When it comes to albums released in 2010, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’s pored over them more intensely than a KEXP DJ. So, what were their favorites? Which CDs did they reach for the most, or, uh, “click on” the most in their iTunes players? Find out as KEXP looks at each DJ’s list through the month of December, leading up to our 2010 Top 90.3 Countdown, as voted on by YOU, the KEXP listener! Voting ends next week, on Monday, December 20th, so let us know your favorites now.
Kevin Cole’s 2010 Top Ten Albums
Music is a malleable and emotional experience, which makes it difficult to pick and commit to an end-of-year Top 10. The list could change on any given day, depending on mood or how the music fits into the events of the day. In addition to the ten albums spotlighted below, I also really enjoyed the new releases from Deerhunter, Caribou, The Black Keys, The Head and the Heart, Victor Shade, Dessa, Charles Bradley, Kotchy, Maximum Balloon, Mad Rad, and Bruce Springsteen’s The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story.
Arcade Fire ‒ The Suburbs
No band had more at stake or higher expectations on them than the Arcade Fire. And they delivered an epic masterpiece, their best yet, with The Suburbs. In addition to the impressive album with arena sized hooks, Arcade Fire launched The Suburbs with an ambitious performance webcast live from Madison Square Garden directed by Terry Gilliam. A game changer. It’s good for the music world that we still have rock stars!
Jonsi ‒ Go
Okay, I’m a sucker for Jonsi and all things Sigur Ros. He transports me to a magical time and place filled with unicorns, rainbows and in his own words, makes “everything full of life.”
LCD Soundsystem ‒ This Is Happening
Not as good as the first two LCD Soundsystem albums, but hey, still great…and they write hits, even though that’s not what they do. Definitely happening!
Tame Impala ‒ InnerSpeaker
2010’s out of nowhere rock masterpiece. Revolver-era Beatles meets Pink Floyd, for a space jam that’s still new and original.
Massive Attack ‒ Heligoland
An oozing, jittery, solid listen, front-to-back, from these down-tempo electronic pioneers. Longtime collaborators Horace Andy and Martina Tobley-Bird make appearances, as do new comers Hope Sandoval, Damon Albarn, Elbow’s Guy Garvey, and TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe.
Breathe Owl Breathe ‒ Magic Central
Enchanting idiosyncratic indie folk album with beautiful songs and stealthy insights that are revealed on repeated listens. Bonus points for the beautiful packaging.
The Roots ‒ How I Got Over
KEXP’s favorite guest DJ ?uestlove and crew continue to push themselves musically while maintaining the groove. Overall, more optimistic than the last few albums while not flinching in the face of social or political issues.
Macklemore x Ryan Lewis ‒ The Vs. EP
Deeply personal, motivating, and highly inspirational. Includes “The Town,” a love letter to Seattle that gives me goose bumps every time I listen to it.
Foals ‒ Total Life Forever
A sleeper album for me -- I kept returning to it over the course of the year enjoying it more and more each time.
Beach House ‒ Teen Dream
A late night and early morning fave…
Kevin Cole is the host of The Afternoon Show, on the air Monday through Friday from 2-6PM.