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My top 10 albums and songs of 2010

January 14, 2010

I know the New Year has been full of lists and countdowns but I couldn't resist putting together my top 10 albums and songs from the past year. I was hoping that compiling this list would help me decide what to vote for in Triple J's Hottest 100 poll, but I'm still yet to decide. Enjoy!

Top 10 albums (in no particular order)

1. Robyn – Body Talk Part 1

In case you weren't away, pint-sized Swedish singer Robyn rocks. And the first of her three-part Body Talk series of albums is triumph of dance and RnB. Songs like Fembot and Dancing On My Own work because of her attitude, which is somehow feisty but cute and in a few places, even vulnerable.

2. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty 

Phat, dirty and epic, Big Boi - one half of awesome hip hop group Outkast - has produced a very impressive debut solo album but I would have expected no less. Includes a guest appearance by Jamie Foxx. Turn the bass up for Shutter Bug.

3. Miami Horror – Illumination

I was not expecting Miami Horror's full-length debut album to be quite this good. The 10 months front man Ben Plant spent mixing Illusions was well worth the wait, every single song can stand on its own and the mix of disco synths and guitar riffs are candy to my ears.

4. Little Red – Midnight Remember

I was so happy to finally see these guys live at Splendour in the Grass last year. They've proven you don't have to be sad or too cool for school to be in an indie rock band. Forget About Your Man and Rock It are my favourite tracks and while some have compared them to The Beach Boys, I think they're more edgy and have a hard time picture any of the members on a surf board.

5. Angus and Julia Stone – Down The Way

These Aussie siblings are finally starting to gain popularity overseas, in the UK and France in particular, and it's about time. They are the epitome of indie folk. I reckon Big Jet Plane is the highlight of the album.

6. Scissor Sisters – Night Work 

This album is unabashedly camp and that's why it works. Any Which Way is a particular favourite and after seeing these guys perform that song live at Splendour in the Grass I had to put them on the list.

7. Sia – We Are Born

I dare you to listen to this album and not feel happy. It just puts a bounce in your step and from what I've seen on TV and read in interviews it's a reflection of Sia's uplifting personality.

8. Washington – I Believe You Liar 

She swept the ARIAs and Brisbane's indie songstress deserves all that recognition for her debut solo album. Her lyrics are smart and her phrasing is just awesome. Hopefully her sophomore release isn't too far away, but after all of the media attention I wouldn't blame her for taking a break.  

9. Daft Punk – Tron Legacy Soundtrack

The best movie soundtrack of the past decade, hands down. The songs are rich but simple and the epic bass lines envelop you, perfectly suited to sitting in a dark theatre with Dolby surround sound.

10. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

Damon Albarn can do no wrong. I love everything about this album and his holistic approach to it. The post apocalyptic marine theme is uber cool and somehow the massive range of guest artists meld together cohesively, no doubt thanks to Albarn's vision.

Top 10 singles (again, no particular order)

1. Cee Lo Green - F*ck You!

It's the catchy, expletive ridden song of unrequited love and sadly a video of my drunkenly singing and dancing to this song on Christmas night found its way on the internet, but don't try to find it. I tortured the friend who uploaded it until he took it down :)

2. The National - Bloodbuzz Ohio

I wish I had room to include The National's album in my top 10 albums list but a top 15 or 20 list would have been too long. Written and sung by Matt Berninger in his deep baritone voice, The National's lyrics are darkly funny. Best thing to come out of Ohio since, well, a while.

3. The Bedroom Philosopher - Northcote (So Hungover)

Every time I hear this song I pick up something new and funny. The lyrics are so smart in the form of one half of a phone conversation, and a viciously funny lampoon of all those tight, black-jean wearing band types. And I love how he completely takes on the accent and speaking pattern as he speaks, rather than sings, the lyrics, it's spot on! 

4. Boy & Bear - Fall At Your Feet

A bit of a late comer, this song was recorded for the Tim and Neil Finn tribute album He Will Have His Way. Such a beautiful and layered take on the original song. Improving on a Finn brothers song is hard to do, but this five piece (who I have seen live and were fantastic) has done it.

5. Crystal Castles feat Rob Smith - Not In Love

Rob Smith has one of those voices that don't come along very often and his collaboration with Toronto electro experimenters has resulted in their highest charting song to date. Smith's melancholic voice over fuzzy beats and sparkling notes is a winner in my books.

6. Duck Sauce - Barbra Streisand 

It's the party song of the summer, well winter for us in Australia . What a concept, just sing whooo and Barbara Streisand's name over and over. I loved Duck Sauce's first single, anYway, and I can't wait to see what they release next.

7. The Jezabels – Mace Spray

This song is sublime. Not sure what else I can say. If you haven't heard it, go to their MySpace and check it out.

8. M.I.A. – XXXO

M.I.A.'s follow up to her hugely successful sophomore album Kala has definitely been controversial but I say good on her for releasing something well out of the mainstream and completely different to Paper Planes. It's jarring at times but this song strikes a nice balance between melody and dissonance.

9. Sparkadia – Talking Like I'm Falling Down Stairs

A triumphant return for Sparkadia after a massive line-up change (now a solo project for Alex Burnett) . Such fantastic lyrics that had heaps of people in my office talking when it was first released. Eagerly awaiting the release of the album, The Great Impression, on March 18.

10. Cloud Control – There's Nothing In The Water We Can't Fight

Expect big things from these guys this year, with work expected on the follow-up to their debut album Bliss Release. It was a hard choice between this song, Gold Canary and Meditation Song #2 but every time I hear this band's name this is the song that pops into my head.

And don't for get to vote in Triple J's Hottest 100. Voting closes on Sunday!


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