Ryan Gardner

First off, I want to formally thank all of the staff members for being so hospitable and helpful within the past month. I am truly grateful for this opportunity. Anyways, 2010 has been an unforgettable year altogether. Musically, this was a year in which a myriad of life-changing records graced my ears, many hitting me in the perfect mood that just allowed them to stick with me entirely. All in all, being my first official EOTY list, I truly realized how difficult this process is; therefore, albeit my list may not be comprised of the year’s “best” records – structurally, musically, lyrically – these are the albums that meant the most to me, and thus the reason I’ve included them on my list. These are the records that truly moved me throughout the year, the albums that were most memorable sentimentally, and most importantly, the albums that truly captivated me emotionally, hitting me in just the right spots. So no, these records may not be considered the “best” by the standards of many, but to me, these are the albums that speak for themselves in my book. With that said, in regards to the order, I simply placed the albums as best I could in my views – nothing less, nothing more.

Top Albums of 20101. Kanye WestMy Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
2. UnderoathØ (Disambiguation)
3. Circa SurviveBlue Sky Noise
4. Jimmy Eat WorldInvented
5. AnberlinDark is the Way, Light is a Place
6. The GraduateOnly Every Time
7. Bring Me The HorizonThere Is A Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It, There Is A Heaven Let’s Keep It A Secret
8. Norma JeanMeridional
9. The Republic Of WolvesVaruna
10. I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s BusinessThe World We Know
11. Motion City Soundtrack – My Dinosaur Life
12. Four Year Strong – Enemy of the World
13. Bad Books – Bad Books
14. Cary Brothers – Under Control
15. The Wonder Years – The Upsides
16. Pierce the Veil – Selfish Machines
17. Valencia – Dancing With A Ghost
18. PMtoday – In Medias Res
19. The Chariot – Long Live
20. The Damned Things – Ironiclast
21. Secret & Whisper – Teenage Fantasy
22. Hawthorne Heights – Skeletons
23. Brandon Flowers – Flamingo
24. The Morning Of – The Way I Fell In
25. Deftones – Diamond Eyes
26. As I Lay Dying – The Powerless Rise
27. Blank Page Empire – Sinners, Thieves, and Beggars
28. Man Overboard – Real Talk
29. Chiodos – Illuminaudio
30. Drake – Thank Me Later

Honorable Mentions(Alphabetical)
A Common YearBetween Cities
A Day To RememberWhat Separates Me From You
Angels & AirwavesLOVE
B.o.BB.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray
Band of HorsesInfinite Arms
The BledHeat Fetish
Coheed & CambriaYear of the Black Rainbow
Crime In StereoI Was Trying To Describe You To Someone
Death in the ParkDeath in the Park
Good Old WarGood Old War
Haste the DayAttack of the Wolf King
He Is WeMy Forever
HellogoodbyeWould It Kill You?
House of HeroesSuburba
Make Do And MendEnd Measured Mile
Minus the BearOMNI
Miss May IMonument
My Chemical RomanceDanger Days: True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
Neon TreesHabits
Never Shout NeverHarmony
Of Mice & MenOf Mice & Men
Our Last NightWe Will All Evolve
The Rocket SummerOf Men and Angels
Rookie Of The YearThe Most Beautiful
The Saddest LandscapeYou Will Not Survive
Sara BareillesKaleidoscope Heart
The ScenicBipolaroid
Senses FailThe Fire
Sing It LoudEverything Collide
StarsThe Five Ghosts
Story Of The YearThe Constant
Terrible ThingsTerrible Things
This Is HellWeight Of The World
Wakey!Wakey!Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You…
We Are The UnionGreat Leaps Forward
You Me At SixHold Me Down
Your DemiseThe Kids We Used To Be

All of these records are above honorable mentions. I highly recommend giving each one a spin, as creating a top 30 was nigh impossible due to the countless amount of commendable releases.

Albums/Artists I Wanted To Love But Just Couldn’t Get Into, SadlyThe Black KeysBrothers
The Gaslight AnthemAmerican Slang
She & HimVolume Two
Sufjan StevensThe Age of Adz
Vampire WeekendContra

As hard as I tried to truly love each one of these (along with a handful of other records) and delve into each piece due to colossal hype, for one reason or the other, none of these records truly clicked with me. That said, this saddens me; therefore, I will without a doubt give each one another chance come 2011.

Biggest Surprises1. Bring Me The HorizonThere Is A Hell Believe Me I’ve Seen It, There Is A Heaven Let’s Keep It A Secret
2. Never Shout NeverHarmony

Honestly, I did not expect anything out of either of these releases. However, both Harmony and There Is A Hell… came out of left field for me and blew me away. From Christopher Drew’s blatant candid nature on the fun Harmony to Oli Sykes guttural confessions on the dominating Hell, these records were hands down the biggest – best – surprises of the year for me.

Most Disappointing Albums1. StatesLine ‘em Up
2. Kid CudiMan On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager
3/4. Lil WayneRebirth and I Am Not a Human Being

I expected at least something out of each of these, but to say the result for each was disappointing is strictly an understatement.

The WorstEATMEWHILEIMHOT!, Brokencyde, Attack Attack!, Fight Fair, Escape The Fate, Abandon All Ships, Avenged Sevenfold, Good Charlotte

Top EPs Of 20101. LydiaAssailants
2. Isles & GlaciersThe Hearts of Lonely People
3. Circa SurviveAppendage
4. PistolitaThe Paper Boy
5. KivenTwo In The Same
6. This Love – The Beginning
7. Go Radio – Do Overs and Second Chances
8. The Almost – Monster Monster
9. The Devil Wears Prada – Zombie
10. Silverstein – Transitions

Although I never seem to check out too many EPs, these ten blew me away. Lydia’s farewell with Assailants was a bittersweet goodbye.

Best New BandsA Common Year, Bad Books, The Damned Things, Death in the Park, Go Radio, Isles & Glaciers, Kiven, Man Overboard, Neon Trees, The Republic Of Wolves, Terrible Things, This Love, Wakey!Wakey!

Hoping for huge things from these groups in 2011, as ’10 was a great start for each one.

Artist Of The YearKanye West: I can honestly say I never thought a hip-hop artist would ever be the artist of the year for me. However, Mr. West is more than a hip-hop artist - he's the most innovative man in music. From his free G.O.O.D. Friday tracks every week to his artistic "Runaway" short movie and finally his huge My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West is inevitably the artist of the year for me, his ego aside.

Song Of The YearNeon Trees – “Animal” : Addictive is an understatement.

Runner-Up: Kanye West – “Power”

Best Record LabelEpitaph Records: 2010 has been another unbelievable year for Epitaph Records. With outstanding releases from Bad Religion, Bring Me The Horizon, Our Last Night, Parkway Drive, Story Of The Year, Veara, and Weezer, 2010 was again the year of Epitaph just as 2011 is shaping up to be.

Best Movies1. Inception
2. The Social Network
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
4. Toy Story 3
5. Shutter Island
6. Iron Man 2
7. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

I didn’t see a vast number of movies this year, but these seven are by far the most outstanding and truly superlative films of '10.

TV ShowsI miss LOST terribly.

Next Big ThingHe Is We: He Is We’s debut record My Forever has set them up to be on every romantic movie soundtrack and fun summer playlist ever. I’m hoping for the best for these two in 2010.

Runner-Up: A Common Year

Most Anticipated of 2011(Alphabetical)
Aaron Gillespie – Anthem Song
All Time Low – Dirty Work
Bayside – Killing Time
Between The Buried And Me
The Dangerous Summer
Death Cab For Cutie – Codes And Keys
The Devil Wears Prada
Eisley – The Valley
Foo Fighters
Kanye West and Jay-Z – Watch the Throne
Lady Gaga – Born Like This
Lil Wayne – Tha Carter IV
Manchester Orchestra
Mute Math
New Found Glory
Panic! At The Disco – Vices and Virtues
Patrick Stump
Say Anything
Taking Back Sunday
The Wonder Years
Yellowcard – When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes

2011: The Year of Comebacks and Reunions

50 Favorite Songs(Alphabetical by Artist)
A Day To Remember – “You Be Tails, I’ll Be Sonic”
Anberlin – “Take Me (As You Found Me)”
As I Lay Dying – “Parallels”
B.o.B. – “Airplanes Pt. 2 (feat. Hayley Williams and Eminem)”
Bad Books – “Baby Shoes”
Blank Page Empire – “The Vagabond”
Brandon Flowers – “Only The Young”
Bring Me The Horizon – “Don’t Go (feat. Lights)”
Cary Brothers – “Alien”
The Chariot – “The City”
Chiodos – “Notes in Constellations”
Circa Survive – “I Felt Free”
Coheed & Cambria – “Here We Are Juggernaut”
The Damned Things – “Bad Blood”
Deftones – “Sextape”
The Devil Wears Prada – “Revive”
Drake – “Shut It Down”
Eminem – “Space Bound”
Four Year Strong – “Listen, Do You Smell Something?”
Go Radio – “Goodnight Moon”
The Graduate – “Pull Me In”
Hawthorne Heights – “Unforgivable”
He Is We – “Kiss It Better”
House of Heroes – “God Save The Foolish Kings”
I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business – “Sleep Means Sleeping”
Isles & Glaciers – “Empty Sighs & Wine”
Ivoryline – “The Healing”
Jimmy Eat World – “Invented”
Kanye West – “Dark Fantasy”
Lydia – “I’ve Never Seen A Witch”
Man Overboard – “Fantasy Girl”
The Morning Of – “What You Can’t Control”
Motion City Soundtrack – “Her Words Destroyed My Planet”
Never Shout Never – “Sellout”
Norma Jean – “The Anthem of the Angry Brides”
Of Mice & Men – “Second & Sebring”
Pierce The Veil – “Bulletproof Love”
Pistolita – “Ceiling Stars”
PMtoday – “Sad World”
The Rocket Summer – “Japanese Exchange Student”
Rookie Of The Year – “Stars Fade Blue”
Secret & Whisper – “Whale Bones”
Senses Fail – “Lifeboats”
Stars – “Dead Hearts”
Story Of The Year – “Won Threw Ate”
Terrible Things – “Lullaby”
Underoath – “Who Will Guard The Guardians?”
Wakey!Wakey! – “Car Crash”
The Wonder Years – “Dynamite Shovel”
You Me At Six – “Fireworks”

There’s 50 songs I couldn’t get enough of this year. Quite simply, the best way I can present a form of appearing eclectic.

2010: What a year. I look forward to writing a surfeit of reviews next year, as 2011 promises to be a monumental year musically. As always, feel free to message me to discuss music, literature, etc.

-Ryan Gardner
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 19
11:32 PM on 12/04/10
Ryan Gardner
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List is officially complete. What a year!
07:02 PM on 12/07/10
Craig Ismaili
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This is a great series of lists Ryan. And since yours and my tastes seem to mesh so perfectly I'm gonna give a bunch of the songs/albums a shot. Good work
12:31 PM on 12/18/10
Ryan Gardner
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This is a great series of lists Ryan. And since yours and my tastes seem to mesh so perfectly I'm gonna give a bunch of the songs/albums a shot. Good work
Go for it. Let me know what you like best
10:13 AM on 12/20/10
don't ask
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Such a little scene kid.
JK <3
But to be honest, you probably have the most records that I liked on your list. You may have some really bad ones as well, but our tastes overlap quite a bit.
01:23 PM on 12/20/10
Ryan Gardner
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Such a little scene kid.
JK <3
But to be honest, you probably have the most records that I liked on your list. You may have some really bad ones as well, but our tastes overlap quite a bit.
Haha I do love heavy music.
Good to hear.
11:06 AM on 12/21/10
Cody Nelson
FightHaver (Fast Drive)
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Great, great list. My favorite so far.
11:26 AM on 12/21/10
The Color Before The Sun
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Very nice list!
01:34 PM on 12/21/10
Lost in the dream.
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Was actually a little spooked by how your top 7 albums are all some of my favourites of the year, nearly in that order. Great taste man.
02:33 PM on 12/21/10
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dashboardkid88's Avatar
Solid list man. Was a little disappointed that you weren't a big fan of the new She & Him album and the States Line 'Em Up EP though haha
03:56 PM on 12/21/10
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WhoSaidThat?'s Avatar
I know of virtually no one else who loves Space Bound off of Recovery. Seems like most people think that's one of the throwaways. Great list, Ryan.
04:29 PM on 12/21/10
Ryan Gardner
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Thank you, everyone
05:40 PM on 12/21/10
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Awesome lists, man! "Animal" popped up on my shuffle tonight -- so right about that one. It's unreasonably catchy.

Keep up the good work - congrats on joining the staff.
06:36 PM on 12/21/10
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BozzBlonde's Avatar
A really good bunch of lists.
10:42 PM on 12/21/10
I thought you said forever...
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COLEMAN902's Avatar
Great lists! I will be checking out some of the stuff I haven't heard yet. Appreciate the ACY love, as always. Also, I miss LOST too.

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