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01.06.11 Melodic Punk/ska Recs12.22.10 Vedder's Old School Essentials
12.16.10 Recording Programs?12.15.10 A Mike Allen 2010: Pt. 4 - Songs Of The
12.11.10 A Mike Allen 2010: Pt. 3 - Albums Of Th 12.10.10 Last Weekend Of College
12.07.10 A Mike Allen 2010: Pt. 2 - Ep's/live Al12.05.10 A Mike Allen 2010: Pt. 1 - Honorable Me
11.28.10 Album Art From This Year11.22.10 Assorted Tuneskis; Good Ones
11.20.10 Vedder's 2010 Live Acts Ranked 11.19.10 Vedder's Opener/closer Combos
11.15.10 Sputnik 2010 Supergroup: Vote11.13.10 Tell Me Your Favorite Songs Of 2010
11.01.10 Sup Guys, Fill Me In10.17.10 Americana
10.15.10 Fav 20 Songs: The Gaslight Anthem10.06.10 Veddigs
More »

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.
27Peter 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.
25We 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.
23The Gaslight Anthem
American Slang

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.
22Los Campesinos!
Romance is Boring

Quirky, melodic, and almost intoxicated in nature, Romance is Boring is one of 2010's most enjoyable releases.
21Free Energy
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.
20Bad Religion
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.
19Matt 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.
18Neil Young
Le Noise

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.
17Iron Chic
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.
16Jimi Hendrix
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.
15Veil 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

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.
13The Flatliners

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.
11Wolf Parade
Expo 86

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.
10The 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.
9Frightened Rabbit
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.
7Arcade Fire
The Suburbs

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.
5The 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.
4The National
High Violet

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.
3The Menzingers
Chamberlain Waits

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.
2The 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.
1Titus Andronicus
The Monitor

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.
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