Stereogum's Top 50 Albums Of 2010 - Header

Do you remember “glo-fi”? The much maligned chillwave? Of course you do … for now. It’s interesting to note that after all of 2010′s trendy genre terms and hot-for-a-minute one-man bands, our Top 5 consists of a handful of sturdy veterans. The Top 10 expands to include a couple newcomers, newbies amid, again, three established crews. What does it mean? Well, the situation’s analogue to 2006 when a number of so-called “blog rock” bands like Tapes ’N Tapes, Clap Your Hand Say Yeah, and Cold War Kids made immediate wav(v)es, but albums released by old standbys received the year-end kudos. This isn’t to say you should reject the new — there are plenty of debut albums in our Top 50 and plenty of worthwhile debuts that didn’t make it — but it does say something about the amount of music released and processed and then forgotten in any given year. (Trivia: Which band that debuted in ’06 made it into our Top 5?) A positive result of all the fractures, fissures, flashy genre names: The average listener is definitely hearing more music and becoming more adventurous than in, say, 2006. (Sorry Decemberists.) Which means bands that may have seemed too “weird” for a casual listener even a few years ago are popping up in unexpected places in 2010.

It’s unclear why — oil slicks, down economy, jeggings — but it’s also been a much darker year for music via bands like Crystal Castles, oOoOO, Balam Acab, Zola Jesus, White Ring, Salem, Frank (Just Frank), the sundry so-called “witch house” (and Wierd) crews. As a result, the following list features more than a couple folks who might be charged with having goth tendencies (or at least black nail polish and old Cure and/or Kate Bush shirts). To take this sense of adventure into another direction, our No. 1 is someone your father might even know about and our No. 5 is on a “major label.” Notions of what “indie rockers” listen to is shifting and expanding, a positive step toward escaping the pratfalls of across-the-board year-end list homogeneity.

One of the fun things about lists is discovery, so it doesn’t make sense giving away too much, but we will say that what follows is the result of four people saying yes and no and maybe, and that if you were to break out individual lists from it, they’d look very different. (That said, if you asked us to collaborate again, it would look very much the same.) It should be noted that the following doesn’t include any metal — a separate one-man list for the heavy stuff will show up in Haunting The Chapel later this month, so please don’t ask why we didn’t include Agalloch or Watain. Also, we disqualified EPs; those get their own special ranking below the main list.

Start digging, digesting, and disagreeing.

Emeralds - Does It Look Like I'm Here50 EmeraldsDoes It Look Like I’m Here?

Small Black - New Chain49 Small BlackNew Chain

Sharon Van Etten - Epic48 Sharon Van EttenEpic

Baths - Cerulean47 BathsCerulean

Frank (Just Frank) - The Brutal Wave46 Frank (Just Frank)The Brutal Wave

Perfume Genius - Learning45 Perfume GeniusLearning

Field Music - Field Music (Measure)44 Field MusicField Music (Measure)

Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty43 Big BoiSir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty

Lower Dens - Twin-Hand Movement42 Lower DensTwin-Hand Movement

Oneohtrix Point Never - Returnal41 Oneohtrix Point NeverReturnal

Glasser - Ring40 GlasserRing

Gold Panda - Lucky Shiner39 Gold PandaLucky Shiner

Avey Tare - Down There38 Avey TareDown There

jj - nº337 jjjj nº3

the morning benders - Big Echo36 the morning bendersBig Echo

Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky35 SwansMy Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky

Titus Andronicus - The Monitor34 Titus AndronicusThe Monitor

MGMT - Congratulations33 MGMTCongratulations

Twin Shadow - Forget32 Twin ShadowForget

Warpaint - The Fool31 WarpaintThe Fool

Das Racist - Shut Up, Dude30 Das RacistShut Up, Dude

Matthew Dear - Black City29 Matthew DearBlack City

Delorean - Subiza28 DeloreanSubiza

Janelle Monae - The ArchAndroid27 Janelle MonaeThe ArchAndroid

Tame Impala - Innerspeaker26 Tame ImpalaInnerspeaker

ceo - White Magic25 ceoWhite Magic

Tamaryn - The Waves24 TamarynThe Waves

SALEM - King Night23 SALEMKing Night

Marnie Stern - Marnie Stern22 Marnie SternMarnie Stern

Liars - Sisterworld21 LiarsSisterworld

Ariel Pink - Before Today20 Ariel Pink’s Haunted GraffitiBefore Today

Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma19 Flying LotusCosmogramma

Abe Vigoda - Crush18 Abe VigodaCrush

Owen Pallett - Heartland17 Owen PallettHeartland

The National - High Violet16 The NationalHigh Violet

The-Dream - Love King15 The-DreamLove King

Yeasayer - Odd Blood14 YeasayerOdd Blood

LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening13 LCD SoundsystemThis Is Happening

Crystal Castles - II12 Crystal CastlesII

Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me11 Joanna NewsomHave One On Me

Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest10 DeerhunterHalcyon Digest

Wild Nothing - Gemini09 Wild NothingGemini

Antony & The Johnsons - Swanlights08 Antony & The JohnsonsSwanlights

Vampire Weekend - Contra07 Vampire WeekendContra

Sleigh Bells - Treats06 Sleigh BellsTreats

Robyn - Body Talk05 RobynBody Talk

Sufjan Stevens - The Age Of Adz04 Sufjan StevensThe Age Of Adz

Beach House - Teen Dream03 Beach HouseTeen Dream

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs02 Arcade FireThe Suburbs

Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy01 Kanye WestMy Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy


Here’s that list in more copy/paste friendly format so you can post on your LiveJournal:

50 EmeraldsDoes It Look Like I Am Here?
49 Small BlackNew Chain
48 Sharon Van EttenEpic
47 BathsCerulean
46 Frank (Just Frank)The Brutal Wave
45 Perfume GeniusLearning
44 Field MusicField Music (Measure)
43 Big BoiSir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
42 Lower DensTwin-Hand Movement
41 Oneohtrix Point NeverReturnal
40 GlasserRing
39 Gold PandaLucky Shiner
38 Avey TareDown There
37 jjjj nº3
36 the morning bendersBig Echo
35 SwansMy Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky
34 Titus AndronicusThe Monitor
33 MGMTCongratulations
32 Twin ShadowForget
31 WarpaintThe Fool
30 Das RacistShut Up, Dude
29 Matthew DearBlack City
28 DeloreanSubiza
27 Janelle MonaeThe ArchAndroid
26 Tame ImpalaInnerspeaker
25 ceoWhite Magic
24 TamarynThe Waves
23 SALEMKing Night
22 Marnie SternMarnie Stern
21 LiarsSisterworld
20 Ariel Pink’s Haunted GraffitiBefore Today
19 Flying LotusCosmogramma
18 Abe VigodaCrush
17 Owen PallettHeartland
16 The NationalHigh Violet
15 The-DreamLove King
14 YeasayerOdd Blood
13 LCD SoundsystemThis Is Happening
12 Crystal CastlesII
11 Joanna NewsomHave One On Me
10 DeerhunterHalcyon Digest
09 Wild NothingGemini
08 Antony & The JohnsonsSwanlights
07 Vampire WeekendContra
06 Sleigh BellsTreats
05 RobynBody Talk
04 Sufjan StevensThe Age Of Adz
03 Beach HouseTeen Dream
02 Arcade FireThe Suburbs
01 Kanye WestMy Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy


Coming up with the Stereogum list meant leaving out some personal favorites of our four staff members, so here are each of our HONORABLE MENTIONS:

01 S. CareyAll We Grow
02 Jaga JazzistOne-Armed Bandit
03 Best CoastCrazy For You

01 Pantha Du PrinceBlack Noise
02 Earl SweatshirtEARL
3a PVTChurch With No Magic
3b WeekendSports
3c ARPThe Soft Wave

01 Sun City GirlsFuneral Mariachi
02 Daniel HiggsSay God
3a M.I.A./\/\/\Y/\
3b Blessure GraveJudged By Twelve, Carried By Six
3c The Dead CPatience

01 Scout NiblettThe Calcination Of Scout Niblett
02 DrakeThank Me Later
03 Wolf ParadeExpo ’86


And as mentioned in the intro, we decided to do EPs as a separate list — because, really, as we started compiling our individual staff lists we released 2010 generated more amazing EPs than any year in our collective recent memory.


15 BlondesTouched
14 Laurel HaloKing Felix
13 KingdomMind Reader
12 GatekeeperGiza
11 Janka NabayBubu King
10 LemonadePure Moods
09 Tanlines – Settings
08 oOoOOoOoOO
07 Sufjan StevensAll Delighted People
06 GamesEverything Is Working
05 Balam AcabSee Birds
04 GirlsBroken Dreams Club
03 Twin SisterColor Your Life
02 James BlakeCMYK
01 Zola JesusStridulum


Finally, remember the Gummy Awards? This would’ve been their fifth year, but we realized too late that the code to build it was swallowed when we moved to WordPress earlier this year. So this is a modified Gummys, because we still want to know what you think. Fill out these fields by Friday 12/17 at 6 PM EST and we’ll post the rankings soon after. We won’t use your e-mail address (no spam-o) to do anything other than pick one voter at random to receive a Wavves grinder (i.e., the perfect stocking stuffer).

No more submissions accepted at this time.
Comments (390)
  1. small black better than emeralds? thats wrong in so many ways

  2. I’m starting to feel like I’m the only person who really enjoyed Romance Is Boring.

    • You are not alone.

    • It’s just outside my personal top 10. I enjoyed it, but I haven’t liked the last two (counting We Are Beautiful…) as much as the first. Romance is Boring was like a lot of albums I listened to this year in that it had a few really, really great songs, and a bunch of stuff that I didn’t care for as much.

      They put on a hell of a live show, though.

      • I traveled to NY specifically to see them and they were excellent. I met most of the band and got my shirt signed by all of them. I called Gareth “sir” because I’m cool.

      • The three LC! albums are each great in their own little way. It really depends on your mood, I think, so it’s understandable that some people might not like the last two in comparison two the first.
        Hold On Now, Youngster was, like most people say, a sugar rush. An album brimming with energy, poppy melodies, and tons of punk riffage. WAB, WAD was a bit more of a powerhouse. It was incredibly dense and packed with noise, and the songs, specifically the first three hit you like a brick. Romance Is Boring was a lot more experimental and carefully orchestrated, so it seemed to waver back and forth between WAB’s heavy sludge and Hold On’s glockenspiel fetishes. It’s great in that it had everything the band currently had to offer and that you find something new every time you listen, since the band paid so much attention to detail. The last two albums are a lot heavier in subject matter too, so I think you have to have a certain degree of self-loathing to totally love them – probably the exact amount you find in awkward teenage boys, which is why it’s not surprising that I love all of them with a burning passion.

        But yes, each album has it’s good qualities and it’s bad qualities. To each his own. Sorry for the lengthy analysis. I’ve just always wanted to say these things.

        And yeah, that is one hell of a live show. Especially when you’re standing directly in front of Gareth in a tiny bar in Toronto.

        • No Romance is Boring is a crime. my #4 album of the year, the thing is fantastic.

          And no Local Natives? I know it got released in some back alley at the very end of last year, but wasn’t an offical 2010 us release till like february or something. I didn’t really hit into them till May. So they are my #3 album of 2010.

    • That was quite an enjoyable album. Haven’t listened to it since it came out, though.

    • I love RiB so much. Maybe too much? Every time I see a list that doesn’t have it, I get all

    • Romance Is Boring is soooo good! Nobody gives any love to Los Campesinos! these days.

    • you are not alone. In a year and a half, Los Campesinos went from being a band I’d never heard of to my most-played band. RAB is my number 2 listened to album on

      I love that RAB is just a little bit darker than the other albums, you can really see where the band has grown. Yeah, it’s my top album of the year.

    • Excluding RiB is probably the biggest lack of this list. It’s in my personal top 5.

      • Totally agree with you guys, Romance is Boring is probably my favorite of the year by a considerable distance in what was an incredible year. They also put on one of the best live shows I’ve seen and it’s even cooler they hang around to meet people, they’re all very genuinely sweet (I think I was actually amazed how nice Gareth is in person considering the way he comes across sometimes in lyrics and online). They all signed my copy of the record and I got some hugs and pictures.

        I was totally there at the Wrongbar show too, Brock, with JoFo? Insane, just amazing.

  3. No room for a little Gorillaz love? Plastic Beach has been so ignored this year; I didn’t expect that from you as well!

    • Gorillaz is on 90% of the lists I’ve read, most of which put it in the Top 10. Personally, like Janelle Monae and Ariel Pink, I don’t understand the overwhelming love.

    • I agree. That album was the best of the year for me, with Joanna Newsom right on its heels. As strange as this sounds, it felt like a great leap forward for the cartoon band, and a great leap away from all the cheeky gimmicks that came with them in the early days; almost no filler, and just a great batch of songs. And with all the Gorillaz related posts on here, I’m surprised it didn’t make the list at all. :(

  4. Titus Andronicus is Top 10. Oh and ditto for Gorillaz.

    • Whats so special about Titus Andronicus? I think the concept behind the album is cool, but the music itself doesnt really strike me as that inventive or trailblazing. It just seems like the buzz band to namedrop this year.

      • The Album will appeal to kids who grew up listening to punk rock, their music is jsut raw and its refreshing to hear a band take a genre I once loved and do it justice. Also, it really palys into the anger at the boring worlds we live in, and that is beautiful.

        • I’d argue that it’s for those who totally missed punk rock when they were kids. A safe, “brainy” excuse for them to be loud. What/ever.

          • The Monitor is one of the greatest lyrical achievements in recent memory. Often turning the very trite into the borderline heartbreaking. It is a great album. That and Beach House’s Teen Dream were my favorites, I think. I haven’t made a list.

  5. Regardless of assorted placements (my personal number 2 spot goes to LCD. I think that record was one of the best I’ve heard in a long time), I think this is a nice list and includes all the things I would have chosen to include.

    I’d also like to note that I think the forward is particularly on point — most of the things that blew me away this year were released by veterans. Plenty of very solid new music this year, but I’m hopeful that in the near future a newcomer will come along and make waves in a way that seems long lasting and Bigger than just blog love. RIP Chill Wave (2010-2010)

    • My ballot had LCD much higher, but again this was a group effort that involved math and stuff!

      • Ha I know, I just wanted to provide a counter-comment to all the annoying “WHAT?! GLASSER SHOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH HIGHER!” comments that are going to come in. As long as the good stuff is on there somewhere I’m happy.

    • OK, will you then please explain this LCD album to me? I know there is SOMETHING I’m missing. Here are my detractors:

      1) I think “Dance Yrself Clean” is an awful opening track. 3 minutes 30 seconds of dicken around and “present company” repetitions before we can actually start jamming? It doesn’t build like “Get Innocuous” (a FAR superior opening track) so i really don’t see the point of turning the volume up on my stereo only to turn it back down when it finally decides to be a song.

      2) Does anybody like “Someone’s Calling Me” ? Personally, I liked it better when it was called “Nightclubbin’” and Iggy Pop was singing.

      3) Are we giving “Drunk Girls” the same pass as “North American Scum” ? On that note, does anybody think this album is BETTER than Sound of Silver?

      Honestly, I’m a big LCD fan. Saw him at Coachella, loved it. Own his first album and Sound of Silver on vinyl. But I feel like I’m THE ONLY ONE this year who thinks that James Murphy put out a sub-par album.

      SO, please, please, please, fans of this album, tell me something I’m missing. Or else I fear this album will forever be a mystery to me.

      Thanks in advance. I’m being sincere & serious.

      • As someone who did not dig it at first, I can understand. Now I think that it is sometimes better than Sound of Silver depending on my mood.

        1) I’m a big fan of Murphy’s lyricism, so if you listen to the first 3 minutes, he is saying the greatest shit ever. Harping on his friends for 3 minutes while saying “Present company excepted.” It’s hilarious. And the 3 minute wait is worth it because of the insane explosion at 3’08″. Heard it in a dance bar once and was pretty impressed by how well everyone responded to it.

        2) Could take or leave SCM, but don’t hate.

        3) I love North American Scum, so maybe I’m wrong to answer this. Drunk Girls, however bad on the first 10 listens, is in my opinion his response to “You wanted a hit.” Someone wanted a hit from him, so he wrote a shitty hit-like single and called it Drunk Girls. I think it’s hilarious and explained by You Wanted a hit.

        I think this album is just as good as the others, if not better. And live it was killer. Starting off with DYK and ending with Home (which has the same melody at the end) made it feel like it came full circle.

        • Thanks for the answers samoven07, MUCH appreciated.

          Anybody else care to chime in and defend “This Is Happening” ?

          • I agree with you..hugely overrated.
            In general don’t listen to music to just be amused and a highly clever and ironic song is not a proper substitute for a good one.

          • Well I’m glad I asked, as damn near every top albums of 2010 has “This” in the top 10, even saw one with it at number one.

            It seems it is the lyrics that is the problem. If you think, like many, that his lyrics are nothing special, then this record feels hollow. He just sounds so fucking pretentious on every song here, but dude can’t sing or rap — at least Kanye can rap.

            Point is, if you’re going to give me long-winded beats (“You Wanted a Hit” is long-winded with really no great climax) then at least give me some lyrics I want to sing-a-long to and not feel like a dick.

          • I love This is Happening and my favorite songs are Dance Yrself Clean and Home. I love the slow build and the vocals on both tracks. I don’t like it as much as Sound of Silver but it is still an excellent album.

          • I’m all about opinions, and even I also think “Home” is a good track (love that robot video too).

            But I don’t see how you can love “Dance Yrself Clean” because of its slow build. Is that what you call a slow build? “Get Innocuous” = slow build. “Dance Yrself Clean” = beat with a break. I’m fine with you loving it, but at least give me a factually correct reason for loving it.

      • This guy knows whats up. Seriously, I don’t understand why the LCD album is ranked so high on all these top of the year lists, other than the fact that it’s supposedly the final LCD Soundsystem album and everyone is paying their respects (what is this, the Oscars?)

        Sound of Silver is *infinitely* better than This is Happening.
        45:33 is better than This is Happening.

      • Shit is whack. Just go back and listen to David Bowie. It is better and sexier.

      • Just to let you know I totally agree with everything you said, Sound Of Silver hit me in the balls, This Is Happening hit me like a bitch-slap.

      • “present company excepted” – is him commenting on how we tend to judge those people similar to us that we don’t know. When two strangers create a Venn diagram together, neither one wants to rejected… we feel threatened by the presence of another human that is similar to us, because they could possibly be “better” than us!

  6. I like this list, except Joanna Newsom should be in the Top 10 (I know, #11 is good, but srsly).

  7. I agree with some of your choices, but then there are some of your choices I do not agree with. Fortunately, I am secure in the music that I do enjoy, so that does not change my enjoyment of that music.

  8. I actually enjoy this list as it included many personal favorites, as well as albums that deserve to be recognized for their outstanding accomplishments.

    Glad to see the Stereogum held true and listed Kanye West’s album as the best of the year, as it deserves to be recognized for its truly remarkable addition to the world of music. What a piece of artwork that entire album is…

    What people should consider is that with all the music that is released throughout the year, there is no possible way for anyone to truly rank in numerical order the best and worst album of the year. They should take these lists and look at it and say, “Awesome, my favorite album was included (no matter where it lies).” I look at these lists and think that it’s great to see so many bands recognized for their wonderful musical efforts, and more importantly, it exposes me to more albums/artists that I may have passed over and truly never heard of before.

    Let the Kanye haters rain all over this thread as well…

  9. Disagreeing with year-end lists is so 2008, you guys.

  10. Best Coast is up there. Also. Why is Kanye #1 on everyone’s list? That’s an obvious miscalculation.

  11. I like that Sleigh Bells record, but I’ve had a hard time liking it as much since their crappy performance at Pitchfork. Vampire Weekend was good, but I have a hard time not comparing it to the first album, which I liked better.

    Lists are lists, I guess, but I apparently liked the stuff from Titus Andronicus, Deerhunter, the Morning Benders, and especially the Besnard Lakes a lot more than a lot of people.

  12. I vote Panda Bear’s “Tomboy” best of 2015 (because that’s probably when the record will finally be released).

    • ahhhh. well that’s just wrong. i don’t know why people are giving you the “thumbs up,” little guy.

      don’t drink the Kool-Aid everyone. this dude is whack.

      • i’m just tired of anticipating it already. anyone else? i loved person pitch of course, don’t get me wrong. but it sure seems like someone is stringing the fans along with this album, be it artist or label.

  13. liyxam1  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2010 +4


  14. No albums-of-the-year list will ever make anyone entirely happy other than those people who made the list, I know this. These lists never upset me. Different strokes for different folks and stuff.

    But how does Broken Social Scene not even crack your top 50!? You picked 50 (FIFTY!) albums!

    This is bonkers.

  15. Am I the only one who believes Kanye is WAY overrated. No. 1 on every list I’ve read so far. Give me a break.

  16. liyxam1  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2010 +6

    toro y moi toro y moi toro y moi toro y moi toro y moi toro y moi
    toro y moi toro y moi toro y moi toro y moi toro y moi toro y moi
    toro y moi toro y moi toro y moi toro y moi toro y moi toro y moi
    toro y moi toro y moi toro y moi toro y moi toro y moi toro y moi

    • SRSLY, causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this causers of this

  17. As far as lists go, it’s unfair to include an EP next to an album. It’s far easier to put 4-6 good songs than make a coherent 10+ song effort. Also, people tend to be far more comfortable giving the top spots to old established acts than gamble it away to a newer artist. I guess there’s fear that things won’t quite turn out as expected, read they’d be one-album wonders.

    Having said that, bitching time! No love for Gorillaz, Walkmen, Menomena or Caribou?!?!?! Even though, I really enjoyed Wild Nothing it gets a lot of negative points based on lack of originality. Not top 10 material, in my honest opinion, there were far better debuts this year.

    Other wise, good list in general. Would have liked a favorite song list and videos? *gummy withdrawal*

  18. No new pornographers? Bobby Bare, Jr? Belle & Sebastian? Guess I’m not hip.

    • the absence of together is stunning and broken social scene and nearly every other great Canadian band is a disaster. Really goes to show the American skew this site has especially seeing as they went as mainstream as possible and gave Kanye West’s repeat of everything he has done before and made it number one?

  19. Even though I disagree with the omission of Holy Fuck’s ‘Latin’ or with placing Kanye at the very top, I must admit that the list does one thing brilliantly: not including Best Coast. Thank you for that.

    • Yeah, on one hand I like some of Best Coast’s stuff, so I kind of get when they (she?) winds up in someone’s list of best whatever, but then the other part of my brain remembers that the whole album is kind of one song and goes “waitwhatwhyhow?”

    • Oh man… Latin came out this year! I’d expect to see it in the top 10.

  20. I’m not really feeling this, but that’s probably because I haven’t heard 50% of the albums on this list. When did everyone start hating of Montreal? False Priest is top ten material. And Titus should be top 5, at least. And am I the only one that finds Joanna Newsom boring?

    • liyxam1  |   Posted on Dec 8th, 2010 0

      ever since her first album she has been slighlty dull. still love her though.

    • Oh wait, I just realized this list has no Spoon. Yeah, this list sucks.

    • I was extremely disappointed by oM’s album. I, like SG, would not have included it in the top ten nor top 50. I expected so much more out of him after “Skeletal Lamping.”

      • False Priest is the most fun I’ve had with an album this year. It’s almost like comedy. Hissing Fauna and Skeletal Lamping felt much more tense, druggy and crazy; and I liked that Kevin Barnes, but I much prefer this funnier and playful version of him.

        • Yeah, I went into this year saying that FP would be the album of the year, but now that it’s almost over, I’m not so sure at all… I thought the album didn’t evoke much emotion from me. When i listen(ed) to older OM, past all the dancing/drugs/debauchery, I was comforted by his lyrics, or hurt by them, or at least felt something. WIth FP, however, I just never connected. But the music is still good and it’s probably top ten. Just not #1.

  21. No love for Best Coast at all? Salem in the mid-20s? Glasser and Perfume Genius in the 40s? Kanye at #1? Really? That’s what we are going with this year? Kanye puts out solid album after solid album but he’s the AC/DC of hip-hop. It all pretty much is the same. Same is good but it’s still the same, and you are going to put that above Arcade Fire? Really? Yeah this is all very weird.

  22. How did No Age not even crack the top 50? Surely there has been a mistake.

  23. Honestly, Stereogum you did a great fully rounded list that was mostly inclusive to the best new hope (and some hype) of 2010, but was balanced. Personally, your top 10 was probably the best I have seen on year end lists thus far, but I thought Zola Jesus Stridulum 2 was an LP and NOT EP, so I don’t know why it didnt feature as album?

  24. Tallest Man on Earth, Caribou and No Age were all in my top 8. This was a shitty year for buzzbands, to put third tier garbage like sleigh bells in the top ten is just stupid.

  25. Gross omissions:
    NO AGE


    • Completely agree with Broken Social Scene and No Age. Dare I say that Broken Social Scene released their best album since You Forgot It In People….?

    • No Spoon… No Walkmen… No Best Coast… NO Tallest Man on Earth… CRAZY!

      Tallest Man and Walkmen are in my top 10 this year for sure and while Transference didn’t do as much for me as any other Spoon record has, it’d still be comfortably in my top 50. I’m also surprised to see Titus Andronicus back so low… love that record.

      By the way, one of my favorite records of the year I stumbled upon at an LES club over the summer… check these guys out…

  26. Where are The Hold Steady and Belle and Sebastian on your list? (And Janelle should be higher.)

  27. Am I the only one surprised that Jonsi hasn’t made any of these year-end lists yet? I’m not even saying it’s Top Ten material, but I would have expected it to break into some of these longer lists, at least. Especially on a site like Stereogum.

  28. No Gorillaz, no No Age, no Surfer Blood, no Broken Belles, no Wavves.

    Not even an honorable mention. Guess they had to make room for The-Dream.

  29. No, that is not how you spell Bells.

  30. Lot of Kanye hate going on in the comments! I honestly and sincerely believe that his album was BY FAR the best album of the year. I mean, in my personal opinion it’s the best album of the last several years, but that’s just me. I think it was a huge step forward for him creatively, I think it was a really interesting album as both a pop album and a hip hop album, and I think it deserves to top all the year end lists.

    • Let’s sample original hits and rap over them like they’re our own. This is Kanye’s definition of creativity and originality. He plays the same cards every time. And his head is bigger than the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima. Can’t think of a more self-important voice in hip-hop today.

      • Honestly, he really is self important and kind of doltish with his ego tripping. But as much as I HATED to even consider him as artistically credible or relevant, that all changed when I heard “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”. It really is a very special album and I personally think one of the top 3 of the year. If it has the staying power to convert a former Kanye hater, then the record has succeeded and by that merit alone, worthy of attention. I’d say to give it a spin mra and go from there:)

      • I can definitely understand having a problem with his persona, though I personally think there’s something so genuine about it that it doesn’t bother me. But to discredit sampling in 2010? Seems like an outdated argument. He has definitely created new music with the samples that is both creative and original, and it’s definitely worthy of its praise. If sampling this well and this creatively is so easy then everybody would be creating albums this good, but the fact is that they’re not.

      • …Or a voice that backs it up with talent every time…

      • ‘sample original hits and rap over them like they’re our own’?! Yeah, this is NOT a 2010 argument; this was my friends circa ’91. With the evolution of hip-hop over the last twenty years, your ‘argument’ might be better for bands who play G/C/Am chord progressions like they are their own…

  31. So here’s my definitive list of 2010…

    50. Girl Talk – All Day
    49. M.I.A. – /\/\ /\ Y /\
    48. Avey Tare – Down There
    47. No Age – Everything In Between
    46. Grinderman – Grinderman 2
    45. The Black Keys – Brothers
    44. Four Tet – There Is Love In You
    43. Caribou – Swim
    42. Vampire Weekend – Contra
    41. Owen Pallett – Heartland
    40. Band Of Horses – Infinite Arms
    39. Frighttened Rabbit – The Winter Of Mixed Drinks
    38. Zola Jesus – Stridulum II
    37. Liars – Sisterworld
    36. Sleigh Bells – Treats
    35. Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me
    34. Das Racist – Shut Up, Dude
    33. Fang Island – Fang Island
    32. The Roots – How I Got Over
    31. Antony & The Johnsons – Swanlights
    30. Male Bonding – Nothing Hurts
    29. The Books – The Way Out
    28. Baths – Cerulean
    27. Jónsi – Go
    26. CEO – White Magic
    25. Yeasayer – Odd Blood
    24. Wild Nothing – Gemini
    23. The Morning Benders – Big Echo
    22. The Radio Dept. – Clinging To A Scheme
    21. Field Music – Field Music (Measure)
    20. Titus Andronicus – The Monitor
    19. Tame Impala – Innerspeaker
    18. Gil Scott-Heron – I’m New Here
    17. Glasser – Ring
    16. MGMT – Congratulations
    15. Gonjasufi – A Sufi And A Killer
    14. Local Natives – Gorilla Manor
    13. Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
    12. Sufjan Stevens – The Age Of Adz
    11. Marnie Stern – Marnie Stern
    10. The Tallest Man On Earth – The Wild Hunt
    09. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
    08. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today
    07. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
    06. Women – Public Strain
    05. The National – High Violet
    04. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
    03. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
    02. Beach House – Teen Dream
    01. Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid

    • I really like that Radio Dept. album. I am somewhat surprised that it hasn’t appeared on more lists.

    • I was all ready to complain about this until I got to #1.

    • Well I can definitely jive with your list better than SG’s! Nice to see Titus Andronicus get the bump up but they’d be in my top 10 for sure. Also nice to see Tallest man up there. Gotta say though… I was so utterly disappointed by Band of Horses and Frightened Rabbit that I couldn’t include them on a top anything! Glad to see Local Natives on there too! I mentioned these guys in another comment but from the look of your list I bet you’d dig them –
      they played after my friend’s band a few months ago and i’ve been listening to their EP like crazy since

  32. Cold War Kids – Behave Yourself not in the top 15 EPs of the year??? How??

  33. No Grinderman? Aww…

  34. No Lisbon? Whoa.

  35. I like the top 5.
    Contra, Swanlights, hum…, god, but I’m not sure. And where’s The Tallest Man on Earth??

  36. i mean, “good”, no “god”

  37. I do agree that the list is pretty on, though I still think that Kanye’s newest is overrated and the glaring omissions of The Walkmen and Spoon are pretty… umm… glaring. In other breaking news, my opinions on today’s music means something to exactly one person in this world.

  38. Titus is absurdly low

  39. Nice to see Women in the top 10. PS I Love You and Diamond Rings also had great albums this year, and while they’ve gotten critical attention I think they’ve both been somewhat underrated.

    One more thing, do mixtapes (i.e. Das Racist, Big K.R.I.T., Odd Future, Lil B, Gucci, etc.) count?

  40. Come on! The Head and the Heart!

  41. Happy to see Wild Nothing in the top 10!

    Genuinely surprised Caribou didn’t make this list, especially when I look at 30-50. Wowwie. Also. No Best Coast? I realize many bloggers are worn out on the Bethany buzz, but for f sake, give credit where credit’s due.

    Not as surprised that Tobacco, Gayngs, and Julian Lynch didn’t make it, but I do feel their LPs have gone overlooked by most end-of-year lists. All are brilliant.

    Janelle Monae, Fly Lo, and Big Boi should all be ranked higher IMO.

    That being said, end-of-year lists aren’t much more than a little traffic-driving fun made better by entertainingly stabby reader scrutiny. Let’s not forget that 2010 was a stellar year for music lovers, and we all have our favorites. Bethany still exists, I just checked her Twitter.

    Is it time for the Earl Sweatshirt LP yet?

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

    • Then roll on over to I’m sure their love of all things gaga, is more suited to you and your esophageal preferences. I think they placed miley cyrus on there, too. you and your throat will be very happy…

      • ….and they also gave Kanye the #1 spot.

        Kanye’s album isn’t shit. It’s not even close to bad. But I don’t think it’s the best, of this year, or of his career.

      • You know me so well! Nothing like being profiled as a Top 40 bubblegum fan because I don’t care for overproduced Top 40 hip-hop. Go blow it out your Sprite Remix bottle bong.

        • (that little spitball o’ bile is meant for “mancat”, by the way. kanye’s album ISN’T shit. it’s fine! clearly lots of money was spent on it and it’s a very high quality product. but it’s not #1 best album of the year material. it just isn’t. so, uh, i guess this is where people downvote me some more. HAPPY HOLIDAYS! :-D )

  43. This is a very interesting list.

    Titus Andronicus got SHAFTED. So did Janelle Monae, to a lesser extent.

    I’d have put Gil Scott-Heron on there (in my list, he’s going to be ranked higher than Kanye, which I find rather amusing) but I’m not surprised he didn’t show up.

  44. Good News For Canada
    2, 12 & 17.

    Great to see an e.p. category

  45. also great to see Sufjan so high up.

  46. Vampire Weekend even cracking the Top Ten is laughable if not downright foolish.

  47. Best list I’ve seen so far even if I disagree with a lot of it. Swans should’ve been way higher!

  48. ROMANCE IS BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    FIRST AID KIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    FALSE PRIEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Also, pick me! I focking WANT that grinder!

  49. and yet another press outlet forgets Los Campesinos. Vampire Weekend in the Top 10 is pretty stupid too.

  50. - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

    F R I G H T E N E D R A B B I T ! ! ! “Winter of Mixed Drinks”

    E V E R Y T H I N G E V E R Y T H I N G ! ! ! “Man Alive”

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

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