Here’s the second part of our albums of 2010, as voted for my our lovely writers. Want to know how we came up with this list? Go here for a geeky pre-amble.
Below you’ll find 30-21, but make sure you check back and have a look through 40-31.
Come back tomorrow when we’ll have the next batch 0f records for you – 20-11.
“After last year’s stellar Checkmate Savage few would doubt that Glasgow’s The Phantom Band would roar back with another fantastic effort when the time came and boy did they. Nine songs that near rattle around your cranium after a couple of listens, great crescendos and wonky time signatures abound as they take their folky play-doh and squeeze it through the krautrock shape nozzle. It’s very much an exploration and refinement similar to last year’s Wild Beasts album and one that should also hopefully see a Mercury nod come their way.” Mitchell Stirling
.“Scottish Krautrock. Stompy, dancey choruses that you can scream along to – not much else to say really.” Holly Arrowsmith
“Hot Chip finally deliver the well-paced, filler-free LP they’ve been promising for about three albums. One Life Stand manages to make fidelity sound like the most thrilling thing in the world and has transformed Hot Chip from an inconsistent dance band with an ear for melody into a real pop force.” Greg Salter
“I’ve enjoyed dancing to this in clubs this year. ‘Hand Me Down Your Love’ would get anyone going. Also, me and my own brother have developed a thing where we both sing the, frankly hilarious, line ‘I can play xbox with my brother, it’s not about who won or lost, with my brother, we play to be free’ from ‘Brothers’. Brilliant.” Andrew Seaton
“Bethany Cosentino’s Best Coast project grew and developed over 2010 – at the beginning of the year, you could track down her ultra-lo-fi sevens that, even at their cheeriest, sounded mired in a certain kind of gloom. Crazy For You was the sound of everything coming into focus and proved that the noise hadn’t been hiding a lack of melodies or choruses. One of a few love-it-or-hate-it records from this year, which was reflected in our writers’ votes – whether you were a lover or a hater though, ‘Boyfriend’ was guaranteed to be lodged in your brain for days.” Greg Salter
27 Yeasayer Odd Blood
“Yeasayer were promising a big 2010 from the off – Odd Blood’s lead single ‘Ambling Alp’ was infectious and sounded like a huge step forward, in terms of both song-writing and general insanity. Its ‘stick up for yourself, son’ defiance was matched by the vulnerability of ‘O.N.E.’ – both stake a huge claim for Yeasayer as one of the year’s best singles bands. Odd Blood tempered the breakout moments with garish experimentation.” Greg Salter
“Odd Blood sounds like it could well have been taken from my top 20 albums of 1987 – it’s packed with full on pop sounds from yesteryear. They don’t make ‘em like this anymore, oh hang on, they do!” Peter Harris
“Big Boi was supposed to be the voice of reason to Andre 3000′s impulsive psychedelicist. Instead, his solo effort, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, ended up as barmy technicolour acid rap opus, each track seemingly beamed in from a different dimension.” Jim Merrett
“Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son Of Chico Dusty is a breath of fresh air in a time when most hip hop artists seem to have taken a more commercial approach to music in order to conquer larger markets. It features compositions with noticeable blurred genre lines, a style that some say is more associated with his partner in crime, the dapper Mr Andre 300… But rather than getting lost in these new sounds, he makes them his own by fusing them together with heavy bass music, psychedelic synths and the kind of funk influences that are associated with Outkast’s earlier releases.” Milen Jonas (from our original review)
“With melodic and production nous that any mainstream producer would kill for, Terius ‘The-Dream’ Nash must be the most talented pervert in music since Brian Eno. It would take a lot to distract from the sheer uncomfortable smuttiness that this records lesser moments indulges in, but The-Dream is clearly up for the task with enough strong, commercially-minded tracks for a more popular artist to dine out on for a number of years. It would be worth the price for ‘Yamaha’ alone, a floaty, Prince-indebted epic, so good that it makes you realise that the singles world must have changed a great deal for it not to have been deemed worthy of an individual release.” Joe Bates
“Electro, bedroom-produced music has a tendency to sound really cold and industrial; not the case with Lucky Shiner. Even though there’s no lyrical content, Gold Panda still seems to convey emotion through beats, breaks and some excellently clever samples. It’s the aural equivalent of sitting by a fire contemplating life.” Holly Arrowsmith
“A joyous, sweet playground of beats and blips that fuses Susumu Yokota to Four Tet in a sublime mainframe of electro-organic loveliness.” Jim Merrett
Despite a revolving musical cast, Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown didn’t seem to receive quite the amount of praise that those who heard it thought it should. Judging by its position on our list, a fair few of our writers discovered its charms. Lucy Dearlove, in her original review in the summer, praised the balancing act that Mitchell performs on Hadestown: “What is remarkable about Hadestown, aside from its triumph as a modern piece of musical theatre, is that it manages to feel truly personal. At no point in the record does it feel like a soundtrack, or a performance. Mitchell’s agonised wail mourning the inevitable death of Orpheus in ‘I Raise My Cup To Him’ is not the calculated pitch of an actress, but the intimacy of real heartbreak.”
Natalie Shaw had pinpointed Sleigh Bells as ones to watch this time last year, and Treats arrived with a cacophony of hype that almost matched its ear-splitting ferocity. Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller’s simple but incredibly effective melding of noise and pop received a lot of votes from our writers. “Tell ‘Em’ made getting tinnitus fun.
“An eardrum assault twisted into balloon animals, this stunning debut inexplicably shapes bubblegum pop out of Lightning Bolt levels of din.” Jim Merrett
21 Blood Red Shoes Fire Like This
“Portentous brandishers of the riff, Blood Red Shoes may have led the garage-rock rebellion in 2008, but in 2010 the duo upped the ante in every possible way. Their second album Fire Like This was akin to standing in the path of a tsunami, wave after wave of killer choruses allowing no reprieve, guitars raining like punches aimed directly for the cranium. The rabid ‘One More Empty Chair’ and feral howl of ‘Heartsink’ provided some of this year’s most thrilling rebel calls. I can’t wait to see what they’ve got up their sleeves in 2011.” Dannii Leivers
“If there’s one album that deserves to be in the list for sheer consistency, it’s Fire Like This – there’s not a duff track on here. There’s no shortage of the loud, clattering indie-punk anthems that the duo are best known for, but they also find time to expand their sound a little bit too. ‘When We Wake’ demonstrates their softer side, and album closer ‘Colours Fade’ is definitely the most epic-sounding thing they’ve done so far.” Paul Faller