top 30 albums of 2010: 10-1

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed albums 30-21 and albums 20-11 of our year-end list. Look for the complete rundown of all 30 picks at the end of this post.

Now it’s time for what we’ve all been waiting for…  the unveiling of the top ten. Please forgive me if you’re a huge fan of Kanye, Sufjan, Robyn, The National or Vampire Weekend. I wish them all the success in the world, I just don’t wish them to be on my list.

That said, here’s part three of Old Waver’s Top 30 Albums of 2010:

10: Jonsi – Go
Sigor Ros on Mountain Dew and Mini Thins

“Go Do”

9: Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History
If Phoenix were from Ireland and had a more juvenile sense of humor

“I Can Talk”

8: Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles II
This Canadian duo are just scratching the surface of their potential


7: The Radio Dept. – Clinging To A Scheme
Swedish dream pop that’s sweetly defiant and casually awesome

“Heaven’s On Fire”

6: Wild Nothing – Gemini
From bedroom tapes to full-on band, Wild Nothing is a marvel of 80’s nostalgia

5: Caribou – Swim
Dan Snaith’s synths gurgle and squeak in new and imaginative ways


4: Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Completely over-the-top, but in a good way

“Ready To Start”

3: Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
Bradford Cox is establishing himself as a postmodern auteur


2: Beach House – Teen Dream
This Baltimore twosome create some of the most enthralling, exhilarating dream pop


1: LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
If James Murphy really is putting LCD on hiatus, he’s going out with one of the most memorable albums of the last ten years

And as promised, here’s the entire list for quick reference:

1.     LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
2.     Beach House – Teen Dream
3.     Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
4.     Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
5.     Caribou – Swim
6.     Wild Nothing – Gemini
7.     The Radio Dept. – Clinging To A Scheme
8.     Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles II
9.     Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History
10.  Jonsi – Go
11.  Twin Shadow – Forget
12.  Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today
13.  Foals – Total Life Forever
14.  Tame Impala – Innerspeaker
15.  Yeasayer – Odd Blood
16.  Wolf Parade – Expo 86
17.  Girl Talk – All Day
18.  Local Natives – Gorilla Manor
19.  Crocodiles – Sleep Forever
20.  School of Seven Bells – Disconnect From Desire
21.  Frank (Just Frank) – The Brutal Wave
22.  Adam Franklin & Bolts Of Melody – I Could Sleep For A Thousand Years
23.  Small Black – New Chain
24.  Hot Chip – One Life Stand
25.  Errors – Come Down With Me
26.  Future Islands – In Evening Air
27.  Wavves – King of the Beach
28.  Violens – Amoral
29.  Tamryn – The Waves
30.  Thieves Like Us – Again and Again

Part one: albums 30-21
Part two: albums 20-11


11 thoughts on “top 30 albums of 2010: 10-1

  1. Hank Lepstein

    Future Islands should be much higherCaribou and Arcade Fire should be much lower (two of my favorite bands of all time though)Good music though. Love you

  2. Anonymous

    Way too hip for this old waver. I believe I've heard of 4 of these bands, and actually heard music by 2 of them. And I listen primarily to Alt Nation.

  3. Anonymous

    The LCD Soundsystem video would have been better if the robot had choked the young tagger to death.

  4. Kenn

    Cool list Dave.I assumed this was primarily a "you haven't heard it deep cuts list", so no BK is assumed (too many commercial cuts), but once I saw LCD I was surprised you omitted the Gorillaz.

  5. oldwaver

    Black Keys isn't in Old Waver's wheelhouse, but due respect.And maybe next year will see some more traditional contenders make the list… the old standbys weren't too productive in 2010.

  6. oldwaver

    Yeah, Gorillaz was an omission. Probably didn't spend enough time with it to be quite honest.

  7. FrenchBoxing

    Great list! I missed several of these.Gorillaz's Plastic Beach will grow on you. I wasn't a big fan until my son forced me to play it in the car everyday for a month. Now I think it's brilliant.This list could really use:ceo – White MagicFrightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed DrinksKisses – The Heart of the NightlifeBelle and Sebastian – Write About Love

  8. Anonymous

    All of them are RUBBISH! thank god Beady Eye are here to save music…FOOKIN MAD FER IT ONCE MORE!!!

  9. Anonymous

    There seems to be a blatant disregard for hip-hop, and R&B. Where's Big Boi, Janelle Monae, Sade, Das Racist, Erykah Badu, Flying Lotus, or Gonjasufi?

  10. oldwaver

    Responding to the hip-hop question above… as the name "old waver" is meant to suggest, this is a narrow music blog based on the new wave era and its subsequent sub-genres.No disrespect to the artists you mentioned, they are simply outside the scope of this blog and the author's particular expertise.Thanks for bothering to read and post. I promise to listen to some Flying Lotus today.

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