Lowden’s Top 10 Albums of 2010

Here it is, my list of my favorite albums. These are all really solid records, so check them out if you haven’t listened! Or if you have forgotten them, give them another spin. List after the jump!10. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like this album as much as their previous efforts, but it’s still a solid record.The strength of their live show is really what pushed this album up on the list for me.

9. Sufjan Stevens – The Age Of Adz
Holy crap, what a sonic landscape this album is. While some people I know are upset that he isn’t their tortured little banjo player anymore, I’m enjoying hearing Sufjan with balls. I like how it is book ended by two stark acoustic tracks, almost like an opera in reverse. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

8. Ben Folds and Nick Hornby – Lonely Avenue
Even though Ben didn’t write the words on this record, you could have lied and told me different and I would have believed you. It’s classic Folds as he swears like a sailor, makes fun of others, and shows off his rock piano chops. I’m glad Ben has returned to form, even if it took him to hire out a writer to do it.

7. Spoon – Transference
Most Spoon records grab you as soon as you press play, but this album didn’t. This record is a challenging for Spoon, and I think a lot of people gave up on it/forgot about it pretty soon after it came out. If you stuck around, you would enjoy Spoon’s studio tricks galore, as they recorded/produced this record themselves. This album will get more credit in the future methinks.

6. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
I hope this isn’t the last album from LCD. If it has to be, at least he ended on a high note. While the lyrics are a little more personal, the music is as dancy as ever, gracing nearly every party I was attending this year. Also, songs like Drunk Girls perfectly describe many nights that I have had here at school.

5. The Black Keys – Brothers
I find it funny how popular the Black Keys have become this year. It’s not like they haven’t earned it, they have been road warriors since 2002 when their first came out. But after all those years of great records and incredible live shows, the rest of the world wants to pay attention now? Maybe it’s because this record is one of their strongest efforts, maybe it’s because the blues is becoming popular again? No matter, kudos Black Keys.

4. Grinderman – Grinderman 2
I’ve chronicled my long, complicated past in a previous post. This record, while not as vulgar, is a darker, sludgier effort from Nick Cave. It’s also the strongest effort in Grinderman’s short career. Nick Cave’s howl is as powerful as ever in his long career, and you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t check this record out.

3. Screaming Females – Castle Talk
Another super solid punk record from NY’s hardest working band (who are from NJ). It’s for sure their most accessible record, but no less rough around the edges or powerful. This band is finally starting to get the attention and credit they deserve, so check out this great record.

2. Superchunk – Majesty Shredding
I’m disappointed in myself because I just started to listen to Superchunk this year. I promise it wasn’t deliberate, it just never happened. Even if you are a seasoned listener of the band, you probably love this record as much as a newbie like me. I just hope that the founders of Merge records find some more time for themselves and release something new soon.

1. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – The Brutalist Bricks
Shocking, I know. As I said in my radio show, you’ve got to go with what you love the most, and I certainly loved Ted Leo this year. This is his best record since Hearts of Oak, and one of the strongest records in his career. The man works always gives 100% in his albums and concerts, and it really showed in 2010.

One more list to come: My top 10 concerts of 2010!

-A. Lowden


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