Lists like this are ubiquitous. Mine might be different because I talk about other lists I’ve seen, and also because I don’t care if the music was released between certain dates.  It is more important to me to talk about music that I associate with 2010. The music that defines time and place for me.

So this year, I really enjoyed ‘The National’ ‘High Violet‘, and I even did a post on it back in June. I see that this is agreement with a lot of best of 2010 lists I have seen. It got to #11 midway through the year on Metacritic. It did better at the end of the year — on The Recommender AND on the Amazon list it reached #9.  That’s pretty good for them as it might just prove to be their breakthrough work. For me, it just seemed to fit what I needed to hear on headphones at work a lot of the time.

Looking round the lists, there is universal acclaim for the following:

Thing is, they just didn’t click with me.  I just don’t like Kanye West and all that — and I saw Janelle on ‘Later’ and was less than impressed. Not my bag. Same with ‘Arcade Fire’ and ‘Mumford and Sons’ — everyone raves about them, so it must be just me.

‘The Drums’ ‘The Drums’ I took an instant dislike to. I didn’t mind the Mercury winner – ‘xx’‘ – ‘The xx’, but they weren’t exactly great live.

On the other hand, ‘Gorillaz’ (‘Plastic Beach’) – #24 Amazon, #10 The Recommender did click with me.  It shouldn’t have, but it did — maybe because my kids like the videos (especially ‘Stylo’ with Bruce Willis), I’m getting influenced by their enthusiasm. I have actually used ‘Plastic Beach’ to look back at their back catalogue — and with Shaun being on the jungle-based reality TV show, “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here”, ‘Dare’ has been getting a lot of listens (in all its many versions), along with ‘5/4’, ‘Clint Eastwood’ and ‘Kids with Guns’.  So — strangely, the Autumn of 2010 is tied in with ‘Gorillaz’!

Similarly, I found the ‘Foals’ (‘Total Life Forever’) – #2 The Recommender to be one of the best things about 2010. It is a fun record as it conjures up a lot of audio memory of music from the 1980s and 90s.

‘Flaws’ – ‘Bombay Bicycle Club’,and ‘Tourist History’ – ‘Two Door Cinema Club’ and ‘WHB‘  – ‘We Have Band’ are worth a mention. They brought the year to an end in a similar vein to the start of the year with Owen Pallett. This is probably down to the weather and the economy now that I think on it.  Good records, good music.

The beginning of the year was marked by amazing amounts of snow for a protracted length of time — same as November/ December.  The ash cloud and banking crisis meant that there was a cold moroseness prevalent.  I started to listen to Owen and ‘Grizzly Bear’, but also to old Chet Baker records.

There wasn’t much going on through spring to be honest.  I delved back into technical guitar music for a while, listening to Vai, Holdsworth, and the jazz theme continued for summer with Hiromi Uehara and Tal Wilkenfeld — and any need for classical for Autumn was met in the form of Danielle de Niese or Wagner.

Looking back now, I would have to say that summer 2010 was about Peaches / Hiromi Uehara / ‘The National’ / ‘Stars’ how bizarre is that!  I took these  on vacation with me, but ‘The Five Ghosts’ by The Stars has turned out to be the summer album for me; it got me through the weeks of rain. ‘Foals’ and ‘The Antlers’ have seen me through all the snow.

Post-summer has been filled with wonderful music from all sorts, ‘Deadmau5’, ‘Magnetic Man’, ‘The Radio Department’‘The Thermals’, ‘Ratatat’, Regina Spektor, ‘Midlake’, Rumer, Joshua Radin, Larry Carlton and ‘Steely Dan’, Eli “Paperboy” Reed, Mike Posner, Rackmaninoff’s ‘All Night Vigil’.

So here’s my top five albums of 2010:

  1. ‘The National’ ‘High Violet’;
  2. ‘The Antlers’ ‘Hospice’“;
  3. ‘Foal’s ‘Total Life Forever’;
  4. ‘Gorillaz’ “Plastic Beach“;
  5. ‘Stars’ ‘The Five Ghosts’.

Here are the oldies that mean 2010 to me

  1. Peaches ‘The Teaches of Peaches’
  2. ‘Midlake’ ‘The Trials of Van Occupanther’,
  3. Hiromi Uehara ‘Time Control’


One Response to “MUSIC OF 2010”

  1. davedevine Says:

    I have to say that The Arcade Fire’s latest (Suburbs) is growing on me — but I still don’t like their earlier stuff. Suburbs kinda annoys me because it sounds like so many other bands, even the Pixies!

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