everlasting Light
1. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest (Art Rock/Indie/Psychadelic)
It didn’t take long after I decided I wanted to make a “top 10” for me to realize that Halcyon Digest was going to be #1. After finding out about Deerhunter last year and listening to their former album Microcastle, I wasn’t expecting to ever truly get into them. There was something missing. Something I didn’t understand. Something that I could feel was there, just didn’t know what or why I felt that way. Bradley Cox’s voice was all I had to make sense of the acid trip sound atop the catchy guitar and bass riffs they weave through your ears and into your mind. Halcyon Digest was the missing piece that put everything into perspective. The album starts off with “Earthquake” that could have easily been omitted from the final project, but goes on to 10 tracks that have something different to attach yourself to. Halcyon Digest is an album for the human. The joys of life become highlighted through tracks like “Don’t Cry” and “Revival.” What goes up must come down. Bradley makes this clear with tracks like “Sailing” and “He Would Have Laughed.” The “he” is most likely referring to former garage rock icon and good friend Jay Reatard who passed away weeks before the release of the complete album. Deerhunter attacks all angles of life and what is inevitably encountered on everyone’s journeys. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: this album is necessary for anyone with ears.
Deerhunter – Revival