SPIN Top 40 2010

One thing I like about SPIN’s yearly lists: The writing that goes along with them is usually pretty great, even when I don’t care too much about the record(s). They’re also pretty resistant to the lemming effect, hence the inclusion of albums by Robert Plant, Neil Young, and Teenage Fanclub alongside Crystal Castles, Glasser, and Wavves. It’s like Rolling Stone’s hipper younger sibling who still takes some tips from big bro. They also showed respect to M.I.A.’s /\/\/\Y/\, something I predict more people will ultimately be doing more of over the next few years (call it The Liars Effect). You should be pretty familiar with the guy at No. 1.

20 MGMT – Congratulations
19 No Age – Everything In Between
18 Superchunk – Majesty Shredding
17 Beach House – Team Dream
16 Drake – Thank Me Later
15 Titus Andronicus – The Monitor
14 Best Coast – Crazy For You
13 Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Song Of Chico Dusty
12 Yeasayer – Odd Blood
11 Vampire Weekend – Contra
10 Robyn – Body Talk Pt. 1
09 Kid Cudi – Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager
08 M.I.A. – Maya
07 Grinderman – Grinderman 2
06 Janelle Monae – The Archandroid
05 Jamey Johnson – The Guitar Song
04 LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
03 Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
02 Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
01 Kanye West- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

We were asked not to publish the entire list here — Read 21-40 and all accompanying blurbs at SPIN.

 
Comments (52)
  1. Brandon- you refer to SPIN as Rolling Stones younger hipper sibling, SPIN is 25 years old and and has been hipper than RS since its started in 1985. RS covers more politics than music.

    • Right, exactly: Rolling Stone’s 43 years old and used to be cool/cover music, but then it got more interested in politics and scantily clad starlets. That’s the family dynamic, right?

      • What’s a magazine?

      • They are both also now completely inept at listening to any bands. SPIN just ordered any bands that had 3 or more releases for the most part. Doesn’t look like any new bands cracked the top 20 other then Janelle Monae and Best Coast. And Best Coast has had a half dozen EPs and singles before Crazy For You. In a year when almost all the best music was from new bands, this list is pretty useless.

        But at least in the Spin list Bruce Springsteen and whatever Bob Dylan and Robert Plant released aren’t in the top 5. (Just looked at 21-40, Plant did make 35)

      • not exactly true – they’ve given the same amount of attention to lefty politics from the start, maybe even more back then

  2. I still don’t understand the absence of Stars – The Five Ghosts on any of the Best Of lists out now. No Tallest Man on Earth in the Spin list is puzzling too. Although, Spin has always been a terrible publication.

    • Cheers to this, mate! Stars’ album required multiple listens before I fell in love with it, but now the love is immense! The problems are that 1) nobody is patient enough for multiple listens anymore and 2) “Five Ghosts” isn’t “Set Yourself on Fire” – and nobody realises that’s actually a good thing. *sigh* Also, I’m guessing most critics haven’t seen Stars in concert. I’ve seen them six times now, including the recent tour where they played “Five Ghosts” in their entirety, and they are just a standout batch of amazing musicians. Wish they’d get more kudos.

      Unrelated to this comment, but pertinent to the original post – M.I.A.’s “Maya” was my favorite album of 2010. Maybe I’m biased (I’m a hug fan of hers), but I think the media and the fans unduly shat on her. Maybe she was getting too popular? Were they punishing her for “Paper Planes?” Whatever it was, people need to give “Maya” another chance.

  3. mmmm at least the important ones are represented even if they’re in the wrong order

    eminem and mia? really?

    • Pretty much agree with this. So far this list contains most of what made my personal list. What’s left is just quibbling about order. Sleigh Bells, Wavves ,and Best Coast ahead of the Walkmen and the Black Keys? Best Coast and Vampire Weekend ahead of Titus Andronicus? To each their own, I guess.

  4. Spin has somehow become more predictable than Rolling Stone magazine.

    • Does unpredictable = good? I wasn’t aware of this. I should also note that in the long run, when compared to other music publications, this list actually isn’t that predictable. Kid Cudi and MIA are not exactly making a lot of other top 10 lists.

  5. Finally some respect for Cudi.

  6. sufjan stevens – the age of adz?

  7. I disagree with some of these and agree with others.

  8. There’s room here for a lot of “WTF”-ing. . . but here’s just one. They include MIA’s sad little abortion of an album on here but not the far, far better album that she sampled from (and poorly, at that), “Treats” by Sleigh Bells, who arguably actually did something innovative this year? Lame, SPIN, lame.

    On the plus side, it’s good to see Janelle Monae get some representation on a year-end list.

  9. i think this is a pretty fair list all things considering. I really hope kanye doesnt top a lot of list…shit is overrated, over hyped and I’m ready to call SNICKLEFRITZ at the whole thing.

  10. as a big fan of deerhunter…..i really think halcyon digest is one of the most overrated albums of the year…i just don’t get the love…desire lines aside…its not that exciting/interesting compared to what they’re done before.

    • completely agree with this. I love Deerhunter and am a huge fan of everything they’ve done up to this album. Halcyon Digest is just not that great. “Desire Lines” is fantastic, “Helicopter” is nice, as is the closer “He Would Have Laughed.” The rest is completely underwhelming.

    • I think it is fucking great, but a step down from Microcastle/Weird Era.

  11. i think its safe to say that they were just smoking crack when they realized they needed to come up with the top 40.

  12. Why wasn’t Cudi’s first album as recognized as Legend of Mr. Rager? The new album is clearly not as good, yet critics are hoppin all over that band wagon. Beach House’s Teen Dream is one of the best albums i’ve heard all year. People need to stop hating on Kanye. He’s the best fucking producer in the game right now, and MBDTF is much more innovative than anything he has done in the past. The Suburbs definitely deserves to be up there. As far as Spin goes, I’ve never read one issue. Judging by the list, it seems like have a decent taste in music, but still appeal to the masses. I will always be a RS fan. And if you think RS hasn’t been as politically active from the get-go as it was about music then you are a moron. Remember, Hunter S. Thompson was one of their most recognized writers for a while.

    • Of course, there were just more drugs involved in those politics (and the balance has shifted). I’m sticking by my older brother thing. Which isn’t to say I don’t enjoy reading it now and again … My stepfather subscribes.

  13. I haven’t read 21-40 yet (it won’t load) but the lack of High Violet puzzles me. Also, why isn’t Gorilla Manor getting any love on these lists??? It came out at the beginning of this year right?

    • Love Gorilla Manor too, but I think it technically came out end of last year. But that’s another reason these lists are horrible: there’ s usually at least 5 weeks at the end of the year that aren’t even considered. With lead time in producing a magazine, these lists should be released in February so the ENTIRE year is accounted for

    • Sorry, Gorilla Manor was released November 2009 in the UK and February in the U.S.

      So, yes, it should be on this list. Top 10.

  14. Beach House and Janelle Monae should’ve been in the top 3 but kudos to SPIN for including Deerhunter anywhere on this list let alone the number 2 spot.

  15. I don’t know about MIA. I know the hate for MAYA was extra harsh because people were expecting something like her past two albums, and that in time those people will chill out a little, look back, and give the album less of a knee jerk evaluation. And I’m sure some of them will end up actually liking it.

    I just think most of those people will still think it’s bad.

  16. Complaining about Rolling Stone is essentially the same as yelling at your grandmother who has Alzheimer’s.

  17. Alright, this list isn’t a complete disaster like Rolling Stone’s because it doesn’t feature Kid-effing-Rock in the top 20.

    I really like albums #1-4 & #6 which is more I can say for most lists.

    I was under the impression that nobody thought much of MGMT or Vampire Weekend’s sophomore efforts. IMO, Contra was alright but Congratulations was a snoozer. Nothing listenable there until the final track of the album.

    SPIN has some questionable taste if they consider the likes of M.I.A., Best Coast & Drake better than albums that missed the top 20 like Plastic Beach, Brothers & High Violet. Just sayin’.

  18. Happy to see Beach House get some kudos, although I think Teen Dream is at least top 5. As for the inclusion of Cudi and Vampire Weekend in the top 20, I could not be more baffled. Where’s the love for Tame Impala, Local Natives and Surfer Blood? No BSS? Forgiveness Rock Record was worthy, I guess they must not be as ‘hip’ as they used to be.

  19. I’m amazed to see VW Contra in a lot of year end lists. It’s not a bad and actually good but not great and wholly unforgettable now that their cache is gone. I barely even realized it was out this year.

  20. Where the F is Kid Rock?!!?!

  21. no Plastic Beach?

  22. tame impala? wild nothings? local natives? sufjan stevens?

  23. tame impala? wild nothings? local natives? sifjan stevens?

  24. This is my list, and I am sticking to it…

    1. School of Seven Bells
    2. Owen Pallett
    3. The National
    4. Women
    5. Diamond Rings (People need to hear this!)
    6. Sleigh Bells
    7. Wolf Parade
    8. Black Mountain
    9. Steve Mason (criminally underrated ex Beta Band)
    10. Bombay Bicycle Club

  25. I’m shocked at the lack of Local Natives inclusions in the lists i’ve seen this year. Thats a good record.

    To ignore Tame Impala from the top 20 and include the dog shit that is MIA’s MAYA, is absolutely criminal.

  26. i wish arcade fire was number 1 and i liked the nationals album (but then i saw them live…..) um tallest man on earths album the wild hunt blew me away and should be on here and soo should villagers and women public strain was wicked

  27. My top two albums of the year are not on this list: Foals and Tame Impala

  28. M.I.A.’s album sucks though imo, I still can’t and don’t see myself understanding why it’s *all that*.

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