2010 TOP 10 AOTY >implying /mu/sic isn’t subjective/objective

Hey all, I haven’t posted in over a month!  Hurrah for laziness!

This post is my official 2010 top 10 album of the year post. That should be pretty self explanatory right there. These albums are personally my favorites, not necessarily the technical “bests”, though of course I think alot of these are so. The only rules are these albums must have been studio albums released in 2010 in it’s entirety, and that they are full albums. No singles, or EPs. Though, just to get the word out on them, I’ll list my top 5 singles (that aren’t on other albums) / EPs right here.

5. Isles & Glaciers – The Hearts of Lonely People. It’s the best things Owens and Craig have ever done. Suck it.

4. Kilimanjaro – EP two – Kilimanjaro is an amazing, unique, instrumental band with Jazz and Prog Rock elements. They released two EPs this year, and their second is FUCK YEAH TIER.

3. Gorillaz – Doncamatic – Gorillaz have put out so much music this year, though their second album, while streamed TODAY, doesn’t count as a release for this year. This single came out after Plastic Beach. It’s unlike most they’ve ever done. CATCHY AS FUCK!

2. Crystal Castles & Robert Smith – Not In Love – Hurrah for remakes of covers. Crystal Castles covered the Platinum Blonde song on their album that came out this year, then they rerecorded it with Robert Smith of The Cure. This new vesrion is BEAUTIFUL.

1. Circa Survive – Appendage – This album are the B-Sides off Blue Sky Noise. It’s 5 songs (4 full, 1 demo) and it’s godly. There’s not much more than I can say. Some of these songs hit harder than alot of the ones off Blue Sky Noise. In particular, I think Lazarus, off this, is Song of the Year. God I fucking love it ( and Circa, so much)


So,  here are the albums of the year. You should realize, I HAVE NOT LISTENED TO EVERYTHING THERE IS TO LISTEN TO! For instance, if I had listened to Act III by The Dear Hunter, it would probably be on this list, BUT FOR WHATEVER REASONS I HAVEN’T. Also, I don’t care for Coheed much. So, Deal.  So, to not waste further time, here we go.

Albums (also EPs) that could easily take the number 11 (or 6th) spot (Runner Ups)

Nigel Godrich – Scott Pilgrim Versus The World Original Score

Four Year Strong – Enemy of The World

Pierce The Veil – Selfish Machines

Kilimanjaro – EP One

Abyss – Better

Animals as Leaders – Wave of Babies

Cheap Seats – This Christmas (haven’t listened to their EP yet though)

Das Racist – Shut Up, Dude

Anamanaguchi – Aurora (Meet Me in The Stars)

Anamanaguchi – Scott Pilgrim Versus The World Original Video Game Soundtrack


10. She & Him – Volume Two

She & Him isn’t the type of music that the majority of my library takes up but, A. I LOVE ZOOEY DESCHANEL. B. IT’S LEGITIMATELY FUCKING AWESOME AND HAPPY AND I LOVE IT. C. ZOOEY DESCHANEL. She & Him, incase you didn’t know, is a band with a retro upbeat pop sound, with Zooey Deschanel singing. The songs are meaningful, fun, catchy,  and are really quite nice. Volume Two is just like Volume One, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s not for everyone, sure, and it’s not especially technically amazing music, but there’s soul in it, and it’s enjoyable if you can listen to the sort of thing. and ZOOEY DESCHANEL.

Best Two Songs On The Album: Over It Over Again and I’m Gonna Make It Better

9. Good Old War – Good Old War

Yes yes, their Anthony’s band that he plays with and records with for his solo stuff, but they’re awesome in their own right! Again, this band is another who’se music I don’t have much that is similar, but I still love. Good Old War is folky, but also great at it! There’s alot of heart and soul behind their music, with fitting, well executed lyricism to boot. Good Old War is a Good Old Time and the  17 tracks of their sophmore, self-titled album, are quite worth it! The story telling brought about by their songs, from both the lyrics and sound, is fantastic. You owe yourself a listen here.

Best Two Songs On The Album: That’s Some Dream and Sneaky Louise

8. Boom Boom Satellites – To The Loveless

Since the end of 2007, and their album Exposed, Boom Boom Satellites has easily been my favourite Japanese band. I’ve seen them live twice, and both times they’ve been spectacular (albeit the sets were both short). They’re a combination of Guitar, Heavy Electronics, and DRUMS, and much of their music is orgasmic. To The Loveless is their newest release. In all honesty, no, It’s not their best, but it’s still excellent. Some of the songs are ENERGETIC and pulsating, while others are more experimental, and slow. The all engrish singing is a nice touch too. Either way, most of the songs off this album are completely exhilarating in one way or a another. Anyone who likes Electronic music IN ANY FORM should really give this a shot. Unless all you listen to is House and Dubstep. Fuck You, then.

Best Two Songs On The Album: The Harder They Come, The Harder They Fall and Hounds

7. Dessa – A Badly Broken Code

If it came down to it, I’d 4 out of 5 times, I’d say Dessa is my favourite rapper. She’s the girl in Doomtree, an *EXCELLENT* Minneapolis Minnesota (which has the best rap scene in the world right now, for people that don’t like gangsta weezy SHIT) rap group, and, not to slight the others, the most interesting of the others. This was cemented from by a lyric off her first album “I’m not a writer I just drink alot about it”  This album, however, isn’t solely rap. It’s a mixture of rap, low key singing, and spoken word. The results are HIGHLY interesting, and all of the songs are fantastic in their own right. Though, a little spread out. Hip Hop to Jazz influences are abound in the production, and the lyrics are … Godly. “forget the bull in the china shop, what about the china doll in the bullpen” This album feels like a collection of various songs, with similar tone, as opposed to a single album with a complete vision. It’s still very good, and Dessa’s expansion of her own form of music is wonderful, and there are great results. THIS WOMAN WILL MAKE YOU FEEL *and* THINK!

Best Two Songs Off The Album: Children’s Work and The Bullpen

6. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Isn’t that image beautiful? Yes, that’s Kanye West fucking an armless angel. If that alone doesn’t make it AOTY-tier…. ANYWHO. This entry is somewhat controversial. While the albums on this list are varied, this work stands out for MANY reasons. Which i’m not going to list. Some of you reading this might be going “WHAAT” right about now. That being said, whatever you may think about it, i think it’s a master piece of hip hop. I don’t know if you have read anything about this album, but when it came out around a month, it was getting PERFECT reviews from music critics about the board. It’s not the best album I’ve ever heard, but it’s up there. It’s definitely both the best and my favorite mainstream, big scale, Kanye’s not my favorite rapper, but I’ve always thought he was pretty good. This album’s lyricism is fantastic, it’s all about Kanye’s own ego and his few moments of doubt. Not to mention Nicki Minaj’s SICK verse on Monster. That being said, while Kanye is at his top lyrically, the production of this album is the STAR. How it comes together too, of course. This album has the best hip hop production I’ve ever heard in my life, and it’s all Kanye. The “beats” themselves are amazing pieces of heart. Also, lol, King Crimson sample. If you absolutely hate mainstream hip hop, you should still give this a chaaaance, and try looking at it from a different angle. Try looking at it as a piece you don’t agree with, but one in which you can appreciate the complexity. I don’t think Kanye is the king of the world, but this album is FANTASTIC…. I put the pussy in the sarcophagus

Best Two Songs Off The Album: Monster and Lost in The World + Who Will Live in America

OKAY, Halfway there, this is where it gets tricky

5. Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles (II)

Crystal Castles is weird, and Crystal Castles is too. For instance, Crystal Castles is the follow up to Crystal Castles. Yeah, Crystal Castles released two albums called Crystal Castles. The second album was released this year and HOLY FUCK, I fell in love. I already though Crystal Castles was my favorite electronic band, even though bands like Justice are technically more complex and such, but then this album came out and I was a better person. It’s such a dark album, but not in an emo, gothic (not mall goth) or a painful way. It’s mood just  gives off sadness, to me, yet, it’s so addicting. Some of these tracks are danceable, all of these tracks will make you think. One of them will make you feel like you’re drowning. For music with near-indecipherable lyrics, Crystal Castles is heavy hitting, yet highly listenable. Though, I guarantee a start-to-finish go through of the album will not result in happiness, but you’ll appreciate the feeling nonetheless. I don’t find CC’s attitude appealing, it being less than favorable. Still, their music is great, and their sophmore album is phenomenal. This isn’t an album I think everyone can get behind though, it’s electronic and distorted vocals to the max. Some would find their non danceable songs annoying, but if you can appreciate the sort of music, if you can appreciate the feeling of bleakness,  this the best you’re going to get out of this year.

Best Two Songs Off The Album: Baptism and I Am Made Of Chalk

4. The Wonder Years – The Upsides (Specifically The Deluxe version, because FUCK YEAH)

Dear Chris Coll, Thank you so much for introducing me to The Wonder Years. With Love, Cimi. Okay. Hands down, The Wonder Years are the best Pop Punk band of all time, and The Upsides is the best pop punk album of all time. There’s SO MUCH EMOTION coming from Soupy, their singer, in this. His stories hit so hard, and their so relatable. The music itself has fantastic melodies, that are very fun and invigorating. The album, which talks about a variety of subjects surrounding Soupy’s thoughts and emotions about certain things in his life, has so much to it. It’s a very real world album, that talks about depressing things, but it’s also very encouraging and can help people get through the bad times. It can help people see the upsides in life. THAT SOUNDS SO FUCKING CORNY, but it’s freaking true. I wasn’t really one for pop punk before listening to this album, still not huge on it, but this album is certainly a masterpiece of the genre. It’s not the most technically complex album instrumentally, but the sound is entirely theirs, and it’s wonderful. You like Music? You listen to this album and see if you can’t relate to it, because i’m sure you’ll be able to. You’ll find something to love about this album, if not all of it. There’s so much to appreciate here.

Best Two Songs Off The Album: Melrose Diner and Logan Circle: A New Hope (this track is on the deluxe edition only)

3. Versa Emerge – Fixed at Zero

So, i’m going to be a bit lazy with this one considering my last post was all about explaining WHY Versaemerge is awesome. Yes, their a band on Fueled by Ramen with a girl singer just like Paramore. The majority of their fanbase are teenage scene/post-scene girls. None of these are good signs, but they’re fucking amazing. Read my previous post and take my word for it.  Fixed at Zero is Versaemerge’s first full length album, and it’s better than I could have ever expected it to be, and I had been a fan previous to it’s release. The rather dark, introspective lyrics performed by Sierra Kusterbeck’s beautiful voice are to die for. She’s amazing, her songs are amazing. I promise. Blake’s Guitar and Prog work are wonderful. No crazy solos or anything masturbatory like that. Everything he does flows beautiful and presents a melancholy, yet emotional sound that, when combined with Sierra’s  voice and lyrics, make amazing music. Yes, this is pretty much alternative rock, not crazy technical progressive madness nor is it become extremely experimental or weird but it’s still it’s own. It’s a fascinating album with beautiful storytelling and a full, unique sound. I’m not exactly sure why this album hits quite as hard as it does for me, Versa, as a whole, probably isn’t in my top 5, but I can listen to Fixed at Zero over and over and over. Give it a try, everyone, please. It’s… somewhat poppy in a sense, but it’s oh so worth it.

Best Two Songs Off The Album: Mind Reader and Lost Tree

2. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, flipped a shit when they heard there’d be a new gorillaz album. They had barely done anything in four years. How where they, or could they, follow up Demon Days. It was (and is) perfect. Still, in early 2010, Gorillaz presented to the world their third full album, Plastic Beach. I’ll keep the introduction here short. No, it’s not Demon Days, but it’s close. While this album recieved alot of criticism by some, not all, for it’s poppy sound, I embraced it from the beginning. The more i listen to it, the more I love it. My friend Gohan phrases it nicely “The entire album has an underwater motif”, something I agree, and that is executed beautifully. Albarn, er, Murdoc got so many people to work with him and 2D on this album, and the result is beautiful. From Bobby Womack’s solo singing, to Little Dragon’s Beautiful voice, and even Snoop Dogg being, well, Snoop Dogg, Some of the most interesting and unique songs ever recorded are on this absolutely phenomenal album.It’s a diverse, yet very well collected and orchestrated album. I’d even call it ethereal. If you can handle a decent amount of synth and poppies, this album is *essential*. You *MUST* listen to it. It’s fantastic. Of course, if you haven’t, you need to listen to Demon Days as well, but I digress. Plastic Beach will make you think about life with it’s sound, but it will also make you happy and want to go dance to the world! It’s fun *and*, for lack of a better word, DEEP. I always appreciate that combination. Unlike anything by Gorillaz, or really anyone else, Plastic Beach is this unexpectedly beautiful album that has so much to it. Even if you don’t like the entire album, there *have* to be one or two songs atleast that you can appreciate.  Listen. Please. ALSO NOODLE IS ALIVE WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT!

Best Two Songs Off The Album: Empire Ants and Rhinestone Eyes

Aaaand now… The moment none of you have been waiting for because pretty much any and everyone that knows me will know what my Album of The Year is. STILL, for effect, drum roll please…

Yes! That’s right! International Superstars The Black Eyed Peas released their sequel to the super smash hit, The E.N.D , with the even better followup; The Beginning. My admiration for BEP is well known, but this new album not only took it up one notch, it took it up three. I mean Fergie, Taboo, Alpdeap, and Will.I.am made an album so ingenious, so absolutely mindblowing… Oh who am I kidding. The Black Eyed Peas are horrendously abysmal and <pretentiousness> if you listen to them you should be ashamed </pretentiousness>.  Just my opinion tee hee hee. But seriously.

1. Circa Survive – Blue Sky Noise

R U SURPRISE!!!?!?!?!?!? Okay, seriously, I’ve said so much album this album, and I can still say so much more. I’ll try not to make this paragraph TOO TOO long. I don’t need to reiterate that Anthony Green is my favourite musician and Circa Survive is my favourite band (Circa > Anthony alone mind you).  This won’t be a paragraph on how Blue Sky Noise is different from Juturna and On Letting Go. I’m just going to focus, somewhat briefly mind you, about the merits of Blue Sky Noise on it’s own right. For starters, EVERYTHING I said about The Upsides’s emotional output holds even stronger for BSN. Anthony Green, who is the greatest vocalist ever in my opinion, has his best studio recorded vocal performance of his career on this album. It’s slightly lower than it used to be, but all the more beautiful. Not that it ever wasn’t. The vocals are full of emotion, than you can feel in every word. The lyrics are relatable on the surface, yet one can still interpret their meanings and what real world situations they apply to in their own way. Anthony phrases his complex emotions perfectly. The entirety of Blue Sky Noise is about the fucked up shit going on in his and the other band member’s lives, and the album is upfront about it through it’s lyrics, but it’s end sound is hopeful. Also, like The Upsides, this album is a huge reminder that one should always have hope, and that one can always move past the bad. Just listen to I Felt Free, off the record. The melodies of Blue Sky Noise are complex, their two guitarists, Brendan and Colin, are on the top of their game. Their playing is slightly more raw than previous Circa, but you can hear emotions from their instruments more than ever. More than I’ve ever heard emotion from instruments at all ever. Nick Beard the Bassist and Steve Clifford the Drummer also bring their A game. Complex, yet still approachable from both a distance and up close, the sound of Blue Sky Noise is unique, and beautiful. The album, as a whole, is put together magnificently. Both conceptually and execution of both the ideas that are implemented and the actual sound of the songs, it’s flawless. Blue Sky Noise is both an emotional and intellectual masterpiece. It takes complexity and presents it in a raw form in a way no other album could ever. I love Circa Survive. Because of Blue Sky Noise, I always will. It hit me, and has continued to hit me so hard. I’m seeing Circa for the 7th time in a year’s span next month.

LISTEN TO THIS ENTIRE ALBUM START TO FINISH. It’s the only way to do it. No best two songs bullshit.

There you have it. After much inner deliberation of spots 10-3 (because 1 and 2 were obvious for me), I came up with this list of my Albums of the year. It probably changes in what mood i’m in, but all of these albums are FANTASTIC, and you should listen to them. This is the second longest post I’ve made, so if you make it this far, even if you skip shit, thanks so much. Music is amazing. You have a right to experience it’s amazingness in whatever ways possible. I’m always open to suggestion and to suggest, as I love talking music. So,yeah, MUSIC!


~ by Cimi on December 26, 2010.

2 Responses to “2010 TOP 10 AOTY >implying /mu/sic isn’t subjective/objective”

  1. you’re welcome

  2. […] believe I thought versaemerge made my third favorite album of last year. The original post is here if you want to check it […]

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