Its been another great year in music and I seem to find myself further away from most mainstream acts. There have been many impressive albums, some disappointments and ones I still need to hear from 2010 but overall, I'm now happy to reveal my albums of the year, before this however I have to go through my honorable mentions.
First I would like to talk about Interpol's self titled album and while I enjoyed most of it, it didn't have that staying power that I hoped it would, it was the same feeling I had with Muse - The Resistance album which I only gave it around ten listens before I dropped it, I could blame the hype for my disappointment however songs like "Try It On" and "Barricade" still impressed me to give it a good score.
Foals - Total Life Forever is a slowly growing on me now that most of the singles are released, I urge you to check out the Blue Blood video, which gives the song more beauty and drama! It might be too mellow for my liking but for a great second album, hopefully the third will be amazing!
I can carry on mentioning albums like Titus Andronicus - The Monitor's powerful Civil War concept or the loud Sleigh Bell - Treats album even Gorillaz - Plastic Beach, but these five albums were the most memorable and worthy of my top five, lets get started:
5. The National - High Violet
It's an album that just a bit too dreary when i first listened to it still, I can't take it away from the mass amount of critical reception it has been received, "Bloodbuzz Ohio" is easily one of the best songs of 2010 with the amount passion that went to it, plus favourites of mine "England" and "Lemon World" are joys to listen to.
I could easily reference Joy Division and Interpol to this album but the production is so amazing that I had to buy there previous album "Boxer" and check out there back catalogue. Its again another band that I had no idea existed and just blew me away once I started my multiple listens to it.
I definitely recommend it!
4. Janelle Monae - The Archandroid (Suites II and III)
Its rare that an album can change my perception of a music , R'n'B is one of my worst genre of music tastes, basically because I find it uninteresting and overrated by terrible repetitive US artists but in 2010 someone finally changed my views.
Early this year I watched a youtube video from US late night TV host David Letterman, Janelle Monae performed her first single Tightrope for the first time to television audiences and I was seriously in awe on how fantastic she performed it and not mention her incredible voice, I had no choice but to check the album.
Strange thing i found about The Archandroid is that its not only a R'n'B, its a mixture of genres like Rock, Electronic, Classical etc, and this was throughout the album; it is an album full of ambition that drives it drives it to greatness, tracks like "Cold War" and "Wondarland" gives the album some variation and compared to most critics I actually love "Make the Bus" feat. Of Montreal, maybe because I'm a fan of the band and it also gives the album i bit of unpredictability.
Its an album I recommend everyone get and you will at least find a song that you will really like!
3. The Radio Dept. - Clinging To A Scheme
"People see rock and roll as, as youth culture, and when youth culture becomes monopolised by big business, what are the youth to do? Do you, do you have any idea?
I think we should destroy the bogus capitalist process that is destroying youth culture." - Quote from Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) on Heaven's On Fire.
This album took my interest when The Internet's Busiest Music Nerd, Anthony Fantano (his video reviews can be found at http://theneedledrop.com/) gave the album a reasonable high score and so I began streaming through the LP.
I'm a big fan of indie music for these past years and this album fits like a glove for me "The Video Dept." is one of my favourite songs of the year because its catchy and fun tune I can enjoy, same goes for songs like "David" and "This Time Around".
I've also danced to this album numerous of times and I haven't done that since my last album of the year 'Marmaduke Duke's - Duke Pandemonium' and because of that I've given it the 3rd place spot
2. These New Puritans - Hidden
Ever since my review back in March (review here), this album still impresses me from this day, its still feels like the war is never ending for me and its such a great feeling that Hidden continues to give me so much excitement.
Some people may hate NME for picking it for number 1 album of the year and call the album over-rated but I think there missing how unique this album is, whether they have or haven't listen to it.
The flow of the album is excellent, the drums are well executed, there are so much instrument variation, long songs like "We Want War" aren't boring and there isn't an album like it. Sure the album isn't for everyone but These New Puritans have created something epic and memorable in my option however another album managed to get the top spot.
1. Owen Pallett - Heartland
Its quite incredible that Heartland came out the exact same day as my birthday (seriously Heartland came out on January 11th 2010 in the UK) but its not the reason I'm giving it the top award!
If you look back at my blog a day after the release of Heartland (here) I mentioned it to be one of the albums I was looking forward to this year, when I got a chance to stream the album I didn't know what to think of it. When I purchased the album and put the lyrics on my Ipod, I started to listen through Owen's song structure and lyrics, I found out that it was a story about a farmer called Lewis on how he is a brutal man that's trying to escape Owen; as the author of his fate (That's how I think the story goes).
Not only did the lyrics start to grip me, the music is simply gorgeous with songs "Lewis Takes His Shirt Off" where the drums sound like a horse is galloping or violent sounds of "Lewis Takes Action" hitting the fictional character "No-Face". All these songs give Heartland lots of personality and not to forget Pallett's beautiful instrumentation throughout the tracks, that's why I love his music.
I have no doubt in my mind to award Owen Pallett my best album of 2010!
As for 2011 albums I really haven't thought about any, but I'm sure that it will be another exciting year in music.