Spinning Platters Staff’s Individual Picks: The Best Albums of 2010

by Gordon Elgart on December 31, 2010

True believers, indeed! Looks like Donald Glover netted himself a place on someone's list.

After fighting over voting on our site’s top albums, I gave everyone the opportunity to send in an individual list of their favorite records without rules as to how many albums could be on there. While the initial turnout was poor, I know that posting this will have our writers turning up in droves to add their list. And through the power of the Internet, I can add those lists! But without further rambling, let’s go to our first list, from Dakin Hardwick.

From Managing Editor Dakin Hardwick

1.)Xxxx/You Say Party! (We Say Die!)
This dance/punk band from a small suburb of Vancouver jumped onto my radar out of nowhere, and produced a brilliantly infectious collection of songs that are addictive and hooky. This group may not be re-inventing the wheel, but it’s been a long time since I’ve come across a record that leaves me feeling this good, and forces me to go back for repeated listenings this much. Within a mere 8 months of this record arriving, it’s become my 3rd most listened to record since I began keeping in 2006.

2.) Sisterworld/Liars
This band’s progression from garage/noise fusionists to their current identity is mind blowing. This record still retains the danger of their early records, but is much darker, much more layered, and much more grown up than past efforts.

3.) $0$/Die Antwoord
On the surface, this is kind of a dumb hip hop record. Then you start really digging in to it, and you’ve got some brilliant beats that are both truly creative and get you moving, and the groups secret weapon, Yolandi Vi$$er’s creepy, high pitched delivery almost hides the fact that she may be one of the wittiest mc’s out there today.

4.) Piece/Kelli Scarr
This chilling debut is one of the most underrated records of the year. These songs are dark and sparse, but still soulful. Scarr’s voice is unique, and her ability to tell a story is on par with few other musicians.

5.) 1,000 Years/Corin Tucker Band
The solo debut by the member of Sleater-Kinney that has remained furthest below the radar since their hiatus. This album is a wildly diverse collection of songs, ranging from epic ballads to classic, pogo ready pop punk. It’s a rare solo record from a member of a popular band that forces you to not compare it to the body of work of the original band, and actually forces you to take it on it’s own merit.

6.) Marnie Stern/Marnie Stern
Stern’s first two records were displays of virutuosic guitar wizardry that exploded in your face. With her 3rd record, she dials back a little on the shredding to show of her impress skill as a songwriter, proving that not only can she wail, but she can be emotionally direct and even tender at times. Don’t mistake this for a calm record, though… She still shows that she can tear shit up as well.

7.) Sex With An X/The Vaselines
Old age hasn’t softened one of Kurt Cobain’s favorite bands a bit. This record, the 2nd full length from Scotland’s twee pop innovators starts right where the last one left off, which is a deliciously raunchy collection of songs with melodies so sweet that you hardly realize that you are listening to lyrics that would make Larry Flynt blush.

8.) Adventures Of Bobby Ray/B.o.B.
This is a rare record: A mainstream rap record that is smart, humble, and still has hooks everywhere. This is primarily a concept record about the struggle and sacrifice of, well, putting out your debut record. You can get an honest feel for what the B.o.B. is going through without the posturing that his peers feel the need to express. Plus, because of him, you can turn on the local urban station and hear Rivers Cuomo’s voice, and that’s pretty awesome.

9.) IRM/Charlotte Gainsbourg
After an interesting, but inevitably forgettable debut, Gainsbourg called upon Beck to help inspire her, and in turn, comes out the most interesting music Beck has put out nearly a decade! Drawing inspiration from early 90’s American Indie, French pop from the 60’s, and classic folk music, with a few colors of electronica thrown in without distraction, and the end result is simply a great album.

10.) Animal/Ke$ha
A lot of people seem to be pretty disgusted with Ke$ha’s rise to fame. This is because people hate the notion of summery, good time pop music. Every track on this record is a classic top 40 single that feels good to listen to. Yes, she may not be Emily Dickinson when it comes to lyrics, but she’s got a great sense of delivery, and knows how to put a smile on the face of even the most jaded listener, provided they will let their guard down for 30 seconds so they can actually enjoy something instead of judging it.

11.) The Fool/Warpaint
Dark & sparse, with just enough New Wave energy to keep you awake & energized. These 9 tracks are some of the most intense & beautiful songs are perfect the cold & rainy winter months.

12.) High Violet/The National
Matt Berringer’s deep tenor gets stronger with every passing album, and his gift for writing “Dirty Songs For Sad Lovers” has only improved, taking you on a creepy, yet romantic journey that leaves you feeling both seduced and lonely.

13.)My Best Friend Is You/Kate Nash
A sharp departure from her debut. Gone are the sweet, bubbly pop confections and the comparisons to Lily Allen. Instead, we have a fierce, guitar driven rock record, that is more Bikini Kill than anything else.

14.) Heart Of My Own/Basia Bulat
A lovely collection of “folk” music that runs the entire range of what folk music is. These 12 songs remain traditional in feel, but move the genre in ways like few others have been able to do successfully.

15.) At Echo Lake/Woods
Swirling tape loops and trippy sound effects coloring some very earnest folk rock.

16.) Broken Bow/Eux Autres
1 part twee pop, 1 part pop punk, and all around pure sonic joy!

17.)  The Family Jewels/Marina & The Diamonds
A little Kate Bush mixed with a little extra disco and a whole lot of style.

Click on to see Marie Carney’s list:

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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