Well I'm watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation so it must be almost Christmas. As is the spirit it seems only right I give you my ten albums of the year two thousand and ten. You can enjoy a selection of tracks from these albums on the following Spotify playlist Albums of 2010 (listenwithdanger.blogspot.com). You can also download a selection of tracks from this list, and other standouts from 2010, using the following link http://rapidshare.com/files/438527450/Listen_with_Danger_2010_Best.zip. Here goes...
10. The Lady Killer by Cee Lo Green
Check out if you enjoy: Prince, Michael Jackson, Outkast
Good because: A welcome slice of funk in a year heavy on melancholy.
Even better if: If this was limited to the best ten tracks it could've been a real contender for #1 spot.
Stand out track: Bright Lights Bigger City
9. Interpretting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates by The Bird and The Bee
Check out if you enjoy: Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem, Rilo Kiley
Good because: Impossible to keep still to, rightly places pop melody at the core of dance music.
Even better if: Some tracks seem to end a little weakly with a rushed fade out so greater attention to closing the deal would be well received.
Stand out track: Heard It On The Radio
8. If Shacking Up Is All You Want To Do by The Roadside Graves
Check out if you enjoy: Ray Lamontagne, Gomez, Bruce Springsteen
Good because: Simple, rootsy whisky soaked tales of America. The Dude would like this.
Even better if: It was five tracks shorter, quantity over quality leaves the album a little bloated.
Stand out track: The History of Lilies
7. Nice, Nice, Very Nice by Dan Mangan
Check out if you enjoy: Willy Mason, Ray Lamontagne,
Good because: shows a tremendous flair for infectious choruses.
Even better if: Showed a little more variation, follows a similar template throughout
Stand out track: Sold
Check out if you enjoy: Otis Redding, Neil Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival
Good because: Strikes a nice balance between the majesty of Ray's voice on slower numbers and rootsy, uptempo stomps.
Even better if: It may well be that some tracks are slow burners but there does feel like a trio of fillers lurk on this record.
Stand out track: Are we really through?
5. Tiger Suit by KT Tunstall
Check out if you enjoy: Kings of Leon, Beck, Willy Mason
Good because: Shows a progression on previous albums with a willingness to experiment whilst still delivering classic songwriting.
Even better if: A predictable result of an experimental approach is that the album doesn't hold together.
Stand out track: Golden Frames
4. High Violet by The National
Check out if you enjoy: Wilco, Interpol, Editors
Good because: A vocal seemingly born to haunt the foreboding, paranoid tone of this album gives Berninger the chance to provide his finest performance to date.
Even better if: The first half of the album (opener apart) is lacking in pace and results in an already slow burning album taking far too long to ignite.
Stand out track: Bloodbuzz Ohio
3. Broken Bells by Broken Bells
Check out if you enjoy: The Shins, Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz
Good because: An unlikely collaboration between two of the most innovative interesting characters around could easily fall a little flat under weight of expectation - this doesn't.
Even better if: In a way it is so consistently good it can wash over you, it lacks a stand out track which hooks in your consciousness. A very harsh criticism admittedly.
Stand out track: The Mall and The Misery (hard to choose - see above)
2. I Speak Because I Can by Laura Marling
Check out if you enjoy: Johnny Flynn, Mumford and Sons, Joni Mitchell
Good because: Proves immune to trends and contextual influence, could have been written in any era.
Even better if: Hard to criticise anything but would hope for some variation on future releases.
Stand out track: Darkness Descends
1. The Head and The Heart by The Head and The Heart
Check out if you enjoy: Mumford and Sons, Fleet Foxes, Laura Marling
Good because: Beautiful heartfelt collection of classic song writing. Incredibly simple but utterly magical.
Even better if: It was longer! It goes against everything I believe in but leaves me demanding more!
Stand out track: Down in the Valley