BEST OFs HOME PAGE
BEST OF 2010: ALBUMS
1. KANYE WEST – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella)
Thank God for Kanye. Just like with most things in America, Kanye makes me feel a little crazy, I mean, like with Wikileaks, for instance, which I think is awesome but apparently 99% of America thinks is terrorism. To me, everything Kanye does is great, even—especially—calling out the poor little pretty white girl for beating Beyonce for an admittedly stupid and meaningless music video award. Treating the music industry both as the idiotic corporate shell game it, of course, is, but with the seriousness of an artist who understand there is nothing more important than art, Kanye can't help but decry injustice where he sees it, while at the same time acknowledging the arbitrariness of the justice system. What makes it confusing is that Kanye is both the little boy crying out that the emperor has no clothes and the emperor himself, on an ivory throne, with a Louis Vuitton crown. But his empire-sized ego is the fuel, the raw material, that powers his gargantuan artistic endeavors, and unlike his fellow life-as-art star Lady Gaga and her worthless, throwaway tunes, Kanye is actually a great artist in his chosen medium, creating work that's worthy of the expenditure. Fantasy is his epic masterpiece, a sort of "equal and opposite reaction" to the inward-looking, shattered 808s & Heartbreak. Leave out the minute-long interludes, and the other 11 tracks here average out to 6 minutes in length, the production thick with choirs, symphonies, guitars, and crowds of guest stars. Even so, every song is great, from "Power"'s menacing stomp to the epic almost-drum 'n' bass of "All of the Lights" to the honking bass groove of "Monster" and the Bmore beats of "Lost In the World." While musical references veer from psychedelia to Aphex Twin to classic soul, its crunchy production somehow renders it a unified listen, and what's most amazing to me is that this is clearly, at its heart, a hip-hop album, expanding the very concept of the genre in ways we haven't heard since, well, Jay-Z (whose own contributions to Fantasy offer some needed solidity). Any edifice this massive will show some cracks, and it's obviously not a perfect album, with some slow points around track 10, I guess. But Pitchfork's 10.0 was still right on the money – while no art is perfect, some achievements deserve a perfect score.
2. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM – This is Happening (DFA)
It's hard to believe it, but with the (expected?) final installment in the LCD trilogy (WAAAHHH!) James Murphy and crew have done their best work yet. More about album opener "Dance Yrself Clean" below on its well-deserved spot atop my singles list (even though it really wasn't a single), but the track's epic length and ecstatic climax sets the tone for the rest of the album. "One Touch," with its D-Shake referencing bassline, is 8 minutes of basement house party insanity, but its obtuse, twisting, funny lyrics ("People need to move to the back of the bus") hint at stranger, darker themes; "Pow Pow," similarly, marries disco funk to wry pontification. Have-it-both-ways irony is Murphy's modus operandi, and so "All I Want" is both a poke at Bowie-isms and a deeply felt ode to Bowie, and "I Can Change" is both Eurythmics tribute and sendup. But that has always been what's so inspiring about the LCD project: Our generation (was it called "X"?) developed irony and cynicism just to survive, I'll remind you young whipper snappers, and it's our cross to bear (which I just did air quotes over). Many artists our age either set it aside for guileless, faux-naïve "real" "emotion" or calcify around it and become brittle and nonsensical (hi there!). Murphy shows a Third Way: plowing right through the irony, with humor and heart and poetry.
3. THE NATIONAL – High Violet (4AD)
Raymond Carver said that writers shouldn't need "tricks or gimmicks or even necessarily to be the smartest fellows on the block… At the risk of appearing foolish, a writer sometimes needs to be able to stand and gape at this or that thing—a sunset or an old shoe—in absolute and simple amazement." It's this attention to detail—not to mention the heartbreak and grief it exposes—that The National captures. Like the Smiths, no matter how astoundingly great the music is, it's ultimately a container for the lyrics, whose elliptical tales of aging, anxiety, and nostalgia are both gut-wrenching and, at times, surprisingly off-the-cuff and funny. Coldplay-style histrionics and cliche are obvious danger zones in the Meaningful Song Arena, but The National avoids this with oddly casual specificity: "I still owe money, to the money, to the money I owe," in Bloodbuzz Ohio, and the silly but totally understandable refrain of "I was afraid that I'd eat your brains" in Conversation 16. And there was no better couplet this year than "Sorrow found me when I was young/Sorrow waited, sorrow won." Oh boy do I know what you mean. This is adult music in the best possible sense of the word, both acknowledging the dread and horror of getting older, and a witness, in simple amazement, to the sunset.
4. CARIBOU – Swim (Merge)
Three years ago I named James Holden's set at the Piknik Electronic festival my favorite long mix of 2007, its patient builds and intricate textures a surprising and welcome counterpoint to the dominant style of bombastic basslines and silly samples. It turns out I wasn't the only one getting inspired by Mr. Holden's work: Mr. Caribou, i.e. Daniel Snaith, was listening as well, and the resulting album is a huge step forward from his already pretty enjoyable Andorra. Swim manages to unite the latter's intricate neo-psychedelia with Holden-style dance music, and dance music it is even if it has the subtle melodic complexity of Boards of Canada. "Bowls" dives right in to a chord pattern straight out of Booka Shade, but quickly turns left, with layers of quirky percussion and slowly shifting sounds. Standout track "Sun" apes vocal sampling with its repeated shouts, but as anyone who saw Caribou-as-a-four-piece's amazing concerts this year can attest, anything that can be done live, is being done live. The result is an album that's both at the cutting edge of dance music and richly organic, ecstatic in ways only dance music seems to achieve while remaining intricately detailed.
5. TAME IMPALA – InnerSpeaker (Modular)
I suppose the most serious criticism of psychedelia, as such, is that it's by definition an insular, solipsistic exercise, a blissed-out trip into your own mind, irrelevant and masturbatory. It's a pitfall avoided by the Flaming Lips, for instance, through sheer exuberance, humor and creative engagement, both on and off stage. But even without Queen singalongs and giant-ball crowd-surfing, it's impossible to deny the sheer auditory pleasure of the best work of Dungen or, of course, the trippy experiments of the Beatles. Amazingly, this young MySpace-enabled combo in Perth soars just as high on InnerSpeaker. That title, and standout track "Solitude is Bliss" should make clear that Tame Impala dives right in to psychedelia's insularity without apology, but deep inside the caverns of your mind, they weave an ecstatically rich tapestry, with stratospheric multi-part harmonic highs and fat, crunchy riffs, plus, thank Buddha, perfectionist drumming to underpin all the time-signature changes. Does InnerSpeaker really bring anything more to the table than its long line of hallucinatory forebears? Well, I'm not sure, but neither is every combo making disaffected '80s-style synth pop these days, and I still like that just fine.
6. VAMPIRE WEEKEND – Contra (XL)
While these New York kids' first album was, admittedly, wildly enjoyable and hook-filled, the criticism one could level at it, if one were so inclined, would be that its Afropop references were, perhaps, er, somewhat dated, and perhaps foregrounded the group's, um, privileged background. Well, shut my mouth, cause there could be no better response to that theoretical criticism than Contra, which leapfrogs The Very Best and MIA to land in the forefront of multi-culti, world-beat pop. The songs still feel breezy and effortless, but manage to include a colorful array of instrumentation and samples, while never once succumbing to the pressure to bring the easy alt-radio hooks that must have been there after the surprise radio run of "A-Punk." "Run," with its kind of goofy, kind of hypnotic keyboard line, is emblematic, infectious and uplifting without ever being even an ounce corny. Oddly enough, it's these privileged New York white boys who forced me to reevaluate my notion of world music.
7. BONOBO – Black Sands (Ninja Tune)
For the "chill-out" artist, walking the line between Flying Lotus and, say, Zero 7 (whom I still like!) has got to be tough. The point is to make enveloping, warm, and mellow tunes that nod to hip-hop/soul traditions while maintaining an experimental electronic edge, I guess, without getting totally elevator-music-y, and hopefully forging some sort of original, unique path. Bonobo has threaded the needle perfectly on Black Sands, nodding at bleeding-edge UK dance music (like on the funky/garage-y "Eyesdown") while maintaining a zen-like restraint. On "We Could Forever," I'm not sure if I'm hearing a dubbed-out remix of classic '60s soul or avant-jazz, and "Stay the Same" has both the icy touch of Portishead and the warm embrace of Air. Easy listening is a slur, but there was no easier-to-listen-to album this year.
8. ARCADE FIRE – The Suburbs (Merge)
Back in Nebraska for an early Christmas celebration with my family, I came across my 3-year-old nephew marching around the living room, singing at the top of his lungs. The song seemed weirdly familiar, his extended "aaahs" almost coming together into something recognizable. I looked at his dad, confused, and he said, "Arcade Fire. We took him to see 'Where the Wild Things Are' and he always wants to sing 'Wake Up.'" First of all, ADORABLE, but second, could it be that Funeral's crowded complexity actually created music that was strangely childlike, or at least, appealing to something basic? If so, The Suburbs is the band's uncomfortable adolescence, at once breaking with and clinging to tradition. The stylistic searching is redeemed by the dumbfoundingly great songwriting, starting off almost too strongly with the title track, a Smiths-level nostalgic masterpiece (see more about that below), and "Ready to Start," whose Strokes-y groove is made magical by the addition of four simple keyboard notes. The theme of suburban alienation isn't exactly new, sure, and it drags a bit, understandably, on a 16-track album. But even as a collection of about 7 or 8 truly transcendent songs, The Suburbs deserves a Top 10 slot.
9. HOT CHIP – One Life Stand (EMI)
It would be easy to lump One Life Stand's bouncy electro-pop in with the band's previous albums and their, uh, bouncy electro-pop. But Stand is fascinatingly, surprisingly different, a concept album all about love that always sounds authentic and real without ever becoming cloying or sappy. I'm not sure how they do it—"I Feel Better," with its synth violins and auto-tuned vocals, should be battling Owl City for crappy teen-crush-pop of the year. But instead it seems to nod at UK funky and the DIY aesthetic of The Streets, a minor key ode to love from a heartbreakingly damaged perspective: all I'm capable of saying is that when you hold me, I feel better. LOVE MAKE HULK NOT SO MAD. I can dig that. "We Have Love," similarly, uses edgy electronics to pull off what by all rights should be a heartrending ballad. Hot Chip have had a few home-run singles in their career, but this is their first home-run album, a mixtape that could fit at an underground UK club or a wedding.
10. GORILLAZ – Plastic Beach (EMI)
Another 16-track album in my Top 10—I guess I give points for ambition. And there was no more ambitious album this year, from Beach's apocalyptic sci-fi concept to its ridonkulous guestlist (Snoop Dogg! Lou Reed! Little Dragon! Mick Jones!). Its crazily diverse productions took me almost all year to wrap my head around, which I think is a good sign. Sure, "Stylo" and its neo-freestyle groove married to Bobby Womack's shiver-inducing vocal was an immediate pleasure, but it took me a while to really warm up to the buzzy hip-hop of "Rhinestone Eyes," for instance. Now I can't stop listening to it, and I think maybe that this album is so ahead of its time, awash in ideas and mashed-up influences so head-spinning it may take me another year just to comprehend them.
11. BROKEN BELLS – S/T (Sony)
More profoundly melancholy indie rock from Danger Mouse, who can really do no wrong, even if he really just wants to be a boring old drummer.
12. SOFT PACK – S/T (Kemado)
An album that, in a year of electro-bleep dominance, reminds us why guitar music can still be relevant, surprising and wildly entertaining.
13. FLYING LOTUS – Cosmogramma (Warp)
LA's Steven Ellison gets deeper and stranger here than his first two albums, experimenting with more abrasive sounds, but ultimately rewarding repeat listens.
14. BIG BOI – Sir Lucious Left Foot... The Son of Chico Dusty (Island/Def Jam)
A bombastically entertaining album, instinctively understanding that hip-hop's new millennial minimalism had reached its logical end, and retreating to '80s electro-hop to revitalize the genre.
15. TWIN SHADOW – Forget (Terrible)
A shoot-the-moon proposition, trying to evoke New Order, Morrissey and Brian Ferry, all at once, in 2010. Good thing he hits his target exactly, and leavens the lilting croonery with some scrunchy guitars.
16. BEACH HOUSE – Teen Dream (Sub Pop)
Perfectly-executed ethereal pop that kicks Florence + the Machine's butt without even lifting a finger.
17. GOLD PANDA – Lucky Shiner (Ghostly Intl)
Intricately arranged dance music, minimal yet warm, noodly yet expansive.
18. SLEIGH BELLS – Treats (Mom+Pop)
The record MIA wished she made, simultaneously overpowering and delicate, dumb and distorted but wry and tricky.
19. JANELLE MONAE – The ArchAndroid (Bad Boy)
Somewhat overwhelmed by the dominance of the spectacular "Tightrope," but highly ambitious high-concept future-retro soul nonetheless.
20. GRINDERMAN – Grinderman 2 (Anti)
Filling the honorary Queens of the Stone Age slot for bonkers hard rock, ladies and gentlemen, Nick Cave, making blues rock that isn't utterly derivative, oh hi Black Keys.
El-P – Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixxx3 (Gold Dust)
How To Dress Well – Love Remains (Lefse)
Chemical Brothers – Further (Virgin)
Crystal Castles – S/T (II) (Polydor)
Delorean – Subiza (True Panther)
Junip – Fields (Mute)
Phantogram – Eyelid Movies (Barsuk)
1. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM – Dance Yrself Clean
Nine minutes of can't-get-out-the-rental-car-cause-KCRW-just-put-it-on-and-I-need-to-turn-it-up-to-11-and-I-don't-care-if-I'm-going-to-be-late-for-my-meeting bliss. First let's just talk about the lyrics, a spiraling, stream-of-consciousness monologue, the apex of James Murphy's David Foster Wallace-y spiraling style, veering between the vulgar ("except you are an actual jerk") and the poetic ("killing it with close inspection") even in a single line. The first three minutes, barely audible, sound almost folksy, although of course upon the aforementioned closer inspection the instrumentation is exactly the same as the rest of the song, just much, much quieter. And when it gets loud, oh boy does it get loud, in fact, apparently too loud, as I guess the album's engineer had to be convinced to leave the towering bass notes at their preposterous level. In essence, it's the ecstatic, blissful companion to the heartbroken "Someone Great," a perfect bookend to the LCD project, if this is really (gulp) the end.
2. Big Boi – Shutterbug
Putting producer Scott Storch on this list is sort of like giving Wall Street a bailout, but this isn't a financial management list, this is a best songs list, and there was no more deliriously pleasurable three minutes on the radio this year than "Shutterbug." I've been a fan of electronically-modified-vocals-as-basslines since, I dunno, the Art of Noise's "Beatbox," which seems like it must be a direct antecedent to this song, "ba-ba-ba" bullfrogging its way down the scale. On top of that, every detail of the production is mesmerizing, from the thick reverb on the claps to the glass-crash punctuation and the noodly guitar plucks. It's equaled by Big Boi's dazzling wordplay, dropping a totally audacious but utterly perfect Soul II Soul reference one second, twisting up in off-beat internal rhymes the next. Plus, "cut a rug" is just about the best phrase in the English language.
3. Kanye West – Power
No song title has made me happier since the Count and Sinden's "Mega," and it's all the more exciting because it's clear Kanye sees the word from all sides: all-encompassing, corrupting, enticing, ridiculous. Appropriately, the song itself is deeply melancholy, funereal, almost, with its rollicking King Crimson sample and elegiac choir, cinematic in scope, the lone warrior marching to (from?) battle. Of course, the King Crimson song's title, "21st Century Schizoid Man," proves the mixed-up ambivalence of the message--there's really no-one other than Kanye who could shift from "Kiss my asshole" to "I'm an asshole" and mean both emphatically. Bonus: his performance of the track on SNL may have been the most stunningly creative five minutes of television this year.
4. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
It's a tribute to this album's greatness that my favorite song has shifted between a handful since its release: first, I and everybody loved the sparkling synth wash of "Sprawl II," then I got into the Strokes swing of "Ready to Start," and then I was hypnotized by the understated "Modern Man." But it's the title track that seems to have legs, and most successfully encompass the whole record's concept, one of aching loss compounded by acknowledgment of healing, a sort of nostalgia for past trials. It reminds me of the Smiths' final album, specifically the song "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" and its surprised and impressed look back at how pure our emotions used to be, painful as they were, but I'll be damned, here we are now, moving past the feeling.
5. Magnetic Man – I Need Air
Poor dubstep! By the time it matured into a pop phenomenon, it had already pissed off so many hipsters with its square-wave, bro-baiting excesses, they couldn't even evaluate it without blowing a gasket. But the emergence of this sort of poppy vocal dubstep was an incredibly exciting development this year, especially considering the dominance of the four-four stomp on pop charts. In contrast, "I Need Air" embodied the best of the trend: its light, syncopated kick drum almost skips along, leaving the Booka Shade chords as the anchor. While its half-baked lyrics seem to be about needing space in a relationship, the refrain of "I breathe air/I need air" is undeniably strange, evoking everything from space travel to environmentalism to a desperate need for some gloriously expansive cloud-top dream-pop amidst the stompy, wall-of-sound Lady Gaga pop landscape.
6. Gorillaz – Stylo
Hey, When In Rome's "The Promise," Eddy Grant's "Time Warp," and, um, Shannon's "Let the Music Play," that guy from Blur wants to sing a ballad over the top of you, something about "when the mako flies," whatever, and then they're going to have that dude from Black Star do a rap about shock waves and motherboards, and then, um, Bobby Womack can do a verse about electric love flowing onto the street, and did I mention it was pretty much going to be all verses and back-and-forth and you won't really ever find a chorus, per se, but somehow it will be jaw-dropping and magical and make you feel like your ideas about music are hopelessly constrained; would that be alright? Thanks!
7. Tensnake – Coma Cat
I'm sort of mad that Tensnake is from Germany, because marimba-led neo-disco this funky and delicious should by all rights be from New York. That the main melody is lifted pretty intact from an old Anthony and the Camp song is some consolation, but it's totally repurposed here, now the main thrust of the song. Combined with the perfectly placed vocal samples, the big 80s bassline, and the tinka-ting triangle (I love that!!), this was seven minutes of pure audio delight, equally at home on a dance floor (okay, an early dancefloor) or your headphones.
8. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti – Round and Round
A strange and wonderful collage of influences, The Psychedelic Furs "Love My Way" one minute, Little River Band's "Lonesome Loser" the next, slowed down and given a wash of melancholy and self-consciousness. It's both "small" in the sense of homemade, unassuming, and crafty, and "epic" in the sense of complex, enigmatic and elaborate.
9. Janelle Monae – Tightrope
Another song that seems to be about itself, as much as anything else: the delicate balance of maintaining control of a caterwauling double-time retro-big-band number with one breathtakingly unexpected chord change after another. Also, life is like a tightrope too I suppose, especially if you're an android metaphor for The Other.
10. Caribou – Odessa
A clear standout on a great album, "Odessa" fits easily in the pantheon of understated, delicate electro tunes about heartbreak and loss, next to Royksopp's "Remind Me," and, I dunno, Everything But the Girl's "Missing." Of course, this one's about getting out of a bad thing, not getting dumped, making it both more anxiously complex and, perhaps, more satisfying.
11. Sade – Soldier of Love
The best song Massive Attack didn't make. Plus, "It's a wild wild west"!
12. Zinc – Wile Out
Who knew a washed-up breaks DJ and a career-slumped R&B singer could make joyous electro dancehall together.
13. The Soft Pack – Answer to Yourself
Oh my God, I used to like guitars, didn't I, all my friends used to be in guitar bands and we used to jump around and spill our beers, like, in Minneapolis and shit.
14. Cee-Lo – Fuck You
Novelty pop in the absolute best sense of the word.
15. Mosca – Nike
Soundtrack to the underwater dance party where you're held captive by menacing squids.
16. Kanye West – Runaway
I would also like a button that goes, Who gotcha! Who gotcha! Who gotcha!!!
17. The Drums – Let's Go Surfing
I'm totally not going surfing, but I will dance around in my socks to this.
18. Swedish House Mafia – One (Congorock Remix)
Thought this song was boring until Congorock gave it a big bassy verse.
19. Arcade Fire – Ready to Start
If I was yours... but I'm not.
20. Far East Movement – Like a G6
Seriously. A breath of fresh acid-freestyle distortion amongst slabs of pre-fab committee-driven radio pop.
Two Door Cinema Club – Something Good Can Work
Martin Solveig w/ Dragonette – Hello
Lloyd Banks - Beamer Benz Bentley
Broken Bells – The High Road
Ludachrist – Pon de Foley
Belle & Sebastian – Write About Love
MC Flipside – In the Zone (Bart B More Remix)
Yeasayer – O.N.E.
Redlight feat. Ms. Dynamite – What You Talkin' About
Shit Robot – Take 'Em Up
Four Tet – There Is Love In You
Die Antwoord – Enter the Ninja
Usher – OMG
Duck Sauce – Barbra Streisand
Kingdom – Mind Reader
Soft Pack – Parasites
DOM – Living in America
Nero – Innocence
How To Dress Well – Ready for the World
Hot Chip – One Life Stand
Rihanna – Rude Boy
The-Dream – Yamaha
James Blake – CMYK
Freddie Gibbs – National Anthem
Matthew Dear – You Put a Smell On Me
New Porn - Your Hands Together
Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition (Axwell/Dirty South)
Bonobo – Kiara
Juan Maclean - Feel So Good
Lindstrom & Christabelle - Baby Can't Stop
Roska - Wonderful Day
FULL LIST & COMMENTARY HERE
1. KANYE WEST - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
2. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - This Is Happening
3. THE NATIONAL - High Violet
4. CARIBOU - Swim
5. TAME IMPALA - InnerSpeaker
6. VAMPIRE WEEKEND - Contra
7. BONOBO - Black Sands
8. ARCADE FIRE - The Suburbs
9. HOT CHIP - One Life Stand
10. GORILLAS - Plastic Beach
1. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - Dance Yrself Clean
2. BIG BOI - Shutterbug
3. KANYE WEST - Power
4. ARCADE FIRE - The Suburbs
5. MAGNETIC MAN -
I Need Air
6. GORILLAZ - Stylo
7. TENSNAKE - Coma Cat
8. ARIEL PINK'S HAUNTED GRAFFITI - Round and Round
9. JANELLE MONAE - Tightrope
10. CARIBOU - Odessa
FULL LIST & COMMENTARY HERE
1. ANIMAL COLLECTIVE – Merriweather Post Pavillion
2. THE XX – S/T
3. FLAMING LIPS – Embryonic
4. BIBIO – Ambivalence Avenue
5. THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART– S/T
6. BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW- Eating Us
7. BLOCKHEAD – The Music Scene
8. MOS DEF – The Ecstatic
9. BAT FOR LASHES – Two Suns
10. LITTLE DRAGON – Machine Dreams
1. ANIMAL COLLECTIVE – "My Girls"
2. PHOENIX –"1901"
3. MAJOR LAZER – "Pon De Floor"
4. GRIZZLY BEAR –"Two Weeks"
5. JOY ORBISON – "Hyph Mngo"
6. MIIKE SNOW - "Animal (Fake Blood remix)
7. BAT FOR LASHES – "Daniel"
8. LA ROUX– "In For the Kill" (Skream)
9. MASSIVE ATTACK – "Psyche (Flash Treatment)
10. JAY-Z – "Empire State of Mind"
FULL LIST & COMMENTARY HERE
1. PORTISHEAD – Third
2. TV ON THE RADIO – Dear Science
3. LIL WAYNE – Tha Carter III
4. M83 – Saturdays = Youth
5. HERCULES & LOVE AFFAIR – S/T
6. THE VERY BEST -Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit Are the Very Best
7. SANTOGOLD – S/T / SANTOGOLD VS. DIPLO – Top Ranking
8. FLYING LOTUS – Los Angeles
9. BEACH HOUSE – Devotion
10. KANYE WEST – 808s and Heartbreak
1. SANTOGOLD "L.E.S. Artistes"
2. LIL WAYNE "A Milli"
3. MGMT "Time to Pretend"
4. GLASVEGAS "Geraldine"
5. FAKE BLOOD "Mars"
6. KANYE WEST "Love Lockdown"
7. VAMPIRE WEEKEND "A-Punk"
8. DJ MUJAVA "Township Funk"
9. PORTISHEAD "Machine Gun"
10. CUT COPY "Hearts on Fire"
FULL LIST & COMMENTARY HERE
1. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM Sound of Silver
2. RADIOHEAD In Rainbows
3. M.I.A. Kala
4. LIL WAYNE –Da Drought 3 / The Carter III
5. OF MONTREAL – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
6. KANYE WEST - Graduation
7. BLONDE REDHEAD – 23
8. JAY-Z – American Gangster
9. CARIBOU – Andorra
10. GUI BORATTO – Chromophobia
1. Rihanna – "Umbrella"
2. LCD Soundsystem – "All My Friends" / "Someone Great"
3. Battles – "Atlas"
4. M.I.A. – "Boyz"
5. Kanye West feat T-Pain – "Good Life"
6. UGK feat. Outkast – "Int'l Players Anthem"
7. Amy Winehouse - "Rehab"
8. Timbaland feat. Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake – "Give It To Me"
9. Justice – "D.A.N.C.E."
10. Dude N Nem – "Watch My Feet"
FULL LIST & COMMENTARY HERE
1. J DILLA Donuts
2. TV ON THE RADIO Return to Cookie Mountain
3. SONIC YOUTH Rather Ripped
4. BRIGHTBLACK MORNING LIGHT S/T
5. GNARLS BARKLEY St. Elsewhere
6. THOM YORKE The Eraser
7. THE FLAMING LIPS At War With the Mystics
8. GHOSTFACE KILLAH Fishscale
9. YEAH YEAH YEAHS Show Your Bones
10. THE KNIFE Silent Shout
1. GNARLS BARKLEY "Crazy"
2. HOT CHIP "Over and Over"
3. NELLY FURTADO w/ TIMBALAND "Promiscuous"
4. CHRISTINA AGUILERA "Ain't No Other Man"
5. SILVERSUN PICKUPS "Lazy Eye"
6. THE FLAMING LIPS "The W.A.N.D."
7. RIHANNA "SOS"
8. JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE "My Love"
9. JUNIOR BOYS "In the Morning"
10. THOM YORKE "Black Swan"
FULL LIST & COMMENTARY HERE
1. M.I.A. Arular
2. THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS Twin Cinema
3. BLOC PARTY Silent Alarm
4. BECK Guero
5. ENGINEERS S/T
6. KANYE WEST Late Registration
7. TOM VEK We Have Sound
8. VITALIC OK Cowboy
9. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM S/T
10. DANGER DOOM The Mouse and the Mask
1. GORILLAZ "Feel Good Inc."
2. (Tie) KANYE WEST "Gold Digger" / The Legendary K.O. "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People"
3. M.I.A. "Bucky Done Gun"
4. AMERIE "1 Thing"
5. TOM VEK "C-C (You Set the Fire in Me)"
6. DAVID BANNER "Play"
7. CIARA feat. LUDACRIS "Oh"
8. LADY SOVEREIGN "Random"
9. PAUL WALL feat. BIG POKEY "Sittin' Sideways"
10. KELLY CLARKSON "Since You Been Gone
FULL LIST & COMMENTARY HERE
1. BLONDE REDHEAD
Misery is a Butterfly
2. FRANZ FERDINAND S/T
3. KOMEDA Kokomemedada
4. AUTOLUX Future Perfect
5. DANGER MOUSE The Grey Album
6. AIR Talkie Walkie
7. THE STREETS A Grand Don't Come for Free
8. TV ON THE RADIO Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes
9. DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
10. ARCADE FIRE Funeral
1. FRANZ FERDINAND "Take Me Out"
2. JAY-Z "99 Problems"
3. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM "Yeah"
4. NINA SKY "Move Your Body"
5. M.I.A. "Galang"
6. TV ON THE RADIO "Staring at the Sun"
7. SNOOP DOGG FEAT. PHARRELL "Drop it Like It's Hot"
8. FAITHLESS "Mass Destruction"
9. ELTRO "Motorboat"
10. ERIC PRYDZ "Call on Me"
1. THE WHITE STRIPES Elephant
2. NADA SURF Let Go
3. DIZZEE RASCAL Boy In Da Corner
4. THE RAVEONETTES Chain Gang of Love
5. RADIOHEAD Hail to the Thief
6. LUNGFISH Love is Love
7. SOFT PINK TRUTH Do You Party?
8. YEAH YEAH YEAHS Fever to Tell
9. HIDDEN CAMERAS The Smell of Our Own
10. THE STROKES Room on Fire
1. OUTKAST "Hey Ya"
2. THE WHITE STRIPES "7 Nation Army"
3. 50 CENT "In Da Club"
4. PANJABI MC "Beware of the Boys (Mundian to Bach Ke)"
5. THE CURE VS BJORK "Hidden Forest" (GordyBoy bootleg)
6. JUNIOR SENIOR "Move Your Feet"
7. LUMIDEE "Never Leave"
8. ELECTRIC SIX "Danger! High Voltage"
9. ADAM FREELAND VS. NIRVANA "Smells Like Freeland"
10. BEYONCE "Crazy In Love"
1. THE STREETS Original Pirate Material
2. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE Songs for the Deaf
3. INTERPOL Turn on the Bright Lights
4. 2MANYDJS As Heard on Radio Soulwax Pt. 2
5. DOVES Last Broadcast
6. SLEATER-KINNEY The New Beat
7. COLDPLAY A Rush of Blood to the Head
8. WILCO Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
9. DJ SHADOW The Private Press
10. FELIX DA HOUSECAT Kittenz and Thee Glitz
1. THE WHITE STRIPES "Fell in Love with a Girl"
2. FISCHER SPOONER "Emerge"
3. MISSY ELLIOTT "Work It"
4. EMINEM "Without Me"
5. THE STROKES VS. CHRISTINA AGUILERA "Stroke of Genie-us" (Freelance Hellraiser bootleg)
6. THE HIVES "Hate to Say I Told You So"
7. KHIA "My Neck My Back"
8. KYLIE MINOGUE "Can't Get Blue Monday Out of My Head"
9. NELLY "Hot In Herre"
10. YEAH YEAH YEAHS "Bang"
1. Low Things We Lost in the Fire
2. Spiritualized Let It Come Down
3. The Strokes Is This It
4. Beta Band Hot Shots II
5. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club S/T
6. New Order Get Ready
7. Richie Hawtin DE9: Close to the Edit
8. Radiohead Amnesiac
9. Basement Jaxx Rooty
10. The White Stripes White Blood Cells
1. Missy Elliott - Get Ur Freak On
2. Gorillaz - 19-2000
3. System of a Down - Chop Suey
4. Nelly - Ride Wit Me
4. (tie!) Jay-Z - Izzo (HOVA)
5. Groove Armada - Superstylin'
6. Madonna - Don't Tell Me
7. The Faint - Agenda Suicide
8. Tool - Schism
9. Weezer - Island in the Sun
10. Utada Hikaru - Traveling
1. GRANDADDY The Sophtware Slump
2. RADIOHEAD Kid A
3. GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR! Levez vos Skinny Fists Comme Antennas to Heaven!
4. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE Rated R
5. PRIMAL SCREAM XTRMNTR
6. DOVES Lost Souls
7. AT THE DRIVE IN Relationship of Command
8. EMINEM Marshall Mathers LP
9. YO LA TENGO And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
10. OUTKAST Stankonia
1. Zombie Nation "Kernkraft 400"
2. Aaliyah "Try Again"
3. Madonna "Music"
4. Queens of the Stone Age "Lost Art of Keeping a Secret"
5. Armand van Helden "Koochy"
6. Azzido Da Bass "Dooms Night"
7. Storm "Time to Burn"
8. Belle & Sebastian "Legal Man"
9. A Perfect Circle "Judith"
10. Detroit Grand Pubahs "Sandwiches"
1. The Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs
2. Sleater-Kinney The Hot Rock
3. Moby Play
4. Death in Vegas The Contino Sessions
5. Low Secret Name
6. Queens of the Stone Age S/T
7. Built to Spill Keep It Like a Secret
8. Godspeed You Black Emperor! Slow Riot for New Zero Canada
9. Royal Trux Veterans of Disorder
10. Underworld Beaucoup Fish
1. Ginuwine "What's So Different"
2. Underworld "King of Snake"
3. TLC "Silly Ho"
4. Basement Jaxx "Rendez-Vous"
5. Aphex Twin "Windowlicker"
6. The Roots w/ Erikah Badu "You Got Me"
7. 702 "Where my Girls At "
8. Len "Steal My Sunshine"
9. ODB "Gimme My Money"
10. Moby "Bodyrock"
1998 - LOST!
1. Spiritualized Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
2. Built to Spill Perfect from Now On
3. Pavement Brighten the Corners
4. The Chemical Brothers Dig Your Own Hole
5. Yo La Tengo I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One
6. Radiohead OK Computer
7. Primal Scream Vanishing Point
8. Roni Size Reprazent New Forms
9. Fatboy Slim Better Living Through Chemistry
10. Dandy Warhols The Dandy Warhols Come Down
1. The Verve "Bittersweet Symphony"
2. Blur "Song 2"
3. Roni Size / Reprazent "Share the Fall"
4. Fatboy Slim / Pierre Henry "Psyche Rock"
5. Cornershop "Brimful of Asha"
6. Oasis "D'You Know What I Mean"
7. Dandy Warhols "Not if You Were the Last Junkie on Earth"
8. Gus Gus "Believe"
9. Notorius B.I.G. "Hypnotize"
10. Bjork "Joga"
|Why yes, all these are charts I made at the end of each respective year. In retrospect many of them are, obviously, incorrect.