Reviler Best Albums of 2010 (Part I)
DISCLAIMER: Since everyone and their little brother make year end best albums of the year lists, we decided to add some caveatsto what albums our contributors could pick. Since there are certain albums that everyone, from mainstream to “indie,” give universal credit to, we decided to not allow them to be used on our lists. The albums you won’t see on our lists are as follows: Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Arcade Fire The Suburbs, Sufjan Stevens Age of Adz, The National High Violet, Beach House Teen Dream, LCD Soundsystem This is Happening, Big Boi Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, The Walkmen Lisbon and Broken Social Scene Forgiveness Rock Record. It isn’t that we don’t like these album (for the most part, we do), but we figured there is enough great music out there that we didn’t need to parrot what hundreds of other lists will tell you. Enjoy!
Adam Bubolz (Reviler)
1. Sun City Girls: Funeral Mariachi (Album Review)
A beautiful, haunting swan song to a great band that turns out to be their most accessible. A great surprise this year, 3 years after the death of drummer Charles Gocher.
2. Swans: My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky (Album Review)
After years of insisting Swans would never get back together, Michael Gira assembled a lineup crossing the many years of the band and created another great new identity in the long history of the band.
3. Rangda: False Flag (Album Review)
Three noise rock superstars (Ben Chasny, Richard Bishop, Chris Corsano) team up to make an amazingly cohesive record of instrumental music.
4. Wooden Wand: Death Seat (Album Review)
One of the stars of the psychedelic free folk scene of the early 2000s finishes his reinvention as a country rock troubador.
5. The Fall: Your Future Our Clutter
The 28th full length in Mark E Smith’s long discography is his best in years. By the time you read this, the band has most likely already been fired.
6. Bill Orcutt: Way Down South (Album Review)
After disappearing for years, Harry Pussy guitarist comes back out of nowhere with his second album of guitar reinventions.
7. Clipd Beaks: To Realize (Photos)
Minneapolis-to-Oakland transplants’ 2nd and most focused full length record to date.
8. Rusty Willoughby: Cobirds Unite (Album Review)
After years of obscure Seattle bands, Willoughby and singer Rachel Flotard craft a great country tinged album.
9. Ariel Pinks Haunted Graffiti: Before Today (Album Review)
Ariel Pink’s most accessible record is the one that really caught my attention for the first time.
10. Three Mile Pilot: The Inevitable Past Is The Future Forgotten (Album Review)
12 years in the making and well worth the wait.
Mike Watton (Haunted House)
1 Ariel Pink – Before Today (Album Review)
Despite what a lot of people have said, this is not his best work. But it’s still the best album to come out in 2010.
2 Big K.R.I.T. – K.R.I.T. Wuz Here (Album Review)
Extremely talented both as a producer and as a rapper, K.R.I.T. is one of the best new hip hop artists in recent memory. If he can maintain this level, he could be a household name.
3 Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles
Two sort-of-attractive Canadians make the third best album of the year. Congratulations to them and their families.
4 Dino Felipe – My Vomit Is A Crystal Ball
An underground legend in Miami, Dino Felipe makes some of the best unusual pop coming out of America today.
5 Sun City Girls – Funeral Mariachi (Album Review)
Their final album, and one of their best. A bit depressing when you think about the circumstances, but it’s a gorgeous and stimulating thing they put together.
6 Curren$y – Pilot Talk (Album Review)
One of the best Dirty South MC’s rapping over excellent NYC-in-winter beats. It’s a beautiful thing.
7 Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest (Album Review)
Most welcome use of saxophone on a straight rock song in years, on “Coronado,” a song title that brings about thoughts of pleasant Southwestern architecture. That’s a personal favor from the band to the listener. Probably their best album, though still not consistent all the way through.
8 Liars (MP3)
The singer, Angus Andrew, watches a lot of NBA. This should get played during games in the arenas, but so far Obama has failed them.
9 Dante & The Lobster – Unreleased 7″ (Album Review)
It’s really too bad almost nobody’s gotten to hear this. It may never see the light of day, but it’s brilliant.
10 The-Dream – Love King
You think you have something better to listen to while driving to the Mall Of America after dark on a hot July night? Well, you don’t.
Jon Behm (Reviler)
1. Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid (Album Review)
This record was very well reviewed and still I think it was underrated. Janelle Monae is the most exciting young voice in R&B music (sorry Nicki Minaj).
2. Caribou – Swim (Album Review)
The fluidity and dexterity of this album is just flat out amazing. Once again Dan Snaith has proved himself to be one of the most dynamic musicians around.
3. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest (Album Review)
On paper this Bradford Cox’s new album doesn’t look terribly exciting, but somehow without even getting too complicated he’s managed to craft another record of instant classics.
4. A Sunny Day In Glasgow – Autumn Again (Album Review)
Autumn Again actually let ASDIG flex a little more melodic muscle than is customary from their records, and I think it has led to brilliant results.
5. Budos Band – III (Album Review)
This record is full of darkly sinister afro-soul that is both funky and fierce. It’s like the soundtrack to a 60’s noir thriller that takes place in Lagos.
6. Tame Impala – Innerspeaker (Album Review)
A fantastic debut for the young, psychedelia-leaning Australian band.
7. Sonny and the Sunsets – Tomorrow Is Alright (Album Review)
Longtime San Francisco songwriter Sonny Smith has crafted his masterpiece – it’s a moving, but also occasionally goofy, piece of throwback rock/folk.
8. Woods – At Echo Lake (Album Review)
This came out so long ago I can hardly believe it was this year. Still, Woods’ terrific electro-cum-freak-folk sound will keep this in my playlist for years to come.
9. Women – Public Strain (Album Review)
The more I listened to this record the more it grew on me. Women’s nudges towards a slightly more melodic direction make all the difference in the world, making their convoluted math-rock sound immensely palatable.
10. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – I Learned The Hard Way(Album Review)
My favorite album yet from funk/R&B diva Sharon Jones
1. Tame Impala- Innerspeaker (Album Review)
Just a really solid psyched out album from a band I really expected to blow up. Unlike previous #1’s, it isn’t a game changer, just an incredibly solid album start to finish.
2. Ariel Pink Haunted Grafitti- Before Today (Album Review)
No arguments from me from folks saying it isn’t his best, but still the gold standard for outsider pop, even with a little spit shine to classy it up.
3. Big Krit- Krit Wuz Here (Album Review)
Even if I could have included the two big hip hop releases this year on my list (Big Boi and Kanye), I would have picked Krit. Smart, soulful, hard hitting and poignant. Or all the things most big rap releases were not this year.
4. Soft Pack- Soft Pack (Album Review)
The record is short, sharp and powerful. The energy conveyed over the course of the record is something that has yet to lose appeal over the year.
5. Wild Nothing- Gemini (Album Review)
I’m not a big 80’s nostalgia cultivator, but the chilly but supremely catchy melodies on this record proved too hard to resist.
6. Beach Fossils- Beach Fossils (Album Review)
Since Real Estate didn’t release any records this year, this was my chilled out, guitars on the beach record. They were big shoes to fill, but Beach Fossils did an amazing job.
7. Peter and the Wolf- Traffiques Endless Weekend Mixtape (Album Review)
The new of Montreal just pissed me off, so luckily there was another former singer/songwriter who decided to go gender bending glam this year. Unlike Kevin Barnes, Red Hunter of Peter and the Wolf is less pretentious, more fun and created a highly engaging and entertaining album.
8. The Besnard Lakes- are the Roaring Night (Album Review)
Lush baroque pop that somehow lived up to the group’s debut album. Simply captivating.
9. Big Troubles- Worry (Album Review)
A late addition that blends lo-fi indie pop with lush waves of shoegaze. Great melodies wrapped in barbed wire fuzz.
10. Wavves- King of the Beach (Album Review)
The Kanye West of indie punk? I know his childish antics and self absorbed personality should turn me off to Wavves, but the album was too catchy to resist.
1. How I Got Over – The Roots (Album Review)
The album that has pretty much encapsulated the year for me in terms of the many ups and downs I experience. This album pretty much took me through everything and pretty much was a mind reader for me.
2. Album of the Year – Black Milk
Another album that did the same as my number one pick, but made me almost break my neck on several occasions with its production.
3. The ArchAndroid – Janelle Monae (Album Review)
The most adventurous, risk-taking R&B album that travels across several genres, and manages to do it in a way that is not abrupt in its transition from track to track. Absolutely amazing.
4. Plastic Beach – Gorillaz (Album Review)
It’s soundscape was large, and with every album done, Gorillaz manages to dazzle with every guest and every twist and turn in the production, from Arabic orchestral sounds to dreamy pop sounds.
5. Brothers – The Black Keys (Album Review)
If there was an album this year that has managed to console me in the best of moods, this is the album to do it. Black Keys in my view haven’t lost a step, and this album is evidence of such.
6. Cosmogramma – Flying Lotus (Album Review)
When artists make an album they want to make, it either means its going to be devastatingly horrible, or wonderfully adventurous and great. There are only two artists who have done such this year, and one of them is Flying Lotus, without contention. The other is a guy who made My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
7. Have One On Me – Joana Newsom (Album Review)
It may seem so exhaustive, 2 hours sprawled across three CD’s of new tunes from Joana Newsom, but she definitely kept it adventurous enough to make it a sonically enriched and well rewarded experience for listeners such as myself, and for that I am thankful.
8. Teflon Don – Rick Ross
So what, the guy was a parole officer. Nobody cares. And regardless of many other popular rap records you heard this year, if this one isn’t in your list for the step ups this guy has done, you are seriously sleeping. Quite possibly one of the best mainstream rap records I dug this year.
9. New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) – Erykah Badu (MP3)
Another adventurous R&B album that stuck to its roots, which is what Erykah Badu is best at. Possibly the most risque video of the year, but the reaction regarding the album is across the board in its praise.
10. Grinderman 2 – Grinderman (Album Review)
Nick Cave and some folks got together to create one of the gutsiest, downright nastiest, grungiest sounding blues efforts committed to record. And we certainly got it in this sophomore effort.
Matt Linden (Reviler)
- Surfer Blood – Astro Coast
- Pomegranates – One Of Us
- Happy Birthday – Self-Titled
- No Bunny – First Blood
- Male Bonding – Nothing Hurts
- Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo
- Superchunk – Majesty Shredding
- Lower Dens – Twin-Hand Movement
- Fang Island – Fang Island
- Wavves – King of the Beach/Best Coast – Crazy For You
Honorable Mentions: (The Radio Dept. – Clinging to a Scheme, Freddie Gibbs – Str8 Killa, Minature Tigers – Fortress, Gorillaz – Plastic Beach)
Writer / co-founder