My Favorite Albums of 2010

2010 Was the Best Ever!
As best as this year as been for music, with all the leaks/rumors of albums for next year I am beginning to think that 2k10 might be even bester. Stereogum just posted their 25 most anticipated albums of 2010 and while their list is fantastic and and very blogcore, mine is a little different/personalcore. With few exceptions, all of the bands below hold onto the notion of an album as a cohesive and coherent form and are apt at producing music within the constraint. While some people are all worried about this particular form, I prefer simply to enjoy it and not worry about its sustainability. For this reason and in no particular order, I am looking forward to contributions from:

Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago - February 23
Their last album (Rook) was fantastic and after seeing Shearwater at Sasquatch! this year (where they debuted some new material), I am extremely excited to hear a new album. Promotional video here.

Vampire Weekend - Contra - January 12
With two solid singles already released, the hype is beginning to mount regarding the afro-preppy foursome. Contra promises to be a deeper exploration of the same basic elements that make up Vampire Weekend. Watch a video for the sugar-high sonic time bomb "Cousins" here.

Beach House - Teen Dreams - January 26
Already Heard this one. Brilliant. I think it is easily the best work Beach House has ever done. Currently the first track "Zebra" is my favorite song. The melodies/ textures/ progressions/ moods /depth! You Crazy for this one Victoria!

Yeasayer - Odd Blood - February 9
"Odd Blood took many layers to finalize, but with all things Yeasayer the outcome is spectacular. Filled with Yeasayer's own take on pop pleasures and experimentation, the band has once again carved its own path through that ice cold glacier that is modern pop/rock."

Los Campesinos - Romance is Boring - January 26
One of the newest bands on the list and most prolific, Los Campesinos have
both implied their potential and demonstrated their growth in a very short time.
In the words of Lead singer, Gareth Campesinos, Romance is boring is “a record about the death and decay of the human body, sex, lost love, mental breakdown, football and, ultimately, that there probably isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel."

Hot Chip - One Life Stand - February 9
Another group dedicated to the art of the album. As for their new one: "the piano appearson a lot of tracks, and one of the big ideas was to try and tie the album together with things like live piano, live bass guitar, and a few of the synths in the studio, to have a palette of sounds that kind of ties the tracks together.

MGMT - Congratulations
While I didn't think their last album was really a very good album, it had some amazingly infectious songs and yielded a fantastic video. So, I think they could have a lot of potential. If you want a little preview of some of their new songs go here.

Panda Bear - ???
"The rhythms are really basic and kind of raw and simple and are electronic. It's not live instrumentation, I’ve been playing guitar but I feed it through the same thing that the sequences are on. It’s a very electronic sound and very voice heavy. A simple arrangement of drums, the guitar and singing. Really there are only two or three elements to every song. It’s pretty raw sounding for better for worse."

The National - January-May
The National keep getting better and better. Basically anything supporting Aaron Dessner's voice would be great. It just so happens everyone else in the band is also a great musician. Boxer soundtracked an entire fall for me so any release from them is certainly highly anticipated.

To Drown in Sound Mr. Murphy said of the new album "i guess it sounds like LCD, sounded more generous when i was in LA, but since i've been back, the few things i've written for it and worked on are more spartan and muscular, the way lcd stuff often is. i think it will be good."

The Books - Early 2010
It has been four years since Lost and Safe which makes The Books next album one of the most anticipated/overdue albums on this list (second only to the Avalanches, perhaps). Having had the joy to see their pre-album tour wherein they played a few new tracks, the new album promises to be more dynamic but just as brilliant than previous releases.

The Avalanches first album, 2001's Since I Left You, was P4k's 10th best album of the decade so although details are scarce, there is more buzz surrounding their 2nd album than at a boot camp barber shop. I am trying to keep my expectations low for this one, although if it is good The Avalanches will be legendary. Maybe they are waiting until there are enough worthy samples to fashion an album from instead of simply riding on the zeitgeist horse. It is not a bad idea to only release one brilliant an album per decade and then sit back and keep people waiting. It is sort of a reverse Lil' Wayne. Whatever their thinking, I hope it works because this could be another one of those "we-are-consciously-experiencing-musical-history-as-it-unfolds" moments that the internet loves to create/roll around in. Which is fun in an ironic hipster way. Don't hate.

Information on Arcade Fire's third album is shaky and enigmatic to say the least. Although rightfully so for a band that is as much about dramatic delivery as anything else. That being said, both of their previous albums have been amazing and Funeral, though maybe not as ground-breaking as some other albums is as solid and consistent and dynamic as almost any other album I have heard. Like, ever. So maybe they have earned a bit of "drama-mongering." At any rate, this album could solidify them as either this decade's Radiohead or this decade's Weezer, depending on where they go musically. Either way, people will talk about it and I will make fun of myself for caring so much about it.
EDIT: They are "working on the album."

Anything Joanna Newsom, or as she is known in the gangsta world, "jo-new," releases is already my most anticipated album. It has been since the year I graduated high school that she dropped an album and I think she needs to give me another one (at least) before I graduate college. We know that she has at least an album's worth of new material, which is supported by the the caption here, and that she is touring Australia in January but other than that, there is no real news about her third album. When will it be released? What will it sound like? How many songs? For anything close we have to go back to Naturalismo's show report from when she debuted the new material,
"she scooted over to the piano beside her and played a handful of songs each one somehow better than the next as she found her stride...The makeup of her new songs combines the strong melodic presence of songs on the Milk-Eyed Mender with her continued instrumentational prowess and maturation beyond Y’s. It was unclear how many of the songs covered in the course of the two and a half hour set would ever be recorded, but there was never a sour note or “should be cut” moment to be heard. "
So, yeah, I am excited. Especially if it sounds anything like this. It will be interesting to see if she continues the bigger orchestration arc from Ys or if she reverts to a more intimate Milk-Eyed Mender-esque dynamic. Or pulls an Animal Collective/Radiohead and becomes more accessible. Whatever she does, though, it will be nice to hear.

Other Albums that I will listen to/be excited about
but will not here write an expectation summary:

-Final Fantasy
-She and Him
-Fleet Foxes!


Yours Truly | December 4, 2009 at 10:44 AM
This comment has been removed by the author.
scott | December 5, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Uh yeah, glad you didn't forget final fantasy at the end there.

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