The Liner Notes

All the music that matters

Top 10 albums of 2010

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When it was all said and done 2010 was a good year for music. There was a lot of growth in the industry and creativity with musicians and albums. For the first time in a few years I struggled to narrow the list of albums that could make this list rather than build one’s that could qualify. Those below are what made the cut from a bountiful year in music.

10) I Am Not A Human Being by Lil Wayne


 

 

 

 

It was a big year for Weezy F Baby. While in prison he released a No. 1 hit record here and justly so. I Am Not A Human Being picks up where Tha Carter III left off. Standout beats, twisted rhymes and Wayne’s lyrical acrobats make for an entertaining listen.

 

9) Sea of Cowards by The Dead Weather


 

 

 

 

Jack White wasted little time with this follow to the band’s debut Horehound. This time the result was a harder, dirtier stripped down Dead Weather, if that was even considered possible. Growling guitar riffs and thick bass are the backdrop to White’s scathing vocals. Crossing between several genres – blues, rock – this is a fantastic album.

 

8 ) Broken Bells by Broken Bells


 

 

 

 

When James Mercer of The Shins and Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse, of Gnarls Barkley teamed up for this side project no one really knew what to expect. The result was nothing like either’s respective bands. Instead it delivered a mellow quirky journey with Burton’s beats and Mercer’s expanded vocals. Funky, funk and easy to listen to, the Broken Bells broke new ground with this collaboration.

 

7) Infinite Arms by Band of Horses


 

 

 

 

Airy, moody, mellow, all those are things one would expect from a Band of Horses album, and they are thick through and through these 12 tracks. Yet, somewhere the group found a deeper truth in their songs present here. The melodies are classic and catchy, but more than that the band has matured and the end result is truly grand.

 

6) Transference by Spoon


 

 

 

 

Spoon has a distinct sound. Fans are sure to lock onto their trademark sound and Britt Daniel’s signature voice in the matter of a chord or two. This album is no exception; however there is something special here. It is hard to define, which is what makes it so good, but even for Spoon this is an exceptional album, and that is really saying something.

 

5) High Violet by The National


 

 

 

 

Stark and striking and it is beautiful this is the first time The National has really shaken their indie sound to make a truly solid album from start to finish. It drags, at points, but in all this is a spectacular collection of songs, best enjoyed in the company of a lightning storm miles from civilization.

 

4) Mojo by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers


 

 

 

 

Petty has been making hit records longer than many people who attend his shows have been alive. He’s got it down. So how does a bonafide rockstar like Petty keep things interesting? Take the gloves off. Petty recorded this album straight off the studio floor with all instruments recorded simultaneously and few overdubs. The result is a range of bluesy deep tracks that reflect Petty raw.

 

3) My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West


 

 

 

 

Love him or hate him for his on and off stage antics, West has an uncanny ability to make hit records. With this tortured gem, West throws a little bit of everything into the pot and then adds his anger, hostility and a large dose of ego and viola something that has never been heard before. Good in spots and great in others, this album has a little bit of everything.

 

2) This is Happening by LCD Soundsystem


 

 

 

 

While The Sound Of Silver is still the standard for James Murphy, This is Happening was a breakout this year for the pop scene with unparallel beats and lyrics. Songs such as “Dance Yrself Clean” and “You Wanted a Hit” are instant classics with an air of familiarity, yet uniqueness, that only Murphy’s master craft can provide.

 

1) Plastic Beach by Gorillaz


 

 

 

 

Innovative, creative, groundbreaking and damn catchy just begin to scratch the surface of Plastic Beach. The Gorillaz not only braved new ground on this album, they built a whole new island forming collaborations with some of the best musicians around the globe. The end result is a kinetic masterpiece that will only be truly appreciated with time.

 

2009 Top 10 Albums

2008 Top 10 Albums

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Written by David Young

December 26, 2010 at 7:49 pm

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