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top albums of 2010

KEXP is in the midst of posting "top 10 albums of 2010" lists by the various DJs,  and they also asked the staff and interns to submit their own lists for posting. I didn't get a list written up in time, as I had a busy weekend. But also, I wasn't really sure whether I'd even have enough to put on a top ten list. I don't actually buy that many albums during the year, so I don't have that many to choose from in the first place. To some extent, I could argue that if I'm excited enough about the songs I've heard by a particular artist to buy the album, by default that means I think their album is one of the best of the year, even though I haven't heard the many many others that were released. But it still feels kind of weak to claim that the very few albums I've actually heard are somehow the top ten of the year. Also, the set of albums I did buy still isn't a proper basis for making a top ten list, as I have several more still on my list of albums to buy, some of which no doubt would displace the ones I do have.

So, here are the albums I did get this year:
Alabaster, The Diary I Should Have Burned
The Animals at Night, Cut to Chase Chorus and Fade
Annuals, Sweet Sister (EP)
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Beat the Devil's Tattoo
Fol Chen, Part II: The New December
Goldfrapp, Head First
New Young Pony Club, The Optimist
Julia Nunes, I Think You Know (EP)
Owen Pallett, Heartland
Phantogram, Eyelid Movies
The Redwood Plan, Racing Towards the Heartbeat
School of Seven Bells, Disconnect from Desire
The Secret History, The World That Never Was
Unwoman, Casualties
Various Artists, Music for Our Future (Inspired by the SyFy Original Series Caprica)

That's only 15 albums, two of which are EPs rather than "full-length" CDs. And when I checked my iTunes library to make the list, I found that I'd already forgotten about some of them. Furthermore, I've only listened once each to nine of the albums on that list, although at least in the case of the Redwood Plan, I've actually heard most of the songs several times either live or on the radio, so I'm more familiar with it than my iTunes play count would indicate. 

Now, here's my current list of albums that came out this year that I still want to get:
Daft Punk, Tron: Legacy soundtrack
Depreciation Guild, Spirit Youth
Foals, Total Life Forever
Freezepop, Imaginary Friends
Glasser, Ring
Head Like A Kite, Dreams Suspend Night
LCD Soundsystem, This Is Happening
Maximum Balloon, Maximum Balloon
Shit Robot, From the Cradle to the Rave
Underworld, Barking
Warpaint, The Fool
Zola Jesus, Valusia EP

That's another 12 albums right there, and I know for certain that even though I haven't heard all of the Foals album, for example, it would be in my top ten for 2010.

And if I look at KEXP's voting list for listeners to select the top 90.3 albums of 2010, I'm seeing some more albums that I've either forgotten or should probably consider putting on my list, such as:
The Black Angels, Phosphene Dream
Black Mountain, Wilderness Heart
Gabriel Mintz, Volume One
Gorillaz, Plastic Beach
Interpol, Interpol
Local Natives, Gorilla Manor
Massive Attack, Heligoland
Noddy, Remora, Remora
Stripmall Architecture, Feathersongs for Factory Girls
Tame Impala, InnerSpeaker
Velella Velella, Atlantis Massif
Zola Jesus, Stridulum 
!!!, Strange Weather, Isn't It?

So, there's another 13 albums I think are worth hearing, just based on the few songs I have heard (and in some cases on the strength of the artist's previous work). I could probably add a few more; I'm definitely skipping a few that I saw on the voting list. Between the 15 albums that I have and the rest of the ones I know I have some interest in hearing, that's 40 albums for 2010 that I believe are worth checking out.


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