2010 was a fantastic year for music. It was incredibly tough to figured out my top 10, well at least 2-9. Finding my AOTY was pretty easy. All in all, thanks for reading my reviews, have a great New Year, and follow me on Twitter.
Drew Beringer's Top 10 Albums of 2010
10. The Damned Things - Ironiclast
The Damned ThingsThe Damned Things have the kind of bravado that many rock bands of late have been lacking. Seriously, anything goes on Ironiclast – it’s heavy, hook-laden, and stuffed with huge riffs. It’s basically a modern take on the classic rock record. No gimmicks, no frills, no bullshit, this is just a straight up rock and roll takeover.
9. The Hold Steady - Heaven is Whenever
The Hold SteadyWith Heaven is Whenever, the most consistent band in rock and roll remains reliable, as The Hold Steady give their sound a fresh update while not straying too far from what makes them so endearing. Hallelujah.
8. Norma Jean - Meridional
Norma JeanMeridional shows Norma Jean at an all-time high of creativity and aggression. The band promised that their fifth album would bring the band back to their roots, and they kept their word. It’s an adrenaline rush that will keep listeners hitting repeat all year long, as Meridional has something for everyone. The powerful moments on this disc (such as “The Anthem of The Angry Brides” and closer “Innocent Bystanders United”) will stick with you, reverberating throughout your neocortex. This is Norma Jean’s magnum opus, as the chaotic, dark nature of Meridional will be matched by very few within the genre.
7. Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot... The Son of Chico Dusty
Big BoiOne of the most consistent rappers in the industry today, Big Boi finally shines on his own with a marvelous debut that incorporates different tempos and styles that serve as the backdrop to his luscious rhymes.
6. The Republic of Wolves - Varuna
The Republic of WolvesWhen I first heard this album, it impacted me like Brand New's Deja Entendu did. It's haunting, personal, and bruising. It is the most remarkable album to come out of the Long Island scene since 2003.
5. Underoath - Ø (Disambiguation)
UnderoathIt’s unfair to rank or compare this album to the rest of Underoath’s discography, especially the previous two. Each album showcases a different style and mindset, giving Underoath a diverse set of records that can appeal to anyone. But, after plenty of listens, it won’t be hard to hear that this set of songs is by far Underoath’s strongest. The elements of the band complement each other instead of over-powering, thus making Ø (Disambiguation) brutally beautiful and instantly memorable.
4. Deftones - Diamond Eyes
DeftonesLet’s be clear: this isn’t Around The Fur Part 2: Revenge of the White Pony, rather it’s a culmination and redefinition of the Deftones canon – it takes the best parts from previous albums and then takes it to the next level. Diamond Eyes is full of layers and dimensions, making it an auditory treat that listeners will want to continue to indulge themselves in. This is an album you can blast from my car stereo and then later dissect through headphones.
3. Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz
Sufjan StevensWhile most of the initial focus on The Age of Adz will be on the electronic transformation Stevens’ music has gone through, it will soon take a back seat to his complicated narrative, which exposes himself as an insecure, failed lover who has just as many doubts as us. Musically and lyrically, The Age of Adz is exhilarating, challenging, and thought-provoking. Sufjan Stevens may be more jaded about the state of music and himself than he was five years ago, but thankfully he can still take himself and his listeners on such thrilling auditory adventures, whether it’s through the Midwest or his own mind.
2. The National - High Violet
The NationalOne of the most brutally honest and haunting album of the year, Matt Berninger turns in one of the best written records of the year. His lyrics stay with you and weigh on your mind long after you listen.
And my 2010 Album of the Year should come as no surprise....
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Kanye WestFor an album that clocks in well over one hour, there is hardly any excessiveness. It’s definitely epic and ambitious, and only an artist with an ego like West’s could pull this off. Lil Wayne may be a Martian, but West has his own galaxy. He’s challenging the listener, himself, and the entire hip-hop genre with this album. It should go without saying that this is his masterpiece. On My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West isn’t breaking the rules of popular music, he’s making new ones.
The Other 20 Albums I Love (11-30 in no particular order) Hellogoodbye - Would It Kill You?
Asteria - Momentum
The Narrative - The Narrative
Broken Bells - Broken Bells
The Bled - Heat Fetish
Drake - Thank Me Later
Daughters - Daughters
Motion City Soundtrack - My Dinosaur Life
Minus The Bear - Omni
Four Year Strong - Enemy of the World
The Black Keys - Brothers
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Fang Island - Fang Island
The Wonder Years - The Upsides
Rick Ross - Telfon Don
Jimmy Eat World - Invented
Vampire Weekend - Contra
Anberlin - Dark is The Way, Light is a Place
The Graduate - Only Every Time
The Gaslight Anthem - American Slang
Bring Me The Horizon - There Is A Hell Believe Me I've Seen It, There Is A Heaven Let's Keep It A Secret
Fair - Disappearing World
Stars - The Five Ghosts
Circa Survive - Blue Sky Noise
As I Lay Dying- The Powerless Rise
Hawthorne Heights - Skeletons
Transit - Keep This To Yourself
Man Overboard - Real Talk
You Me And Everyone We Know- Somethings Don't Wash Out
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
what a fantastic year for music, at least half of these albums on this list could easily be a top 10 record in any other year. Hopefully 2011 can follow in its footsteps.
Best EP of 2010 The Devil Wears Prada - Zombie EP: Talk about taking it to the next level. This five song EP was incredibly brutal, as the band showed an even heavier side. This raises expectations even higher for their 2011 release.
Most Disappointing Albums1. Alkaline Trio - This Addiction
2. A Day To Remember - What Separates Me From You
3. Kid Cudi - The Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
ADTR played it safe on their fourth album, Kid Cudi mumbled his way into a huge sophomore slump, and the new Alkaline Trio was so disappointing that I almost forgot it released in 2010.
Most Surprising Albums1. Weezer - Hurley
2. Bring Me The Horizon - There Is A Hell Believe Me I've Seen It, There Is A Heaven Let's Keep It A Secret
3. Norma Jean - Meridonial
Weezer shocked the hell out of me and many of their long time fans by releasing a pretty good album in the vein of their classic albums. BMTH turned themselves into one of the heavy hitters in the metal scene, while Norma Jean took their experimentation to the next level.
Most Overrated Album of 20101. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
2. B.o.B. - The Adventures of Bobby Ray
3. Kid Cudi - The Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager
I don't get all the LCD Soundsystem hype. Sure it's catchy and dancy, but that's about it. And I can't figure out for my life why so many users on AP love B.o.B. and Kid Cudi.
Best Lyrics Matt Berninger (The National): His lyrics really resonated with me in 2010. His words paint beautiful mind pictures.
Best Vocals Spencer Chamberlain (Underoath): His vocal performance on Underoath's latest album is nothing short of spectacular. Easily taking over for the departed Aaron Gillispie, Chamberlain shined throughout, as his seamless transitions from screaming to singing was definitely a treat for the ears. Deftones' Chino Moreno was a close second.
Best Movie1 (tie). The Social Network, Inception, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: I couldn't choose, each one of these movies was great for different reasons. You cannot go wrong with either.
Best Television Series Mad Men: The fourth season showed a different side and new challenges for Don Draper, and the writers of this show knocked them out of the park. The second season of this NBC sitcom, Parks & Recreation was absolutely amazing. Reminds me a lot of when The Office was at its peak. Modern Family was another great, great show in 2010.
Best AP.net Forum Sports Forum: Duh, of course.
Worst AP.net Forum The News Forum: I lose a little bit of hope every time I read through the most recent news postings.
Best Unsigned Bands of 2010 aka Sign These Bands in 2011! 1. The Republic of Wolves
2. The Narrative
I love all three of these bands, they deserve to be huge.
Next Big Thing 2011 The Wonder Years: Their 2010 release, The Upsides, was a phenomenal pop-punk release. Now with their signing to Hopeles and a new record in 2011, expect them to blow up even moreso.
Most Anticipated Of 2011 in no particular order
Saves The Day
Taking Back Sunday
Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows
The Devil Wears Prada
Iron & Wine
August Burn Reds
Kanye West + Jay-Z
The Wonder Years
Panic! at the Disco
New Found Glory
These are just a few of the bands that I can think of for 2011. Should be fun.
Best New Band The Republic Of Wolves: Like I already mentioned, they released a fantastic debut album, one that rivals Brand New's Deja Entendu.
Song Of The Year Sufjan Stevens - "Impossible Soul" : You'd think a 25 minute song would drag on and stall, but not here, as Sufjan Stevens does the near impossible. There are multiple tempo changes throughout as Stevens dabbles in all sorts of genres. An instant classic.
Artist of the Year Kanye West: Again, another no brainer. What other artist attracted the disdain, praise, and scrutiny that Kayne did? He took all that and more, and then crushed the competition with one of the greatest albums in recent memory. It's funny, his debut album was my number 1 album of the decade last year. It won't surprise me if My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy tops my decade list in 2019.
Follow me on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/drewberinger
I had a great 2010 here on AbsolutePunk with all of you. We have many great things in store for 2011 and beyond. Get stoked on it.
09:08 PM on 12/20/10
Great list, Drew. Very similar overall to my picks as well.
01:19 AM on 12/21/10
Lol'ed so hard at this gif!
I really REALLY loved the new Cudi album, especially the second half, just blew my mind. FORGET B.o.B, he's just riding off of Hayley still; give another year, people wont remember him.
It'd be cool if you checked my year end list on my blog, although there's a lot more albums on my list, I had a Top 50.
01:20 AM on 12/21/10
Great list. Boo at no The Chariot, haha.
09:44 AM on 12/21/10
wes craven with x cravings.
Great list Drew! Let's get this party started.
09:53 AM on 12/21/10
Back off, man. I'm a scientist!
Good list. Highly agree with best ep. States is also up there for me. Surprised to not see The Chariot mentioned at all.
10:10 AM on 12/21/10
Also, is TROW really a "new band" if they released an EP in 09? Just wondering.
10:33 AM on 12/21/10
great picks, good lists.
i'll check back in for the gifs (y)
10:36 AM on 12/21/10
Manna is a hell of a drug.
no mention of Breaking Bad in your top TV shows? boo. its better than the 4th season of Mad Men or any sitcom.
11:34 AM on 12/21/10
All that wander are not lost
"Impossible Soul" is spectacular, does not feel like a 25 minute song
11:50 AM on 12/21/10
Yea, you were right about me
I was pleasantly surprised to see O Slash (that's how I choose to pronounce Underoath's new album) wasn't your number one pick. Don't get me wrong, great album, just not aoty material. Your list is great Drew.