Favorite new (to me) music of 2010

Continuing with the tradition started last year, I present my favorite albums purchased in 2010.

To be on this list I must have purchased the album in 2010. This also doesn't include all albums I purchased.

Easy winners

What Is Free To a Good Home? and Knives Don't Have Your Back - Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton : Emily Haines was on my 'too hard to tell' list last year, and this year I ended up picking up her four CD digital collection on iTunes. As you'll see later, all four of those CDs have made it on to my 'easy winners' list this year.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Vol. 2 and Vol. 1 - Yoko Kanno : Yoko Kanno does some very wonderful things with music. I have copies of most of the albums now, and one of my biggest purchases this year was for a hard copy of the Solid State O.S.T.

Live It Out and Grow Up and Blow Away - Metric : As noted above, I picked up a four CD collection of Emily Haines' music. I haven't listened to these as much as I have the ones above, but ...

Une Enfant Du Siècle - Alizée : Only Alizée can get me to consistently pay for physical copies of albums, instead of waiting for them to be released electronically. I probably liked Psychédélices more, but this is still pretty good.

La Disparition and Not Going Anywhere and Keren Ann - Keren Ann : I've become something of a big Keren Ann fan. The albums aren't all strong, but her total body of work elevates her into this heading. Nolita remains my favorite album.

Lady & Bird - Lady & Bird : Another of Keren Ann's, but this time with Bardi Johansen, who you'll see has made it onto my list (Bang Gang) further below.

Head First - Goldfrapp : I've found Goldfrapp to be mostly hit (versus miss) with me, and this album has got a great 80's sound, that I generally find pretty near perfect.

The Understanding - Röyksopp : The first Röyksopp album that really clicked for me.

Demon Days - Gorillaz : I really should have purchased this album years ago, but missed out on doing so until now.

Close calls

Never For Ever - Kate Bush : Right after I got this I listened this quite a bit. I've been very tempted to get her other works, but the ones that were highly recommended aren't available digitally yet. It's a great album, but not listening to it as much, and holding off on purchasing any more of her works makes me a bit nervous.

Clocktower Park - Kate Walsh : As noted again below, I started with her Acoustic EP and have begun looking into her other works.

IRM - Charlotte Gainsbourg : 5:55 remains my favorite of her albums. However, this has quite the different sound to it, in a good way.

Lungs (Deluxe Version) - Florence + The Machine : I played this album quite a bit when I first got it, but have started to let it sit unplayed.

Tiny Cities - Sun Kil Moon : Heard one of his songs on the Gears of War trailer, and all-in-all I really enjoy this album. But, I've yet to actually pick up one of his other albums ...

La Ballade Of Lady & Bird - Lady & Bird : After really enjoying Lady & Bird I decided to pick up their other album. I gave the album 4 stars, and stick by that rating, but ... I'm not sure why this stays here instead of further above ...

Historie De Melody Nelson - Serge Gainsbourg : An amazing album, with one of the first strong male singers I've purchased this year. I also seem to be listening to it at a nice steady pace, which suggests it'll stay as one of my favorites for a longer period of time.

11:11 - Rodrigo Y Gabriela : Amazing guitar work. Period.

Ghosts from the Past - Bang Gang : As mentioned above, I discovered his work thanks to his collaboration with Keren Ann. When another of his albums is re-released in approximately 10 days, I'll be picking it up. I'm not so much as fan of the other album of his that I picked up, so ... we'll see what happens.

Let's Get Out of This Country - Camera Obscura : Last year Camera Obscura was listed as a disappointment for Underachievers Please Try Harder. I think my point about it starting strong is still valid, yet here I went and purchased another of their albums. Clearly, there's something there, and I think having listened to Underachievers more has made that more visible.

Too hard to tell

Tim's House - Kate Walsh : Her Acoustic EP was an album that I had downloaded (I believe it was free at the time) and then forgot about until I 'discovered' it one day. I started picking up more of her music, and while I enjoy this (Clocktower Park made it onto my list above), it may just be too soon to tell ...

The Ghost Who Walks - Karen Elson : I played this album a lot, and fear I burned out on it. Time will tell.

The Five Ghosts - Stars : Stars has popped up in my 'research' for music before. Really, I just haven't had the album enough to confirm that I enjoy the album.

R.E.T.R.O. - mind.in.a.box : Heard one of the songs somewhere, and since I liked the previews picked this up. I'm not sure what to think of it yet, since it seems there's a lot of hits, and very few misses ...

Something Wrong - Bang Gang : The album doesn't seem to fit as a whole, but this may just be an issue with not having enough time with it.


Plastic Beach - Gorillaz : Stylo is perfect. The rest of the album? Not so much.

Et Pourquoi les Crayons ? - Amélie-les-crayons : An experiment trying to find foreign music that I really enjoyed. Just haven't listened to it as much as I should. There's a couple other albums that belong here too (by other artists), but this will serve as representing them all.

La Roux - La Roux : I should really like this, but I can't find a reason to press play, beyond a couple songs.

Drawing Down the Moon - Azure Ray : Azure Ray was a good album, and while it may just be too soon, this doesn't live up to that.

What We Forgot to Remember - Calamine : Like the previous entry, Calamine was a good album, but this one doesn't have the same magic.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly - Ennio Morricone : The soundtrack to Red Dead Redemption probably belongs here as well. Both have some great pieces, but the rest ends up sounding the same.

Beyond the Infinite - Juno Reactor : As happened with a couple other albums (not listed here), I'd find one song I really like, the previews on the other songs would sound okay, and I'd end up not liking the album as a whole.

Tron: Legacy - Daft Punk : Don't get me wrong. It's a good soundtrack, but not what I'd consider a good Daft Punk album.

Soviet Kitsch - Regina Spektor : Ode to Divorce is great, but I think I burned myself out on Regina Spektor.

The Suburbs - Arcade Fire : Neon Bible wasn't that good. This had a good song, but wasn't much better.

Aja - Steely Dan : I used to love this kind of music. This proved to me that my music tastes have changed for good.

Changes since last year

As noted above, Nolita has moved from a 'close call' to one of my favorite albums.

I find it very surprising that Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? was listed as a 'too hard to tell' album last year. This too has become one of my favorite albums.

As noted above, Underachievers Please Try Harder should probably be moved from 'disappointments' to 'too hard to tell,' since I've picked up another album by Camera Obscura.

No other real changes need be made.