A selection of the best records of 2010, compiled by some Music Vice writers from across the globe. Links to the relevant album reviews on MV are included, where available.
Brian Banks’, Editor, (Toronto, Canada) top five:
1. Pavement – Quarantine The Past
So how about this – a band from the 90’s released my favourite album of 2010. It’s a compilation too. I’d never really listened to Pavement much before but from the first play of this ‘best of’ compilation I discovered just how much I’d been missing out. Pavement’s music goes in a several directions and this compilaton captures the best of it – the hooky grunge, the pensive lo-fi, the strident melancholy – yes, truly oxymoronic. Pavement’s music is tuneful as hell, and Quarantine The Past is riddled with catchy earworms.
When it came to picking my favourite album it wasn’t a close run race, this breezed it. With tracks selected from Pavement’s five studio albums and their eight EP’s, Quarantine provided the soundtrack to my summer and introduced me to a new favourite band.
2. Pantha Du Prince – Black Noise
3. Titus Andronicus – The Monitor
Oomph? Gusto? Raucous? Yes, plenty. The second album from New Jersey’s Titus Andronicus brashly clobbers along with beats and hooks, but it’s the lyrics that stick in your head and make the album – frontman Patrick Stickles spews out many memorable lines, including those in a fresh take on the life of Richard II (Shakespeare, it ain’t), while the dreary quotations from Civil War era American statesmen sandwiched between songs add to the fun and fervor. Titus Andronicus bring some audio garlic to American indie, providing a counter to Vampire Weekend and the like.
4. Devo – Something For Everybody
Totally banging album. A bonkers, smile raising, limb-shaking piece of electronic madness. Danceable and laughable by equal measure, with some sage-like wisdom to boot; “Can’t have a painting without the pain, can’t have a rainbow without the rain.” Thank god for Devo.
5. Fjord Rowboat – Undercover Of Brightness
Michael Bowser’s (Melbourne, Australia) top five:
Lauren Towner’s (London, England) top five:
Steve Pass’s (Perth, Australia) top five:
1. Stephen Egerton – The Seven Degrees Of Stephen Egerton
2. Grim Fandango – Birthmark Blues
3. Joey Cape – Doesn’t Play Well With Others
4. John Moreland and the Black Gold Band – Things I Can’t Control
5. Gaslight Anthem – American Slang
Natascha Malta’s (Toronto, Canada) top five:
1. Robyn – Body Talk (Three albums in a year, on top of the Royskopp release. She’s a machine!!)
2. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening (What a way to exit the scene.)
3. Gord Downie – The Grand Bounce (Was not expecting to like this one.)
4. Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings – I Learned The Hard Way (Favourite new album that sounds like an older album.)
5. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record (Was so excited for this realease that I actually purchased on vinyl.)
© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice