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Katuwapitiya.com’s Top 10 Albums of 2010

So I’ve procrastinated on writing this list for a while, mostly because I felt like 2010 was a great year for music. There was a lot to choose from when trying to find 10 albums, much from artists that I’d never heard of before this past year. With that said, there were also a lot of disappointments from some of my favourites. Ra Ra Riot, Sufjan Stevens, The National, Stars, Gorillaz, Born Ruffians and Vampire Weekend all released albums that I was not fond of. In fact, I even hated some of them (Stars, I’m looking squarely at you). The bright spots definitely outshone the missteps though.

Katuwapitiya.com’s
Top 10 Albums of 2010

10. Mumford & Sons- Sigh No More

British accents, crescendos, relatable music. Like a lot of indie stuff in the past few years except you can show all your friends without some of them looking at you weird. You know which friends I’m talking about.
Highlights: Sigh No More, Awake My Soul

9. El Guincho- Pop Negro

The first time I saw the video for lead single Bombay, it was definitely a WTF moment. As confusing as the video was, the music really shone through. Infectious Spanish pop music with Afro-Carribean influences. 2010 was a random year for sure.
Highlights: Bombay, Soca Del Eclipse

8. Arctic Monkeys- Humbug

This album is on no other Best of 2010 lists. Mostly because it was released in 2009. With that said, it got panned by a lot of critics and magazines and I brushed it off as a mistake a year ago. At some point during 2010, I gave the album another listen and realized what I had missed out on. You should too. Darker with few catchy hooks, it was a departure from the Arctic Monkeys sound that I had grown accustomed to. But after some time to simmer on it, it’s an awesome album.
Highlights: Dance Little Liar, Cornerstone

7. The Black Keys- Brothers

Two guys making a lot of noise together and it finally worked on an album for me. An accessible sort of blues that has enough of a contemporary shine to really make me look forward to whatever they have coming next.
Highlights: Tighten Up, The Only One

6. Shad- TSOL

Real hip hop stand up. London, Ontario was responsible for more than a beatboxing pop-cover artist in 2010. Shad really has a knack for choosing beats that’ll get your head nodding and his lyrics become more and more refined with every album.
Highlights: A Good Name, Rose Garden

5. Local Natives- Gorilla Manor

Just a solid album all around. When I first heard the song “Airplanes“, I was blown away. Little did I know that it wasn’t even the best song on their album.
Highlights: Wide Eyes, Cubism Dream

4. Beach House- Teen Dream

Dreamy indie pop, this album immediately spoke to me. The airy vocals remind me a bit of Fleet Foxes except Beach House can at times actually outshine.
Highlights: Silver Soul, 10 Mile Stereo

3. Kanye West- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

I mistakenly wrote Kanye off a few years back. He’d started focusing on autotune, started doing even crazier shit and I just got tired of trying to explain his antics in my head. Then 2010 came around and I started hearing the singles on his new album. I still refused to be swayed. Then I saw him perform on SNL and I was taken aback. His cocky demeanor, his nonsensical lyrics, they were all still there, but it suddenly was working for me. I ‘got’ him again. Then he released an album featuring Bon Iver on three tracks and the complete 180 in my mind was complete. Even though he’s still releasing self-indulgent, pretentious 30-minute music “videos” and is still doing crazy shit, I’m now a fan once again. Let’s have a toast for the douchebag.
Highlights: Lost in the World, Runaway

2. Arcade Fire- The Suburbs

Everything clicked for Arcade Fire in 2010. I mean, they were big before but suddenly they had the same name recognition as Coldplay and Radiohead. They had youtube web broadcasts of shows, they had a number one album in the States and they deserved every bit of that success because The Suburbs is a hell of an album. It was better than Neon Bible and better than almost everything released in 2010. The lead single “Ready To Start” came along at a point in my life when I was ready to start a lot of things as well, one of those life-defining sort of songs.
Highlights: Ready To Start, Half Light II (No Celebration)

1. Titus Andronicus- The Monitor

I had never heard of Titus Andronicus before 2010 (besides the Shakespeare play) and a lot of people I know still haven’t. That’s a shame but it’s not surprising. The songs on this album are nothing short of epic but I wouldn’t say that they’re the most accessible. Buried under civil war references, Bright-Eyes-esque aching vocals and 4-5 minute long build-ups are bar-song rally cries and incredible hooks. The lyrics are dark but they contain a glimmer of hope, you just have to get through the entire album a few times to hear it. It’s complex, it’s simple, it’s the best album of 2010 and you’d be missing out if you didn’t give it a few chances. They’re also awesome live.

Listen to The Battle Of Hampton Roads below:

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