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12.20.11 Iai's Top 75 Of 2011 06.13.11 My Top 50 Riot Grrrl Bands
12.19.10 Iai's Top 40 Of 2010 07.18.10 Sputnik Fantasy Premier League
05.25.10 There Are 3 Types Of Human:12.27.09 Iai's Top 25 Of 2009
11.07.09 Great Albums Only I've Rated 02.19.08 The Top 150 Albums Ever: Part 3
02.19.08 The Top 150 Albums Ever: Part 202.19.08 The Top 150 Albums Ever: Part 1
01.02.08 2007: The Top 5012.22.07 Iai's Best Of 2007 (top 15)
02.14.07 Top 30 Albums Ever01.01.07 2006: The Top 50
06.19.06 2005: The Top 50

Iai's Top 40 Of 2010

I haven't heard Cee-Lo yet. Judge me as you see fit.
40 Vex'd
Cloud Seed

Swaps the ket for weed, smartly distances himself from the thug end of
dubstep, and writes a genre classic in "Heart Space".
39Northern Portrait
Criminal Art Lovers

The third-best Smiths studio album.
38In Mourning

Millimetres away from becoming one of the best metal bands in the world

Drone with hypnotic African percussion - makes an hour feel like 15 minutes.
36 Woven Hand
The Threshingfloor

Like Comus on downers, this is Christian music done right.
Split the Atom

Ventures outside drum'n'bass in electro house and dubstep, but never
forgets to bring the bangers, hard.
34 Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
I Learned the Hard Way

One of the most authentic retro-soul acts working today. If released in the
'70s it'd be a cult classic.

UK hip-hop that genre-hops in a way that's almost psychotic. Feel free to
mark this down as the only time 'grime' and 'post-rock' will ever appear in
the same sentence.
32Massive Attack

A return to form that's not actually much of a return at all - this is a new
kind of Massive.
31Jaga Jazzist
One-Armed Bandit

They've gone prog. Amazingly, they're still great.
30Barren Earth
Curse of the Red River

They understand how and when to show their technical ability to its best
effect as well as any other metal band I've heard.
29 Erykah Badu
New Amerykah Part 2: Return of the Ankh

Would be better served without the billing of a sequel, but she's still right
at the forefront of soul in the 21st century.
28Vampire Weekend

Not as good as the debut, sure, but still way more accomplished and
involving than a band of this age and genre has any right to be.
27Sufjan Stevens
The Age of Adz

Definitely not an EP. Definitely the second best thing he's ever done.
26Dark Time Sunshine

Underground hip-hop run through a futuristic blender.
25 Bilal
Airtight's Revenge

On the one hand, such a deeply personal album. On the other, what a way
to come out swinging after 9 years of record company bullshit.
24How to Dress Well
Love Remains

The R&B of Jodeci, New Edition et al. as if it were a sound being
rediscovered in the 2200s on degraded magnetic tapes.
23The Indelicates
Songs for Swinging Lovers

Indie pop par excellence, with some properly sarky lyrics for grumpy old
bastards like me to enjoy.
22Demdike Stare
Forest of Evil

Dark, dubby, reducing a chilling atmosphere to the level of a whisper.
21Chancha Via Circuito
Rio Arriba

Digital cumbia, world-weary and elastically funky all at once.

The golden age of Balearic house wedged into an indie context - almost
defines the phrase 'surprisingly effective'.
Ecailles de lune

Everything the follow-up to Souvenirs should have been.
18Black Milk
Album of the Year

Is there another artist more obviously ready to take the step up to 'classic'
with their next album?
17Anais Mitchell

The legend of Orpheus told as a folk-opera, with a cast including Justin
Vernon and Ani Difranco. Better than it sounds.
16Daniel Bjarnason

Composer attempting cello-led classical crossover, with the unusual advantage of
actually sounding like he knows what he's doing.
15The National
High Violet

Made me completely forget why I couldn't warm to their earlier albums.
14The Gaslight Anthem
American Slang

Honest, unpretentious, and completely lacking in all the things I hate about
rock music.
13 Georgia Anne Muldrow
King's Ballad

Those in the know said she'd leapfrog Erykah one day, and on the strength
of this year's albums, she's done just that.

Makes you wonder if there's any kind of rock music they wouldn't be great at.
11Arcade Fire
The Suburbs

It must be hard work for the haters - they're such an easy band to enjoy.
Fallen Light

Probably has a better chance than anybody of emulating Burial's success
and acclaim.

For an album that's so frighteningly complex, it's amazing how good it still
sounds when you're not paying attention.
8The Tallest Man on Earth
The Wild Hunt

An unerringly consistent lyricist, with an ever-expanding sonic pallette to
draw from. Makes other singer-songwriters look silly.
7Big Boi
Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty

Gleefully inventive and it also doesn't suck - so it gets over the bridge
Andre 3000 always struggled with, then.
Marrow of the Spirit

Ignore the naysayers, it's their best yet.
5Her Name Is Calla
The Quiet Lamb

Lovely people that make lovely music. Top 10 post-rock album of all time for

If the heaviest of heavy dubstep is your religion, this should be your Qur'an.
3Sufjan Stevens
All Delighted People EP

Definitely not an EP. Definitely the best thing he's ever done.
2Kanye West
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

After his last two turds, I can't believe he's come back with something so
1Janelle Monae
The Archandroid (Suites II and III of IV)

Outrageously ambitious, and frighteningly successful with it.
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