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|A Mike Allen 2010: Pt. 3 - Albums Of The Year|
Here they are, my favorite albums of 2010. Had to go with a top 27 because I left a few out of my honorable mention list.
|27||Peter Wolf Crier|
Like For Emma, Forever Ago with more life, Inter-Be is a well-crafted indie folk album that lingers in both affecting and infectious territory.
We Chase the Waves
While not as moving as its predecessor, We Chase the Waves conveys a special quality in Chris McCaughan?s (The Lawrence Arms) solo work. Whether this is depicted through simple, yet gratifying chord progressions or honest lyricism, McCaughan has something brilliant here.
|25||We Are the U nion|
Great Leaps Forward
In hindsight, Great Leaps Forward may not have been the ideal title for such an album, but in further review of We Are the U nion's new record, these Ann Arbor natives have made significant strides. Aside from signing a record deal earlier this year, the band appears to be moving in a faster and more productive direction. We Are the have developed a cohesive and intriguing release of sorts in 2010; thundering and dazzling their way to bigger and better things, although failing to deliver the ground-breaking record that the title suggests. Great Leaps Forward represents a band at their crossroads, ultimately coming away with their defining moment. At least for now.
If Latterman fans already had enough offshoots to keep them satisfied, RVIVR is yet another of these newly-founded punk groups. Although less ballsy than Iron Chic's debut Not Like This, RVIVR's full-length release takes a more melodic and varied route to success. Formed by members of the Shorebirds, Hooky and Glue, and Latterman, RVIVR takes elements of each band and melds them into a polished and somewhat relaxed brand of modern punk.
|23||The Gaslight Anthem|
The Gaslight Anthem are out to prove that they will continue to be one of the more compelling and cohesive units in recent memory, and American Slang only furthers this inference. The New Jersey natives' third full-length release captivates from the enticing title track to the sincere "When We Were Young," not only contributing to an already thriving legacy, but also presenting the record as a separate entity from both The '59 Sound and Sink or Swim. The Gaslight Anthem are still demonstrating the capacity to make us feel great about our struggles and tribulations, which is something that we cannot help but be astounded for.
Romance is Boring
Quirky, melodic, and almost intoxicated in nature, Romance is Boring is one of 2010's most enjoyable releases.
Stuck on Nothing
Free Energy's debut is essentially unoriginal, feel-good music at its best. Stuck on Nothing is successful because it does not claim to be something it isn't; just rollicking and uplifting indie pop that translates so perfectly into summer life.
The Dissent of Man
While not as significant as the band?s earlier releases, The Dissent of Man is an amusing listen that still contains the spirit that Bad Religion has been so touted for in the past.
|19||Matt Pond Pa|
The Dark Leaves
Matt Pond PA's 2010 release The Dark Leaves could very well be one of the most shocking choices for your end of year lists, but in actuality the band has been one of music?s best kept secrets. The innovative indie pop group has truly developed something spectacular here; mastering their fusion of music genres and depiction of scenery. This could perhaps be the album that elevates the band from unknown territory to an underground phenomenon, but this still remains to be seen. For now, there is an incredible album to listen to.
Unlike the Mick Jaggers, and Tom Pettys of the world, Neil Young is still demonstrating the ability to stay relevant in 2010. Young's latest effort Le Noise, is darker and more innovative than any of his recent efforts; and in many ways still recalls his early work. Le Noise showcases the production of a true rock legend; one that has stood the test of time.
Not Like This
The synthesis of Small Arms Dealer and Latterman has already proved to be an intriguing endeavor; one that the Latterman fans will especially be ecstatic about. Iron Chic?s debut Not Like This is an accurate demonstration of modern Americana-tinged punk, utilizing anthemic hooks and unconcealed intensity to identify its fervent purpose. Not Like This is not intended to be listened to through headphones in the comfort of your own home, but one that should be blasted at the utmost of decibels on a night out. After all, that is exactly what we cherished in Latterman.
Valleys of Neptune
40 years since his death, Jimi Hendrix is still having an immense impact on the music universe. "Valleys of Neptune" is a collection of unreleased and "new" material that does not cease to convey what Hendrix was all about. The 2010 release does not seem to bring anything new to the table, but is an excellent record in its own right and should not be ignored.
|15||Veil Veil Vanish|
Change in the Neon Light
"Change in the Neon Light" is an exceptional release that unfortunately has gone relatively ignored. Veil Veil Vanish's debut is an intriuging one, relying on somewhat of a modern The Cure sound. There appears to be enough here for the band to separate themselves from their peers and even their influences, and proves to be one of the most significant releases of 2010.
New Inheritors may not have the emotional impact of its predecessor, but resembles a band that has truly developed into one fine oiled machine, capable of tremendous things. Wintersleep has demonstrated that they have become exceptional at what they do; creating the soulful and inspiring music that has been so touted among their indie rock peers. These Nova Scotians may be in the same position come next release, but for now there are no astronomical expectations to be had.
With Cavalcade we see The Flatliners completely abandoning their ska roots, but in turn delivering a fiery and melodic punk record.
With heaps of pop hooks, intriguing songwriting, and Britt Daniel?s trademark quirk, it?s impossible not to fall in love with Spoon's 2010 effort. Tranference scatters elements of predecessor Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga throughout with tracks such as "The Mystery Zone" and "Written in Reverse," and even heads into unchartered territory with affectionate ballad "Goodnight Laura." Transference may not be Spoon?s most striking release, but showcases the indie pop group doing what they do best.
While Apologies to the Queen Mary demonstrated Wolf Parade's aptitude with infectious and characteristic pieces, Expo 86 conveys the band's ability to craft a cohesive collection of tracks. While remaining as quirky as ever with tunes such as "Cloud Shadow on the Mountain" and "What Did My Lover Say," Wolf Parade's 2010 effort establishes a polished and complete sound. Expo 86 may not intrigue to the extent of the debut, but serves a clear and coherent purpose.
|10||The Pineapple Thief|
Someone Here is Missing
While highly derivative of influences such as Radiohead and Porcupine Tree, Someone Here is Missing is The Pineapple Thief at the peak of their innovation.
The Winter of Mixed Drinks
Frightened Rabbit had quite an act to follow after the absolutely dazzling "The Midnight Organ Fight," which is truly one of the hardest hitting albums of all-time. This year's account is still vintage Frightened Rabbit; having the ability to be both heartwarming and uplifting, just like its predecessor. "The Winter of Mixed Drinks" is a collection of songs that is tremendous enough to stand out as a separate commodity, even if it is in no way, shape or form as good as the 2008 release.
Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up
Now veterans of progressive rock, Oceansize has time and time again, delivered innovative and passionate records to the admiration of their fans. Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up is no different in this regard; a technical and well-executed album that ranks among the year's best.
The Suburbs may not live up to the hyperbolic acclaim of Funeral, but is certainly a distinctive release in its own right. While not overly ostentatious, The Suburbs is an intriguing, affecting, and powerful collection of songs; most of which rank among the finest in the band's arsenal. Arcade Fire has certainly delivered a fitting record to represent suburban life; highlighting the tribulations and nostalgia associated.
If the endorsement of progressive rock giants Porcupine Tree isn't enough to justify Demians prevalence; their 2010 installment Mute only furthers this approval. While not being overly ambitious, Mute is a tight and captivating release that achieves everything it was set out to accomplish. The technicality of the record is something to admire in Demians, but the record?s true potency is stemmed from the raw emotion which it conveys. Whether this is displayed through sections of pure tranquility or sheer intensity, Mute is an entrancing record that ranks among 2010's best.
|5||The Tallest Man on Earth|
The Wild Hunt
When the music of the modern day is looked back on by future generations, I'll be damned if Kristian Mattson isn't entered into the discussion. Mattson has struck gold with each of his releases; winning us over with a combination of vivid lyricism, heartwarming melodies, and a distinctive voice to say the least. The Tallest Man on Earth has crafted something incredible once again with his 2010 installment The Wild Hunt; where those aforementioned qualities seem to meld so intricately and passionately.
High Violet picks up right where The National left off with Boxer, not necessarily representing a growth, but a continuation. The record is a grower to the fullest extent, while showcasing an astounding display of passion and poignant lyricism. The National have left their mark as indie's (dare I say) greatest contemporary group with both Alligator and Boxer, and High Violet falls right into the same category.
Few times in the past have I come across a record that captures the melodic punk sound as well as Chamberlain Waits. As infectious as it is raw, The Menzingers' sophomore release exhibits the rare combination of accessibility and growing potential for continued listens. To complement the record's infectious qualities, Chamberlain Waits is heightened by vivid and honest lyricism, not unlike 2008's The '59 Sound. With all this said, it isn't far-fetched to say that Chamberlain Waits is one of the greatest punk albums in recent memory, and certainly one of the more prevalent releases of 2010.
|2||The State Lottery|
When the Night Comes
Just as The Gaslight Anthem's The '59 Sound did in 2008, When the Night Comes revives the ghosts of Springsteen. With a punk rock mentality, unconditional exuberance, and a saxophone; The State Lottery's 2010 release is an indication that Americana is still very much alive. And booming I might add. From the unrelenting energy of opener "Coming Alive" to extended sing-a-long "Spring, 2008, Detroit," When the Night Comes is a staggering experience. As young as band as they are, The State Lottery understand their obligation to carry on the Americana legacy, and do a damn fine job of it.
The Monitor is a depiction of our inebriated selves; that vulgar care-free demeanor that seems to create the completely avoidable late-night debacles of our college years. Undoubtedly more often than not, these blunders are dubbed as "totally worth it," whether we end up looking utterly idiotic or just plain immature. It's about that last whiskey shot, that girl you wouldn't have dared to touch three hours prior, or that incessant feeling of the moment. The Monitor is not the heartwarming or poignant type, but is purely successful because of the utilization of flaws; something that human nature is unable to avoid. If you don't understand Titus Andronicus' sophomore release, you are either ignorant of the human race, or you just need to get totally sloshed.
|ugh, forgot the tags don't translate over on lists|
|haha I did the same thing on mine|
great call on 3! 2 didn't really click with me on nearly the same level though
you should really check out my latest review... I feel like that album was made for you and Knott-
|good list 18 is beyond good.|
5 almost made my list 2 and 3 would be top 30 for me.
|"If you don't understand Titus Andronicus' sophomore release, you are either ignorant of the human race, or you just need to get totally sloshed."|
my friend. you know whats up.
stellar list I'll be sure to check out some of these that I've missed.
but regardless, Free Energy man, Free Energy. : D
|I thought Free Energy might drop on the list, but I listened to it the other day and was like, yeah this is still awesome. |
Also took a lot of my soundoffs from reviews that I wrote, so that's where that line came from yeti
|thought I remembered it from somewhere. sums up my opinion efficient and accurately. |
'Change In The Neon Light' also cracked my year end so, yeah ; )
|good shit vedder, 11 sucks though|
|oh, but it doesn't |
thanks for the feature mods
|been wondering when demians was going to show up. |
|can't stop listening to that demians album at the moment|
|you really need to check out their debut when you get some time. personally i like it a lot more|
|I now realize I've underappreciated Demians so I have to revisit it. |
|oh, but it does|
|yeah I'm gonna get on that right now brick|
|Good to see New Inheritors up here|
|Felt like New Inheritors was a disappointment at first, but it grew like crazy. Band is really coming into their own.|
|Great to see 16 and 13 on a list|
|hadn't heard 13 until recently, and glad i finally checked it out. fantastic album |
|i didnt like those sundowner and frightened rabbit cds. bummed. |
|both are definitely inferior to their predecessors, but i've found something great in them anyway (especially frightened rabbit)|
|2 is amazing, 23 and 25 are great, and 13 is alright but i should probably hear it again|
|Blackbelt check this out:|
B-side off American Slang, but seriously one of gaslight's better songs
|that's one hell of a top 5, very nice list|
|goood stuff man! thanks for the reminder to pick up 22, saw them a while back and really enjoyed their set|
|real nice will have to check some of these|
|same top 3 :)|
i'll read the descriptions tomorrow
|hoping you're as wrecked as me satty|
|Cool list broski|
|this year seriously kicked last year's ass|
|i was looking at this list and was like "what a bummer we seriously have nothing in common" but then i saw the top ten and as always, i was reassured. awesome list.|
|"hoping you're as wrecked as me satty"|
haha not sure when i posted that. if it was saturday night it was because i was wrecked. if it was sunday morning it was because i had to go to work.
excellent descriptions though.
|i think it was saturday, because i'm pretty sure i blacked out after that haha. thanks btw|
|WAIT mike where's broken water?|
|I was gonna say honorable mentions, but idk what the hell happened to it on the list. Should be in the 27-35 range.|
|titus andronicus slays.|