Best Albums of 2010

by oz on June 15, 2010

Here is our list of the best albums of 2010.

1. The Black Keys , Brothers

2. Local Natives , Gorilla Manor (Review)

Local Natives – Sun Hands

Local Natives – Camera Talk

3. Ryan Bingham , Junky Star (Interview with Ryan Bingham)

4. Phosphorescent , Heres To Taking It Easy (Review)

Phosphorescent – Mermaid Parade

Phosphorescent – It’s Hard To Be Humble (When You’re From Alabama)

5. Delta Spirit , History From Below (Review)

Delta Spirit – Bushwick Blues

6. The Moondoggies , Tidelands (Review)

The Moondoggies – It’s a Shame, It’s a Pity

7. The Tallest Man on Earth , The Wild Hunt (Review)

The Tallest Man On Earth – King Of Spain

8. Joe Pug , Messenger (Review)

Joe Pug – The Sharpest Crown

9. Titus Andronicus , The Monitor (Review)

Titus Andronicus – A More Perfect Union

10. The Love Language , Libraries (Review)

Love Language – Heart To Tell

Hear more from our Live Session with The Love Language.

11. The Morning Benders , Big Echo (Review)

The Morning Benders – Excuses

12. Trampled By Turtles , Palomino (Review)

Trampled By Turtles – Wait So Long

13. Futurebirds , Hamptons Lullaby (Review)

Futurebirds – Johnny Utah

Futurebirds – Battle for Rome

14. Josh Ritter , So Runs The World Away (Review)

15. Drive-By Truckers – The Big To Do (Review)

Drive-By Truckers – This Fucking Job

16. Surfer Blood , Astro Coast (Review)

Surfer Blood – Floating Vibes

Surfer Blood – Swim (To Reach The End)

Hear more from our Live Session with Surfer Blood.

17. Spoon – Transference

18. Broken Bells – Self-Titled

19. The Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

20. Lost In the Trees , All Alone In An Empty House (Review)

Lost In The Trees – Walk Around The Lake

Lost In The Trees – Fireplace

Lost In The Trees – All Alone In An Empty House

21. Blitzen Trapper , Destroyer of the Void (Review)

Blitzen Trapper – Heaven and Earth

Blitzen Trapper – Dragon’s Song

22. The Dead Weather , Sea of Cowards

23. Dr. Dog , Shame Shame

Dr. Dog – Nobody Knows Who You Are

Dr. Dog – Stranger

24. The Walkmen , Lisbon

25. Justin Townes Earle , Harlem River Blues (Review)

Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues

26. Dylan LeBlanc – Paupers Field (Review)

Dylan Leblanc – If Time Was For Wasting

27. Strand Of Oaks , Pope Killdragon (Review)

Strand Of Oaks – Bonfire

Here more from our Live Session with Strand of Oaks.

28. The Mynabirds , What We Lost In the Fire We Gain In The Flood (Review)

The Mynabirds – Let The Record Go

The Mynabirds – Numbers Don’t Lie

Hear more from our Live Session with The Mynabirds.

29. Sam Quinn , The Fake That Sunk A Thousand Ships

Sam Quinn – Gun

30. Horse Feathers , Thistled Spring (Review)

Horse Feathers – Belly of June

Hear more from our Live Session with Horse Feathers.

31. Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore – Dear Companion

Something, Somewhere, Sometime

32. Ray Lamontagne and The Pariah Dogs – God Willin’ and The Creek Don’t Rise

33. Beach House – Teen Dream (Review)

Beach House – Zebra

Beach House – Norway

34. First Aid Kid , The Big Black and The Blue (Review)

First Aid Kit – Hard Believer

35. Wolf People , Steeple (Review)

Wolf People – Tiny Circle

36. Mavis Staples , You Are Not Alone (Review)

37. J. Roddy Walston & the Business , Self-Titled (Review)

J. Roddy Walston and The Business – Don’t Break The Needle

38. The Black Angels , Phosphene Dream

The Black Angels – Telephone

Hear more from our Live Session with The Black Angels.

39. Pepper Rabbit , Beauregard (Review)

Pepper Rabbit – Older Brother

Pepper Rabbit – Babette!

40. The Henry Clay People , Somewhere On the Golden Coast (Review)

The Henry Clay People – Slow Burn

Hear more from our Live Session with The Henry Clay People.

41. Black Dub – Self Titled (Review)

Black Dub – I Believe In You

42. The Wilderness of Manitoba – When You Left The Fire (Review)

The Wilderness Of Manitoba – Hermit

43. Midlake – The Courage Of Others (Review)

44. Chief – Modern Rituals (Review)

Chief – Night and Day

45. Menomena – Mines (Review)

Menomena – TAOS

Menomena – Five Little Rooms

46. Black Mountain – Wilderness Heart (Review)

Black Mountain – Old Fangs

Black Mountain – The Hair Song

47. Frightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed Drinks (Review)

48. The Head and The Heart – Self Titled

49. Peter Wolf Crier – Inter-Be (Review)

Peter Wolf Crier – Crutch and Crane

Peter Wolf Crier – Hard As Nails

Hear more in our Live Session with Peter Wolf Crier.

50. The Corin Tucker Band – 1,000 Years (Review)

The Corin Tucker Band – Doubt

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole December 4, 2010 at 10:56 am

Phenomenal list. “Junky Star” is really great.
I love that you guys include alt. country in your lists. Its hard to come by, but when found, its usually such a gem.

hugo December 12, 2010 at 7:50 am

—-top 2 0 1 0

—-Beach House – Teen Dream

—-Avey Tare – Down There

—-The National – High Violet

—-Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz

—-Owen Pallett – Heartland

—-Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today

—-The Radio Dept. – Climbing to a Scheme

—-Caribou – Swim

—-Julian Lynch – Mare

—-Gil-Scott Heron – I’m New Here

—-Shearwater – The Golden Archipelago

—-Tame Impala – Innerspeaker

—-Joanna Newsom – Have One on Me

—-Liars – Sisterworld

—-The Walkmen – Lisbon

—-The Books – The Way Out

—-Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record

—-The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night

—-Menomena – Mines

—-How to Dress Well – Love Remains

—-Here We Go Magic – Pigeons

—-Pantha du Prince – Black Noise

—-Emeralds – Does It Looks I`m Here

—-Sam Amidon – I See The Sign

—-Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest

—-The Fresh & Onlys – Play It Strange

—-Gold Panda – Lucky Shiner

—-The Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt

—-The Naked and Famous – Passive Me, Aggressive You

—-To Rococo Rot – Speculation

—-Shearwater – The Golden Archipelago

—-Beat Connection – Surf Noir EP

—-Thee Oh Sees – Warm Slime

—-Gayngs – Relayted

—-Tame Impala – Innerspeaker

—-Joanna Newsom – Have One on Me

—-Liars – Sisterworld

—-The Walkmen-Lisbon

—-The Books – The Way Out

—-Sleepy Sun – Fever (2010)

—-Gold Panda – Lucky Shiner

—-Jónsi – Go

—-Golden Triangle – Double Jointer

—-Glass Vaults – Glass ep

—-Icarus Himself – Mexico ep

—-Clive Tanaka y su orquesta – Jet Set Siempre 1°

—-Blackbird Blackbird – Blackbird Blackbird

Dani Shmani December 20, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Wolf Parade’s Expo 86 is noticably absent from this fine list of quality albums.. Oversight or just not worthy?

Zach December 21, 2010 at 9:35 am

I really think this is a great list….. BUT!!! I think you forgot Yeasayers, Odd Blood.

Josh Voigt December 21, 2010 at 11:50 pm

See I don’t agree with this list whatsoever. I would definetly put Nightmare by Avenged Sevenfold up there. If you haven’t heard it yet that needs to be your new years resolution. Best Band, best Album, Best Musicians! There drummer won the God Drummer Award, (givin to his family because Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan was unable to attend) because he is dead. R.I.P. Rev You will be forever in our hearts.

oz December 22, 2010 at 8:49 am

Josh – I think you may be on the wrong site.

tony geeks December 22, 2010 at 10:08 am

dunno if its a best album list but here are the albums i listened to the most this year(i know some of these arnt really genre fitting but hey i like all sorts of music)
1 the national – high violet 8 were here because-anathema
2 wild hunt – the tallest man on earth 9 flaws -bombay bicycle club
3 at echo lake – woods 10history from below-delta spirit
4 lisbon- the walkmen 11brothers – the black keys
5 someone here is missing – pineapple thief
12becoming a jackal – villagers
6 black ribbons- shooter jennings 13the monitor -titus andronicus
7 ecallies de lune- alcest 14 grinderman 2 – grinderman

John H. December 24, 2010 at 12:34 am

Wow! Awesome guys…thanks so much for your list and this site…it has shown me much. Of course everyone has some dissappointment and mine is that you supported the overrated and boring Beach House album. lame music. Otherwise, you guys rock like a hot fudge sundae.

Here is my Top 20 of 2010. yes I put Mumford on there representing 2010 because it didn’t hit states till then.

20. “The Post War Musical” by Pilotlight
19. “In the Doorway” by Vinyl Station
18. “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum
17. “Thistled Spring” by Horse Feathers
16. “Gorilla Manor” by Local Natives
15. “See You On the Moon” by Tift Merritt
14. “Mobile Chateau” by Matt Costa
13. “The Place We Ran From” by Tired Pony
12. “God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise” by Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs
11. “Moon Food” by Unbunny
10. “Infinite Arms” by Band of Horses
9. “Self-Titled” by The Head and The Heart
8. “All Alone In An Empty House” by Lost in the Trees
7. “Go” by Jonsi
6. “History From Below” by Delta Spirit
5. “Champ” by Tokyo Police Club
4. “Sigh No More” by Mumford & Sons
3. “Suburban Nature” by Sarah Jaffe
2. “Dark Night of the Soul” by Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse
1. “Bird In The Tangle” by Brett Detar (MY CLEAR WINNER THIS YEAR!)

Wil December 27, 2010 at 11:20 pm

why hasnt anyone metioned foals!!

jpapadop December 31, 2010 at 9:38 am

10. The Walkmen – Lisbon

9. Active Child – Curtis Lane EP

8. Gayngs – Relayted

7. The Morning Benders – Big Echo

6. The National – High Violet

5. Local Natives – Gorilla Manor

4. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

3. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record

2. Menomena – Mines

1. Beach House – Teen Dream

mcUNKLE January 4, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Far too many country albums on this list for my liking but each to their own I guess.

Why oh why Spoon made it to the list I’ll never know, that is without doubt on of the worst albums on my list.

Some albums I would have added include:

Sleepy Sun » Fever
Hey Marseilles » To Travels & Trunks
Crocodiles » Sleep Forever
Gram Rabbit » Miracles and Metaphors
Villagers » Becoming A Jackal
The Radio Dept » Clinging To A Scheme
The Courteeners » Falcon
We Have Band » We Have Band
UNKLE » Where Did The Night Fall

mcUNKLE January 4, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Far too many country albums on this list for my liking but each to their own I guess.

Why oh why Spoon made it to the list I’ll never know, that is without doubt on of the worst albums on my list.

Some albums I would have added include:

Sleepy Sun » Fever
Hey Marseilles » To Travels & Trunks
Crocodiles » Sleep Forever
Gram Rabbit » Miracles and Metaphors
Villagers » Becoming A Jackal
The Radio Dept » Clinging To A Scheme
The Courteeners » Falcon
We Have Band » We Have Band
UNKLE » Where Did The Night Fall

Julie January 5, 2011 at 10:29 pm

I don’t understand how you cold make this list without The National and Sufjan Stevens in the top 10.

Woody January 7, 2011 at 6:07 am

@Julie – We don’t really like Sufjan so it was pretty easy for us. As for The National, I listened to it plenty but it never made any sort of impression with me. I liked Alligator and Boxer much more. Still think they’re a fine group but High Violet left me wanting more.

@meUnkle – Spoon made the list because we like Spoon and liked this album. I do really like that Sleepy Sun album and that was a tough one to leave off.

@Zach – Didn’t forget Yeasayer. Just not our cup of tea.

@Dani Shmani – Oz really liked Wolf Parade. I am not too keen on them. For what its worth, they were in the discussion.

Erik S. January 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Really amazing list—my favorite that I have seen-

My Best of 2010–
Midlake-The Courage of Others
Mumford & Sons- Sigh no more
The National-High Violet
The Wilderness of Manitoba-When you left the fire
Sufjan Stevens-All delighted people (EP) and The Age of Adz
Local Natives-Gorilla Manor
Shearwater-The Golden Archipelago
Ryan Bingham-Junky Star
Matt Pond PA-The Dark Leaves
Mt. Desolation-Mt. Desolation
Patrick Park-Come what will
Electric President-The Violent Blue
Tallest Man On Earth-The Hunt and Sometimes the blues are just a passing bird
Ray Lamontagne and the Pariah Dogs-God willin and the creek don’t rise
S. Carey-All we grow
Yeasayer-Odd Blood
Frightened Rabbit-The winter of mixed drinks
Citizen Cope-The Rainwater LP
Chief-Modern Rituals
Broken Social Scene-Forgiveness Rock Record
Beach House-Teem Dream
Arcade Fire-The Suburbs
The Besnard Lakes-The Besnard Lakes are the roaring night
Belle and Sebastian-Write about love
Damien Jurado-Saint Bartlett
The Hold Steady-Heaven is whenever
Phosphorescent-Here’s to taking it easy
Joe Purdy-This American
Joe Pug-Messenger
Laura Marling-I speak because I can
Erland and the Carnival-Erland and the Carnival

I really dislike Spoon and The New Pornographers so while I respect them…they are never on my lists for best albums of the year.

simon January 7, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Personally I loved – Full Moon Fiasco – Cosmic Palms (Barrett like Pink Floyd), Street Chant- Means (All your Favourite 90’s bands) and Rotate the Completors: Completed Rotations of the… (Weirdest stuff ever.) .All excellent artists from New Zealand. Internationally I really enjoyed the new Grinderman and Robert Plant albums.

david batchelor January 9, 2011 at 4:59 am

I posted on last years list, just thought i would say thanks again from the UK, giving a great list of albums which are almost unheard of over here, your site is my only source of quality music as we’ve been destroyed by x factor and alike, Dylan LeBlanc in always on my mac, so thanks for the heads up guys.

geri January 13, 2011 at 1:19 am

i hardly liked any of the songs listed here…that’s really sad.
dr. dog’s songs were pretty good….
sam quinn’s gun was good

nothing truly great…and most of them sound like they could all be the same band making the same music…with the same voices…where’s the uniqueness?

jeff February 3, 2011 at 12:05 am

i totally agree with tony geeks list it has most bands that are currently MY favorite bands to listen to right now

lindsey February 12, 2011 at 12:01 pm

How can Yeasayer not be your cup of tea? Damn, Odd Blood was just FANTASTIC.

Woody February 12, 2011 at 1:02 pm

@ Lindsey. It was a grueling experience. I listened a couple of times. I let it swirl around in my empty head for a bit. And then decided, ” you know what, I am not really a fan of Yeasayer.” I was frickin’ exhausted at the end of it but it felt good to form my own opinion.

Pam February 19, 2011 at 8:21 am

thanks for introducing me to dylan leblanc and strand of oaks. Simply brilliant. Like others have mentioned – High Violet by the National was in heavy rotation on my ipod in 2010

Ryan S February 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm

How Frightened Rabbit’s ‘Winter of Mixed Drinks’ isn’t at least top 10 is beyond me. It’s easily one of the strongest albums from start to finish.

Dennis February 24, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I’ve checked out about 5 albums so far. The Dead Weather is top notch–Jack White, of course. Got the album they released before that and it bores me. Harlem River Blues isn’t my kind of music, usually, but I’ve listened twice. Solid. I’m really glad I found this list. Black Dub might be great with someone who could sing. Arcade Fire and Inter-Be both suffer from really annoying sound quality. I’m so sick of this 1930s low fi sounding production for so many years now on so many albums! What a crappy sound this era will be known for. When’s it gonna end?!! Sounds like the end might be upon us. That Justin Earle recording sounds great!

Matt April 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Love the list.

I’d like to know what you think of mine!

check it.

Benjamin North May 19, 2011 at 8:11 am

Although we are well into 2011, I still can’t get over the fact Tame Impala’s ‘Innerspeaker’ missed out. That was definitely my top album of 2010.

Emily May 20, 2011 at 1:14 am

My Top 10:
1. The Morning Benders- Big Echo
2. Spoon- Transference
3. Band of Horses- Infinite Arms
4. She & Him- Volume Two
5. Los Campesinos!- Romance is Boring
6. Minus the Bear- Omni
7. Ra Ra Riot- The Orchard
8. Crystal Castles- Crystal Castles II
9. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin- Let It Sway
10. Sufjan Stevens- Age of Adz

Hayden Davenport June 2, 2011 at 1:53 am

I am very glad to see lost in the trees on this list. However, I must say that I’m extremely surprised, and almost devastated that Owen Pallett’s Heartland isn’t on here.

Rotov June 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Where is Grinderman 2?

Rachel August 8, 2011 at 11:32 am

i’m really liking ‘first aid kit.’ thanks for sharing the top 2010 albums:)

Peter October 13, 2011 at 2:39 am

Amazing list— i am about to produce my own list on my blogg and it is always nice to look around to get get a better prospective. Good working!

lil mac December 16, 2011 at 2:21 pm

what about warpaint???!!!!

Mr top 100 songs February 10, 2012 at 7:09 am


This is a massive list.

After reading this post I am going to give Ryan Bingham , Junky Star a go.

Great site by the way.


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