Making this list has proved incredibly challenging, all of the albums mentioned in the post deserve recognition, and narrowing them down to a top 10 was tough so I’ve included my other close favourites below because they should not go without mention! Additionally, it’s been pretty hard to sum up each album in a nutshell (bar a few)- so please bare with me, and I’m sorry this post is so lengthy! So without furthur ado, the results!
Yeah yeah it may not be the most complex, diverse or technically profound album of the year- but boy is it good. Releasing a debut when ‘surf pop’ was at it’s peak and The Drums were on everybody’s lips, Cosentino sings of about ideal boyfriends, talking cats and dreamy summer scenarios. Okay, prehaps not the content you’d imagine for an album as commendable as this, but who cares? They’re fun and who doesn’t like good clean fun? An album that makes breezy Californian summers seem a fleeting moment away, Beth Cosentino and Bobb Bruno have hit the ‘innocent pop’ album shaped nail on the head.
Theres very rarely a successful actor or actress that comes to mind who we can assosiate with a good record, but unlike the majority Zooey Deschanel not only is a charming actor but is exceptional at singing too. Having first fallen in love with her silky, dreamy vocals in Elf hearing Volume 2, just swept me away on a journey through tales of old romance and high school love. An album my grand parents love just as much as I, this gorgeous summery album is certainly one for all.
(taken from a review I did following the album release this summer)
Being one the most highly anticipated sounds of 2010, and following a fabulously fun ‘Summertime E.P’ earlier this year, The Drums had little chance of this album being anything short of a chart topper. In fact, this 12 track post-punk fest filled with summery beach pop and songs of heartbreak probably wouldn’t sound too dissimilar of that from your parents 80’s record collection. With the velvety vocals of lead singer Jonny and playful riffs of guitarist Jacob they did not cease to create the top album we were all eagerly awaiting. Being a record packed with cheerful 60s and 70s Americana beats with dark undertones intertwined into the lyrics, these are not simply love songs- these are songs about love. The opening single, ‘Best Friend’, clearly justifies the melancholy twists these breezy pop songs reveal, Jonny sings ‘You’re my best friend, but then you died’ followed by the intoxicating anti-love song ‘Me and The Moon’, which clarifies that their first ‘Beach Boys esque’ release ‘Let’s Go Surfing’ was not to suggest that the album was just filled with your typical whimsical teen hormone-fuelled ‘surf pop’. The Drums’ newest single release from the album, ‘Forever and Ever Amen’ boasts fast paced sprightly beats and rapturously romantic lyrics, that wouldn’t sound out of place being recited in a Hollywood rom-com by the guy that’s aimlessly head over heels about the girl. To wrap the album up in a big bundle of kisses and tears is album closer ‘The Future’. A song that sings of heartbreak and hope, and, if the future of The Drums is as consistent and commendable as this album, then it’s sure to be a bright one. So turn up your chinos, grab your baseball jacket and scruff up your freshly combed hair, because there’s no way you’ll be escaping the phenomenon that is The Drums and the infectious melodies that chase behind.
Channeling a more psychedelic ‘post punk’ 70’s sound shouldn’t have really been much of a surprise for fans of MGMT, but the second release from the Brooklyn based band appeared to almost repel some of the bands fan base (okay, maybe the majority had only heard ‘Kids’ or ‘Time to Pretend, but nevertheless caused somewhat of a stir). When listening to certain elements of Oracular Spectacular, it doesn’t seem unlikely that the band were to ever move into this direction, and personally, I didn’t think it was all bad news. Initially beguiled by it’s style, with it’s abstraction and experimental flair continually showing through on tracks such as ‘Flash Delirium’ and ‘Song for Dan Treacy’, the album soon won me over, thinking maybe all they needed was ‘a great big Congratulations’.
Sugar coated in glossy red and white candy canes and dusted with candy floss, this cheeky sunny pop album is everything the title suggests. Packed with more mischeif than an Andrex puppy with a six pack of loo rolls, and more pop anthems than ‘Now That’s What I Call Pop’, Perry presents us with the ultimate feel good ‘chicks’ album, and makes us all want to slip into our shortest shorts (and bluest wigs) and belt our hearts out.
Coming from two men reknown for their excellent humour and on stage banter, the fourth album from We Are Scientists was undoubtedly going to be a bundle of fun. With the consistently distinguished vocals of Keith Murray, and playful lyrics in tracks such as ‘Rules Don’t Stop’ and ‘Nice Guys’ Burrows, Murray and Cain once again present us with an album full of the wit, charm and escapades we all know and love them for.
Arguably one of the most underrated men in music, Lightspeed Champions second album once again presents us with a 15 track catalogue of romantic tales, and heartfelt words entwined with some bad ass guitar solos and melodies that wouldn’t sound lost amongst a 60’s pop group. With standout tracks consisting of ‘Marlene’ and ‘Madame Van Damme’ along with ‘Faculty of Fears’ and ‘There’s Nothing Underwater’, Hynes has set us up for a treat, and one to be thoroughly enjoyed.
Regardless of wether or not it’s ‘cool’ to like Mark Ronson, this album showed the true talent of super producer Mark Ronson, along with the additional skill of some trusty companions (D’Angelo, Kyle Falconer, Ghostface Killah, Q-Tip, Spank Rock, Boy George, Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes) and I am proud to say I own it on 12″ (additionally, the cover is pretty rad). With tracks such as ‘Bang Bang Bang’ exhibiting a more ‘techno’ side to Ronson, and Boy George’s ‘Somebody To Love Me’ showing the bona fide thought put into the lyrics, this album is a wonderful mix showing Ronson’s true skills.
See my interview with Mark Ronson here!
Everything Everything- Man Aive, Foals- Total Life Forever,Surfer Blood- Astrocoast, Mystery Jets- Serotonin, Two Door Cinema Club- Tourist History, Kate Nash- My Best Friend Is You, Hurts- Happiness, LCD Soundsystem- This Is Happening, Marina & The Diamonds- The Family Jewels, Crystal Castles- Crystal Castles, Delphic- Acolyte, Warpaint- The Fool, Gorrilaz- Plastic Beach, Laura Marling- I Speak Because I Can.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and it wasn’t too wordy or long! I really recommend these albums so if you do get some time, do have a listen- you won’t regret it!