Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Top Ten Albums of 2010 Part 1

Taking a page from a site I used to frequent back in high school, the end of the year means album lists! I realized as I was compiling my list that 2010 didn't have too terribly many albums that I've been digging recently. All of the shit I really enjoyed was either from 2009, 2008 or the 80s (what up, Prince). However, never fear; yours truly has such an absurdly large collection of music that I was able to not only compile a list of 10 albums, but some honorable mentions as well.

First, the honorable mentions:

HM: Melissa auf der Maur - Out Of Our Minds
Though completed for three years, Out Of Our Minds was released this year on March 30th. Melissa auf der Maur's second solo album, it's full of the badassery, off kilter rhythms and intensity one would come to expect from her. The title track sums up the album best; fueled by rage but still incredibly heartfelt, it's quite possibly one of her best tracks.

HM: Ke$ha - Cannibal
Yes, it's trashy, sleazy, offensive to everyone and incredibly annoying throughout the second half. The quartet of tracks that opens Ke$ha's new EP, though, are wonderful. Regardless of the absolute stupidity exhibited through the lyrics and Ke$ha's awful insistence on using whine-talk voice, the backing tracks, courtesy of producers Dr. Luke and Bangladesh, are pounding, epic and entirely danceable. Also, it makes an incredibly great drinking soundtrack. Don't miss. But skip the second half.

HM: Nachtmahr - Semper Fidelis
Not a groundbreaking album by any means, but if you like your EBM with some of the most stupidly loud kick drums imaginable, this fits the bill. By the numbers industrial dance music that'll sure to have your next fetish party up and moving, even in all their tight fitting latex and vinyl.

HM: Oceansize - Self Preserved While The Bodies Float Up
Post-metal-lite. Oceansize's fourth album has much more in common with say, Circa Survive or The Sound Of Animals Fighting than Isis, though nothing is lost in translation. Odd time signatures and wonderful atmospheres prevail throughout the album, though it's not without its share of heavy moments.  Once the opener Part Cardiac drops and frontman Mike Vennart shouts, "SELF PRESERVED, WHILE THE BODIES FLOAT UP", it's hard not to bang your fucking head.

HM: Taylor Swift - Speak Now
I became a Swift convert because of this album. It took me a while though, because the front end of this album is loaded with bloated arrangements and song lengths. Such is the curse of a pop artist. I'll give Swift credit though; when not constrained by label needs, she can write some really great material. First single Mine is whatever, it fits the bill, but once we get to the halfway point the album starts picking up. Don't believe it? Check Mean, an uptempo country tune or Better Than Revenge, Swift's attempt at a hard rocker that's hit absolutely out of the park. She still can't write melodies worth a damn, but this album finally shows the potential that Swift could have if she wasn't required to write single material.

Tomorrow: The best albums of the year, 10 through 6.

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