10. Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me
The ultimate summer album. The songs are catchy and the lyrics aren't as simple as Best Coast's. Really enjoyed this one this Summer. From the super catchy 'King of the Beach' to the more emotional 'Green Eyes' this album gets number 9 on my list.
I discovered these guys a couple of years ago with their album 'Boxer' which I though was one of the most depressing yet beautiful things ever. A few years later, and here I am giving praise to High Violet. While still depressing, it is a bit happier sounding than their previous releases 'Alligator' and 'Boxer' (haven't gotten my hands on their other albums yet). 'Bloodbuzz Ohio' was the song everyone was talking about while my personal favorite was 'Afraid of Everyone' with its paranoid lyrics. Had a chance to see them twice this year, once in Lollapalooza but I ended up having to go take a break and buy some water after being in the middle of a mosh for nearly four hours so I missed them there (completely regret missing them) and then once again when they came to Indianapolis but I had to attend a class thing that same day.
4. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Yeah possibly the best album to wake up to and to relax to. God this album was incredible, but then again it is Deerhunter so it is expected that this album would be awesome. The hypnotizing melodies to Cox's vocals make this album feel incredibly warm and welcoming. I don't understand why so many Deerhunter albums have dismissed this album as weaker than Microcastle, I feel that this is a better album... but that's just me.
3. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
Ultimate hipster dance album. The brainless 'Drunk Girls' is fun (top 10 tunes) and serves as a nice little single to the otherwise 7minuteish songs on this album. This is supposedly LCDs final album but I really doubt that claim. This album sounds like too much fun for James Murphy to permanently shelf the group. 'I Can Change' is another incredible song on this album that really channels 80s dance music to lyrics about love gone bad. Makes me wish that I'd be as cool as James Murphy when I'm his age.
2. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Nobody does concept albums like Arcade Fire does. This time they have chosen the theme of life in the suburbs, a topic which I'm very well familiar with, living in the conservative northern suburbs of Indianapolis. This album is nostalgic for old days in the suburbs. It also deals with the life and boredom of the suburbs, something I relate to easily. And the actual music is incredible. 'Rococo' 'Sprawl II', amazing.
1. Beach House - Teen Dream
No surprise here unless your a Kanye fan. Beach House hands down made my favorite album of the year. The melancholy in this album makes it emotionally heavy. The vocals are haunting and beautiful, while the bending notes make it complete. This was my first exposure to the Baltimore duo and they completely surprised me with their sound and made me question myself as to how I had not heard about them before. Listening to this album is really a lot like being in a dream, a blissful dream that you don't want to wake up from.
So there ya go. My favorite 10 Albums of the year. Honorable mentions include Black Keys, Gorillaz, No Age, Broken Bells (highly underrated everywhere), Yeasayer, and yes... Kanye had a pretty decent album which would have been better without Rhiannah ruining shit. And I actually liked Best Coast despite the album sounding like a long 30 minute song. Locally Margot and the Nuclear So & So's had a very good album as well.
Disappointed with Blonde Redhead, I was expecting more after '23' and I was also disappointed with MGMT and The New Pornographers.
Cheers for a good 2011!!