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12.19.10 5d Romance Is Boring12.10.10 Knott's Top 20 Of 2010
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Knott's Top 20 Of 2010

It's been a good year. Half of the last 12 months I was in France and Spain so getting hold of new music was difficult but I have definitely caught up pretty well since I got back to the UK. I'm sure there's still things I've missed so rec them; happy 2010 folks.

It crept on. Fired-up Marshall Mathers again. Of course it crept on.
19I Am Kloot
Sky At Night

Mercury Award nominated singer-songwritery stuff from Manchester.
Imagine if Oasis got a violin and were still good and Liam didn't exist.
I Could Do Whatever I Wanted If I Wanted

Messy, raw, emotional pop-punk. Fuck emo.
17Daft Punk
Tron: Legacy

Haven't seen film. Doubt I'll enjoy it as much as this though!
Foreign Tapes

Total Life Forever

To be honest, this is just pretty good, with the exception of 2 mid-album
songs which are genuinely astounding. Spanish Sahara and This Orient are
the perfection and essence of the band's new, more expansive, less rigid
sound, but it's displayed elsewhere with aplomb as well.
The Five Ghosts

13Frank Turner
Rock & Roll

But what if it's over, and we're sober. and we still feel like fixing to die?
12Motion City Soundtrack
My Dinosaur Life

This is just an enjoyable set of songs with remarkable staying power. The
band's previous record was overloaded with pop at the expense of real
energy or passion but it's all replaced here on an album which draws from
the best of their previous work and puts it all in one place.
11Frightened Rabbit
The Winter Of Mixed Drinks

I was so, so excited for this and it didn't let me down. It has atmosphere -
a different one to Midnight Organ Fight, but one just as powerful - and
hooks in abundance. I loved the band when they were sad; I love them
when they're happy(er) too.
10The National
High Violet

OMG! SO FAR DOWN! Yeah, despite a plethora of plays through this hasn't
connected with me anywhere nearly as much as Boxer or Alligator ever did;
Conversation 16 is sublime, the closing trio in general is as strong as any
other The National song, Bloodbuzz Ohio and Terrible Love are brilliant, but
too many of the other songs feel like they slightly miss the mark, and
Lemonworld is awful.
9Taylor Swift
Speak Now

I was very, very careful not to overrate this when I wrote about it; truth be
told, I think this girl was fantastic even back when she was writing songs
about Tim McGraw, so I knew I'd enjoy this at least to some extent. It
surpassed those expectations; it's subtly diverse, there are a few
absolutely perfect songs on it, not a single moment of filler, and who
doesn't love a little bit of John Mayer-bashing?
8Steel Train
Steel Train

A month and a half ago this probably wouldn't have gotten a look in but
after revisiting the harmonies and the strings and the playful melodies it's
impossible for me to deny its excellence. You & I Undercover and Fall Asleep
are both track of the year contenders.
7Jimmy Eat World

Everybody else thought Chase This Light sucked; I loved it. These guys
might be my favourite band in the world, simply off the back that I can put
their entire back catalogue on shuffle and actively love any track that comes
on. This just adds to that catalogue with fantastic pop-rock tunes and is
gorgeously constructed as a record, too.

There probably isn't a more straight-up beautiful trio of songs released this
year than Seasons, but everything on here is so completely effortless. Off
the back of 2 mediocre-to-poor EPs, Mae came back stronger than they've
been since The Everglow. Stunning indie-pop.
5Bomb The Music Industry

To lift directly from my review, this is nothing but a summary manifesto of
what BTMI! do well. That makes it awesome.
4Kanye West
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Brilliantly ambitious, I've heard it described as hipster-hop and I think that's
pretty accurate, but what an immense collection of daring, superbly-
produced songs this is.
3Los Campesinos!
Romance Is Boring

Lots of albums cause controversy among communities and critics but few
are the cause of internal controversy quite the way this one is for me. Los
Campesinos! were and remain one of my favourite indie bands but even I
had no idea how to approach the abrasive, all-over-the-place sound on
Romance Is Boring. But it's drilled its way into my skull and it's there to
2The Weakerthans
Live At Burton Cummings Theatre

I fell in love with this band this year and how this album just gorgeously
encapsulates the best things they've ever done in a flawless live
performance. Incredible.
1Titus Andronicus
The Monitor

This is just, simply put, why I listen to music. It's melodic, honest,
instinctive, intelligent and fucked-up. I've said numerous times over the last
6 months that I can see this topping a decade list in 2019, and nothing has
happened or come along to throw this album off that pedestal. It sounds
like a ridiculous amount of praise to be heaping on a year-old record - not
even that - but The Monitor hit me like I can't remember anything doing
since I first heard Kid A. It's that good.
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