Saturday, January 01, 2011

2010 Review: Top 30 Albums of the Year

Happy Twenty-Eleven everybody! Cool Music Central continues the long standing tradition of kicking off the New Year with a post dedicated to the best albums of the year past (since 2000 to be exact, from a different URL back then - anybody still remembers Netscape websites?).

In our 2010 Review we have presented so far our favorite albums from the veterans and the newbies, the Top 100 Tracks of the Year and the first part of our Top 60 Albums of the Year. Time then to turn our attention to the Best of the Best - C.M.C.'s Top 30 Albums of 2010.

As early as April it became clear to me that unless something truly extraordinary was released in the next eight months, then The Fall (still The Best New Band In Britain after 28 albums as this NME review correctly pointed out) would claim once again the Number One spot of my year-end list (the first time was twenty years ago with "Extricate"). And although we did listen to plenty of excellent records in the remainder of the year, nothing really could measure up to the renewed fire and fury of Mr. Mark E Smith and his ever-changing group. As I was writing in our May review "what remains constant throughout the album is the band's unflinching focus and unrelenting intensity, resulting in its best work since The Unutterable back in 2000, an LP that found its way in our Top 20 Albums for the '00s. I’m convinced that a similar achievement for the new decade is more than possible thanks to the mighty roar of Your Future Our Clutter".

While the top of our 2010 list is claimed by a legendary group with a long history, the new breed has a strong presence in the rest of the Top 10 with the amazing debuts of Glasser, Dum Dum Girls, Sleigh Bells and Salem earning a place among the best albums of the year and, more importantly, showing quality that promises even greater things for the future. No Age, Beach House and Wolf Parade also produced brilliant albums that stand out as career highlights. Arcade Fire's ambitious concept album "The Suburbs" may not surpass the quality of their previous efforts, but it's sufficiently strong to lead the band for the third time in one of our year-end Top 10 lists. As for The National, their fifth effort "High Violet" proved to be the best of their decade-long career, an album that was becoming even more addictive and necessary the more you listened to it.

To read more about our favorite albums of the year, check out our Listening Habits posts of 2010 here. And here is the complete Top 30 list based on what we've been able to listen to so far:

Top 30 Albums of 2010

1.   Your future our clutter - THE FALL
2.   Ring - GLASSER
3.   High violet - THE NATIONAL
4.   I will be - DUM DUM GIRLS
5.   Treats - SLEIGH BELLS
6.   Everything in between - NO AGE
7.   Expo 86 - WOLF PARADE
8.   The suburbs - ARCADE FIRE
9.   Teen dream - BEACH HOUSE
10. King night - SALEM
11. Crystal Castles (II) - CRYSTAL CASTLES
12. Sisterworld - LIARS
13. Grinderman 2 - GRINDERMAN
14. Transference - SPOON
15. The fool - WARPAINT
16. High Places Vs Mankind - HIGH PLACES
18. Nerve up - LONELADY
19. Gemini - WILD NOTHING
20. Forgiveness rock record - BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
21. Root for ruin - LES SAVY FAV
22. Wilderness heart - BLACK MOUNTAIN
23. Crazy for you - BEST COAST
25. Total life forever - FOALS
26. The flexible entertainer - PIT ER PAT
27. Sea of cowards - THE DEAD WEATHER
28. Majesty shredding - SUPERCHUNK
29. The Soft Pack - THE SOFT PACK
30. Sleep forever - CROCODILES

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