Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Musings, But No Top Ten (Yet)

So, after re-counting, re-searching my iTunes, and downloading the aforementioned Big Boi and Kanye West records, there are officially 40 albums in the category of "records Brian bought that were released in 2010." And, as i was afraid, the Kanye record is looming pretty large. I don't know if it would be so epic had it had been released in January, and had been stewing for the better part of a year, as opposed to smacking me in the face a few weeks before 2011. However, last night, as i finished Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, i listened back to back to Kanye and Big Boi. And as i was finishing up the Big Boi record (side note: both albums have titles too long to type casually), i started to reflect on how this year, there were a LOT of great hip hop albums made. Dessa, Tim Fite, Kanye, Big Boi, the Roots all made possibly their best records (well, probably not the Roots), as well as records that had hip hop as a dominant gene, such as Janelle Monae, Sleigh Bells, Gorillaz and Girl Talk all really blew me away.

But then i started thinking a little more: this year also had a lot of really great, relatively straight ahead rock records: Ted Leo, Titus Andronicus, the Gaslight Anthem (aka the Jersey trifecta), New Pornographers, the Hold Steady (their album is much-maligned but underrated), Harlem, Best Coast, the list goes on and on.

AND i started to think about all the really surprising albums that came out this year: Yeasayer going electro pop, the Books getting really funny, the Magnetic Fields going folk, Sufjan Stevens going back to electronic music (no one in the history of the record reviewing world seems to remember Enjoy Your Rabbit), etc.

Then it hit me: 2010 has just been a really great year for music. Even the albums that disappointed me from bands i like (Arcade Fire, Dr. Dog, Spoon) are all above-average, and in other years would clearly be on my year end list. This is a GREAT problem to have, and the last few weeks, where i've let podcasts pile up in my iTunes (never since i started listening have i had two Jordan, Jesse Go!s waiting for me), i've been constantly delighted at all the records i've gone back to. And i know that i didn't give some of these enough time (sorry Bad Plus and Grinderman!), but overall, i can hardly remember a year with this much great music released. Regardless of what ten albums i will actually write about, i'm very happy to be a music fan in 2010.

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