Albums of 2010

Yes it’s been a long while since I’ve posted anything and I know that my thousands of loyal readers have been getting impatient. Right? Yes? Ok.

So in my truely half-arsed and indecisive manner I have picked my twelve (it’s as good of a number as any) albums of the year that are definitely worth a spin.

12) Mark Ronson & The Business Intl – Record Collection

After the brilliant production on Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black album and a rubbish but highly successful covers album Mark Ronson’s popularity definitely waned. Losing all quality control and working with anyone who could afford him, Duran Duran, Kaiser Chiefs and other forgettable artists hoping that the Ronson name would spark chart success meant that his new record was greeted with a collective shrug from critics and fans. Which makes it’s brilliance even more suprising.

Come back single Bang Bang Bang featuring relatively unknown MNDR, who’s solo offering is getting me excited for 2011, and a star turn Hip-Hop royalty Q-Tip it’s a genre scoping pop triumph and there’s more where that came from.

Working with a plethora of pop performers including Cathy Dennis, Simon Le Bon, Boy George and D’Angelo, Ronson had created an effortlessly edgy and eclectic pop record filled with hooks a plenty managing to sound retro and futuristic at the same time.

Album Highlight: Somebody To Love Me

11.) The Golden Filter – Volupsa

Mysterious synth-pop duo from New York, The Golden Filter, first attracted my attention last year with some brilliant remixes of Little Boots and Empire Of The Sun. Their debut album didn’t disappoint either. I’m a sucker for some ice cool electro with hauntingly detached lyrics and that’s exactly what this album is, not swaying from this winning formula through out with the glam disco of Hide Me showing that they won’t let a great pop song get in the way of their icy cool allure. Along with other single Thunderbird this should be what the Top 40 should, but will never, sound like.

Album Highlight: Solid Gold

10.) Jenny & Johnny – I’m Having Fun Now

Child star and front woman of Rilo Kiley Jenny Lewis is quickly becoming the queen of the American alternative rock scene. Think of her as the anti-Zooey Deschanel, who’s saccharin sweet songs and wooden acting performances leave me flummoxed to her popularity, Lewis’ depth of song writing is proven as she’s never released a bad record and the same can be said about her latest offering with her boyfiend Johnathan Rice.

The chemistry between them adds heaps of charisma, which wasn’t in short supply on her previous records, to the tried and tested country rock formula. The flirty fun of My Pet Snakes and the darkness of New Yorker Cartoon show the light and shade to their relationship which shines through on this brilliantly moving collection of songs.

Album Highlight: While Men Are Dreaming

9.) Hurts – Happiness

Tailored suits, sharp haircuts and furlourn press shots could accurately document Hurts rise to fame in the last year, that and they know their way around an anthemic pop tune. In the vain of the daddies of sophisticated synth-pop, Pet Shop Boys, Hurts have crafted a niche in todays pop landscape by creating a strong image that compliments their sound and runs through out their album, gigs and videos. Though it’s definitely not a case of style over substance.

Lead single Better Than Love is a Hi-NRG pop monster with a staggeringly brilliant euphoric chorus. This classic style of songwriting runs through out the record whether on Depeche Mode-esque Wonderful Life (the Arthur Baker remix is also worth a gander) or on the big ballads that close the album, the choice cut being Unspoken. Getting Kylie involved wasn’t a bad idea either.

Album Highlight: Devotion (ft. Kylie Minogue)

more to come tomorrow…

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