Saturday, January 01, 2011

Best of 2010

Here are my favorite albums of 2010, a year that saw a lot of changes (marriage, going back to school) that impacted how much time I had to devote to music. Which is a fine thing, since getting married and having a Masters will probably be better for me in the long run than hearing every hot album of 2010.

10. Superchunk, Majesty Shredding. This isn’t a brilliant album, but it’s a good album. I saw them play at the Treasure Island Music fest this year, and it was one of the better shows I’ve seen in a while. They were energized, fun, and made guitar rock seem relevant.

9. Mountain Man, Made the Harbour. A sleepy, mellow, beautiful album. Beach House’s Teen Dream filled a similar niche for me this year.

8. Flying Lotus, Cosmogramma. Answers the question, “What if Sun Ra dabbled in hip hop and dubstep?”

7. Best Coast, Crazy For You. Half of this album drives me nuts, but the other half contains some of my favorite songs this year.

6. Arcade Fire, Suburbs. I wasn’t feeling this when I bought it, but I’ve given it another chance recently and I’m getting into it. There Springsteen worship is troubling, but I like the audacity of this record.d

5. Deerhunter, Halcyon Digest. Another year, another amazing Deerhunter album.

4. Gonjasufi, A Sufi and a Killer. Answers the question, “What would happen if an L.A. hip hop musician retired to the desert to teach yoga and ingest psychedelics?” It is a weird, sloppy album, but I love it.

3. Danny Brown, The Hybrid. Equal parts crazy, offensive, and insightful. One of the most exciting hip hop albums of the year, and its free!

2.  Broken Social Scene, Forgiveness Rock Record. I was introduced to them live and they blew me away. This album isn’t perfect, but its high points (“Texaco Bitches,” All In All”) more than compensate for any missteps.

1. Madlib, Madlib Medicine Show Vol. 3-4: The Beatkonducat in Africa and 420 Chalice All-Stars. Madlib released 10 albums this year (beyond his other projects). Odd numbered months were collections of original music, even numbered months were mixes of different kinds of music: Brazilian, jazz, disco, etc. My favorites were his beat record sampling African music, and his mix of 70s dancehall. Dude is crazy.

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