This is my 'Best Albums of 2010' post.
That's right! My lucky number's up, y'all. Now, then, in no particular order, and with vids from youtube whenever I could.
Nina Nastasia - Outlaster - I cannot foresee a time when Nina Nastasia releases an album that isn't one of the best albums of the year. I just cannot believe how good it is. And by 'it', I mean everything she does. Her position as a cult artist is one of those things that makes me look around the world and wonder why the heck all these people are taking stupid pills. SERIOUSLY! PEOPLE! THEY'RE CALLED STUPID PILLS! They ain't gonna make you any smarter! Stop taking the damn things already.
Kimonos - Kimonos - I wasn't sure that I was going to like this, despite the fact that it's a side-project of Mukai Shutoku, leader of my favourite Japanese band Zazen Boys. It's really good though, a fun electro-pop album which sounds like a whole bunch of great 80s groups, and having Leo Imai sing most of the lyrics makes a nice contrast to Mukai's voice.
Sleigh Bells - Treats - It's just a button pushing riot, this album, and most of the time they're just hammering on the button marked 'rock'. It also has one of my favourite ever 'proper' versions of a demo, where 'Infinity Guitars' sounds pretty much identical to the demo until the end when they just TURN THE VOLUME UP AND ADD MORE GUITARS. YES.
Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz - I finally just stuck my neck out and decided that I really like Sufjan.
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Almost every track on the album is over five minutes I think, and yet it never drags. How is that possible? Pop masterpiece. Also the GOOD Fridays stuff was really, really, really good too. Goddamnit, Kanye was so good this year! Except this new Christmas song... that's... mmm, okay.
Janelle Monae - The Archandroid - Holy wow, this is a great album. It would have been great without the sci-fi concept, but of course the sci-fi concept makes it even better. A sci-fi concept would make anything better.
Big Boi - Sir Luscious Leftfoot - I think possibly I like this album more than anything by Outkast that I ever heard. Not sure, but maybe. Maybe I need to listen to more Outkast. Almost certainly I do, but this is fantastic.
Tokyo Jihen - Sports - Again, a couple of so-so singles meant I wasn't sure I was going to dig this record. But the singles grew on me and it turns out that almost all the other tracks on the record were much better anyway.
Buffalo Daughter - Weapons of Math Destruction - Buffalo Daughter are still more advanced than you. However there are no videos of their new music on youtube.
Mass of The Fermenting Dregs - Zero Comma, Iro toridori no Sekai - It's like this keening, longing rock music that's both fighting and punching and staying detached from the fray at the same time.
Wovenhand - The Threshingfloor - I'm not sure what you thought life was like, but actually it's hard. A hard, cruel life, and the harvest this year is going to be even harder, and even more cruel and all the time a vengeful, cruel, hard God is breathing down your neck, and the only thing you can do is get right with God and somehow that makes a great album of hypnotic depth. I'm regretting not putting the last Wovenhand album on my end of year list last time.
Deftones - Diamond Eyes - Bills has been banging on about them for years. So I picked up the album, didn't like it after one listen and somehow ended up listening to nothing but for like two weeks now. Actually it does that same brutal physicality + dreamlike transcendence that Mass of The Fermenting Dregs do, except while sounding completely different. And like I said, it doesn't sound like the Cure, it sounds like Tears for Fears, but metal, and that's excellent.
El-P - Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixxx3 - I spent a while hunting for this earlier this year, and then found only recently that I could pay to download it from the DefJux website. Which of course, would be the easiest option. In a way I wasn't sure I should put it in here because on first listen it just made me hanker for a vocal album, not just an instrumental one. Then I realised that it's still one of the best albums of the year, so.
Albums that each had three amazing songs on them, but sadly that isn't enough to get in the hallowed top 13:
Kele - The Boxer
My Chemical Romance - Danger Days
EGO WRAPPIN' - Naimononedari no Dead Heat
Stuff that isn't albums but then why should that matter in this, the world of the future?
Ash - The A-Z series - It was released on CD too, but I'm pretty sure it worked better as a track by track thing. Many, many great songs, and so fun to get a new one every two weeks.
Kanye West - GOOD Fridays - That was some good shit to be giving away for free every week.
Perfume - Fushizen Na Girl / Voice / Nee - All three singles from Perfume this year were amazing, all three were from commercials and none of them are on an album yet. That'll probably be one of the best albums of next year I reckon.
There you go! Good year for music! More good music next year please, thank you, good night!