These are selections #61 through #70 in our Best Albums of 2010 countdown series.
Released: September 7, 2010
Metacritic Score: 66
Charts: #7 The Billboard 200, #11 Top Canadian albums, #4 Top Digital albums, #3 Top Modern Rock/Alternative albums, #3 Top Rock albums
I went to art school with Sam Fogarino, the drummer from Interpol, so I make a point to listen to their albums when released. I remember him being a really great guy and having many a great time at shows by his band at that time, Napoleon Solo. This new Interpol record is self-titled, and although not as fantastic as their 2002 debut, Turn On The Bright Lights, I must say this is my second favorite album by the band. "Barricade" is an especially kick-ass track.
Released: March 30, 2010
Metacritic Score: 83
Album Charts: #4 The Billboard 200, European Top 100 albums, 32 R&B albums, #2 Top Digital albums
Erykah Badu caused an uproar this year with the video for the song "Window Seat" from her new album New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh. In the video Erykah strips off all her clothes while walking through populated city steets. The video got a lot of attention, but promotional gimmicks aside, Return of the Ankh is a soulful work of art that stands on its own merits. If your only exposure to the album is the video below, make sure to check it out in its entirety.
Released: February 9, 2010
Label: Secretly Canadian
Metacritic Score: 78
Album Charts: #63 The Billboard 200 #17 Top Digital albums, #5 Top Independent albums, #8 Top Modern Rock/Alternative albums, #13 Top Rock albums
There was a lot of buzz about the new Yeasayer album this year and for good reason. This multicultural electronica experiment pays big dividends for those who invest. It's unrelenting danceable, but offers enough complexity for those who choose to listen outside of the confines of a dance club. "Ambling Alp" is one of my favorite tracks of 2010.
Released: June 1, 2010
Label: Yep Roc Records
Metacritic Score: 85
Album Charts: European Top 100 albums
Paul Weller continues to prove his meddle as a solo artist after leaving large legacies from his time with The Style Council and The Jam, both seriously respected acts. On Wake Up The Nation one can find Weller communicating directly and forcefully without neglecting the well thought-out arrangements and subtleties.
Released: February 23, 2010
Label: Koch Records
Metacritic Score: 81
Album Charts: #63 The Billboard 200, #5 Top Hard Rock album, #6 Top Independent albums, #14 Top Rock albums
High On Fire have always been a lesson in the beauty of brutal precision, and they have released some truly epic albums in their time together. I have no second thoughts about saying that this is High On Fire's best album to date. It's been 3 years since their last full-length studio effort and it was worth every second. If you haven't heard it yet, what are you waiting for?
Released: March 9, 2010
Metacritic Score: 82
Album Charts: #7 Top Heatseekers, #28 Independent albums
Civil war imagery is rife on The Monitor by Titus Andronicus, as are guest appearances by the likes of The Hold Steady, The Felice Brothers, Deer Tick, Hallelujah the Hills and many others. The instrumentation here is wide and diverse, the songs are tight and intriguing, and I would say this is the best album of 2010 to get drunk with, hands down.
Released: June 22, 2010
Metacritic Score: 84
Album Charts: #39 The Billboard 200, #3 Top Digital albums, #4 Top Independent albums, #8 Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums, #14 Top Rock Albums
And the winner of the debut album of the year goes to Sleigh Bells. A newly formed girl/boy duo signed to M.I.A.'s brand new N.E.E.T. label. Treats features bright-white, sonorous drums, over-the-top guitar riffs and vocals that fit perfectly within the context of the chaos.
Released: November 9, 2010
Label: Universal Motown
Metacritic Score: 69
Album Charts: N/A
Cleveland's own Kid Cudi continues his rise with Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager. Although I don't hear any single track with as much impact as "Day 'n' Nite" this album is better as a complete work than its predecessor. It will be interesting to see if Kid Cudi's career will take the same trajectory as the mighty Kanye West, who has a guest appearance here on the track "Erase Me". He's certainly on the right track with The Legend Of Mr. Rager.
Released: May 4, 2010
Metacritic Score: 71
Album Charts: #18 The Billboard 200, #14 Top Canadian albums, #5 Top Digital albums, #2 Top Independent albums, #3 Top Modern Rock/Alternative albums, #5 Top Rock albums
In my opinion, the New Pornographers are at their best when the pop hooks are flowing freely like wine. And on Together, it's easy to get drunk. The popcraft is in fine form here and the band has introduced a bit more orchestration into their sound, which is done in a way that adds great undertones.
Released: September 14, 2009
Label: Fat Possum
Metacritic Score: 83
Album Charts: #27The Billboard 200, #3 Top Independent albums, #12 Top Digital albums, #8 Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums, #10 Top Rock albums
There's something really appealing about Hamilton Leithauser's voice to me, and it's always the constant that remains while I listen to the band evolve and try new ideas. Everything they try seems to work just fine and Lisbon is an affably sophisticated and dreamy album that has a bit more positive sound than 2008's You & Me.
- Top Digital albums