Music Uncategorized

My Top Albums of 2010 — A Fact-Based Approach

  • Patty Griffin “Downtown Church”
  • I think I love Julie Miller on this song more than Patty Griffin.

  • Dark Tranquility “We Are the Void”
  • This album will scare babies but I’ll probably forget about it before mine arrives. To me, it just sounds like all their other albums.

  • Punch Brothers “Antifogmatic”
  • Chris Thile is the Justin Timberlake of the Bluegrass world.

  • Red Molly “James”
  • Jake Armerding is my family’s folk-child, though he may not know who we are. When other artists begin covering his songs we know he’s grown. Welcome back Jake.

  • Shelby Lynne “Tears, Lies and Alibis”
  • When I first heard Shelby Lynne I thought she was a old veteran soul singer and was surprised to learn she was a spry 40 year old. Maybe I was thinking about Loretta.

  • Tift Merritt “See You On the Moon”
  • We saw Tift at Merlfest in 2009 and for some reason called her Pippy. This album doesn’t quite stand up to her last one.

  • District 97 “Hybrid Child”
  • Their bio says it best: “District 97 is the only Progressive Rock band in the world to feature an American Idol finalist and a Chicago Symphony Orchestra virtuoso cellist.” It’s about as far removed from Carrie Underwood as possible.

  • Iron Maiden “The Final Frontier”
  • Every Bruce Dickinson Iron Maiden album since Fear of the Dark has sort of blended together to me. I like this one, but it will never stand out as one of their greats.

  • Joanna Newsom “Have One On Me”
  • I don’t know why I like Joanna Newsom. There’s something very pretentious about a harp-playing pop singer releasing a 3-disc album but iTunes doesn’t lie; I listed to this album a lot. I can hear this song being used in one of those Honda commercials geared towards recent college grads with newly-acquired disposable Indie money.

  • Avantasia “The Wicked Symphony”
  • Tobias is helping to keep 80s metal alive. He’s still operating under the 1988 album-creation rule dictating that a power ballad must follow the first rockin’ single. I raise my lighter to him (not my iPhone, but a true fire-making device).

    So there it is.  Paste your top 10, or 20, or 30 albums into the comments if you’re willing but keep it honest. The iCarly soundtrack may top the list, but I won’t tell Chris Hanson. However, if I discover you’ve played with the results to flaunt your hipness, I’ll return the snow you’ve just shoveled to its original home on your driveway. Just create a playlist for all albums released in 2010 and sort by play count.

    Out of curiosity I did the same thing for 1973, a year in the height of prog-rock’s popularity. The results aren’t a true indication of my favorite albums of the year and the ordering is almost meaningless, but it’s an honest look at what I’ve listened to most in the past 8 years from 1973. It obviously doesn’t take into account the 300 times I listened to Dark Side of the Moon in 1994, but it should. I hope Steve Jobs reads this and begins working on a brain-to-iTunes integration for accurate play counts. Unfortunately Steve typically only reads the first half of my blog and gets bored.


    1. Genesis “Selling England By The Pound”
    2. Renaissance “Ashes Are Buring”
    3. Paul Simon “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon”
    4. Le Orme “Felona E Serona”
    5. Billy Joel “Cold Spring Harbor”
    6. Gentle Giant “In A Glass House”
    7. Gentle Giant “Octopus”
    8. Billy Joel “Piano Man”
    9. Elton John “Caribou”
    10. Elton John “Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player”
    11. Black Sabbath “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”
    12. Campo Di Marte “Campo Di Marte”
    13. Led Zepplin “Houses of the Holy”
    14. Aerosmith “Aerosmith”
    15. Pink Floyd “Dark Side of the Moon”
    16. Yes “Tales from Topographic Oceans”
    17. Todd Rundgren”A Wizard, A True Star”
    18. Focus “Focus III”
    19. Jesse Colin Young “Song for Juli”
    20. Nektar “Remember the Future”


    1. I looked at my iTunes to see my list from 2010 and realized that there wasn’t one album released this year that I loved. Only maybe five or so that are even “good”. Then I looked back at 2009 and there were a ton of great ones. Don’t know why, but it ended up being a weak music year for me for some reason.


    2. Thanks for stopping by my blog, reading and commenting! 🙂 I’m glad I found your blog because I really do love it a lot.

      How long have you been playing the guitar for? I’ve wanted to play the mandolin after listening to Mumford & Sons. They are a favourite. There are far too many instruments I want to learn, play and own.

      I somewhat agree with Ben Zell. I thought 2009 was a better year in music. I create my own top favourite music of the year as well. I only pay little attention to what everyone else says is ‘hot’. Yesterday, my mom had said I don’t know what the ‘hot’ popular music of today is. She’s somewhat true and I like it that way. I pride myself that I don’t have Bieber fever and I hardly listen to the radio. If I do listen to the radio, it’s usually when my iPod is out of battery or not with me. I’ll be on Pandora, an online stream or I go to music blogs. I listen to what I like and not necessarily what everyone else likes, but in all, I respect all the other musicians everyone else seems to listen to. To be honest, I haven’t heard of most of your top 30 in 2010. But I am a fan of your 1973 playlist. I really like Billy Joel, Elton John and Led Zeppelin.


    3. What an interesting and varied collection. There’s a lot of bands on here I’ve never heard of, but I think I’m going to love them all.

      I forgot about that Pain of Salvation album, which I adore. I’ve only heard that one, though, and I’m told it’s not their best.

      I was very disappointed with the Final Frontier – ever since “Brave New World” Maiden’s releases seem so blah – pale shades of what they once were. A great album by any other band, but for Maiden, I didn’t think it worthy.


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