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

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin June 15, 2010 at 7:59 am

Loved the Local Natives album. No LCD soundsystem on the list?

kyle June 15, 2010 at 8:16 am

i wholly support every single album on this list. wow.

Steve McCoy June 15, 2010 at 8:21 am

Great list. My list would be very similar, except that I would have to put Damien Jurado on there.

Kim_NokiaMusic June 15, 2010 at 8:22 am

I agree with almost half of this lis, that never happens. WOW.

oz June 15, 2010 at 9:07 am

Kevin – one of our contributors is all over that LCD Soundsystem as his number 1 pick. The rest of us were left sort of scratching our head. I’m listening now to see if I have any regrets.

We’re also somewhat skewed to folk/alt-country influences.

SafariMan June 15, 2010 at 8:44 pm

I promise I didn’t pay Kevin to write that. Below is something i read earlier that I think puts things in perspective. Understanding that LCD is technically out of the genre(s) that HearYa focuses on—it’s got everything we all love about the albums on this list…maybe just more beats than steel pedals.

From Rolling Stone…
He’s still a dance guy at heart, and he knows it’s his job to ignite parties and clubs,” Jody Rosen writes in his four-star review. “But he approaches dance music more like a folkie singer-songwriter than a DJ, as a vehicle for storytelling and confession.”

RW June 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Nice list, just make sure you make room for “Libraries” from The Love Language.

BWM June 15, 2010 at 11:44 pm

I definitely have to check out a number of these but I think Two Door Cinema Club’s debut is outstanding, one of my favorites. I also liked the Beach House album and the 6-track EP from Pretty Lights.

JP June 16, 2010 at 9:44 am

What no ‘Teen Dreams’ ??

Dustin Roberts June 16, 2010 at 11:27 am

The new Deer Tick-Black Dirt Sessions is in the same vein as others on the list. Plus some of the new Delta Spirit sounds like a cross between Tallest Man on Earth and Deer Tick. Great list and I might include Shearwater. The new Unbunny is very good too but not top album material.

George Alfaro June 16, 2010 at 10:22 pm

I agree with a few here. But Local Natives came out in 2009.

oz June 17, 2010 at 5:55 am

George, you from the UK? I’m pretty sure it was released state side in Feb of 2010.

Jessie Pendergrass June 21, 2010 at 1:03 am

I would add Fang Island. I love the energy and vibe from that record. It’s my #2 behind the monster that is ‘The Monitor.’

Eugenia June 24, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I personally loved some of the albums in the list, and I’d add the following too that are on my rotation:
* Neon Trees – Habits
* Broken Bells – Broken Bells
* We Are Wolves – Invisible Violence
* Scanners – Submarine
* Phantogram – Eyelid Movies
* Beach House – Teen Dream
* Portugal, the Man – American Ghetto
* The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards
* Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles ( II )
* Melissa Auf der Maur – Out of Our Minds
* Yeasayer – Odd Blood

Blake @ DrawUsLines June 28, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Very solid list, though I would HAVE to include The National’s High Violet! I can’t get enough of Brothers too, those are my top two of the year…thus far. A close third has to be Blitzen Trappers’ Destroyer of the Void

vanessa June 30, 2010 at 2:51 pm

You TOTALLY left out Beach House

85tribute July 13, 2010 at 7:51 pm

thanks for the list. i find it so hard to find new alt country bands and im gonna bookmark this website!!

Paul August 2, 2010 at 6:10 am

I would add Bonnie’s new album, The Wonder Show of the Worlds. Definitely my top album of the year and top concert of the year at Monster Island Basement in Brooklyn.

jean-marc August 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Tired Pony “The Place We Ran From”

Stefane C August 7, 2010 at 3:17 pm

The Suburbs by Arcade Fire. What a bunch of genius.

Ghost of Ian Curtis August 8, 2010 at 9:40 pm

MGMT – Congratulations.

Mike August 18, 2010 at 11:30 am

Second that on The Suburbs

oz August 18, 2010 at 11:59 am

Agree on Arcade Fire. We need to update this list to capture that, Love Language and a few others. It hasn’t been updated since June 15th.

Bill August 29, 2010 at 10:08 am

Great list! I’d add Alejandro Escovedo’s new one…it rocks.

EB September 3, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Nice list – and website!

Pastic Beach has to be on here. An amazing collection of songs.

carina September 6, 2010 at 3:44 am

I love the debut ablum by Peggy sue, fossils and other phantoms, refreshingly different! as well as fist aid kit ( again a debut!) -the big black and blue,of which I cannot get enough of. if these two albums dont reach the charts it is ok, as far as I am concerned, both the albums are so good that I will be listening to them again, over and over in years to come!

Sledge September 8, 2010 at 8:32 pm

I like this list a lot but I think Music Mavens has a better one:

Rose September 11, 2010 at 3:15 pm

The Orchard: Ra Ra Riot?!

Matt September 15, 2010 at 9:53 am

I’m just not a fan of Suburbs. I know, I’m the oddball.

Drunkryder September 17, 2010 at 8:28 pm

I found it shocking that I agree with almost all of your choices so far for this year. Great Job! I love your website.

trisha September 24, 2010 at 7:50 am

late. but this is a super list! love most of the picks. truth: could never get into ‘the national’. tried, but just doesn’t work for me. oooh but ‘two door cinema club’ deserves the include. what say?

and love this site. it’s my morning paper

panda October 6, 2010 at 10:11 am

i’ve got to say beach house/teen dreams has been my favourite album of the year thus far. it deserves a nod here.

oz October 6, 2010 at 10:35 am

Panda – I just got that album last week. It’ll get added to the list for sure.

togna October 11, 2010 at 9:23 pm

I love all of these albums, but I must say there is one very important one missing-Joanna Newsom’s 3-disc “Have One On Me” should be on here. That album is incredible.

togna October 11, 2010 at 11:23 pm

oooh also—definitely agree that Beach Houses’ Teen Dream deserves a spot…but so does Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros “Up From Below”

Petros October 19, 2010 at 10:31 am

I am not very familiar with the albums listed above (apart from “Brothers”, which is very good) but where is “Sting In The Tail” by Scorpions? It wasn’t a masterpiece but it was certainly a very good record which featured everything the average rock album of our days should include: great power ballads such as “SLY” , “Lorelei” or “The Good Die Young”, crazy rock such as “Raised On Rock” ‘n’ even crazier roll such as “Rock Zone”. Probably their best release since “Moment Of Glory” (2000) or “Crazy World” (1990). SCORPIONS rock! Also, my list would include “My ReGeneration Vol. 1” by Joe Elliott’s Down ‘N’ Outz – old-fashioned but charming – and Abash’s “Madri Senza Terra” – a balls-out progressive metal album by the finest Italian group.

sam October 30, 2010 at 6:15 pm

good list.
although I would have added

Sleigh Bells – Treats
Beach House – Teen Dream
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – Up From Below
Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

Jaker November 5, 2010 at 8:10 pm

& the Mynabirds at No.1….”What We Lose in the Fire, We Gain in the Flood”. Okay!

Kapdog November 6, 2010 at 5:31 pm

The Suburbs-Arcade Fire, Broken Bells- Broken Bells, Odd Blood-Yeasayer, Shame,Shame-Dr. Dog, Fortress-Miniature Tigers, Astro Coast- Surfer Blood, Beach Fossils- Beach Fossils, Teen Dream-Beach House, Brothers- The Black Keys, and Big Echo- Morning Benders

Fazed November 7, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Faves 2010 Tame Impala,Innerspeaker
Dungen,Skit I Allt
Phantogram Eyelid Movies
Depreciation Guild, Spirit youth
Field Music, Measure
Film School, Fission
Morning Benders, Big Echo
Manual,Drowned in Light
Radio Dept ,Clinging to a scheme

Chris Bagley November 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Glad to see Arcade Fire on the list. I don’t like “The Suburbs” quite as much as the first two, but I do like the way that the album is musically and thematically distinct from the others.

I also have to admire the way they’re marketing it — for example with the tie-in to the launches of HTML5 and Google Chrome. You should check out if you haven’t already.

I’m keeping an especially close on musicians’ use of multimedia projects like this because my company runs, an online music/video/multimedia distribution platform that doubles as a fan site and social network. It generates revenue directly through downloads and subscriptions rather than steering users to other sales channels.

Undestructable November 9, 2010 at 10:17 pm

grinderman 2

John Hamby November 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I love your site guys….love that you are throwing new music out there for everyone to find. Cheers from AZ. If Brett Detar’s “Bird in the Tangle” doesn’t hit in the top 3 on this list, something big has gone missing. I haven’t heard an album filled with so much thought, true emotion, and story in a long time. This former Juliana Theory singer has found it.

Melanie FP November 22, 2010 at 8:59 pm

I proceeded to think I might be mad….some have overlooked that Beach House IS on the list. Anyone listen to the Greenhornes?
Great band.

Reed November 27, 2010 at 2:59 pm

My top 10 are…

Arcade Fire- The Suburbs
The National- High Violet
Deerhunter- Halcyon Digest
Beach House- Teen Dream
LCD Soundsytem- This Is Happening
Sleigh Bells- Treats
Titus Andronicus- The Monitor
Vampire Weekend- Contra
Local Natives- Gorilla Manor
Girls- Broken Dreams Club (though its an EP)

Selvam, Sivagangai November 29, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Most of the bands on this list are new to me, except The National. I discovered The Black Keys and Josh Ritters from your list. Thank you.

Selvam, Sivagangai November 29, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Most of the bands on this list are new to me, except The National. I discovered The Black Keys and Josh Ritter from your list. Thank you.

mesineto November 30, 2010 at 10:40 pm


Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
Julian Lynch
Pantha du Prince
Beach House
The National
Gil Scott-Heron
Joanna Newsom
How to Dress Well
Here We Go Magic
Sufjan Stevens
Blackbird Blackbird
Broken Social Scene
The Radio Dept.
Tame Impala – Innerspeaker
The Walkmen
Sufjan Stevens

Owen Pallett
The Tallest Man on Earth …

Selvam, Sivagangai December 1, 2010 at 9:49 pm

I didn’t like the Beach House Teen Dream as much.

rosh December 3, 2010 at 12:16 am

Arcade Fire- The Suburbs
The National- High Violet
Deerhunter- Halcyon Digest
Beach House- Teen Dream

please give ryan bingham some love and we are all set. thanks Scott.

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