Apologies for the inactivity, here's another list. And it's ok, JT, I think a lot of us love Devo here... and I think there will be another list that has it *wink*
Number Ten: Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons
It’s not the most creative or diverse album ever made, nor is it the best written. But what it lacks in things reviewers look at, it makes up for in Soul and a good-time. Many people have just heard the radio hit “Little Lion Man”, which might be the catchiest folk song of all-time, but the album isn’t without its deep cuts. “Dust Bowl Dance” being a powerful piece that catches me off guard every time.
There are more than a few things to pick apart in Sigh No More, but I felt it deserved recognition for one thing, above all others, its ability to make me want to come back to it for more.
Number Nine: The Lady Killer – Cee Lo Green
There is really no good reason for this album to be here, other than it might be the toe-tappingist album of the year. Not without radio hits, like the outstanding “Fuck You” and “It’s OK”, The Lady Killer isn’t so much a complete album as it is a collection of fun songs for you to enjoy while you’re doing daily chores and the like. The album has gotten me through more than one tough day.
Number Eight: The Age of Adz – Sufjan Stevens
While this kind of music has never been my preference, the amazing quality of this album was hard to ignore, and was quite often on repeat on my iPod. I imagine this will be one of the albums people look back on in 30 or 40 years and mention how the ‘10’s weren’t such a bad decade for music, after all. I’ll be entirely honest; I had never listened to this album before a few weeks ago when it started popping up on Top Ten lists. In the last few weeks, however, it has been one of my favorites to go back to and re-listen. It’s almost like a new experience every time.
Number Seven: The Big To Do – Drive-By Truckers
When I was first putting this list together, I almost failed to include The Big To Do. It never really registered on my music radar, especially when I listened to 2008’s Brighter Than Creations Dark much more this year, but Drive-By Truckers’ newest effort absolutely deserves a spot on my list. Blending Alternative Rock and Southern Country isn’t an easy task, but it seems effortless on yet another great album from this Northern Alabama group. Even if you aren’t a country fan, I can’t recommend this album (and band) enough.
Number Six: Volume Two – She & Him
After finally listening to the incredibly moving and beautiful Volume One at the beginning of this year, my anticipation for Volume Two was very high. While it seems to lack the same charms as Volume One, this is still a damn fine Pop-Folk album, and really should have gotten more attention from the music-listening public as a whole, and not just Starbucks-Hipsters.
Number Five: Invented – Jimmy Eat World
After a disappointing effort a few years ago in Chase This Light, I had little hope that Invented would be more than just another cash in on the Jimmy Eat World name. However, I was pleasantly surprised when listening to this album for the first time. While it’s not Jimmy’s best album, it’s a step in the right direction, and another great release from an all-time favorite band in 2010.
Number Four: Hurley – Weezer
Now, my Username on IGN might suggest a bit of bias towards this band, but their placement on this list is not unwarranted. After a string of 3 or 4 disappointing albums (depending on who you talk to), which culminated in the absolutely miserable Raditude, many wrote Weezer off for dead. Thankfully, on the first effort with their new indie label, Weezer put together a collection of songs that felt more Pinkerton than Make Believe. Something most music fans had a hard time believing, until they listened.
It’s not without its faults, and to be quite honest, the spot on the list is partially because of what an overall improvement this album was for my favorite band. The thought of another new album in 2011 has me worried, but let’s hope they build on Hurley and give us another great effort.
Number Three: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West
Another entry where I’m just the next in a long line of acclaim for this amazing album, but I can’t just throw 10 albums together that you’ve never heard at you just to be an exciting list. Hip-Hop’s greatest musician puts together another beautiful piece of art, for all of us to enjoy. While it might not be Kanye’s best effort, its damn close, and worthy of any praise it receives.
Number Two: The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
I could go on a five paragraph rant going over all the great things you heard about this album before. But instead, it seems like an easier task to praise the band as a whole. In a time when even “Indie” and “Alternative” bands are just putting out albums of hits to score a quick buck, it always seems like Arcade Fire sticks to making music they enjoy, evolving as a band, and thriving in an area that others have left behind. If I’ve got to wait 3 years for another classic from the best new band of the decade, so be it, if The Suburbs is any indication, it will be well worth the wait.
Number One: Something for Everyone – Devo
It’s unfortunate that I’ll probably be the only person to even consider this album for consideration (professional and otherwise). It’s everything a modern New-Wave album should be. It takes everything that you loved about Devo of 30-years-ago and morphs it into an album that feels more modern than other albums on this list.
The most redeeming quality of this album is that there are no bad or filler tracks. One after another, Devo pleases your senses with charming New-Wave synth-beats and catchy guitar hooks. It doesn’t strive to be great, or even try to put the band back on the musical map, but in its simplicity, it achieves what it set out to be and even more.