Lotsa great music this year made this a difficult list to put together. Here, in no particular order, was the notable stuff I loved in 2010:
Dawes: North Hills. This is something truly special – I suspect we’ll be listening to and loving this record 30, 40 years from now.
Midlake: The Courage of Others. Very much a “Hey, let’s put on druid robes and go play our guitars in the forest” record, which is right up my alley.
Janelle Monae: The ArchAndroid. There’s so much genius to unpack in this record … this lady is a true visionary.
Bad Religion: The Dissent of Man. The world’s smartest punk band puts out its 15th studio record, probably its best since “Stranger Than Fiction.”
Cabin: Among the Rectangles and Changeable Parts. Sublime beauty from a band that should be world-famous – and will be, no doubt.
Stars: The Five Ghosts. I swear, this record feels like it is actually haunted. Creepy on many levels, and yet danceable at the same time.
Katy Perry: Teenage Dream. Pure, sugar-coated pop records don’t get any more irresistible than this.
Band of Horses: Infinite Arms. I heard a lot of fans grumbling that they lost their edge with this one, but I love it.
Josh Ritter: So Runs the World Away. Literate and mesmerizing – there are about a half-dozen songs here that need to be made into either a film or a book (or both).
Frightened Rabbit: The Winter of Mixed Drinks. OK, I said these were in no particular order, but this is my favorite. I haven’t stopped listening since it was released.