Reviler Best Albums of 2010 (Part II)
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 (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!
1. Kings Of Leon: Come Around Sundown:
The boys aren’t afraid to experiment, leaning into country and reverting back to Youth & Young Manhood territory, a record from a band perfecting their sound.
2. The Dead Weather: Sea of Cowards
Jack White lets his blues obsession run wild, with terrifyingly good results.
3. Spoon: Transference
Spoon can now be considered the best of the best. Stripping their pop sheen for a gritty sound that makes them sound brand new.
4. Black Keys: Brothers
The duo show they know how to rock with the best of them, while still remaining loyal to their blues infatuation.
5. Broken Bells: Broken Bells
James Mercer and Dangermouse prove that indie-rock can get funky.
6. Brandon Flowers: Flamingo
Sure, it’s Killers-lite. But it’s also Killers-lite.
7. Mumford & Sons: Sigh No More
A stunning debut that hints at even bigger things to come.
8. Sleigh Bells: Treats
Combining unapologetically crunchy, catchy beats with a beautiful voice is one of those things that works as well as you’d think it would.
9. Hot Hot Heat: Future Breeds
This album pops with energy from the first song to the last, and the band is not afraid to stretch out into unknown territory once and a while.
10. Belle & Sebastian: Write About Love
What else is there to say about Belle & Sebastian? Gorgeous pop gems abound.
Jeremy Hovda (Reviler)
- Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
- Plants and Animals – La La Land
- Joanna Newsom – Have One on Me
- Menomena – Mines
- Department of Eagles – Archive 2003-2006
- Surfer Blood – Astro Coast
- Caribou – Swim
- Bonnie Prince Billie and the Cairo Gang – The Wonder Show of the World
- Vampire Weekend – Contra
- Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today
Zach McCormick (Radio K)
- Surfer BloodAstro Coast:
Easily one of the strongest debut records I’ve ever heard, Astro Coast is full of fantastic danceable tunes and great guitar work. This record has managed to be in constant rotation from my speakers during winter mornings, spring afternoons and summer nights.
- The Tallest Man on Earth The Wild Hunt
I don’t usually go for the solo acoustic stuff but this Swede won me over with his intricate guitar playing and expressive, raw voice. The Wild Hunt is full of memorable folk songs with just a hint of Rock ’n’ Roll attitude.
- Spoon Transference
I wasn’t a huge Spoon fan until I picked up Transference this year and fell head-over-heels in love with the band, voraciously digging up their entire back catalogue. This might be my favorite Spoon record of them all: it’s lean, guitar-heavy and rocks from start to finish.
- Free Energy Self-Titled
A record that embodies the best qualities of crunchy 70’s power-pop made contemporary with help from producer James Murphy. Catchy, open-car windows sort of music, with plenty of great hooks and riffs to go around.
- Justin Townes Earle Harlem River Blues
Despite my Reviler colleagues’ lukewarm sentiments, this really is a fantastic record for roots-rock, folk, and alt-country fans looking for a bit of that Earle Magic in a new package. JTE’s a bit more eclectic than his pappy and it makes for a diverse and rewarding album.
- Fitz & the Tantrums Pickin’ Up The Pieces
A great record of blue-eyed retro-soul for the hip-hop generation, Pickin’ Up The Pieces would make an excellent companion to Mayer Hawthorne’s 2009 A Strange Arrangement. If you find yourself wishing someone still made those sweet soul sounds you dig through the used bin for, give this album a shot.
- Freddie GibbsStr8 Killa No Filla Mixtape
2010 was a better year for mixtapes than proper hip-hop records and Gary, Indiana’s Freddie Gibbs ran this year with an iron fist. Showcasing one of the most skilled and unique flows in the game, Gibbs proved that Gangsta could still have depth.
- The Hold Steady Heaven is Whenever
It seems like with every new Hold Steady release the detractors crawl out of the woodwork to cry “over the hill” but while Heaven is decidedly slicker than their previous albums, it still sits comfortably within the bands discography. Huge, soaring chorus are mated with Finn’s characteristically profound lyrics and giant stadium guitars.
- Vampire Weekend Contra
We can all whine as much as we like about the unnecessary autotune and how we wish they’d go back to the first record’s bratty guitar sound, but at the end of the day Vampire Weekend delivered a fantastic album with Contra. Embrace the change, and ye shall be rewarded with deeper songs and an even more diverse sound palate.
- The Black Keys Brothers
Shedding some of their ferocity and mixing their blues with Mephis soul, the Black Keys proved their staying power with this funky new set of tunes. Brothers is deep and warm like all great Black Keys records, and retains some of the hip-hop grit the duo toyed with on last year’s BlakRoc.
- Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings I Learned the Hard Way
- Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot: Son of Chico Dusty
- LCD Soundsystem This is Happening
Jon Jon Scott (Sound Verite)
1. Jonsi – Go
2. Erykah Badu-New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh
3. Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
4. Nas/ Damien Marley – Distant Relatives
5. Wolf Parade -Expo 86
6. Guilty Simpson – OJ Simpson
7. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
8. Fela Kuti -Expensive Shit / Koola Lobitos / The ’69 L.A. Sessions
9. Blond Redhead – Penny Sparkle
10. Willliam Parker’s Organ Quartet – Uncle Joe’s Spirit House
10. Anika –Anika
Tim Althaus (Reviler)
1.) Skyzoo & !llmind – Live From the Tape Deck – This album is packed with raw lyricism and incredible production from beginning to end; I hate to sound redundant, but Live From the Tape Deck further solidifies Skyzoo’s name amongst the greatest writers in Hip-Hop.
2.) Freeway & Jake One – The Stimulus Package – When this album came out I knew that it was going to remain among my top three for the year without a doubt; Freeway & Jake One compliment each other like cheese on macaroni, and this album is truly tremendous.
3.) Black Milk – Album of the Year – What can I say about this guy that I haven’t already said? He constantly steps up his game with every new album that he drops, and Album of the Year is no different.
4.) Four Tet – There is Love In You – Kieran Hebden is probably one of the most consistent artists that I’ve ever heard; I’ve been a huge fan of every project the man has put out, and I can honestly say that I feel like There is Love In You is one of his finest opuses.
5.) Nottz – You Need This Music – Your favorite producer’s favorite producer shows that he can do more than make incredible beats for other artists, and in the interim he concocts an album that I haven’t been able to stop spinning since my first listen.
6.) Rakaa – Crown of Thorns – Just like Evidence did on The Weatherman LP, Rakaa steps out of the Dilated Peoples spotlight and drops his own solo gem packed full of pristine production and great lyricism.
7.) Reflection Eternal – Revolutions Per Minute – Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek are easily one of my favorite duos of all-time, and Revolutions Per Minute was the fix that I had been waiting for since Train of Thought dropped in 2000; my hopes are that next time it doesn’t take these two ten years to reunite.
8.) Vinnie Paz – Season of the Assassin – I’m sure that I may catch some serious heat for adding this album to my list, but I’ve always been a huge fan of Jedi Mind Tricks and anything that The Verbal Hologram has been a part of, and this album is no different.
9.) Pavement – Quarantine the Past – A lot of people would argue that this is a compilation album, and it is, but I don’t care. Pavement is easily my favorite band of all-time, and this is an incredible compilation of an illustrious band’s catalog.
10.) (Tie) Flying Lotus/Strong Arm Steady – Cosmogramma/In Search of Stoney Jackson – I listened to both of these albums an incredible amount this year, and both albums are truly spectacular. I really didn’t have the heart to leave either one of them off of my top ten.
Honorable Mentions: Gangrene, Gutter Water; The Roots, How I Got Over; Celph Titled & Buckwild, Nineteen Ninety Now; Rjd2, The Colossus; J-Live, The Undivided Attention EP