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Mutatedfreek's Top 25 Albums Of 2010

Says exactly what it says on the tin. Late due to my desire to actually let the year end before posting a list ranking its outstanding albums.
25Cee Lo Green
The Lady Killer


After releasing possibly the best pop single of the entire year in "Fuck You", Cee Lo proves it was no fluke by reinforcing it with a surprisingly consistent album. Stand Out Tracks: Bright Lights Bigger City, Fuck You
24Titus Andronicus
The Monitor


I don't know much about Titus Andronicus except that this album sounds like it would feel like to have been born into the 70's punk scene. You get that? Stand Out Tracks: No Future Part III: Escape From No Future, Four Score And Seven
23Deftones
Diamond Eyes


Though it took a while to sink in, Diamond Eyes is definitely Deftones' second best album, and a perfect response to the unfortunate accident of Chi Cheng. Stand Out Tracks: Sextape, Risk
22Wait What
The Notorious XX


On its surface, the notion of taking the dreamy melodies found on The XX's 2009 debut XX and mixing them with The Notorious B.I.G's effortless flow perhaps sounds a little barmy and yet somehow Wait What's hybrid of the two vastly differing styles is perhaps the most innovative release of 2010, and also one of the best. Stand Out Tracks: Juicy-r, The Curious Incident Of Big Poppa In The Nighttime
21Coheed And Cambria
Year Of The Black Rainbow


Chris Pennie joins Coheed and Cambria and immediately shows his class by reviving the band's tired rhythm section. Stand Out Tracks: Guns Of Summer, Far, Pearl Of The Stars
20The Dillinger Escape Plan
Option Paralysis


It takes all of eleven seconds for Option Paralysis to break out the pounding drums, light speed guitars and hyperactive vocals but as soon as the initial roar of "Farewell, Mona Lisa" exits the speakers it's clear that The Dillinger Escape Plan haven't changed one iota. And, let's face it, this is a good thing. Stand Out Tracks: Farewell, Mona Lisa, Gold Teeth On A Bum, Widower
19Janelle Monae
The ArchAndroid (Suites II And III Of IV)


Thoroughly over-the-top and painstakingly addictive, this amalgamation of styles should be, by rights, a clusterfuck of epic proportions. Instead, Monae's eclectic palate serves only to emphasize the moments of genius on display throughout The ArchAndroid. Stand Out Tracks: Cold War, Tightrope
18Devil Sold His Soul
Blessed & Cursed


Although it is not as good as "A Fragile Hope", Blessed & Cursed feels more complete than its predecessor and still packs a punch, albeit a cute jab rather than a crunching left hook. Maybe my skepticism is bought about due to an unfair bias towards the album that introduced me to post-metal, but nevertheless this is further proof that Devil Sold His Soul deserve to be massive. Stand Out Tracks: Tides, Frozen
17Kvelertak
Kvelertak


Riffs a plenty converge with heavy drums and raw vocals to produce one of the surprise entities of the year. Kvelertak combine black metal (vaguely) with hardcore and old school rock 'n' roll to create a dense, guitar-led sound completely unlike anything I know. Stand Out Tracks: Fossegrim, Liktorn
16More Than Life
Love Let Me Go


Okay so it's not the best hardcore release of the year - heck it's not even the best southern English hardcore release of the year - but that doesn't mean it's not damn good. While Love Let Me Go doesn't really bring anything new to the table (Defeater and Modern Life Is War have both done intelligent melodic hardcore in recent years; and better) it is a well crafted album with next to no filler and heaps of highlights, none more so than the sublime "Daisy Hill" in which drums, bass, guitar and vocals come together perfectly. Stand Out Tracks: Daisy Hill, Love Let Me Go
15Shearwater
The Golden Archipelago


Let's get one thing out of the way, The Golden Archipelago is a slow-burner, in fact scrap that, it's a real slow-burner. On first listen it is difficult to appreciate the delicate touches that make the album so enjoyable and the slow tempo may be too off putting for some. However once this initial barrier is breached the enjoyability of the album enhances exponentially with the fantastic track ordering only helping to aid the cause. Stand Out Tracks: Black Eyes, Castaways
14The National
High Violet


Poignant baritone vocals over lush richly layered instrumentation, where have I heard this before? Regardless of how many bands have copied The National's formula over the last few years, High Violet proves that the Cincinnati quintet are still ahead of the curve. Stand Out Tracks: Afraid Of Everyone, Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks
13David Sylvian
Sleepwalkers


David Sylvian is the master of collaborations, and this is a masterwork of 10 years worth of them. Whether exploring new genres with which to attach his unashamedly unique vocals or redefining the nuances of ambient electronica with long term colleague Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sylvian rarely skips a beat over the seventeen tracks. Though the artistic disparity between the tracks can confuse, Sleepwalkers is well paced and assembled as an album rather than a collection. Stand Out Tracks: Money For All, Exit/Delete, Wonderful World, Trauma
12Alcest
Ecailles De Lune


In a triumph of ambience, shoegaze meets black metal, and Alcest deliver the most beautiful album of 2010. Though the heartbreaking melody and soaring cleans of "Sur l'Ocean Couleur De Fer" make for perhaps the most emotionally stirring track of 2010 there are many more highlights to choose from and when added to the consistency of Ecailles De Lune makes for a stunning record. Stand Out Tracks: Percees De Lumiere, Sur l'Ocean Coleur De Fer
11Danger Mouse And Sparklehorse
Dark Night Of The Soul


If anybody ever tries to convince you that music isn't an art form you should force them to listen to the most understated, emotionally charged 45 minutes of music released in 2010. Whether employing Wayne Coyne to tug at the heartstrings (pun not intended) whilst ever-so-succinctly summing up the album in "Revenge" (Pain; it's just a matter of sensation) , turning to Iggy Pop's rampant vocals to get the heart pumping (again, no pun intended) in "Pain" or leaving David Lynch to thoroughly weird you out through his glorious accompanying artistry Dark Night Of The Soul is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. RIP Mark Linkous. Stand Out Tracks: Revenge, Power, Dark Night Of The Soul
10Marina & The Diamonds
The Family Jewels


Marina Diamondis is Welsh. Marina Diamondis has a beautiful voice. Marina Diamondis released a quirky, catchy-as-fuck pop album called The Family Jewels. You should listen. Stand Out Tracks: Are you Satisfied, Obsessions, Hermit The Frog
9Crystal Castles
Crystal Castles II


Irrational, spasmodic, and utterly moreish Crystal Castles II improves upon every facet of the original. The energy is still there, as are Alice Glass's majestic vocals, but where Crystal Castles was infuriatingly inconsistent, II is a more refined and complete record. Stand Out Tracks: Celestica, Baptism, Vietnam
8Parades
Foreign Tapes


Australian indie/art-rock that punches well above its weight, Foreign Tapes is similar in many ways to another album on this list, Foals' Total Life Forever. While it may not have the opulent range of styles found in TLF it is immediately captivating and though the instrumental delicacy is composed proficiently it is the mesmeric female vocals that really make this album stand out. Stand Out Tracks: Lung Full Of Light, Loserspeak In New Tongue, Marigold
7Arcade Fire
The Suburbs


There's no doubting it now, Arcade Fire are officially a big deal. While Neon Bible was a disappointing follow up to Funeral, The Suburbs is a (not quite so) surprising return to form for the septet. Stand Out Tracks: The Suburbs, Half Light I, Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
6Immolation
Majesty And Decay


Majesty And Decay combines everything you would expect of a death metal album in a brutally heavy package without once dropping from the inhuman tempo set by first proper track "The Purge". Stand Out Tracks: The Purge, The Rapture Of Ghosts, The Comfort Of Cowards
5Sufjan Stevens
The Age Of Adz


Having never heard any Sufjan Stevens before I approached this with trepidation. I was expecting cutesy indie pop with decent if not amazing instrumentation. What I got was vastly superior; lavish vocals sprawled over subtley technical melodies. Stand Out Tracks: Futile Devices, Too Much, Vesuvius
4Sed Non Satiata
Sed Non Satiata


Melodic post-rock tinged screamo from France, sounds sexy and it is. Stand Out Tracks: Les Colonnes De Soie, Entre Le Mots, L'arrache Coeur
3Kerouac
Cold And Distant, Not Loving


Heavy, brooding, and unrelenting, this southern English hardcore group sure know how to get your blood pumping; and at only 17 minutes you can listen to this 3 times in a row and still have change from an hour. Though the post-metalesque "Heavy Hearted" does little to get the blood pumping it sets the mood perfectly for the remaining 6 tracks to pummel your ear drums, concluding with the sensationally chaotic "A Sheep, A Well". Also, if you manage to obtain the vinyl release the artwork is mindblowing. Standout Tracks: Heavy Hearted, Pale, A Sheep, A Well
2Foals
Total Life Forever


I didn't think anything would top this, I really didn't. I know I'm in the minority but for me this is close to perfect. From the over-the-top poppiness of "Miami", the under-the-bottom (?) subtlety of "Black Gold" and the haunting beauty of "Spanish Sahara" the album is both expressive and varied throughout without losing any of its intimacy. Stand Out Tracks: Miami, Black Gold, Spanish Sahara, Alabaster
1Kanye West
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy


I didn't expect this to be here. Honestly, I wouldn't have expected this to make my top 25 at the start of the year. However, the leak and subsequent release of "Power" piqued my interest. This interest was sufficient for me to acquire a copy when the album leaked and it blew me away. Purchasing the non-censored version did nothing but increase my love for this album and while its longevity has yet to be tested, the sheer brilliance of this album and the impact it has had on me since its release means placing it anywhere but first on my list would be a travesty. Stand Out Tracks: Power, So Appaulled, Runaway, Hell Of A Life, Lost In The World
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