A year ago, I listed my top 5 albums of 2009. It's extremely subjective, of course, but it's fun for me to think about what I've found over the year.
That being said, here's my list for 2010.
5 - Matt & Kim Sidewalks
I just realized that last year I mentioned their previous album as one of the best of 2009. I guess I'm a big fan. They just sound so happy, and their music is perfect. This new album seems to be a themed album. Just about every song has some kind of reference to their home, New York. I generally am not a fan of Ney York-themed songs (Example: I Love New York
by Madonna), but they make it work.
It's like new york in the late summer time
can breathe again even through this lovely grime
4 - Janelle Monae - ArchAndroid
I picked this one up specifically because I heard Kevin Barnes of the band of Montreal
worked on it. Turns out he was only involved in one song.
But that's what makes this album great. The songs are written and produced by several guest artists, but somhow all the songs work together. It's quite an experience.
Side note. I was bored one day, and I looked up YouTube videos from this album. I thought this one was particularly great:
3 - M.I.A. /\/\/\Y/\
I just think this album is brilliant. It's very much a "noise" album, where the drum loops that hold the songs together are almost insufferable. I can't get enough of it. It reminds me a little of classic, bomb squad-era Public Enemy or even i care because you do
-era Aphex Twin. Some songs are a little bit easier to digest, like the reggae-esqe It take a muscle
I had been talking up this album to my music buddy, Liz, for months, and she kept asking for a copy. I finally played her this song
. A few measures in, she said, "who's this?" "It's M.I.A." "Oh, I don't like this!"
2 - of Montreal False Priest
of Montreal's previous album, Skeletal Lamping, was a bit too crazy for most, but with the help of an outside producer, they reeled it in quite a bit for this one. Janelle Monae and Solange Knowles (yeah, Beyonce's sister) but make guest appearances.
My favorite part of the album is Our Riotous Defects
, where he talks about being crazy for a girl who turns out to be more crazy than he is.
My God, I should have realized, on our second date
When you dragged me into the bathroom at Tanika's house
And screamed at me for like twenty minutes
'Cause I had contradicted you in front of your friends
I was like "Oh"
and then later that night at my apartment
As punishment you killed my beta fish
Just threw it out the window
1 - Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
I know, Kanye West. "I can't believe what he did on MTV." "He's a jerk."
I wasn't a fan of Kanye West, mostly because I just couldn't get in to his stuff. He made a lot of appearances on Common's albums, and I always disliked those parts.
One day on the Howard Stern Show, Howard was talking about the new "douche bag" song from Kanye. He thought it was hilarious and refers to it often on the show. But I heard something really special in that song, Runaway
. He really pours his heart out on it.
Turns out the whole album is brilliant. Even Jay-Z shows up and does his best rapping, maybe ever.
- Apples in Stereo - Travellers in Space and Time
- The Hold Steady - Heaven is Whenever
- Rihanna - Loud
Worst album of the year? Easy.
The Arcade Fire - The Suburbs