Monday, December 13, 2010

2010 wrap up: albums

2010 is almost over, and I thought I'd start throwing together some posts featuring my favorites from the last 12 months. :) There were a ton of new records released last year, some great, and some not so good. These are my favorite "albums as a whole" from the last year. [my favorite singles will be featured later!] I think it's a pretty good mix of genres. :)

1. "The Suburbs" - Arcade Fire. I hadn't listened to a lot of their music before Lollapalooza, but I'm sure glad I saw them live. This is hands down my favorite album from the past 12 months. Haunting melodies, chill vibes, pump up tunes, all with a semi-vintage feel. It's almost impossible to pinpoint Arcade Fire's sound, but that's what makes it so wonderful. Simply amazing. 
key tracks: "ready to start," "rococo," "we used to wait," and "sprawl ii [mountains beyond mountains]"

2. "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" - Kanye West. Say what you want about Kanye and his d-bag tendencies, but this album is siiiiick. Kanye's best to date. He's finally found the perfect balance of the rap that made us start listening mixed with the new-agey jams of his last release, '808's and Heartbreaks.' Definitely a performance art piece not to be missed.
key tracks: "runaway," "monster," "all of the lights," "power," and "gorgeous."

3. "Contra" -  Vampire Weekend. I've been a Vampire Weekend fan for some time now, but this was on of my most anticipated releases.The So-Cal by way of Brooklyn Hipster/African beats blend makes for the perfect soundtrack to an afternoon of lounging around the house, studying, or hosting a chill party. 
key tracks: "horchata," "cousins," "california english," and "run."

4. "Volume 2" - She & Him. Nothing beats Zooey Deschanel's voice, really. It's powerful, but not in the "pop starlets of today" way. It has such an old-time Hollywood, glamorous, jazz/cabaret sound. That resonates in the tone of the music, too. It's all very 50s/60s mod-pop sounding--the upbeat tracks put a spring in your step, and the mellow, more ballad-y tracks are soulful and deep. 
key tracks: "don't look back," "lingering still," and "gonna get along without you now."

5. "Congratulations" - MGMT. This album was not received well by critics, and while I think I like 'Oracular Spectacular' more, I really loved this album. I appreciated the risks MGMT took, veering from the hippie-stoner vibe of their smash hit debut, to experiment with a more post-modern, electronic sound. 
key tracks: "flash delirium," "brian eno," and "congratulations."

What are your top 10 albums for the year???

*see #6-10 after the jump :)

6. "The Adventure's of Bobby Ray" - B.o.B.  Hot beats, hot rhymes, hot album. :)
key tracks: "don't let me fall," "past my shades," "airplanes-pt. ii," and "magic."

7. "Teenage Dream" - Katy Perry. The first of a few guilty pleasures on this list. Katy Perry has released one of THE catchiest albums of the year. So many of these songs get stuck in my head for days on end.
key tracks: "Peacock," "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)," "Hummingbird Heartbeat," and "Firework."

8. "Doo-Wops and Hooligans" - Bruno Mars. This album is all over the place emotionally. Ups & downs, heartache & new love, soaring spirits and bitter anger, this album has it all. 
key tracks: "grenade," "runaway baby," "the lazy song," and "marry you."

9. "Speak Now" - Taylor Swift. Yet another guilty pleasure. I don't really want to talk about how much I listen to this one. Moving on... 
key tracks: "ours," "the story of us," "mean," "dear john," and "haunted."

10. "Animal" - Ke$ha. Ke$ha was hanging out in the only "club" in my hometown when she wrote the tracks for this record. She had to be. Dance music that's a little bit white-trash and doesn't apologize for it. If I were blonde, I would have absolutely been Ke$ha for halloween, hands down. This should be a guilty pleasure, but I have no guilt about loving it.
key tracks: "take it off," "party at a rich dude's house," "kiss & tell," and "your love is my drug."

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