As we continue on, albums 6 thru 10 that were the best according to me.
6. Janelle Monae – The Archandroid
One of 2010’s most charasmatic artists, also had a superb breakthrough album. Janelle Monae called The Archandroid an “emotion-picture” and it certainly was reminiscent of a dramatic musical. Monae bounces thru numerous genres, from doo-wop (“Tightrope”) to art rock (“Come Alive”) to old school-flavored R&B (“Oh, Maker”). “Cold War” truly shines through in showing Monae has the voice that backs up the character.
7. Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More
Mumford & Sons were a band that initially intrigued me with “Little Lion Man” and “Roll Away Your Stone”, but got lost in the shuffle of new releases. I’m glad I was able to give them more of a chance later in the year. Sigh No More is a folk record at heart (gotta love the expert banjo appearances), but manages just enough cross over appeal that make replays a must. Tracks like “The Cave”, “Awake My Soul” and “Winter Winds” both master the art of building a track slowing and the turning into a foot-stomping anthem (aka the types of songs I’m a sucker for).
8. Yeasayer – Odd Blood
Another album that had a different favorite track depending on the week was Odd Blood. Yeasayer’s second album had a lot less middle eastern influcence than on All Our Cymbals, but managed to mix pop (“O.N.E.”) with experimental rock (“Ambling Amp”). The shared vocal duties by Chris Keating and Anand Wilder are used to perfection highlighting each other’s vocal and songwriting strengths on “I Remember” and “Madder Red”.
9. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: Son of Chico Dusty
I think most people thought Big Boi’s long-awaited solo album would be solid based on the OutKast pedigree and previous leaks. The real question was, will it ever come out? When it did, Mr. Antwan Patton gave listeners a taste of classic OutKast eclectic beats (“Follow Us”), funk (“Shutterbugg”, “Daddy Fat Sax”), and bars aplenty (“General Patton”, “Shine Blockas”). The album may have not received the much deserved radio play, but it was a relevation and hopefully made fans realize Big Boi isn’t as far away from the perch many people put Andre 3000 on.
10. Wolf Parade – Expo 86
I had a smattering of Wolf Parade’s previous works, but each track that dripped prior to Expo 86‘s release had me eager for the album. Interviews prior to the album’s release explained the band’s process of recording live in the studio with minimal overdubs and the energy and cohesiveness shows. Co-leader Spencer Krug’s wobbly, yet haunting voice is perhaps most effective on sweltering anthem “What Did My Lover Say?”, but the album has highlights galore (“Ghost Pressure” and “Little Golden Age” to name a few).
Wolf Parade – Ghost Pressure (free mp3)