Top Ten Albums of 2010

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 By Keir Bristol > Northeastern University

By now you should have expected College Magazine’s Music Insider to provide you with a top 10 album list like any other music blog, right? But keep in mind, this is all a question of taste. It’s very hard to judge albums that are in completely different genres. It’s hard to say that Rihanna’s "Loud" isn’t as good as Antony and the Johnson’s "Swanlights" when they are two completely different types of albums by two completely different artists, right? The albums are judged by production, range of topics and sounds, lyrical content, etc.

1. Kanye West – My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted, Fantasy
But all of the production doesn’t take away from the fact that in a shallow  way, West seems to bare his soul on this album. It’s a “take me or leave  me” vibe, in which he’s very open about his flaws, especially when it  comes to his relationships with women… But just as quickly as he admits  his flaws, he dismisses them in the same rush. 
2. Joanna Newsom- Have One On Me
Joanna has a voice like a music box- an amazing range with a soft  magical tone, similar to the harp she plays in each song while she  sings. Have One On Me takes this voice and creates a new set of lullabies  for the children of 2010 to learn and love.
3. Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid
While Monáe’s musical styles vary throughout the album, the truly  admirable quality of the album (other than her absolutely fantastic voice)  is the cohesiveness of the album. None of the songs sound the same, and  yet they are all undeniably her own. (source)
4. Sufjan Stevens – All Delighted People
It begins with the song for which the album is titled, “All Delighted  People,” backed with a haunting chorus and full orchestra… “From the  Mouth of Gabriel” combines classic Stevens songwriting with the angelic  chorus from the first track and even a touch of electronic sound effects  that sound as if they could have been inspired by UFO’s. And before the album ends with the electric guitar-tinged “Djohariah,” at a whopping 17 minutes, we are graced with a shorter rock remix of the title track. (source)
5. Antony and the Johnsons – Swanlights
He is a singer with a rare quality- he has something that no one else can  touch. I’m sure no one in the world has a voice as supernatural as his,  and the composition of his albums are purely genius. Every song written  with poetic lyrics, every instrument forming intricate melodies and  harmonies. When it comes to Antony and the Johnsons, there is no such thing as filler; each song is connected AND can stand on its own if need be. (source)
6. Drake – Thank Me Later
Drake is in the new school of rappers that are the talk of the town before  they have even released an album. Now, with Thank Me Later, Drake has  given fans and haters alike more to talk about.
7. Nicki Minaj- Pink Friday
The best track? Undoubtedly “Fly” featuring Rihanna, in which a  frustrated Minaj raps inspiring lyrics like “I am not a word, I am not a  line / I am not a girl that can ever be defined / I am not fly, I am levitation  / I represent an entire generation,” in between Rihanna’s delicate and  melodic chorus. (source)
8. The Roots- How I Got Over
Although they sometimes throw in some surprises, The Roots can always  be counted on for several things: thought-provoking, politically and  spiritually charged lyrics, beautiful hooks and simple live-band  beats. (source)
Rihanna – Loud
Loud is the total opposite of  her last album Rated R… and for those who  have been following Rihanna’s career, you are probably are aware  that Rihanna can fit into a variety of genres and she’s not anywhere close  to 
committing to just one. (source)
Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
I’m not sure there is any other band in 2010 that managed to produce a  successful album in which the band itself mocks their own fans. Of  course, there probably isn’t any other band in 2010 that is gutsy enough  to do so.
Honorable Mentions (in no particular order): Big Boi- The Son of Chico Dusty // Vampire Weekend- Contra // Robyn – Body Talk // Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Ads // Yeasayer- Odd Blood // The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards // Gil Scott Heron – I’m New Here // The Black Keys – Brothers.
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