Monday, November 22, 2010
Welcome to the inaugural edition of our writers' top ten lists for 2010. Because we've got a quickly growing community here at LPC, we wanted our readers to get the inside look at the best albums of 2010 by way of using our thirty-writer staff's varied opinions on the best music of 2010.
Every list will be different - like snowflakes, everyone's unique. (Sorry for your third-grade nostalgia there.) Some will be polar opposites of others, but what we're hoping to accomplish is getting every writer (and the readers) to voice their opinions on 2010's musical stylings.
Today, our first top ten list is presented by our writer thessad. The majority of his Last.fm scrobbles come from two genres - indie rock and hip-hop. His list reflects that, but his number one album might just come as a surprise.
Without further ado, here's thessad's list, sent to me on Last.fm:
10. Agalloch - Marrow of the Spirit
Great balance between black metal and softer parts, usually based on acoustic guitar or piano. Vocals are tolerable if you're not into growling.
9. Shad - TSOL
Great wordplay-based conscious rapping over a varied selection of beats, with some big highlights in the latter, and a very consistent performance for the former. I maintain that Shad is the best emcee in the scene at the moment.
8. Freeway & Jake One - The Stimulus Package
The production is hard to dislike, and the more you listen, the more the same can be said for the emceeing. Freeway gives a rock solid performance that fits perfectly over Jake One's soulful beats.
7. Sadistik & Kid Called Computer - The Art of Dying
Great album with precise technical emceeing and drifty, abstract production. Features what I think is the hip hop verse of the year, the final verse on Save Yourself.
6. Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me
It's hard to imagine a three disc album by a lady who sings like a banshee working, and yet, it exceeds that, as this is as easy to listen to all the way through as any three disc album I can imagine. Filled with beautiful moments.
5. Beach House - Teen Dream
It's, in a word, dreamy. Great, hypnotizing melodies. Great, hypnotizing backdrops.
4. The National - High Violet
The songs sound nice at first, but become ingrained in you the more you listen. Somewhat hypnotic baritone vocals with lush instrumentation and great drumming. Definitely a grower.
3. Kno - Death is Silent
Another hip-hop album about death, this one from the CunninLynguists producer Kno. Extremely cohesive, and Kno gives off a surprisingly impressive performance as an emcee. Nonetheless, the production is, undeniably, the highlight. May/Will/Has alienated some due to the concept/darkness/overall nerdiness but it's still one of the best hip hop albums of the year if you can get with it.
2. Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz
New sound for Sufjan, very electronic. Whole is greater than the sum of its parts, though a few songs can work well outside of the context of the CD, i.e. I Walked and Vesuvius. Impossible Soul is a crazy, progressive, 25 minute song featuring one specific movement that'll have everyone singing.
1. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Amazing production drives a vaguely conceptual album that is unlike anything you've heard before. Amidst a flurry of apparent flaws the strengths of the album just continue to overcome the weaknesses making for an incredible experience.
So there you have it - this might not be the first list you'll see with MBDTF at the top. Yeah, Pitchfork might blow sometimes, but it's the first new release (not counting reissues) in eight years to be given a perfect 10.