2010 was a down year musically for me, especially when compared to 2009. Without records by the likes of Silversun Pickups, the Dave Matthews Band, or Jenny Owen Youngs, the music scene just didn’t grab my attention as much. That being said, there was still some excellent music released in 2010.5) A Curious Thing, Amy MacDonald: I feel like I just talked about this record. A solid sophomore album from one of the best new voices in music.
4) The Suburbs, Arcade Fire: I won’t lie, this was a hard record for me to like. Generally speaking an album I love immediately hits me in some deep recess of my lizard forebrain — any Silversun Pickups album for instance. The Suburbs did not do that. Instead it took several listens to appreciate the sweep of an album dedicated to that most banal of places, the suburbs. While it might not be one of my all-time favorite records, The Suburbs is certainly one of the best I’ve listened to this year.
3) Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Soundtrack – Various: I’ve already mentioned my appreciation for Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, but the recently released soundtrack also deserves mention. Loaded with electronic grooves, the P&SwG soundtrack is one big dance party.
2) All Day – Girl Talk: Gregg Gillis created another of his pop music smoothies this year. As usual he melds a dizzying array of samples together into over an hour of party music. Obviously some of the combinations work better than others, and as one commentator at the AV Club noted, too often it’s “black lyrics” over “white music.” Still, hearing Bust A Move over Kylie Minogue, Biggie backed by Clapton and the Funky Drummer, or Li’l John’s Get Low playing on top of Simon and Garfunkel is just fun.
1) Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals: Earlier I talked about how some albums immediately hit me in some deep, subconscious way. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals is one of those records. From the opening blast of Paris (Oh la la) to the closing reflection of Things I Never Needed, GP&N was a solid chunk of dirty, sexy rock and roll. They also put on a tremendous live show.
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Phoenix: While really a 2009 release, I didn’t buy it until this year and it rapidly became one of the most listened to records in my collection.
And the song of the year? That’s easy