2010 was a decent year for music, so I felt it necessary to rank my top five albums of the year. Here they are in ascending order.
5) Amy Macdonald- A Curious Thing
The Scottish singer-songwriter returned with a sophomore follow-up to her hugely successful debut This is the Life. It takes some getting into, but after a few listens it is an excellent album to chill out to; Macdonald’s angelic voice is one you never tire of hearing.
Best track: Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over.
4) The XX- XX
This may have won the 2010 Mercury Prize but it only makes number four on my list. Having said that though, it’s not a bad album by any stretch. The XX manage to fuse simple electronic sounds and soft guitar riffs into a tapestry of serenity and calmness; again a perfect album to provide a relaxed feel.
Best track: Crystalised.
3) KT Tunstall- Tiger Suit
Another female Scotch singer-songwriter makes the list, and this time it’s KT Tunstall. Her third studio album is a more experimental effort than her last two, but after getting over the initial curiosity of a slight change of direction from Tunstall, this again stands up as an excellent and listenable album. There are plenty of catchy riffs and Tunstall produces an impressively strong voice for someone so small.
Best Track: Push That Knot Away
2) The National- High Violet
Admittedly, I knew nothing of American alternative/rock group The National until I saw a snippet of them at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. I was impressed by their set, and having grabbed hold of their back-catalogue they have risen into the top played list of my iPod. This year’s album, High Violet, is a shrewd buy; There’s a mystical element to it, and singer Matt Berninger’s baritone voice is somehow depressing yet euphoric.
Best Track: Bloodbuzz Ohio.
There are some truly spectacular songs on this album, and normally it would take first place, but for me 2010 was the year of…
1) The Sunshine Underground- Nobody’s Coming To Save You
The Leeds based band’s second album is absolute dynamite. From the stunning guitar intro to the title track to the epic finish on the last track Messiah, this is an album that provides endless scope for foot stamping and dancing. It’s a travesty that more people haven’t heard this album, because it really is a work of art. There are no poor tracks and The Sunshine Underground’s tardiness in getting this LP released was certainly well worth the wait.
A true masterpiece.
Best Track: We’ve Always Been Your Friends.
See my full review of this album here…
And my review of The Sunshine Underground in concert is here.