Flashflooder’s Top 50 Albums of 2010

I’ve been annually making a “Best of” albums list since my college days (thanks to KALX) in order to document the albums I personally find most interesting during the year, while also conveniently creating a future reference point for all of the moments and memories associated with that music and time of my life (and for me, those often go hand in hand). Add in the fact that I like making lists of this sort, and it’s fun to put a little competition into my favorite hobby (listening to music).

This past year I made an effort to keep track of my favorite albums starting in January by creating a spreadsheet where I inputted pretty much every new album I listened to (all the way through) in rough order of liking, which allowed me to  freely move albums around as they grew on me or in some cases, got tiring and lost their pizazz.

Nonetheless, (regardless how hard I try) I’ve found that whenever I try to put this list together at the end of the year there’s always a ton of music to catch up on; and as a result, it’s hard to put in perspective the overall impact of an album upon its first few listens, and even more difficult to evaluate the lasting value of an album upon continued listens.

To be completely honest, despite my year-long spreadsheet efforts, I have still been doing a fair amount of December/January music cramming by trying to give every album that’s garnered any critical acclaim at least one solid listen through. And even though I try my best to be objective, there is no denying that personal taste plays a big factor in my album picks.

This list is by no means definitive, and proof of that is the fact that I’ve moved albums around every day I’ve opened up this list in the past two to three months. So basically, they’re all worth listening to and I’ll let you figure out the rest. With that said, if you’re interested in reading what other critics thought about 2010, go and check out Metacritic’s comprehensive summary of various end of year lists.

So after many months of deliberation, what follows are my picks for the top 50 albums of 2010 with download links this year(please note that I did not upload any of the albums, so the the links are subject to being removed or taken down). All in all, I just hope you find some new music to enjoy!

50. Lindstrom & Christabelle – Real Life Is No Cool [Smalltown Supersound]

49. Bag Raiders – Bag Raiders [Modular Records]

48. Spoon – Transference [Merge]

47. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today [4AD]

46. Oneohtrix Point Never – Returnal [Editions Mego]

45. Wolf Parade – Expo 86 [Sub Pop]

44. Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night [Jagjaguwar]

43. Avey Tare – Down There [Paw Tracks]

42. James Blackshaw – All is Falling [Young God]

41. Emeralds – Does It Look Like I’m Here [Editions Mego]

40. The Chemical Brothers – Further [Virgin/Freestyle Dust]

39. Walls – Walls [Kompakt]

38. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach [Virgin]

37. Surfer Blood – Astro Coast [Kanine]

36. Grum – Heartbeats [Heartbeats]

35. Skrillex – Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites [Mau5trap]

34. Deadmau5 – 4×4=12 [Virgin/Mau5trap Recordings]

33. Swedish House Mafia – Until One [Virgin]

32. Tame Impala – Innerspeaker [Modular]

31. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record [Arts & Crafts]

30. Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles [Fiction/Last Gang]

29. Teengirl Fantasy – 7AM [True Panther Sounds]

28. Delorean – Subiza [True Panther]

27. The Black Keys – Brothers [Nonesuch]

26. Miami Horror – Illumination [EMI]

25. Actress – Splazsh [Honest Jon’s Records]

24. Booka Shade – More! [Get Physical]

23. Broken Bells – Broken Bells [Columbia]

22. The National – High Violet [4AD]

21. Lower Dens – Twin-Hand Movement [Gnomonsong]

20. Wavves – King of the Beach [Fat Possum]

19. James Blake – CMYK EP/Klavierwerke EP/The Bells Sketch EP [R&S]

18. Pantha Du Prince – Black Noise [Rough Trade]

17. Bonobo – Black Sands [Ninjatune]

16. Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz / All Delighted People EP [Asthmatic Kitty]

15. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest [4AD]

14. Best Coast – Crazy For You [Mexican Summer]

13. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening [DFA]

12. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs [Merge]

11. Gold Panda – Lucky Shiner [Ghostly Intl]

10. Women – Public Strain [Jagjaguwar]

9. Mount Kimbie – Crooks & Lovers [Hotflush]

8. Toro Y Moi – Causers Of This [Carpark]

7. Caribou – Swim [Merge]

6. Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me [Drag City]

5. Wild Nothing – Gemini [Captured Tracks]

4. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy [Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella]

3. Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma/Pattern + Grid World EP [Warp]

2. Four Tet – There Is Love In You [Domino]

1. Beach House – Teen Dream [Sub Pop]

Beach House debuts “Norway” from upcoming “Teen Dream” LP

The Baltimore duo of Alex Scally (guitars/keyboards) and Victoria Legrand (vocals/organ), better known as Beach House are at it again readying their third full length album Teen Dream (cover art shown above on left), which is to be released via Sub Pop on January 26, 2010. In other exciting news, Teen Dream will also be accompanied by a dvd that will have a video for each song on the album. The tracklist for the album is listed below.

The debut single “Norway” off Teen Dream has just been found its way to the interweb (thanks to the band themselves) and can be downloaded below. In related news, last year Beach House released a new song “Used to Be” as a single/video which has now also found its way onto the Teen Dream LP. Check out the video for “Used to Be” below.

Beach House – Norway

Beach House has also released a high quality WAV version of “Norway” to download if you’d like instead of the mp3 version. Check that out at the official Beach House website.

Beach House – Teen Dream

01 Zebra
02 Silver Soul
03 Norway
04 Walk in the Park
05 Used to Be
06 Lover of Mine
07 Better Times
08 10 Mile Stereo
09 Real Love
10 Take Care