NME's Top Albums Of 2010

As illustrated by Decibel’s Top 40 earlier today, ’tis the season for list giving. As far as the non-metal kind go (though they did include the Dillinger Escape Plan), NME wisely included Salem’s King Night and Zola Jesus’s Stridulum II in their Top 10. I also appreciate the inclusion of Swans, Glasser, Perfume Genius, and Crystal Castles. Still, as it often goes with these things, there’s plenty of head scratching. Also, as a rule, just because NME thinks you’re Cool, doesn’t mean they love your record.

75 The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – Blood & Fire
74 Sufjan Stevens – The Age Of Adz
73 Interpol – Interpol
72 Male Bonding – Nothing Hurts
71 Field Music – Field Music (Measure)
70 Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record
69 Happy Birthday – Happy Birthday
68 Edwyn Collins – Losing Sleep
67 The Dillinger Escape Plan – Option Paralysis
66 Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
65 Robyn – Body Talk Pt 1
64 Walls – Walls
63 Perfume Genius – Learning
62 Gil Scott-Heron – I’m New Here
61 Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
60 Belle And Sebastian – Write About Love
59 Errors – Come Down With Me
58 Crocodiles – Sleep Forever
57 Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me
56 Mount Kimbie – Crooks & Lovers
55 Ikonika – Contact, Love, Want, Have
54 First Aid Kit – The Big Black and The Blue
53 Kelis – Flesh Tone
52 Dum Dum Girls – I Will Be
51 Charlotte Gainsbourg – IRM
50 Frightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed Drinks
49 Surfer Blood – Astro Coast
48 My Chemical Romance – Danger Days
47 Pulled Apart By Horses – Pulled Apart By Horses
46 Paul Weller – Wake Up The Nation
45 Four Tet – There Is Love In You
44 Manic Street Preachers – Postcards From A Young Man
43 Everything Everything – Man Alive
42 Mystery Jets – Serotonin
41 Steve Mason – Boys Outside
40 Sleigh Bells – Treats
39 Magnetic Man – Magnetic Man
38 Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty
37 Lonelady – Nerve Up
36 Hurts – Happiness
35 Glasser – Ring
34 Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
33 Marina And The Diamonds – The Family Jewels
32 Islet – Wimmy
31 Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles
30 Klaxons – Surfing The Void
29 No Age – Everything In Between
28 New Young Pony Club – The Optimist
27 Best Coast – Crazy For You
26 Les Savy Fav – Root For Ruin
25 Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo
24 Vampire Weekend – Contra
23 Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today
22 Swans – My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky
21 Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid
20 Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
19 MGMT – Congratulations
18 Warpaint – The Fool
17 Factory Floor – Untitled
16 Grinderman – Grinderman 2
15 Yeasayer – Odd Blood
14 The Fall – Your Future, Our Clutter
13 Gayngs – Relayted
12 Caribou – Swim
11The National – High Violet
10 The Drums – The Drums
09 Liars – Sisterworld
08 Salem – King Night
07 Zola Jesus – Stridulum II
06 Foals – Total Life Forever
05 Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can
04 LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
03 Beach House – Teen Dream
02 Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
01 These New Puritans – Hidden

For more information, or if you want to click through a fancy slide show of album art, head to NME.

Comments (157)
  1. While there’s tons here I both agree and disagree with (the nature of lists and opinions etc), I am quite glad to see These New Puritans’ Hidden topping the list. I don’t think it’s gotten the attention it deserves, and hopefully more people will pick it up as a result.

    • Can’t bitch about this list cause they put These New Puritans on top.

      • Although I don’t agree on them being on the top position, I really think they deserve to have a position in at least one of these yearly lists (I don’t think they’ll be mentioned in many more, if at all). It seems like they were pretty much -unfairly- ignored this year. Great, courageous -if at times excessive- album.

  2. Ugh to the Puritans

  3. woozefa  |   Posted on Nov 30th, 2010 +18

    *rant about lists*

    • I can’t believe some of the things that I like are not higher. In addition I am upset that some of the things I dislike are so high.

      • Where is the Walkmen? Are my eyes decieving me? Lisbon is better than pretty much everything on this list.

      • I can not believe Joanna Newsom’s “Have one on me” polled so low. ‘Have one on me’ was a hugely ambitious project and It should have easiily made the top ten.
        Its about the most stunning oversight in the history of the The NME of which i was a religious reader in the eighties..

  4. Surprisingly I’m not as annoyed by their list as much as I expected to be. I think the Brits taste in indie this year shows a lot of love for good new bands that aren’t just about hype. Robyn’s Body Talk (complete) should have made the list and not just Part 1, though.

  5. Outside of 2-4, that top ten is unlistenable. UNLISTENABLE.

  6. I agree with some choices and disagree with others.

  7. how the hell is sleigh bells above surfer blood??

  8. Why is Plastic Beach #66? Defiantly should be #1. Glad The Suburbs is #2 though.

  9. My top 10 would be:

    1. Beach House – Teen Dream
    2. The Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt
    3. How To Dress Well – Love Remains
    4. Suckers – Wild Smile
    5. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot The Son of Chico Dusty
    6. Beach Fossils – Beach Fossils
    7. Owen Pallett – Heartland
    8. Hot Chip – One Life Stand
    9. Caribou – Swim
    10. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

    Honourable mentions to everybody else that released a great album this year… :D

  10. Kanye West
    Arcade Fire
    Sufjan Stevens
    Beach House
    LCD Soundsystem
    The National
    Janelle Monae
    Flying Lotus

    In no order

  11. no Tame Impala?


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

  13. If I had only one thing to complain about, it would be how high MGMT is.

  14. Warpaint :: The Fool
    LCD Soundsystem :: This Is Happening
    Deftones :: Diamond Eyes
    No Age :: Everything In Between
    The National :: High Violet
    Abe Vigoda :: Crush
    Beach House :: Teen Dream
    The Soft Pack :: The Soft Pack
    Black Keys :: Brothers
    Male Bonding :: Nothing Hurts

  15. My top 10 would have been:

    The National
    Laura Marling
    Avi Buffalo
    Sleigh Bells
    Perfume Genius
    Beach House
    Gil Scott Heron

  16. 1. Tame Impala – Innerspeaker
    2. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
    3. Caribou – Swim
    4. The National – High Violet
    5. Beach House – Teen Dream
    6. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
    7. Actress – Splazsh
    8. Midlake – The Courage Of Others
    9. Four Tet – There’s Love in you
    10. No Age – Everything in Between

  17. I agree with most of this list, BUT Cocorosie:Grey Oceans should DEFINITELY be on here.

  18. And hell yes to Laura Marling and First Aid Kit

  19. I hate the term “Top 10″ or however many because it sounds like it’s bestowing an air of objectivity. So I’ll list my ten favorite, or the ten albums I enjoyed listening to the most, with the caveat that there are only so many hours in a day and I can’t listen to everything:

    1) Titus Andronicus – the Monitor
    2) the Morning Benders – Big Echo
    3) Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
    4) the Besnard Lakes – Are the Roaring Night
    5) the Walkmen – Lisbon
    6) Free Energy – Stuck on Nothing
    7) Miles Kurosky – the Desert of Shallow Effects
    8) the Black Keys – Brothers
    9) the Drums – the Drums
    10) The Arcade Fire – Funeral.

    There were at least 15-20 more albums that could have made my list in any other year, including a bunch that have been mentioned by others on this thread (Beach House, Avi Buffalo, LCD, Los Campesinos!, the National, Surfer Blood, Waaves, the Posies, etc.).

  20. God, a year is a long time. If you had asked, without giving me the benefit of Google, whether Beach House, Vampire Weekend, Yeasayer, or MGMT released albums in 2010, I would have replied with much confidence that no, they did not, and all of those came out in 2009.

    Am I getting unstuck in time? Poh-toh-wheet? As befits the endless listing of our time: so it goes.

    • Welcome to the era of the buzzband, Mr. Pilgrim.

      • I felt the same way when I saw Vampire Weekend and Beach House up there. I guess that’s the trade off with all this immediate access to new music… we hear more, but don’t always give some albums the long term love they deserve.

        Gonna listen to that Beach House album right now because I haven’t in a while and because I’m super pumped to see it at #3 on one of these lists.

    • The weirdest is to think that Spoon released Transference this year.

  21. NME is terrible and missed
    The School – Loveless Unbeliever
    The Octopus Project – Hexadecagon
    Ed Harcourt – Lustre
    Lindstrøm & Christabelle – Real Life Is No Cool
    Holy Fuck – Latin
    Allo Darlin’ – Allo Darlin’
    Jamie Lidell – Compass
    Hellogoodbye – Would It Kill You?
    Shining – Blackjazz
    Mono – Holy Ground
    Dr. Dog – Shame Shame
    Teengirl Fantasy – 7AM
    Ninja Tune XX Vol. 1/2
    Marnie Stern – Marnie Stern
    Kvelertak – S/T
    The Black Keys

  22. Sleigh Bells should be higher, and Broken Bells should be on the list period. Glad to see the Drums do well though and not so sure about My Chemical Romance. NME does have a tendency to throw a less buzzed band at the top…the Horrors got it last year. I need to listen to more of these.

    • Man am i glad NME gave The Horrors the #1 spot last year. Pitchfork gave it a 7.8 which is a great score but it had completely passed me by for some reason. Anyhoo, wound up being my favourite album of 2009 (Fuck Buttons being a close second) and one of the few that i still enjoy just as much today. A mesmerising album. And last year was a very strong year for albums!

  23. who are These New Puritans? Should I have heard of them?

  24. Age of Adz 74? Ouch. Especially considering Interpol’s album was pretty much crap. I’m surprisingly alright with the top 20 though. I’ve never been in to These New Puritans though, but if you chop that one off it won’t look too far off from mine. Also, I though Gayngs album was pretty boring, and Oddblood had some great (really great!) songs, but was kind of a crappy album as a whole

    • and since everybody else is doing it…
      1 Beach House
      2 Magic Man
      3 Tallest Man on Earth
      4 Arcade Fire
      6 The National
      7 Deerhunter
      8 Avey Tare
      9 Coma Cinema
      10 Vampire Weekend

      I think Kanye is going to end up in there but I haven’t had it for long enough to decide if its just the initial awesomeness of it or if its going to last (I think it will)

    • Age of Adz didn’t get the critical love it deserved, IMO. Then again, I haven’t listened to it in a couple of weeks and it hasn’t been out that long, so what does that say?

  25. and Since I blatantly forgot to do number 5, I guess thats where I subconsciously decided to put Kanye

  26. Beach House is my #1. The rest I don’t care to place in any kind of order, because ranking anything beyond your favorite seems kind of arbitrary.

  27. Surprisingly it’s a good list. Glad to see Puritans at the top spot.

  28. Picking apart lists and throwing up your own top 10 is always a fun little distraction, but if I can be serious for a moment…

    The new Interpol is on this list and the Black Keys and Broken Bells aren’t.


  29. Wild Nothing? Where are you!

  30. No Tallest Man on Earth?!!? WAAAAARRRRR!!!!!

  31. Also, couldn’t you have gotten a better image of the magazine cover? Amateurs.

  32. I find it repulsive that they skipped over Titus Andronicus. Best release of the year, IMHO. Suburbs comes close, though. And I guess Spoon is too american for NME?

  33. Ok here is mine:

    1.The National: High Violet
    2.Arcade Fire: The Suburbs
    3.Cee Lo-Green: The Lady Killer
    4.Herbie Hancock: The Imagine Project
    5.Peter Gabriel: Scratch My Back
    6.Ray Lamontagne: If God Willin’ and The Creek Don’t rise
    7.Delta Spirit: History From Below
    8. Gotan Project: Tango 3.0
    9.Beach House: Teen Dream
    10.The Tallest Man On Earth: The Wild Hunt

  34. Sufjan at 74 is a joke.

    • 1. The Age of Adz
      2. The Age of Adz
      3. The Age of Adz
      4. The Age of Adz
      5. The Age of Adz
      6. The Age of Adz
      7. The Age of Adz
      8. The Age of Adz
      9. All Delighted People
      10. Contra or whatever

  35. 1) Warpaint – The Fool
    2) LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
    3) Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today
    4) Charlotte Gainsbourg – IRM
    5) Foals – Total Life Forever
    6) Gayngs – Relayted
    7) Caribou – Swim
    8) Beach House -Teen Dream
    9) Deerhunter – Halycon Digest
    10) New Young Pony Club – The Optimist

  36. My List:

    1)The National – HIgh Violet
    2)LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
    3)Beach House – Teen Dream
    4)Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
    5)Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
    6)Caribou – Swim
    7)Surfer Blood – Astro Coast
    8)Tame Impala – Innerspeaker
    9)Sleigh Bells – Treats
    10)Wolf Parade – Expo 86

  37. Tame Impala is definitively missing!

  38. liyxam1  |   Posted on Nov 30th, 2010 +1

    Toro y moi? Surely that should be number 1?

  39. liyxam1  |   Posted on Nov 30th, 2010 0

    And while we’re here – brazos and morning benders as well

  40. liyxam1  |   Posted on Nov 30th, 2010 0

    And born ruffians.

  41. liyxam1  |   Posted on Nov 30th, 2010 +1

    And tame impala.

  42. Hmmmm…pull out all the bands from the UK and turn the entire list on its head and you’re just about there.

  43. Surfer Blood is in my top 5.

  44. Heres my list for the year:

    1. Nirvana – Nevermind
    2. Nirvana – Nevermind

    /end joke

    Some of these bands I havnt given a listen because of their name (these new puritans), but I’ll check em out at least which is what these lists are SUPPOSED to do. I’ve enjoyed though:
    The soft pack
    arcade fire
    no age
    best coast
    wavves?(was that 09? i’m not going to google it right now)
    cymbals eat guitars

    I usually spend most of my time trying to play catch up and I have a hard time enjoying electronic music so that eliminates probably half of these bands.

    What about song of the year though? what would you guys pick?….

    Definitely “The Suburbs – Arcade Fire” for me

    • Real Love by Beach House.

      Honourable mentions:

      Doe Deer – Crystal Castles
      Book of Stories – The Drums
      Killing It – The Hundred in the Hands
      Cold War – Janelle Monae
      Cosa Say – Original Melody
      Panties to the Side – The-Dream
      A More Perfect Union – Titus Andronicus
      !!! – The Hammer

      And none of those (except BH) are on the albums i picked! Class songs though.

  45. Did anyone listen to FORTRESS by Miniature Tigers??? Fuck it may not have been the best album of the year but it was ten times better then half the shit on their list.

  46. this list tells you all you need to know about nme. main grievances, plastic beach and kanye, also, love nick cave but grinderman is ridiculously high ow and four tet is so low, could go on all night really…

  47. the two best albums are by Weekend (on SLumberland Records) and the Hot Rats (2 of the guys from Supergrass).

  48. wilderness survival, on belay belay on is not as poppy as people say, and just because it’s not as arty as there 1st 2nd and 3rd records, I still think it’s my favorite. Also, beach house, I liked a few tracks from laura marling, arcade fire’s cliche but that record sounds pretty sweet. I didn’t even know interpol was still around.

  49. Why is that jpg at the top so pixelated? Seriously Stereogum, get it together!

    • Hey Christopher — the shitty image results from a limitation of our CMS. In order for this story to show up as the main ‘Featured Story’ on our homepage it has to have an image of a minimum width. Which means sometimes we blow up magazine covers for that purpose. Lame, I know, but that’s why. Sorryz!

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