Top Albums 2010 by Eric Berman

TOP ALBUMS 2010 by Eric Berman

  1. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings: I Learned The Hard Way – Everything old is new again! Pure ‘60s Soul is what the Brooklyn, New York collective has to offer on their 5th album. Clearly the record that gained the most spins on my turntable this year featuring arrangements by Bosco and vocals by the next Queen Of Soul, Sharon Jones.
  2. LCD Soundsystem: This Is Happening – An amalgam of Berlin-era Iggy Pop and David Bowie, big-band “Stop Making Sense” Talking Heads, Adrian Belew-infested King Crimson, Kraftwerk Techno-Pop and lyrical observations a la Laurie Anderson…Hey, who needs originality when you’re taking your cues from some of the greatest artists of all time. “Dance Yourself Clean” indeed!
  3. Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – His lack of a filter in social situations certainly hasn’t helped Kanye West, but it is precisely his lack of filter that let his genius flow on this seriously great record.  It just keeps getting better with more plays!
  4. Arcade Fire: The Suburbs – Not only was their performance the highlight of this year’s Lollapalooza festival, but they also released one of the best records of the year. Taking on the suburbs of their youth as a theme, Arcade Fire tapped into experiences shared by most of their listeners, all captured in a collection of songs with unique structures and tuned-in lyrics.
  5. The Roots: How I Got Over – There are no genres of music that The Roots could not handle. This is plainly evident by their stint as the house band on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” where they never cease to amaze with their virtuosity. They set the bar mighty high this year on not one, but two records.  “How I Got Over” gets the nod for the best of them featuring a collection of original tunes that echo old ‘70s soul mingled with Hip-Hop.
  6. The Black Keys: Brothers – The Ohio “Blues Brothers” brought home the bacon this time with a collection chock full of killer tunes featuring sharp lyrics and great music.  By taking cues from last year’s work with Danger Mouse, they added some musical layers onto their trademark minimalistic Blues sound and not only delivered their most solid record to date, but also made the advertisers of Madison Avenue very happy as well.
  7. Cee Lo Green: The Lady Killer – There’s so much more to this record than “F**k You!” Tapping into everything from sinister Old-School Soul, to James Bond-infused rockers, to unabashed funk, “The Lady Killer” proved that what was hinted at in Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley really comes into focus here…Cee Lo possesses one of the greatest soul voices out there today.
  8. Apples In Stereo: Travellers In Space And Time – Tapping into their inner Electric Light Orchestra, Apples In Stereo brought listeners on a 70’s Radio Rock journey with Bee Gees infused melodies topped off with Jeff Lynne layered vocals.  It wouldn’t work so well if they didn’t have a killer collection of songs to make it all happen.
  9. John Legend & The Roots: Wake Up! – The other Roots album of 2010 featured Jon Legend on vocals covering some deep soul nuggets from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Conceived on the Obama campaign trail, Legend and The Roots chose socially relevant material and created a record that would sit comfortably on the shelf between “What’s Going On” and “Innervisions.”
  10. Sufjan Stevens: The Age Of Adz – Stevens weaves another intricate musical patchwork, this time featuring more electronics than ever before. In Stevens’ hands, electronics are rendered full of warmth on a collection of songs that invites repeated spins.

The Second Ten of 2010:

  1. Spoon: Transference
  2. Mose Allison: The Way Of The World
  3. Eels: End Times
  4. Sleigh Bells: Treats
  5. John Mellencamp: No Better Than This
  6. CasioKids: Topp Stemning Pa Lokal Bar
  7. Janelle Monae: The ArchAndroid
  8. The Black Angels: Phosphene Dream
  9. Neil Young: Le Noise
  10. Grinderman: 2

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • Mavis Staples: You Are Not Alone
  • Los Lobos: Tin Can Trust
  • Erykah Badu: New Amerykah Part 2 – Return Of The Ankh
  • MGMT: Congratulations
  • Alejandro Escovedo: Street Songs Of Love
  • Big Boi: Sir Lucious Left Foot
  • Elvis Costello: National Ransom
  • Elton John/Leon Russell: The Union
  • Broken Bells: Broken Bells
  • Peter Wolf: Midnight Souvenirs
  • Joanna Newsome: Have One On Me
  • Aloha: Home Acres

Reissues/Box Sets

  1. Bruce Springsteen: The Promise – The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story
  2. Syl Johnson: Complete Mythology
  3. Frank Sinatra/Antonio Carlos Jobim: Sinatra/Jobim – Complete Reprise Recordings
  4. David Bowie: STATIONTOSTATION (Deluxe Edition)
  5. Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (Deluxe Edition)
  6. Grateful Dead: Road Trips, Vol. 4, No. 1: Big Rock Pow Wow 1969
  7. Bob Dylan: Whitmark Demos 1962-1964
  8. Elvis Costello & The Attraction: Complete Live At Hollywood High 1979
  9. Madness: The Rise And Fall (Deluxe Edition)
  10. Tony Joe White: That On The Road Look (Rhino Handmade)