NPR Listener's Top 50 Albums Of 2010 So Far

The year has plenty of life (and releases) left in it, but NPR decided to see what their listeners considered the Top 50 Albums Of 2010 So Far. They tallied thousands of votes. According to their writeup, the no. 1 won handily. Or at least healthily. It looks like the others were a bit closer — a few top 10 albums are separated by just 10 votes each. As far as the overall tenor of the Top 50, it’s like chillwave never happened. (But Sade did.)

50 David Byrne: Here Lies Love
49 Bettye LaVette: Interpretations: The British Songbook
48 Laura Marling: I Speak Because I Can
47 Sade: Soldier Of Love
46 Corinne Bailey Rae: The Sea
45 Kings Go Forth: Outsiders Are Back
44 Quasi: American Gong
43 Owen Pallett: Heartland
42 Erykah Badu: New Amerykah Pt. 2, Return Of The Ankh
41 Ratatat: LP4
40 The Flaming Lips: Dark Side Of The Moon
39 Blitzen Trapper: Destroyer Of The Void
38. Four Tet: There Is Love In You
37 Laura Veirs: July Flame
36 Jakob Dylan: Women And Country
35 Charlotte Gainsbourg: IRM
34 Freelance Whales: Weathervanes
33 Massive Attack: Heligoland
32 Hold Steady: Heaven Is Whenever
31 Gaslight Anthem: American Slang
30 Crystal Castles: Crystal Castles (II)
29 Dead Weather: Sea Of Cowards
28 Caribou: Swim
27 Dr. Dog: Shame, Shame
26 Surfer Blood: Astro Coast
25 Frightened Rabbit: The Winter Of Mixed Drinks
24 Janelle Monae: The ArchAndroid
23 Josh Ritter: So Runs The World Away
22 Joanna Newsom: Have One On Me
21 MGMT: Congratulations
20 Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings: I Learned The Hard Way
19 Broken Social Scene: Forgiveness Rock Record
18 The Knife: Tomorrow, In A Year
17 Jonsi: Go
16 Band of Horses: Infinite Arms
15 She & Him: Volume Two
14 Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma
13 The New Pornographers: Together
12 Yeasayer: Odd Blood
11 Local Natives: Gorilla Manor
10 Sleigh Bells: Treats
09 Spoon: Transference
08 Mumford And Sons: Sigh No More
07 Beach House: Teen Dream
06 Vampire Weekend: Contra
05 LCD Soundsystem: This Is Happening
04 Broken Bells: Broken Bells
03 The Black Keys: Brothers
02 The National: High Violet
01 Gorillaz: Plastic Beach

Enjoy the context over at NPR.

Comments (92)
  1. ugh. broken bells #4 and no Liars or Morning Benders

  2. i dismissed any credibility this list could have had when morning benders’ “big echo” wasn’t even an option in the voting.

  3. My opinion of music is different! -or- Chillwave is dead! Long live Chillwave!

    Sadness/anger at this list aside, is it interesting to anyone else many of the albums up there are the band’s album-after-their-first-critically-acclaimed-by-mainstream-music-reviewers album (in many cases, it was also their debut album). For instance: LCD Soundsystem, Vampire Weekend, Beach House, Crystal Castles, Gaslight Anthem, Frightened Rabbit,

  4. Since everyone is going to list their favorite albums not mentioned, I’ll throw out Titus Andronicus, Free Energy, and Besnard Lakes. I don’t know how they did the voting, but like Morning Benders, those might not have been eligible.

  5. Oops, premature ejacuposting. Anyway, the list goes on with Flying Lotus, MGMT, Hold Steady.

  6. Janelle Monae at #24 upsets me. That’s my album of the decade so far

  7. Morning Benders are incredibly cheesy.

    Broken Bells should be lower
    BSS and Flying Lotus should be higher

  8. Compared to most end of year lists that are going to emerge in a few months, this is probably the best.

  9. I agree with this list, for the most part, I would rather have MGMT a little higher on the list as well as Band of Horses, but it seems to have come out pretty accurate.

  10. Happy to see The Knife, Crystal Castles, Jónsi, and The National on the list. I would have put Foals second album, Total Life Forever, at the top, but I don’t think it was really noticed in the States. And of course Stars and Wolf Parade just released amazing albums and I would include those as well.

    This list sort of proves to me that we have a lot of year left, with some amazing albums on the way: Interpol, Arcade Fire, Antony and the Johnsons, (potentially) Radiohead, to name a few.

  11. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  12. the fall is easily in the top 10. where’s love is all, gil scott-heron, sharon jones and dum dum girls?

  13. happy to se laura veirs. on the list.

  14. So based on this list Gorrillaz, Sleigh Bells, The Knife… (yes, that’s the unlistenable Tomorrow In A Year) and Spoon made better albums than Janelle Monae, Erykah Badu, Four Tet and Dr Dog? ?

    Good news Paste readers, you have another six months to rethink this over and fix it.

  15. the new mgmt is a bunch of cracker hoakum hoosteroo

    this list is very mor adult contemporary, but good 1st choice

    liars should be up there

    contra is unlistenable mostly

    heligoland sucks

    this list gets one big MEH

    • woozefa  |   Posted on Jul 6th, 2010 +1

      funny, i was just thinking of naming my newborn son cracker hoosteroo. this shows i was right to consider it. thanks.

  16. no stars? : / the five ghosts should have been on that list

  17. Surprisingly OK list. I’m just happy Broken Bells, Transference, Gorilla Manor, High Violet, and Sigh No More made it.

  18. I like the list. Its not bad. We all have our personal favorites.

  19. I’m surprised Crystal Castles is on it. Crystal Castles II has been my favorite album this year, and while I’m not sure if it’s really the “best” album, I listen to it all the time. However, it just doesn’t seem like the kind of album most NPR listeners (my mom) would be into. And I say that with all the love and respect for NPR.

  20. What this list makes me want to do is blast Watain’s 2010 masterpiece Lawless Darkness as loud as possible.

  21. Wild Nothing / Gemini and These New Puritans / Hidden deserve to be in the list!!!

  22. All list are silly. There is no bad taste, its just not your taste.

  23. Caribou should certainly be in the top 5. That album is my favorite of the year so far. And where the hell is Hot Chip?

    • Totally agree, leaving Hot Chip off this list is just idiotic. I know might scare some people and it’s not mainstream enough, but Tobacco’s Maniac Meat is definitely the most interesting album this year.

  24. Well, apparantly I AM the only person who finds Plastic Beach incredibly mediocre and dull. Other than that (and no Shearwater, Eels or Titus Andronicus) I can’t complain much about this list.

  25. what! no ___?

  26. I can’t believe there’s no ______________!!!! Worst list ever!

  27. Looks like 25-35 year old professionals really dig the new Gorillaz album.

    Romance Is Boring by Los Campesinos! deserves a spot on this list. Jus’ saying.

  28. Yes, Plastic Beach is the album of the year. Accept it.

  29. does anyone else really hate npr?

  30. I’m glad Surfer Blood is at least on the list.
    Teen Dream is a much better album than Contra, I also think that it should be number 1 so maybe i’m not being fair, but even Yeasayer should be higher than Vampire Weekend, in my opinion.
    Also I kind of feel like Janelle Monae’s album was like a female vocals version of Plastic Beach. It is also better than Plastic Beach.

  31. Agree with some that it’s too early for these lists but here’s what mine would look like at this point, it’ll change by year’s end I’m sure.

    53.Surfer Blood: Astro Coast
    52.The New Pornographers: Together
    51.She & Him: Volume Two
    50.Gaslight Anthem: American Slang
    49.Spoon: Transference
    48.Band Of Horses: Infinite Arms
    47.Ratatat: LP4
    46.Delorean: Bubiza
    45.Charlotte Gainsbourg: IRM
    44.Blitzen Trapper: Destroyer Of The Void
    43.Crystal Castles: Crystal Castles (II)
    42,Pantha Du Prince: Black Noise
    41.Mumford And Sons: Sigh No More
    40.Shout Out Louds: Work
    39.Gorillaz: Plastic Beach
    38.Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings: I Learned The Hard Way
    37.Sleigh Bells: Treats
    36.Yeasayer: Odd Blood
    35.Owen Pallet: Heartland
    34.Caribou: Swim
    33.Hot Chip: One Life Stand
    32.Fang Island: Fang Island
    31.Broken Bells: Broken Bells
    30.Liars: Sisterworld
    29.Male Bonding: Nothing Hurts
    28.Dr. Dog: Shame, Shame
    27.Joanna Newsom: Have One On Me
    26.Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Beat The Devil’s Tattoo
    25.Quasi: American Gong
    24.Deftones: Diamond Eyes
    23.Harlem: Hippies
    22.Tame Impala: Innerspeaker
    21.Jonsi: Go
    20.The Black Keys: Brothers
    19.MGMT: Congratulations
    18.The Besnard Lakes: Are The Roaring Night
    17.Woods: At Echo Lake
    16.Wild Nothing: Gemini
    15.Titus Andronicus: The Monitor
    14.Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma
    13.The Morning Benders: Big Echo
    12.Vampire Weekend: Contra
    11.The Tallest Man On Earth: The Wild Hunt
    10.Gonjasufi: A Sufi And A Killer
    09.Erykah Badu: New Amerykah Pt. 2, Return Of The Ankh
    08.Four Tet: There Is Love In You
    07.Gil Scott-Heron: I’m New Here
    06.Local Natives: Gorilla Manor
    05.LCD Soundsystem: This Is Happening
    04.The National: High Violet
    03.Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti: Before Today
    02.Beach House: Teen Dream
    01.Janelle Monae: The ArchAndroid

  32. Any negative feelings people have for whatever reason aside, Contra is my album of the year. High Violet not far behind though–especially after seeing the songs played live.

    Other than that I do like the list: “Rhinestone Eyes” and “On Melancholy Hill” are both so good.

  33. I am extremely pleased to see Plastic Beach on here. Its my favorite album of the year so far, and alot of my other favorites are on here too. eg: Surfer Blood. Anyone who doesn’t think Gorillaz belongs on here. (SubsickAlien) cannot have even listened to the album. It was brilliant.

  34. This list is lacking 2 things for me, Tallest Man on Earth and Teen Dream in the number 1 slot. Broken Bells isn’t top 5(or even 10) good either. But Local Natives almost in the Top 10 makes up for atleast 2 of those. So really people who vote on NPR polls just need to listen to the Tallest Man on Earth and I will be happy

  35. Caribou, Joanna Newsom, and Janelle Monae are top 10 material. Uhmmm, duh.

  36. tallest man on earth, for crying out loud! he played your tiny desk concert, npr! wtf!

  37. surprisingly (or not so surprisingly?) almost all my favourites of the year so far are here, despite being a little (or a lot) out of order.

    only, I feel like the only one who simply loved Ben Sollee’s & Daniel Martin Moore’s Dear Companion? easily one of my top five for sure.

  38. Wow, no Tallest Man on Earth? I can’t take this list seriously at all.

  39. We all have different opinions and that’s fabulous and great. On that note, I think the Morning Benders and Local Natives albums are the two most overrated ones of the year. Pretty harmonies and lots of layers and all that, but pretty bland songs outside of one or two. I should love both of those albums based on my tastes, but I don’t.

  40. Not having ‘Good Morning, Magpie’ by Murder By Death seems like something a bunch of silly people would do.

  41. Pretty sure everyone had forgotten about The Knife’s travesty of a new album by now.

  42. I don’t get why Foals aren’t getting any recognition in the US. Total LIfe Forever is definitely my album of the year so far.

    also eels – the end?

  43. anyone who publicly proclaims to have loved the new MGMT album is just being pretentious.I’m pretty sure the album was meant as a costly,elaborate joke,a sort of massive “F*** You!” to their newfound fame following the last album.MGMT will announce about two years from now that this album was meant as a joke,or something because I truly see no value (Ok,”Something’s Missing” was kinda beautiful but lasted like 2 seconds) and the album in its entirety seems to be either a massive punchline to a joke only MGMT themselves get,or an prelude to something else.

    • Really, are you serious? Congratulations was a really beautiful album. Have you heard Siberian Breaks? That is a beautiful and epic song. The whole album is epic and beautiful. Also Congratulations is not a joke at all.

    • Wow. You’re a moron. Congratulations (omg pun intended).

  44. I need More Funk Music on this list.
    (((Long Live Funk MUSIC)))

    Im glad caribou & David Byrne made the List. Dopeness!!!

  45. LOS CAMPESINOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111111111

    This post is a good place to bitch about the future


  46. i miss:

    future islands – in evening air
    active child – curtis lane EP
    dom – sun-bronzed greek gods EP
    ariel pink
    tame impala
    the tallest man on earth

  47. wheres Slash’s album?? defo one of the best albums of 2010, not just heavy, its very melodic.

  48. The Acorns “No ghost” is amazing, should of made it on this list. If you haven’t heard it you really need too.

    The Emeralds new Cd “Does it look like i’m here” is awesome as well, should of made it somewhere on here

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