Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lines of Oration Presents...My Top 10 Albums of 2010

10. Transference by Spoon: Spoon has never released something unlistenable or just average, and Transference was no exception. It took the best parts of their previous album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, and expanded and formed them into 11 tracks of simple and enjoyable classic Spoon sounds.

9. Gorilla Manor by Local Natives: For a debut, this album strikes you like a brick. It’s an hour of hard-hitting, emotionally intense indie folk. And with a song like “Airplanes”, one of the most beautifully moving songs I’ve ever heard, only on their first album, they can only continue on a path of sheer greatness.

8. The Orchard by Ra Ra Riot: The Rhumb Line was, seemingly, a difficult album to follow up, but Ra Ra Riot did a pretty great job. With newly dramatic and more serious sounding songs, they are definitely showing strong maturation as a band without compromising their fun and charming sound.

7. Interpol by Interpol: After the release of the let down that was Our Love to Admire, Interpol could only go up. They came back with an improved and innovative version of their old sound, with catchier-than-ever songs containing pulsing basslines and their signature dramatic guitar drones; Interpol gave the music world renewed hope.

6. The Suburbs by Arcade Fire: After the long hiatus following Neon Bible, it was a huge joy to receive this album. It’s an hour of empowering grandiosity, with a strong dose of nostalgia. The Suburbs has a lasting quality, with each successive listen drawing you closer to the emotion Arcade Fire succeed in transmitting.

5. Down There by Avey Tare: With everyone expecting Panda Bear to release an album this year, it was a huge surprise that the world got to hear solo work by Avey Tare instead. Down There is like a blast from the Animal Collective past, but this time with swampy filters and strong dance influences. It gives a stunning insight into Avey Tare’s artistic capability as well as his musical potential.

4. Teen Dream by Beach House: Beach House has succeeded very strongly in creating a totally original and innovative album. They have a sound of their own, created by glorious soundscapes of lovely synthesizer drones, Alex Scally’s intricate bright guitar, and Victoria Legrand’s poignant croon.

3. The Age of Adz by Sufjan Stevens: After an illness and a long hiatus, Sufjan Stevens released his very long awaited follow up to the critically acclaimed Illinois. It was as far away as possible from his normal folkiness, with heavy electronica and layers upon layers of interweaving melodies. It is a brilliant ride through bold orchestration and raw human emotion, all ending with a glorious 25 minutes of the beautiful “Impossible Soul”.

2. Congratulations by MGMT: Well before its release, Congratulations was already being deemed a disgrace by every possible critic. Needless to say, it beyond destroyed those expectations. With nine songs of endless innovation and glorious whirlwinds of psychedelia, MGMT has created the most underrated album of 2010, with every listen causing it to grow more and more on you.

1. Contra by Vampire Weekend: For a hugely hyped up band, Vampire Weekend could have easily repeated their debut or fell flat on their faces. But they didn’t. They added new elements and evolved their style to make a wonderfully energetic and vibrant album that I have not been able to stop playing since the day it came out.

Thank you so much for reading this! In the next few days I will have my top 25 (maybe 50) songs posted, so, stay tuned and thanks for stopping by!

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