Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Vinyl Anachronist's Top 10 albums for 2010!

My Top 15 list will be published on the Perfect Sound Forever website (, but that list will be slightly different because a) I'm only offering only my Top 10 here and b) I submitted my list to Jason Gross a few weeks ago, and there have been some changes that reflect some of the gifts I just received for Christmas!

Without further ado, here is my Top 10 for 2010:

10. Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs God Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise

I upgraded this one from my PSF list because I grabbed the vinyl version on the day after Christmas and it sounds superb. This album is spread across two LPs despite the fact that there are only 10 songs on it, which means there's only around 10 minutes of music on each side. That means no inner groove distortion on a nice, unhurried pressing. Add the fact that the great Bob Ludwig did the mastering and you have one of the best-sounding folk/Americana recordings of the year.

9. DJ Dus Soy Yo

This one, from my DJ friend Dusty Oliviera, is only available as a download from his website (, but it reminded me of just how inventive he is in terms of mating a modern turntablist sensibility to traditional Cumbia folk music. For me, this was the party album of the year.

8. Campfire OK Strange Like We Are\

It may not be fair to include this on a 2010 list because it isn't available until February, but I'm getting y'all ready for this band. A mix between Fleet Foxes and Death Cab for Cutie, this LP is full of mystery and beauty and has great sound quality as well. This has been stuck in my car CD player for the past week.

7. Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty

For me this is the best hip-hop album of the year and an antidote for the malaise that comes whenever I consider that we may never see another OutKast album. It's playful, funny as shit and I've never heard another rapper that has such imaginative phrasing and rhythms.

6. Boy Eats Drum Machine 20 Beats

I have to give credit to my buddy Jon Ragel, the genius behind Boy Eats Drum Machine. He's the one who showed me what turntablists are capable of in the 21st century, and this collection of beats puts distinctive images in my head like no other release this year. Plus, it's my favorite album cover of the year. Bunnies!

5. Morrissey Bona Drag 20th Anniversary Edition

This takes me back 20 years and reminds me of just how much I really love Morrissey and The Smiths. Great package, great bonus tracks and great sound quality.

4. Ben Harper Pleasure and Pain

This remastered version of Ben Harper's first album is the first vinyl release from Cardas Audio, and the sound quality is breathtaking...easily the best-sounding new recording of the year. This one isn't available until early next year as well, but it will be released in limited quantities so scoop it up when it arrives.

3. Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street deluxe edition

By now you might have guessed that a lot of reissues made it on my Top 10 list, but this is the granddaddy of them all. What a huge, comprehensive package of one of the greatest rock albums ever made. And Mick Jagger even re-recorded some of his vocals for a more clear presentation. I disliked this album when I was young, but as an adult I appreciate this album more every year. I think I listened to "Rocks Off" more than any other single song in 2010.

2. Black Keys Brothers

Where have these guys been all my life? Why did it take me so long to discover them? THE rock album of the year, and the one I've listened to almost non-stop since this summer.

1. Janelle Monae The ArchAndroid

Was there ever any question this would be my #1 album of 2010? I think not. What a mammoth talent she is. What an ambitious album this is. Not only is this my album of the year, but one of my two or three favorites from the last decade. If you don't already have this, buy it. Listen to it a few times from beginning to end. Let it sink it. And then love it like I do.

Here are some honorable mentions from the last year:

John Mellencamp No Better Than This
Brian Eno Small Craft on a Milk Sea
Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Tom Jones Praise and Blame
Deerhunter Halcyon Digest
Arcade Fire The Suburbs
Sufjan Stevens The Age of Adz
Cee Lo Green The Ladykiller
Mavis Staples You Are Not Alone
LCD Soundsystem This Is Happening
R.E.M. Fables of the Reconstruction (25th Anniversary Edition)

What a great year for music 2010 was! Someone told me last week they thought it was an off year...and they hadn't heard of most of the music on my list. What this year taught me more than any other was that if you've been stuck listening to the same music genres for most of your life, it's time to shake things up. Listen to something new. Explore and enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment