Top Albums of 2010: Albums 41-50


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I had no idea how to rank Girl Talk on a list so I put them right at number 50. How do I rate an album completely based on samples of other songs? Well “All Day”, Pittsburgh DJ Greg Gillis’s fourth full-length release as Girl Talk is a blast from start to finish. It’s a free mixtape, to avoid the zillion dollars in lawsuits he would no doubt acquire, and takes old classic rock, metal, new indie rock, 90’s R&B etc.. etc… and mashes it up with mainly rap vocals. If you’re into this sort of thing Gillis is the best in the business at it and the album is perfect for the weight room, a party, a long car ride or getting ready to go out. Or hell if you’re down in the dumps, it’ll cheer you right up as well. This is longer than his previous two but just as fun. Black Sabbath, 2Pac, Jay-Z, Ludacris, T.I., Jane’s Addiction, The Doors, the Ramones & Missy Elliott- and that’s just track #1.

Best Tracks   Oh No                                        Get It Get It


Buy The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night (Bonus Track Version) – The Besnard Lakes
Buy The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring NightAmazon

Slowcore-shoegaze. Low meets Ride. The Besnard Lakes second straight excellent album is filled with shimmering sheets of beautiful feedback, sometimes unintelligible high harmonies- like latter day Beach Boys on even more drugs. Any fan of Spiritualized, My Bloody Valentine, Sigur Ros or very early Pink Floyd should check these guys out- long, epic and majestic.

Buy Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent, Pt. 2: The Innocent – The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night (Bonus Track Version)
Buy Like the Ocean, Like The Innocent Pt. 2: The Innocent Amazon

Buy Land of Living Skies, Pt. 2: The Living Skies – The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night (Bonus Track Version) Buy Land Of Living Skies Pt. 2: The Living SkiesAmazon


Buy Sisterworld (Deluxe Edition) – Liars

Buy Sisterworld [+Digital Booklet]Amazon

These L.A. (by way of Berlin, by way of Brooklyn) experimental rockers change it up on every album. Their latest “Sisterworld” is an album about their current city- and it focusing on the dark side of L.A. rather than the sunshine, beaches, beauty & glamour. The music sounds paranoid, claustrophobic, droney & angry- pissed off music for a pissed off time, all about survival in a city (world) with increasing threats, population density and crumbling infrastructure. Happy happy!

Buy Scarecrows On A Killer Slant – Sisterworld Buy Scarecrows On A Killer SlantAmazon

Buy Scissor – Sisterworld Buy ScissorAmazon


Buy Clinging to a Scheme – The Radio Dept.

Buy Clinging To A SchemeAmazon

One of the album covers of the year. What the hell is that? The Radio EDpt. Are yet another great band from Sweden, who have kicked around for the last decade and have finally gotten around to releasing a full length. The whole album works as a synthy-dream pop vibe but several great tracks like “Heaven’s On Fire”, “David” & “This Time Around” got the album into the countdown over other similar good bands like Toro Y Moi & Wild Nothing.

Buy Heaven’s On Fire – Clinging to a Scheme Buy Heaven’s On FireAmazon

Buy David – Clinging to a Scheme Buy DavidAmazon


Buy How I Got Over – The Roots

Buy How I Got Over [Explicit] [+Digital Booklet]

Another very solid outing from Jimmy Fallon’s house band, who have become the most consistently good group in rap over the last decade and a half. The Roots work for both rap’s modern detractors (they play real instruments, kick ass live & have socially conscious lyrics) as well as current rap fans (their music is still dope & they have very little in common with annoying backpacker rap). “How I Got Over” contains several standouts including “Right On” (with Joanna Newsom!), the title track & The Day and no bad songs. It’s under 50 minute running time is a study in editing that I wish more rappers would adhere to. Whether or not you gave up on rap in the mid 90’s you should check these guys out if you like(d) the genre whatsoever.

Buy Right On – How I Got Over Buy Right On [Explicit]

Buy The Day – How I Got Over Buy The DayAmazon


Buy Phosphene Dream (Deluxe Edition) – The Black Angels

Buy Phosphene Dream [Exclusive Version]Amazon

Austin’s drone-merchants The Black Angels sound like a breath of fresh air amidst all of the neo-synth pop & folk-rock so prevalent in today’s indie scene. Their psychedelic squall is a throw back to various sixties garage rock “Nuggets” bands like the Thirteenth Floor Elevators and Count Five as well as being Jesus & Mary Chain inspired. Bring your earplugs- not for the faint of heart!

Buy Bad Vibrations – Phosphene Dream (Deluxe Edition) Buy Bad VibrationsAmazon

Buy River of Blood – Phosphene Dream (Deluxe Edition) Buy River Of Blood Amazon


Buy Big Echo – The Morning Benders

Buy Big EchoAmazon

Definitely one of the best named new bands! “Big Echo” is actually their second and from what I understand quite a bit more produced than their lo-fi debut. The band also left their home in Berkley and went cross country to Brooklyn but they didn’t leave the sunshine behind. The Benders is indebted to the sunny pop of the Shins and Beach Boys as well as fellow Brooklyn-ites Grizzly Bear- their music is full of orchestration but their hooks are still able to shine.

Buy All Day Day Light – Big Echo Buy All Day Day Light

Buy Excuses – Big Echo Buy ExcusesAmazon


Buy Congratulations – MGMT

Buy CongratulationsAmazon

Though “Congratulations” lacks the hits of their big selling debut, it is not the incoherent mess that its detractors think it is. In fact the album is at least twice as good as the debut- plenty weird and plenty psychedelic- no “Kids” or “Time to Pretend”, but the title track, “Flash Delirium”, the punchy “Brian Eno”, “I Found a Whistle” and “It’s Working” are all songs that have lots to love. The album’s weirdness and experimentation is a benefit to MGMT and “Congratulations” is a big step forward for the band who could have easily been pegged with the one hit wonder tag had they not taken this kind of risk.

Buy I Found a Whistle – Congratulations Buy I Found A WhistleAmazon

Buy Congratulations – Congratulations Buy Congratulations Amazon


Buy Majesty Shredding – Superchunk

Buy Majesty ShreddingAmazon

Late forty-something veteran indie-rockers take a break from running the venerable Merge records to record their best album release in at least a decade and a half. If you liked the 1990 version Superchunk of “Slack Motherf**ker” you will like this. The band sounds identical to how they sounded in the early nineties. You would think they’re still in their twenties- no artistic growth but plenty of great punk jams with uber hooks.

Buy Crossed Wires – Majesty Shredding Buy Crossed WiresAmazon

Buy Digging for Something – Majesty Shredding Buy Digging For SomethingAmazon


Free Mixtape – Download

“Sit Down, Man” is a free mixtape, the second of the year from Das Racist, a deconstructionist rap trio from Brooklyn & Queens who are growing in stature with each passing month. Though it’s clear the guys have a deep love of rap, they enjoy taking it a part as well- they are unafraid to discuss racism & the state of the world while at the same time (and often in the same time) goof on smoking weed and referencing the cartoon network. They are smart, provocative, hilarious and quirky as well- using obscure indie groups like Keepaway, Chairlift & the Very Best to play on their songs, sampling the Doors and Jay-Z, while giving him a featuring credit at the same time. They could be rap’s next big hope and are an antidote to the sameness of the materialistic rap, gangsta rap and coke rap of the last decade and a half.

Best Songs                         Amazing                             Ha Ha Ha Ha JK?

1 thought on “Top Albums of 2010: Albums 41-50

  1. MoRich

    Glad to see the beginnings of The List. The Morning Benders album gives me my “Pet Sounds” fix, and I like what I’ve heard of the Roots album so far — they are the only rap act I’ve consistently followed over the last decade. I’ll have to dig into some of the stuff on here I haven’t heard yet, thanks for the list.

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