Only An Expert: Ugly Rumors’ Top 50 albums of 2010 (Part 5)
Well friends and fellow music lovers, this is it! The top of the top, my most favorite albums of 2010!!
As it turns out, we won’t be getting any more albums from those lovable knuckleheads The Fratellis. But with that news came the silver lining that is the Codeine Velvet Club’s self-titled debut. Unfortunately, Jon Lawler has already declared that he’s moving on from this project, so this joyous mix of garage rock and jump swing is all we’re gonna get.
They’ve already become mainstays of the indie rock world, so it’s kind of surprising that Local Natives haven’t been around for nearly as long as you might think. Their debut album is a tense and harmonious assemblage of songs that all have something to contribute to the greater cause.
Uniting three of the most gorgeously-voiced ladies in indie pop, The Living Sisters is this year’s answer to Monsters Of Folk. Inara George, Eleni Mandell and Becky Stark’s voices combine into a warm pool of lovely, and the girls know it. The songs (mostly originals from Mandell) are modern takes on The Shangri-Las and Ronettes, with a bit of country sass thrown in.
Knowingly flashy and cheesy, the debut album from Philadelphia’s newest power popsters is a blast. ‘Catchy’ doesn’t even begin to describe the giddy sing-alongs found on Stuck On Nothing. The extended pieces in the middle section cause the album to buckle a bit, but the guys bounce right back with even more glam, bop and glitter than before.
The most arresting and mesmerizing album of the year, Anderson’s return is a surprisingly musical mix of stories and observations. The way in which Anderson talks topically without running the risk of sounding dated is masterful, and is best exemplified in the piece that gives this list its name. Anderson updated (and continues to update) “Only An Expert” when she performs it live, showing that true art is never finished.
Apocalyptic, cryptic and dementedly fun, the Philadelphia weirdos’ full-length debut is full of their absolute best material. Haunting wordless refrains, exuberant shouts and cacophonous percussion punctuate some brilliantly-written tunes that are as odd as they are wonderful.
If you had been following Chumbawamba for their past few albums, you’d know what magic they can create. Their song cycle about the power of music is one of the most affecting releases of the year; irreverent, historical, grim and wistful, ABCDEFG shows the many sides of our favorite thing.
How do you follow up one of the most refreshing releases of 2008? With one of the most equally refreshing releases 2010, of course! Showing themselves to be much more than Graceland wannabes, Vampire Weekend’s second album is what every second album should be: not just a reiteration of the band’s best traits, but an expansion.
Since Sparks took this year off to make a Swedish radio musical about the life of Ingmar Bergman (really!), I was afraid that I wouldn’t have any new new wave madness. Luckily, Devo finally delivered their new album after years of missed release dates and some heavy remixing. The end result is, well, it sounds like a Devo album, which is all this fan could really ask for.
For a while, Something For Everybody held this top spot, but the fact of the matter is that nothing this year was better than Odd Blood‘s middle section. Melodic, artsy and, in the case of “I Remember,” disarmingly heartwarming, Yeasayer’s second album is a triumph. With “Ambling Alp,” “Madder Red,” “Rome” and “Modegreen,” Odd Blood provided the soundtrack to most of my year, and has cemented itself as a go-to album when I’m simply not sure what to listen to. It’s music for any and every mood, and that’s much easier said than it’s done.
While I’d like to thank you, dear reader, for all your adore,
I’ll instead invite you to see what fun 2011 has in store!