Letters of Mass Construction

Best Albums This Year (So Far- 2010)


We have reached the halfway mark of 2010 and it is time for me to give my best music of the year so far list (previous lists). I want all my wonderful blog readers to know how much I care about you. I spent the whole morning listening to the music I have purchased in 2010 (like I needed an excuse to listen to music). I buy a lot of music. Over a 1,000 songs so far this year and my iTunes library currently has over 14,000 songs (this isn’t everything I have purchased. Just the ones I kept. My wife also has quite a few songs not in my library). Some people have a drug habit. We have a music habit. One of my Twitter friends asked if I ever thought about how much I have spent on music? I refused because I was afraid of passing out in shock. I have probably added three years of working to my career. Such is the price of addiction.

Now, not all of those songs purchased from this year are actually 2010 releases. To make this list the album has to have a 2010 U.S. release date (I know a couple of these came out in 2009 in the U.K but I couldn’t buy them, so oh well). I narrowed it down with great difficulty to ten albums.

Music is really my lifeblood when it comes to writing. I can’t write without it. I have always been that way. I am also thankful that I really enjoy so many types of music. Keeps the playlist interesting. I would love to hear about your favorite albums this year. Drop a note in the comment section or Twitter me. If I get enough responses I will compile them into a separate blog. People are always looking for new music, especially me, I am an addict after all. So in no particular order here is my list.

Zoë KeatingInto The Trees

I wrote my feelings about this album in an earlier blog. It shouldn’t shock anyone it is on this list. She will be embarrassed to hear me say this but I am not sure there is a better artist out there today. This album is a big pile of joy and I promise you if you catch her performing it live you will be astounded she can produce so many incredible sounds with one cello.

DessaA Badly Broken Code

Dessa started out as a spoken word artist and you can hear the heavy influence it still plays on her music. This album is a wonder. I think I played it for a week non-stop. This wasn’t just one of my favorites for 2010 I think it is an album I will be listening to years from now. Stand out tracks – Children’s Work, Mineshaft II & Alibi.

PomplamooseTribute To Famous People

Pomplamoose is Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn. I am not usually a fan of cover albums but this one is a huge exception. They have taken some very well known songs and turned them completely on their head. I was very impressed with the choices and variety of songs they picked. A lovely subtle listen. Stand out tracks – Single Ladies (worth the purchase of this album by itself), Vie En Rose, & Nature Boy.

Gil Scott-HeronI’m New Here

Gil Scott-Heron has been around for a very long time. In a life plagued with drug problems, arrests, and jail his most famous work to date is The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. This album was made over the last three years and is a stunning glimpse into a hard life. I dare you to listen to Me and the Devil and not be moved. Other stand out tracks – I’m New Here and New York is Killing Me.

The Gaslight AnthemAmerican Slang

Probably the closest thing to a traditional rock album I have on this list. Gaslight Anthem has been getting better with every album. I think they hit on all cylinders with their third album. Very catchy riffs and lyrics with a wonderful upbeat tempo. They are quickly becoming one of my favorite bands. Stand out tracks – Stay Lucky, American Slang, and The Queen of Lower Chelsea.

Janelle MonáeThe ArchAndroid

I first heard Janelle Monáe when she performed on my favorite song of the OutKast album Idlewild (Call the Law). I wish I could clearly put her into some category but it is nearly impossible. Heavily influenced by science fiction and the movie Metropolis it is the second part of a planned trilogy and has a little bit of everything. Most importantly it has Janelle’s incredible voice. Standout tracks – Tightrope (featuring Big Boi. Might be my favorite song of the year. Simply can’t stop listening), Cold War, & Come Alive.

Broken BellsBroken Bells

Broken Bells is James Mercer (the Shins lead singer) and Danger Mouse. It may be the most unexpected album on this list. When I first heard about the pairing I really didn’t think it would work but I was way wrong. Danger Mouse is quickly becoming someone I will listen to any project he gets involved with (even if I did eventually tire of hearing Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy). The melodies on this album or beautiful. I don’t think I have heard James Mercer sound better. Stand out tracks – Vaporize, The Ghost Inside, & October.

Puerto MuertoDrumming For Pistols

Husband and wife team Tim Kelley and Christa Meyer have been making great music together for the last decade. This album is a little bitter sweet because I think it is easily the best one they have made. It will also be their last as they announced their divorce and band break up with this release. Stand out Tracks – Drumming for Pistols, Arcadia, & Seven Souls.

V V BrownTraveling Like The Light

What is it with the U.K.? They seem to have tapped into the retro vibe like nobody’s business. This is one of the most enjoyable albums I have bought this year. She has a very old fashioned sound but I was sold after the first song. This was just a toe tapping good time. Stand out tracks – Quick Fix, Shark In The Water, & Crying Blood.

Mumford & SonsSigh No More

A very talented group of musicians. This band straddles the line between rock and folk. They are delicious to hear with a nice blend of a lot of different instruments. After one listen to the album I knew I was going to have to see them live. My understanding is they all play many instruments and put on quite a show. Stand out tracks – Sigh No More, The Cave, & Little Lion Man.

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6 Responses to “Best Albums This Year (So Far- 2010)”

  1. Carrie says:

    >Not only do you get kudos for pimping indie artists, you also get high marks for diversity. One thing you can do is add links so people can sample or buy their stuff. Great service here.

  2. Carrie says:

    >Well duh, I retract the buy statement. Hello hotlinks. >.> Sorry I didn't notice at first lol.

  3. Christopher says:

    >I thought about putting the music on my site but really want people to go to the artist site. Plus, I hate when links break and you never know with music.

  4. >Got linked here from Zoë's Twitter. I believe we have some overlapping all-over-the-map musical interest – Storm Large and Vermillion Lies, in particular jump out at me from your 2009 list.I was just wondering if you've listened to Vienna Teng? If not, I recommend her Inland Territory album.

  5. jules says:

    >I am so in the market for some new music! I haven't purchased anything new in over 6 months. I'm going to check out your recommendations!

  6. Anonymous says:

    >Parkway Drive's Deep Blue. The lads from Byron Bay have put together a remarkable metal album, and their first video clip is pretty darn good, too. Eddy Current Suppression Ring's Rush to Relax. These Melbourne boys are pure garage rock so don't expect cushy production and harmonious vocals. I remember reading a review where the journo wrote "the lead singer seems genuinely deranged" — I'm fairly sure Brendan has Asperger's (trying to find my source, having trouble), and it works well for him. Speaking of Brendan, he's an animist, and I'm a bit of an animist too. I've been known to cry when throwing 'stuff' out 'cos I was sure it knew where it was going. Much love.-Jazpearl

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