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    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    Albums of the Year 2010

    So loads of people have been asking me to put this list together, well two people to be precise, so here it is and me blathering on about some of the albums below it.

    1. The Archandroid, Janelle Monae,
    2. I Speak Because I Can, Laura Marling
    3. Total Life Forever, Foals
    4. High Violet, the National
    5. The Suburbs, Arcade Fire
    6. Go, Jonsi
    7. Halycon Digest, Deerhunter
    8. Heartland, Final Fantasy
    9. Lucky Shiner, Gold Panda
    10. Forgiveness Rock Record, Broken Social Scene
    11. Infinite Arms, Band of Horses
    12. Plastic Beach, Gorillaz
    13. Transference, Spoon
    14. Contra, Vampire Weekend
    15. Fields, Junip
    16. Have One On Me,Joanna Newsom
    17. Queen of Denmark, John Grant
    18. The Lady Killer,Cee Lo
    19. Heligoland, Massive Attack
    20. Band of Joy,Robert Plant
    21. Odd Blood, Yeasayer
    22. How They Are, Peter Broderick
    23. The Fool, Warpaint
    24. Big Echo, The Morning Benders
    25. The Courage of Others, Midlake
    26. The Family Jewels, Marina and the Diamonds
    27. Revolutions Per Minute, Reflection Eternal (Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek)
    28. Congratulations, MGMT
    29. Swanlights, Anthony and the Johnsons
    30. Jasmine, Keith Jarrett & Charlie Haden
    31. There is Love in You, Four Tet

    The Archandroid (Suite II and III), Janelle Monae

    A visionary, imaginative, bold, varied, daring, boundary pushing record absorbing hip hop, funk, rock, jazz, soul, classical and hollywood showtunes. It eclipses ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ as the most impressive genre straddling R’n’B based album by a female artist in the last twenty years. The Archandroid puts Monae on course to be up with the greats like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. That good.

    I Speak Because I Can, Laura Marling

    Laura Marling’s album blew me away - with strong echoes of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, it's a chillingly precocious truly great work. Sounds like: The best female folk singer songwriter in ages. Her first album was promising but who could have expected this?

    The Suburbs, Arcade Fire

    Maintains their usual level of brilliance. Still arguably the greatest rock band in the world.

    Total Life Forever, Foals

    An absolutely stunning album of epic rock - one of the albums i’ve played the most this year. Sounds like early U2, Talking Heads, Radiohead with African guitars.

    Lucky Shiner, Gold Panda

    A stonking electronica album, thrillingly imaginative and inventive, it keeps moving and shape shifting. Reminiscent of Ulrich Schnauss and the Field at their best.

    High Violet, the National

    Burrowing under the skin even more so then their last one, Boxer, a moody, gloomy, smokey late night album. Sounds like: the Tindersticks.

    Halycon Digest, Deerhunter

    These guys really get rock music, there's something indefinably effortlessy cool about their sound - Deerhunter make me feel like i’m a teenager again hearing My Bloody Valentine or the Stone Roses for the first time. This their most accessible, focused album to date.

    The Lady Killer, Cee Lo

    Fantastic, fun, party, soul record, had forgotten what a great voice Cee Lo has.

    Heartland, Owen Pallet

    Owen Pallet (formerly Final Fantasy) is a true original. This is his first album that comes close to matching the consistent magnificence of his live shows. Sounds a bit like: Beirut, Rufus Wainwright, Andrew Bird.

    Forgiveness Rock Record, Broken Social Scene

    A classic indie-rock album, like all their stuff, it’s sprawling and messy and ramshacke but in a very loveable way. Their best effort yet.

    Fields, Junip

    It’s Jose Gonazalez with a prog rock band behind him, what’s not to like?

    Go, Jonsi

    A poppier, uplifting variation on Sigur Ros - a consistently super album. Sounds a bit like: eh Sigur Ros? Duh!

    Vampire Weekend, Contra

    Much synthier than their first album, not quite as many killer tunes but still quality and in Run, Horchata, and Giving Up the Gun its got some of the best tracks of the year.

    Heligoland , Massive Attack

    This slightly patchy album had some of the strongest tracks of the year with Horace Andy guest vocal-ling on the blinding Girl I Love You and Hope Sandoval on the gorgeous Paradise Circus.

    Have One On Me,Joanna Newsom

    Her last album, Ys, was possibly the album of the decade for me, this isn’t as compelling but still brilliant.

    Transference, Spoon

    One of the coolest US bands around, with one of the best rock voices in Britt Daniel, very under appreciated here in Ireland, this is a stripped down, minimalist gem - a bit of a reaction to its more accessible predecessor

    Odd Blood, Yeasayer

    Wow, Yeasayer went seriously retro 80s for this, not as good as their more ambitious first album but strong, very populist, very catchy.

    Infinite Arms, Band of Horses

    Just great classic American rock, classic songwriting, beautiful melodies and singing. Sound like: Neil Young.

    The Family Jewels, Marina and the Diamonds

    She’s a cooler, British Lady GaGa

    How They Are, Peter Broderick

    A seriously talented bloke - moving music and a lovely mix of folk stylings and classical

    Rumer, Seasons of My Soul

    What a beautiful voice, like a fusion of Dusty Springfield and Carole King, most of the songs are pretty strong too.

    Queen of Denmark, John Grant

    Backed by Midlake, this soul baring album sounds like a slightly less miserable version of Midlake’s current album, the Courage of Others

    Band of Joy, Robert Plant

    Another great rootsy album to follow ‘Raising Sand’, his voice sounds as good as ever on this, who needs Alison Krauss?

    The Fool, Warpaint

    Lovely drumming and great bass lines on this, great atmosphere and meandering songs remind me of the Verve and PJ Harvey with a bit of Kristin Hirsch thrown in.

    There is Love in You, Four Tet

    Some fantastic electronica on this record, he's back making records i can connect with, lost me for a while.

    Big Echo, The Morning Benders

    Lovely record, has a very poppy start gets progressively less so - like a fusion of Vampire Weekend, Deerhunter and Grizzly Bear, it's produced by their Chris Taylor.

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