My Top 10 music albums of the year:

1.  The Tallest Man On Earth:  The Wild Hunt

A great new discovery for me.  How this guy from Sweden can sound so much like Bob Dylan – I don’t know, but I like it a lot!  I’m not sure this would have topped my list if I had previously heard his 2008 album ‘Shallow Grave’ which is similar.  His recently released EP ‘Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird’ has also enjoyed many a listen.

2.  Arcade Fire: The Suburbs

Arcade Fire deliver once again.  I had hugely anticipated this new offering.  On first listen I was slightly underwhelmed, perhaps because it is a different sound from their previous material, but this has generally really grown on me with repeated listens.

3.  The National: High Violet

The National, one of my favourite bands, I don’t think this album is as good as Boxer, but it’s still amazing.  Is it just me or does anyone else think that this is music for (and by) middle-aged men!?

4.  Vampire Weekend: Contra

Another fun catchy album from Vampire Weekend.  I sense that this one wasn’t liked as much as their debut, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

5.  Gil Scott-Heron: I’m New Here

Poetry to a Dubstep soundscape!  An underestimated album in my opinion, released way back in January it seems to have been forgotten (or missed) by many.

6.  Beach House: Teen Dream

This seems to have been Beach House’s break through year. I was a fan of their previous album Devotion and am glad this band has reached a wider audience.  The melodic loops can get a bit sickly if you listen to the whole album over and over.

7.  Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest

“A mix of crunchy psych-rock, spaced-out ambience, indie rock and pop” (NPR).

8.  Sufjan Stevens: The Age of Adz

This is probably my present listening favourite.

9.  Caribou: Swim

With a PhD in Mathematics this guy understands the beauty of sound patterns.

10.  Sleigh Bells: Treats

Riotous; crazy, just crazy – you’ve never heard anything like this before.

Because it is so tough to keep a selection to 10, here are some other favourites that came close:

Astro Coast: Surfer Blood

West coast surf grooves.

The Radio Dept.: Clinging to a Scheme

Like ‘I’m New Here’ has a smoker on the front sleeve and like ‘The Tallest Man on Earth’ ‘The Radio Dept.’ is Swedish.

Tame Impala: InnerSpeaker

Psychedelic pop from the land down under.

Laura Marling: I Speak Because I Can

Folk music – a British Joni Mitchell!

The New Pornographers: Together

The Vancouver bands best album to date (in my opinion)

Fool’s Gold: Fool’s Gold

More African rhythms than ‘Vampire Weekend’.  The opening track ‘Surprise Hotel’ is an absolute cracker.

And some others that get an honourable mention:

The Walkman: Lisbon

Yeasayer: ODD BLOOD

Broken Social Scene: The Forgiveness Rock Record

Jonsi: Go

If your want to know the music critic lists check out this compendium with a complete list of lists!

http://features.metacritic.com/features/2010/music-critic-top-ten-lists-best-of-2010/

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