01. Mumford & Sons / Sigh No More - Hands down the best album of 2010 and an amazing debut from this band. Incredibly catchy folk songs with brilliant crescendos and impressive harmonies. This is an absolute must listen.
Standout tracks: Little Lion Man, The Cave, Dustbowl Dance, White Blank Page and Winter Winds
02. The National / High Violet - When this album came out in May I listened to it on repeat and was already sure it would be one of the best albums of the year. It's sound is perfectly tragic with clear inspiration from Springsteen and Joy Division.
Standout tracks: Terrible Love, Sorrow, Bloodbuzz Ohio and Lemonworld
03. The Arcade Fire / The Suburbs - This is an album that grew on me after listening to it several times through. Now it is one of my favorites. Something about it's mellow, nostalgic sound and clear influence from Joy Division & Springsteen makes me want to keep the 16 tracks on repeat.
Standout tracks: The Suburbs, Ready To Start, Modern Man, Half Light II, Wasted Hours, We Used to Wait, Sprawl II
04. She & Him / Volume 2 - I was highly anticipating the second release from one of my favorite bands, She & Him. I was not disappointed. This album, I believe is better than the first. Much more polished, especially Zooey's vocals. Indie-pop perfection.
Standout tracks: In The Sun, Don't Look Back, Ridin' In My Car, Lingering Still, Home
05. Motion City Soundtrack / My Dinosaur Life - I was super impressed by this album. From first listen I was hooked. MCS's pop-punk sound paired with clever lyrics is brilliant from beginning to end.
Standout tracks: Pulp Fiction, The Weakends, Stand Too Close, #&@^, A Life Less Ordinary, Worker Bee, Hysteria
06. A Great Big Pile of Leaves / Have You Seen My Prefrontal Cortex? - This is a band I posted about often this past year. If you haven't checked them out yet, you need to. Not only is this album amazing (and incredibly underrated), but it is also free.
Standout Tracks: Alligator Bop, We Don't Need Our Heads, Vampires In Love, Great Fun, Learn To Share, A Few Loose Screws
07. Broken Social Scene / Forgiveness Rock Record - Such an unexpectedly good album. Of course, BSS has so many talented members, but they hadn't released anything in several years, so I had my doubts. Past records have been chaotic and imperfect, this one is a concise effort. Their best work to date.
Every single track is a standout.
08. Jimmy Eat World / Invented - This was another album that I loved from first listen. Build ups and breakdowns that I love as well as some catchy, light acoustic tracks. A rock album that isn't at all bland like much of that genre. This is smart, emotional pop-rock.
Standout tracks: Evidence, Movielike, Coffee And Cigarettes, Cut, Invented and Mixtape
09. Frightened Rabbit / The Winter of Mixed Drinks - This album isn't quite as fast past as their older stuff, but it is more sophisticated and there is so much more variety. Their new adaptation of their old sound is so, so good.
Standout tracks: Things, Swim Until You Can’t See Land, Skip The Youth, Nothing Like You, Living In Colour
10. American Slang / The Gaslight Anthem - I love this band, but at first was disappointed by this album. It wasn't as relateable as their past records (The '59 Sound will always be my favorite). It is still excellent though, it has a strong blues influence which I dig.
Standout tracks: Bring It On, The Queen Of Lower Chelsea, The Diamond Church Street Choir, Old Haunts and The Spirit of Jazz
Surfer Blood / Astro Coast
The Local Natives / Gorilla Manor
Dr. Dog / Shame, Shame
Hellogoodbye / Would it Kill You?
Bad Books / Bad Books
Superchunk / Majesty Shredding
Murder By Death / Good Morning, Magpie
Stars / The Five Ghosts
Margot & the Nuclear So & So's / Buzzard
The Wonder Years / The Upsides
Josh Ritter / So Runs The World Away
Band Of Horses / Infinite Arms
Also, I am very proud of some of my friends who released albums this year:
The Goodnight Lights / Electric Spark
Jonah Delso / Songs From A Movie
Vanessa Reddin / Speak Beautifully
Albums I was disappointed by:
Ra Ra Riot / The Orchard
Weezer / Hurley
Jenny & Johnny / I'm Having Fun Now
Tim Kasher / The Game of Monogamy