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12.27.10 Top 25 Albums Of 201012.27.10 Top 25 Albums Of 2010
06.11.10 Andrew Hartwig's Decade List12.24.07 Top 15 Albums Of 2007
09.19.07 Recent Purchases12.26.06 Top 10 Of 2006

Top 25 Albums Of 2010

I think I'm settled on this one.
25The Saddest Landscape
You Will Not Survive

Probably would have been higher on my list if I'd known about it earlier in the year, but this is a great
screamo record. Epic without being post-rocky and chaotic without being super fast or short.
24 Trash Talk
Eyes & Nines

I didn't like this band's earlier stuff much, but this is really accomplished. It certainly smokes the new

Really perfects their noise-rock inspired sound; so many killer riffs. It's a shame they broke up after
releasing it, but at least we still have Young Widows.
22Jimmy Eat World

A good, solid, simple pop record. Nothing grabs me as much as a few of the songs on their last album did,
but it's well-crafted and their most consistent set in a long time.
21 Adebisi Shank
This is the Second Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank

Not as consistent as their first record, but it's twice the length and they try so many new things that you can
hardly fault them for it. Plus, they sound like Battles but cooler. "International Dreambeat" is by far the best
song they've written.
20Kayo Dot

Coyote was composed during the death of the band's friend Yuko Sueta, and with that event comes the
most subdued and grief-stricken Kayo Dot release to date. Toby Driver's construction of the album
combines a gothic rock-based aesthetic with long form composition to create a journey of an album that
lays aside the 'epic' climaxes of his earlier work in favour of a work that plods and meanders towards a
conclusion that brings little closure. All of this, of course, lends itself masterfully to the album's subject
matter, and to Driver's sheer skill as a composer. While Coyote's subject matter and its purposeful
eschewing of climactic moments means that it is a difficult album to continue to return to, it is nonetheless
comprised of many moments of brilliance that are among the best in Driver's ever-expanding body of
19 Year of No Light

By the numbers post-rock, but massive and sincere enough to stand out. Sounds like Jakob if they had twice
as many members.

Typically bizarre and pretty, and somehow a bit more accessible. Definitely continues their legacy as the most
interesting band working in indie rock today.
17Dark Time Sunshine

Really great underground hip-hop record with killer production. "E.R." is probably my favourite hip-hop track of
the year.
Diamond Eyes

My favourite Deftones album since White Pony, even if it is on the opposite end of the spectrum in the band's
catalogue. Love how in-your-face it all is.
15Sed Non Satiata
Sed Non Satiata

I like the stronger emphasis on clean vocals. It's a solid album; not mindblowing, but they're still one of the
best screamo bands in the world.
14The Dillinger Escape Plan
Option Paralysis

To be honest, I'm amazed that this band is still interesting at all, what with all of their lineup changes and
then Ire Works. But this album is killer, probably better than Miss Machine.
13Black Milk
Album of the Year

Black Milk has to be one of the best producers in the world right now. The rhymes are great too, I got into
them even more than I did on Tronic.
12 Dangers
Messy, Isn't It?

A significant improvement on Anger. They sound like a much faster Modern Life is War with a stronger sense
of humour to me. Seeing them live was a highlight of an otherwise fairly unremarkable year for shows.
11Max Richter

His most consistent album to date. The Philip Glass influence is really apparent on most of the tracks but he's
carved out enough of his own sound to make him one of my favourite composers currently working.
10Tera Melos
Patagonian Rats

It kind of seemed inevitable that Tera Melos would make a record like this, transforming from the craziest,
weirdest math rock band around to some sort of strange math-pop. I sort of miss the old sound but this is so
good that I can't complain too much.
9 Janelle Monae
The Archandroid

One of the most ambitious debut albums I've ever come across, and she pulls off every second of it. Also:
holy shit, her voice.
8The National
High Violet

Much better than Boxer, and probably better than Alligator too. Definitely has some of my most-played tracks
of the year. A couple of tracks stop it from being a classic but the best songs are the best the band has ever
7Sufjan Stevens
The Age of Adz

In my opinion, the first time Sufjan has made a really great album. Earlier releases were full of great songs,
but none had the consistency or grandiosity of this.
6My Disco
Little Joy

The third album from Australia's most hard-working band was quite a departure; not in the band's
minimalist post-punk approach to songwriting, but in the depth and range of emotions contained therein.
Where the band's previous two records were tight and precise, Little Joy is a record that feels much more
loose, and that presents a band more sure of itself, more willing to play whatever comes out. To those
familiar with the band's history, the beauty and warmth of Little Joy is surprising on first listen, but the
record's depth and complexity unfolds over time and reveals it to be the most varied, personal, and
impressive of the group's career.
5Flying Lotus

To say that the talent of Steven Ellison has grown in leaps and bounds since his 2006 debut, 1983, would
be the understatement of the year. While 1983 and Los Angeles were genre-defining, movement-sparking
records, Cosmogramma feels like the album that Flying Lotus was always destined to make. Subtly
weaving a stronger free-jazz influence into his already packed collage of electronic-based music, Ellison
has created a record that stretches his sonic and emotional palette considerably. The busy, messy beats
are smeared with brilliant instrumental performances from, among others, Thom Yorke (vocalis), Ravi
Coltrane (tenor sax), Rebekah Raff (harp) and Thundercat (bass) and topped with spacey, intricate
synthesiser parts that can only be described as epic.
It's not rare for an electronic-based record to be this overtly passionate, but for it to also be so perfectly
consistent, experimental, and expansive, means that it cannot be considered anything short of a classic.
4Extra Life
Made Flesh

It seemed impossible for an album to be more confusing, challenging, and complex than the twisted
avant-garde of Extra Life's 2008 debut Secular Works was, but Charlie Looker achieved that very feat in
2010 with Made Flesh. Made Flesh saw the group experimenting further with synthesisers ("Voluptuous
Life"), pop structures ("Black Hoodie"), and subtle melody ("One of Your Whores"), being more heavy,
energetic, and expansive, and yet even more personal than Secular Works. With his combination of pop
melody, progressive and avant-garde structure, brutal rhythmic patterns, melismatic Medieval vocal
performances, strange lyrical ideas, and twisty, grandiose compositions played by deceptively small
ensembles, Charlie Looker's musical vision is a truly singular one. More than anything, Made Flesh proves
his status as a key composer and performer of the 21st century.
3The Tallest Man on Earth
The Wild Hunt

His first album didn't do much for me, but this was one of my most played albums of the year. The
songwriting has improved incredibly, and there's not a single bad moment. The best songs ("You're Going
Back", "King of Spain", "Kids on the Run") will be some of the best songs written this decade, no doubt.
A Determinism of Morality

Rosetta have been my favourite band since I saw them play in a house in 2008, and this record improves
upon their sound in every way, particularly by adding influence from post-hardcore groups like Gospel and
Frodus. "Je N'en Connais Pas la Fin", "Ayil", "Revolve" and the title track are the best four songs the group
has written. I love that they decided not to keep writing long songs for the sake of long songs.
1Quiet Steps
Think Aloud

Feels like I waited for this record for three years or something, and it's even better than I expected it to be.
Best riffs on any album this year. "Dead Sea" is pretty much the greatest piece of music ever to come out of
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