I’m a couple of days late, but was just thinking about my fave albums of 2010 and thought it would be nice to document them here for future reference. Â This “Top 5” list is of music that I acquired during 2010 (not necessarily released this year) and is in a loose order, though it’s hard to distinguish some of them.
Bon Iver â€” For Emma, Forever Ago: I’m very late to this particular album, but since picking it up earlier this year, this album has resonated with me in a very deep way. Â Absolutely beautiful and spellbinding. Â Some may find it a bit depressing, personally I find it quite calming and uplifting.
Fionn Regan â€” The End of History: I first heard this album at a friend’s party, and managed to pick it up dirt cheap (for $2!) at a record sale shortly after. Â The rawness of the acoustic arrangements appeals to me much more than his most current album. Â Some lovely turns of phrase and atmospherically charged moments.
Brian Borcherdt â€” Torches (Side 2004/05): I downloaded this album for free from Brian’s site based on the recommendation of a friend and was immediately taken by it. Â Another mellow acoustic set (what is it with me and mellow acoustic male singers this year?) â€” simple arrangements, but a lovely mood. Â I’m a much bigger fan of Side 2004/05 than the second album from the sessions, and I’ve since bought his previous album on iTunes with much the same feeling.
Land of Talk â€” Cloak and Cipher: Ang and I have become fans of this band since getting their previous album Some are Lakes a little while back, and this new album certainly didn’t disappoint. Â A much more polished affair than Some are Lakes, but still retaining the essence and energy of what I suspect is a great live band.
The Mercury Program â€” A Data Learn the Language: I found this band after hearing them on the cafe speakers at Berkelouw Newtown. Â I chased them up on iTunes and grabbed this album (released in 2002) and loved it. Â Very reminiscent of Pivot (now PVT), though pre-dating Pivot’s debut, and Tortoise. Â Another great atmospheric instrumental, guitar melody-driven album to add to the collection.
There were also two “notable mentions” that came up for me when compiling the list:
Arcade Fire â€” The Suburbs: I didn’t really get into this band with their previous albums, but I finally caved into the hype and picked this one up after seeing the wonderful Google Maps mashup “video” that accompanied The Wilderness Downtown. Â I think that really set the tone as it grounded the songs in my own childhood growing up in a Queensland suburb. Â There are a couple of misfires on the album, but the standout tracks like Ready to Start make up for them.
Massive Attack â€” Heligoland: it’s been a while since I felt Massive Attack hit the mark â€” this one nearly gets there, but not quite. Â It still has some great tracks on it and I hope is a signal of a return to form â€” really looking forward to the next one.