I didn’t think albums sucked this year, because albums never suck any year. It goes without saying that top 10 lists are and will always remain subjective, though year after year I find myself on the defense — but less so out of lines in the sand, but because of the girth of solid releases.
Some material falls out of that traditional realm of album, and I guess I just keep with what works. Killer soundtracks like those from “Scott Pilgrim” and “Tron,” EPs like Robyn’s “Body Talk Pt. 1” and The Tallest Man on Earth’s “Sometimes the Blues Is Just a Passing Bird,” singles collections and reissues from Fucked Up and Rolling Stones, and albums that seem like singles collections (here’s to Cee-Lo Green, Gaslight Anthem, Redman, Ariel Pink).
It pains me to omit some of my favorite indie acts like Arcade Fire, Jonsi from Sigur Ros, The National, Joanna Newsom, Sharon Jones, The Books, Hot Chip and some newer rock-leaning acts like Pearly Gate Music, Phantogram, Here We Go Magic, Women and Titus Andronicus. Dillinger and Devo had a sweet year, as did Cudi and Big Boi.
See how many names I crammed in there? And that’s just the top level stuff. Good year, guys, there’s never a sucky one!
1. Laura Marling, “I Speak Because I Can”
2. Kanye West, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”
3. Beach House, “Teen Dream”
4. Sade, “Soldier of Love”
5. Sleigh Bells, “Treats”
6. Local Natives, “Gorilla Manor”
7. Janelle Monae, “The ArchAndroid”
8. LCD Soundsystem, “This Is Happening”
9. Nathaniel Rateliff, “In Memory of Loss”
10. Small Black, “New Chain”