The Beat’s Most Essential Albums of 2010

I wanted to add commentary for all my selections (like I’ve aspired to every year previous) but the time just hasn’t been there lately with all the holidays and whatnot. This year provided equal amounts of musical pleasure as 2009, as evidenced by the uncanny amount of scrill I’ve spent on my record collection this year. Speaking of vinyl – I’m watching it become the format of choice in ‘our circles’, handily trumping CD’s and even the recent explosion of cassette releases. I estimate that I’ve listened to about 500 new releases in 2010 and there’s a stack of about 150 I haven’t even touched yet. I won’t argue the obsessive tone (read: insanity) behind that statement so my intentions for the upcoming year are to spend more time honing my writing skills (or lack thereof) and less time poring over music. I should be absorbing myself in the music and at the same time trying to avoid the fleeting process of one-album-to-the-next just so it can become a means to an end (the below list of albums, for example). I’d like to take BTID in the direction of a true interweb music magazine as opposed to an mp3 blog repository focusing on hype-of-the-moment artists. It’s a tough sell, even for myself, as I quite like the format of my website – little bit of this, little bit of that, here’s a monthly mix of great tracks, short/pointed reviews and so forth.

I’ll be featuring my year-end list of albums in two parts. Next week I’ll post a long-list (50-75) of my favorite tracks from 2010 that aren’t found on any of the albums below. And last, but by no means least, I’ll dedicate a wink and a nod to Daytrotter by featuring 15 of my favorite sessions from this past year. DT continues to provide a bottomless playlist of talent year in and year out for us to indulge in and somehow without demanding any financial support from its users. Daytrotter have become part of a small group of essential cogs needed to fuel our thriving music community (Bandcamp, Free Music Archive & Kickstarter anyone?) and, for that, I will continue to promote and support them in any way I can.

For the handful of you who follow the site on a regular basis (ok, so maybe it’s a few more than that…) – I hope I’ve turned you onto something this past year that you wouldn’t have heard otherwise. Please don’t hesitate to offer up back-pats, *coughpromovinylcough* and opinions – I’d like to keep y’all on-board through 2011.

50. A Sunny Day In GlasgowAutumn, Again (self-released) (buy or download for free)
100/0 Snowdays Forever

49. GlasserRing (True Panther) (buy)

48. The Capstan ShaftsRevelation Skirts (Rainbow Quartz) (buy)
Quiet Wars

47. MenomenaMines (Barsuk) (buy)
Dirty Cartoons

46. The BooksThe Way Out (Temporary Residence) (buy)
Beautiful People

45. SuperchunkMajesty Shredding (Merge) (buy)
Learned To Surf

44. Maps & AtlasesPerch Patchwork (Barsuk) (buy)
Solid Ground

43. Eternal SummersSilver (Kanine) (buy)

42. Matt CostaMobile Chateau (Brushfire) (buy)
Can You Tell Me?

41. Crystal CastlesCrystal Castles (Universal) (buy)

40. The NationalHigh Violet (4AD) (buy)
Afraid Of Everyone

39. LissieCatching A Tiger (Fat Possum) (buy)

38. Everyone EverywhereEveryone Everywhere (Tiny Engines) (buy)
Raw Bar OBX 2002

37. Sharon Van EttenEpic (Ba Da Bing) (buy)
Love More

36. Boundary Jim / Fifty Miles From VancouverBeko Digital Single Series Vol. 57 (BEKO-DSL) (download for free)
Fifty Miles From Vancouver – eternal youth/eternal fun

35. Dinosaur FeathersFantasy Memorial (self-released) (buy)
Family Waves

34. Rogue WavePermalight (Brushfire) (buy)
Stars and Stripes

33. HussaloniaAttention Deficit Disorder (self-released) (download for free)
Are You Ready?

32. Matt DuncanBeacon (Hop Hop) (buy)
Good Times

31. Sufjan StevensAll Delighted People EP (Asthmatic Kitty) (buy)
From The Mouth Of Gabriel

30. Yair YonaRemember (Anova/Strange Attractors) (buy)
Brave Walls

29. Radical FaceTouch The Sky EP (self-released) (buy)

28. Delta SpiritHistory From Below (Rounder) (buy)
Salt In The Wound

27. Kanye WestMy Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella) (buy)
Lost In The World

26. Jeremy MessersmithThe Reluctant Graveyard (self-released) (download for free/buy)
John The Determinist

25. Blackbird BlackbirdSummer Heart (self-released) (buy)

24. LCD SoundsystemThis Is Happening (DFA) (buy)
All I Want

23. The Wiggly TendrilsRomance In The Executive Branch (Beat The Indie Drum) (download for free)
Dear Martha

22. ClogsThe Creatures In The Garden of Lady Walton (Brassland) (buy)
Last Song

21. Broken Social SceneForgiveness Rock Record (Arts & Crafts) (buy)
Meet me In The Basement

20. Sleigh BellsTreats (Mom + Pop) (buy)
Crown On The Ground

19. FuturebirdsHampton’s Lullaby (Autumn Tone) (buy)
Man With No Knees

18. Valley MakerValley Maker (self-released) (download/buy)
The First

17. Arcade FireThe Suburbs (Merge) (buy)
Empty Room

16. The WalkmenLisbon (Fat Possum) (buy)

15. Perfume GeniusLearning (Matador) (buy)
Gay Angels

14. Free EnergyStuck On Nothing (DFA) (buy)
Free Energy

13. The Besnard LakesAre The Roaring Night (Jagjaguwar) (buy)

12. Yellow OstrichFade Cave EP (self-released) (download for free)
In The Past I Was An Astronaut

11. SnowdenSlow Soft Syrup EP (self-released) (download for free)
So Red

10. Shy MirrorsReactors EP (Thinking About The Needle) (download/buy)
One Way Rat

9. ListenerWooden Heart (self-released) (buy)
Falling In Love With Glaciers

8. Tame ImapalaInnerspeaker (Modular) (buy)

7. Cotton JonesTall Hours In The Glowstream (Suicide Squeeze) (buy)
Somehow To Keep It Going

6. Sarah JaffeSuburban Nature (Kirtland) (buy)
Before You Go

5. YeasayerOdd Blood (Secretly Canadian) (buy)
Ambling Alp

4. Magic ManReal Life Color (Arcade Sound Ltd.) (download for free)
South Dakota

3. The DrumsThe Drums (Island) (buy)
Let’s Go Surfing
Forever and Ever Amen

2. Beach HouseTeen Dream (Sub Pop) (buy)

1. MeursaultAll Creatures Will Make Merry (Song, By Toad) (buy)
Crank Resolutions

32 Responses to The Beat’s Most Essential Albums of 2010

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