A quick survey reveals 14 albums that I bought in 2010 that were released this year. So here is my quick review with scores out of 14 and my favourite tracks. The first seven in no particular order (genres from iTunes):
Arcade Fire: The Suburbs. Rock. This album has 16 tracks and all but a few are memorable. Some are almost “anthemic”. I wasn’t sure I’d like it and was surprised to be familiar with so many of the tracks, not knowing they were from this album. There are 16 tracks for those more interested in quality. On some tracks you can almost hear Bruce Springsteen. The Suburbs and Ready to Start are great tracks but I prefer the drama of Rococo and the classic rock sound of City With No Children. 13/14
Hot Chip: One Life Stand. Alternative & punk. This is a brilliant album. I bought it for the track One Life Stand, but there are many great tracks. It makes even a non-dancer like me want to move. Other fave tracks include I Feel Better & Take It In. 13/14
Vampire Weekend: Contra. Alternative & punk. Cousins was played too much and is now annoying. I like some of the vocals. Well produced. Fave track probably Horchata. 9/14.
Bag Raiders (self titled). Electronica. Shooting Stars was probably one of my fave songs for 2009 (a pre-released single), so I eagerly awaited this album. It is still a stand out that I’ve not tired of hearing. I used to imagine Marieke Josephine Hardy dancing around the Triple J studios when they played it on the old breakfast show. There is a sameness to a few of the tracks. Way Back Home was a great pick as the second single release. It is a wonderful track and I love the length at 9:15. 11/14.
Yeasayer: Odd Blood. Pop. Another really good album with several stunning tracks. I liked the video for Ambling Alp but I think my fave track is now Madder Red by a long way. There is a good deal of variety on the album, but I doubt that the quality is so inconsistent to deserve the harsh review it got on Pitchfork. 12/14
Two Door Cinema Club: Tourist History. Alternative & punk. I love this album. I saw them live at Sydney Uni’s Manning Bar earlier this year and they played amazingly well. They are so young and so talented. They have so much energy that it is impossible not to get carried away. I bought the album for I Can Talk, but there are so many great tracks like Do You Want It All that it is hard to pick a fave. For a while now it has probably been This Is The Life. I love the way they change pace within tracks. Exciting energetic music. 13/14
Angus & Julia Stone: down the way. Pop. Another group that I saw live – at the Enmore Theatre and another album I eagerly anticipated. They are really impressive live: much more so than I expected and they put on a fantastic show that surprised and delighted. There are wonderful ballads and some beautiful folk tunes. Julia’s voice and stage manner remind me of Martha Wainright. A lot. They both enjoy their music so much that they seem to disappear into it. I also hear influences like Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Aimee Mann. Walk It Off is very evocative and beautifully produced. I think And The Boys is still my fave track though. 13/14