Albums of the Year – 20-11

16 Dec


#20 'THE AGE OF ADZ' by SUFJAN STEVENS - Always too ambitious for his own good, ‘Age of Adz’ was somehow both Suflan’s most complex and least complex record to date. The deeply personal themes of fragile love and regret were complimented by paranoid beats and futuristic arrangements.


#19 'VOLUME TWO' by SHE AND HIM - She and Him hark back to the time of ‘golden oldies’ radio and they clearly hold that music very close to their hearts because each song on ‘Volume Two’ displays a passion for pure pop music and in turn this album is a constant pleasure to listen to.


#18 'CRAZY FOR YOU' by BEST COAST - Twelve ramshackle, lo-fi pop songs that could easily have been throwaway in less capable hands. Instead every second exudes real personality and character, whether Beth was singing about broken relationships, weed or her pet cat. A modern take on a classic sound.


#17 'GOODBYE FALKENBERG' by RACE HORSES - An album of bizarre, psychedelic rock from a group of young Welsh eccentrics. Superbly produced and ambitious this album conveyed such an adventurous local spirit.


#16 'TEEN DREAM' by BEACH HOUSE - Beach House took the step from being a cult band to a big indie one without changing a thing. Easily their best album to date ‘Teen Dream’ was so simple and yet so effective.


#15 'I WILL BE' by DUM DUM GIRLS - When it came to gritty rock n roll in 2010 nobody did it better than Dum Dum Girls. On top of the fierce attitude and punchy production came the stellar harmonies and gorgeous melodies.


#14 'FLAWS' by BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB - This was the surprise album of 2010 for me. I’d never been a big fan of Bombay Bicycle Club but I found ‘Flaws’ a pure delight from start to finish. It’s a heartfelt and understated record that does so much with not very much at all.


#13 HIGH VIOLET' by THE NATIONAL - The National have probably had the slowest climb to success of any band I can think of in recent times. Making decent albums for the last decade, they finally reached their creative and commercial peak with ‘High Violet’ a bleak but very rewarding album that went top 5 here and in America.


#12 'THIS IS HAPPENING' by LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - The final LCD sound system album is easily the group’s weakest to date but that is more a statement about how staggeringly brilliant they have been rather than how unsuccessful this album is - becase it isn’t unsuccessful at all, far from it. Steering slightly away from the dance floor ‘This is Happening’ saw LCD continuing to deal with more adult themes whilst pushing the musical boat out.


#11 'ASTRO COAST' by SURFER BLOOD - I first bought this album in January on American Import but it only really came alive in the summer with the sun shining, it's just one of those rare albums that seems to get better everytime you hear it. What I hadn't counted on was there being such variety and hidden depth in the music.



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