Music Feature

An Annotated Guide to Bill's Top Ten

by Bill Chenevert
Lists: Ten records that kicked my ass in 2k10
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  1. Janelle Monae - ArchAndroid (Suites I and II) Sure, "Tightrope" was a bomb song. Lord knows Big Boi can make magic happen. But it was "Cold War," and its accompanying video, that solidified my devotional admiration for this massive and promising talent.
  2. Local Natives - Gorilla Manor Call me a hipster, go 'head. This record speaks for itself with beautiful harmonies and vocal teamwork. Yup, it rides the Animal Collective wave a little, employing tribalism and manic noise. However, "Who Knows Who Cares" is so sweet and soft it can regularly make me cry. 
  3. The Dead Weather - Sea of Cowards What a surprise this one was. Last summer's debut, Horehound, had a few gems on it but was by no means a masterpiece. This one, from start to finish, just oozes piss and vinegar (in a good way). Jack White adds to his repertoire of radical.
  4. Big Boi - Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty Sometimes I think you can know a person by if they liked Speakerboxxx or The Love Below better. What about if there's equal love? Then "Shutterbugg" will blow your damn mind. It's the song of the year.
  5. Robyn - Body Talk In terms of dance pop, nobody did it quite like she did this year. With her series of EPs, she slowly unfurled a new arsenal of mind-bowing dancefloor fodder for the euro deep inside all of our fat, American hearts.
  6. Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record Disclosure: I am a devout BSS fanboy. You Forgot It In People is still my favorite record ever. On the other hand, I was quite disenchanted with all these BSS presents shits. This is the real thing; a proper twenty-person rock record full of emotion and craftsmanship.
  7. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening What a lot of people didn't understand was that "Drunk Girls" was the single, sure, but not even close to the best song on the record, let alone indicative of what the rest of it sounded like. "Dance Yrself Clean," the album opener is probably Song #2 of the year.
  8. Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me Being a relative newcomer to the Church of Joanna Newsom, this one was met with a good deal of suspicion. Three discs? Really? THE ANSWER IS YES. Stunningly well-composed harp exercises to accompany her quirky but fascinating words.
  9. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Did you see the MTV Video Music Award performance of "Runaway"? What about the thirty minute video with his crazy-ass bird girlfriend? Have you heard Nicki Minaj rap on "Monster"? Do you realize that Elton John and Bon Iver are on this record? That's all, just questions.
  10. The Black Keys - Brothers At first, what seemed like any other Black Keys record, after many spins, turns out to be an ecstatic and joyous opus of bluesy garage rock. "Everlasting Light" almost seems like an official theme song for a new kind of Black Keys that I, for one, hope sticks around.
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