Albums to watch

Top 10 of the Top 10s 2010

The ADM Poll Of Polls 2010

SEE POLL OF POLLS 2009 RESULTS HERE

 

The final votes are in, from Consequence of Sound, State and The Line Of Best Fit, so it's time to run through the AnyDecentMusic definitive summary of the Best Of 2010 lists.

We've compiled the best-album rankings from 27 magazines, newspapers and websites from our sources to provide a comprehensive reflection of the critical favourites of the year. It's the ultimate "Best of the Best Albums of 2010" chart.

Declared: Uncut, Mojo, Q, The Skinny, Drowned in Sound, NME, Bowlegs, Clash, AV Club, Spin, Rolling Stone, The Quietus, music OMH, The Fly, Pop Matters, Prefix, Rave Magazine, Slant Magazine, Faster Louder, No Ripcord, The Guardian, Tiny Mix Tapes, Pitchfork, Daily Telegraph, Consequence of Sound, State, The Line Of Best Fit

  1. 391 Arcade Fire The Suburbs
  2. 293 Kanye West My Beautiful ... Fantasy
  3. 288 The National High Violet 
  4. 251 LCD Soundsystem This Is Happening
  5. 238 Beach House Teen Dream
  6. 175 Deerhunter Halcyon Digest
  7. 166 Janelle Monae The ArchAndroid
  8. 136 Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot
  9. 131 Sleigh Bells Treats
  10. 116 Caribou Swim

  11. 115 Vampire Weekend Contra
  12. 112 Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti Before Today
  13. 111 Joanna Newsom Have One On Me
  14. 104 Black Keys Brothers
  15. 99 These New Puritans Hidden
  16. 97 Foals Total Life Forever
  17. 85 Gorillaz Plastic Beach
  18. 84 Flying Lotus Cosmogramma
  19. 82 Titus Andronicus The Monitor
  20. 77 Robyn Body Talk

  21. 76 Laura Marling I Speak Because I Can
  22. 71 John Grant Queen Of Denmark
  23. 71 Yeasayer Odd Blood
  24. 55 Liars Sisterworld
  25. 52 Avi Buffalo Avi Buffalo
  26. 52 Warpaint The Fool
  27. 48 Robert Plant Band Of Joy
  28. 46 Paul Weller Wake Up The Nation
  29. 40 Grinderman Grinderman 2
  30. 40 The Roots How I Got Over

  31. 39 Swans My Father Will Guide Me ...
  32. 39 Villagers Becoming A Jackal
  33. 38 Salem King Night
  34. 38 Gil Scott-Heron I'm New Here
  35. 37 Pantha Du Prince Black Noise
  36. 36 Wild Nothing Gemini
  37. 35 Crystal Castles Crystal Castles
  38. 33 Emeralds Does It Look Like I'm Here
  39. 32 Jamey Johnson The Guitar Song
  40. 32 MGMT Congratulations

  41. 30 Plan B The Defamation Of
  42. 30 Jonsi Go
  43. 29 Perfume Genius Learning
  44. 29 Sufjan Stevens The Age Of Adz
  45. 27 Best Coast Crazy For You
  46. 27 The Fall Your Future Our Clutter
  47. 27 No Age Everything In Between
  48. 26 Hot Chip One Life Stand
  49. 26 Lindstrom & Christabelle Real Life Is No Cool
  50. 26 The Walkmen Lisbon

 

So what conclusions can we draw from how the critics have judged the musical output of 2010?

There's no denying that rock still rules the roost, primarily that of the indie variety. Half of the top 10 could be filed under that loose classification, but rap / R&B has a strong presence too, courtesy of Big Boi, Janelle Monae and, of course, possibly the critical surprise of the year, Kanye West's almost unanimously lauded My Favourite Dark Twisted Fantasy.

It has been a triumphant year for Arcade Fire, both on record and live, and one in which they probably lived up to the claims of many that they are indeed the best band in the world right now. From the start, there was never much doubt that The Suburbs would top our listings, but it would have been interesting to see how close it was had Kanye West's album been released a month or so earlier, giving more critics time to consider the views of an extraordinary number of reviewers that it is a game-changing, defining piece of work.

As it was, we suspect that its late-November release made it too late for inclusion in those Best Of lists compiled early in December.

Two other names stand out at the top of the listings. Beach House have lived up to the opinion of several reviewers that their multi-textured dream pop album Teen Dream was a slow-burner. We doubt many would have predicted such a prominent presence for an album which gained a comparatively modest 7.7 ADM rating on its release back in January.

The other name is notable for its omission: that of Anais Mitchell. The Vermont folk singer-songwriter sits on top of our all-time chart (that's all time as in the two years of ADM's existence) but received just one mention in the top 20 of any of our sources, from The Guardian. This despite her Hadestown "folk opera" album attracting adjectives such as awe-inspiring, incredible, wonderful and memorable from a variety of print and online reviewers.

Nor has another folk luminary fared as well as we might have expected. Joanna Newsom's Have One On Me was garlanded with almost as many 10/10 reviews as Kanye West on its release in March, but it would seem that its appeal has worn somewhat in the ensuing months.

Elsewhere, no-one is going to be surprised at the prominence of The National, LCD Soundsystem and Deerhunter. Less easy to predict would have been the strong showing for the idiosyncratic lo-fi pop of Ariel Pink.

And, hearteningly, there is a healthy number of new names in the higher reaches of the listings in amongst the obvious big-hitters, including two debut albums in the top 10, from Janelle Monae and Sleigh Bells.

* How the chart is calculated: To get a representative cross-section, we award a corresponding number of points (20 for No.1, 19 for No.2 etc) to the top 20 albums from each source. Simple really.

SEE POLL OF POLLS 2009 HERE

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