HT 25 Best Albums of 2010: Numbers 6-10

9) Arcade FireThe Suburbs

Key Tracks: The Suburbs, Modern Man, We Used To Wait

Sounds Like: Bruce Springsteen had he grown up an angsty prep-school kid

The Skinny: While most of us have somewhat fond memories of our times growing up in the suburbs, cruising around with mostly nothing to do, it seems to have had something of an adverse effect on Winn Butler. Inspired by his hometown of Houston, TX, the Arcade Fire’s sprawling third album is loaded with Butler’s confessional, emotionally charged lyrics and hauntingly passionate vocals, couple with the band’s unconventional jaunty arena rock. The Suburbs takes listeners on a journey through Butler’s apocalyptic view on suburban sprawl and the baby boomers unfulfilled vision for the future.

8) Cee Lo GreenThe Lady Killer

Key Tracks: Bright Lights Big City, Fuck You

Sounds Like: The funk and the soul, baby

The Skinny: Cee Lo Green has been making music since the early 90’s, but it took him  until now to drop his weight into the pool for one of the biggest cannonball dives that we saw in 2010. The internet release of Fuck You in August had over two million YouTube plays in less than a week, and was nominated for five Grammy’s in December. Arista Records is kicking themselves now for dropping him, my friends. The full-length album, The Lady Killer, is the trigger on the gun that shot the bullet that was Fuck You. Cee Lo’s voice cries, wails, screams, and calms in his 14-track love story. He brings modern pop together with the classic sound of Motown funk, soul and doo-wop without losing ground to the haters who said that Gnarls Barkley was just a played out pop sensation. Anyone who says The Lady Killer isn’t a near perfect blend of old school and new isn’t listening hard enough.

7) The Morning BendersBig Echo

Key Tracks: Stitches, Wet Cement, All Day Daylight, Excuses

Sounds Like: Being paid a visit from a “Grizzly Bear” while numb at your “Beach House”

The Skinny: On the one hand, the Morning Benders latest release sounds like a number of modern bands that fall into the trendy dream pop neo-genre – not the least of which is Grizzly Bear, as Chris Taylor from that band sat in the producer’s chair – but those hangups should be set aside immediately, as Big Echo ambles along in an entirely enjoyable, almost anesthetic manner. While seamlessly shifting gears between ambient milieus, hushed harmonies, and 50s pop, the music comes across so textured and whooshy with reverb and instrumentation that it serves in taking the listener along on its sonic diversion. If modern indie rock has taught us anything, it’s that getting a good tone can be just as important as any hook, riff, or chorus.

6) Dr. DogShame, Shame

Key Tracks: I Only Wear Blue, Station, Mirror Mirror

Sounds Like: The crossroads where The Band meets The Beatles

The Skinny: Dr. Dog have come a long way from the lo-fi basement rock of 2002′s self-released Toothbrush. With each passing album the Philadelphia-based act have continued to hone their craft. The group’s latest manages to capture the exuberant sound that makes them a must see band live. Drenched in psychedelic guitar swaths, bouncy rhythms, gorgeous harmonies and even more of their signature lush oohs and aahs, Shame, Shame is Dr. Dog’s most developed album yet arriving at the crossroads where The Band meets The Beatles.

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5 thoughts on “HT 25 Best Albums of 2010: Numbers 6-10

  1. jsf3000 Reply

    Thank you HT for #6. I will now stop calling you an extension of Phish.com.

  2. Jeffrey Greenblatt Reply

    @jsf3000 – We’ve been ardent Dr. Dog fluffers for a long time around these part.

  3. randy Reply

    Best of the year for me.

    Can’t wait to hear what this band does on the next record with some studio skills under their belt.

  4. randy Reply

    Dr Dog that is…

  5. jsf3000 Reply

    @Jeffrey – Ha! Fluffers. Gives new meaning to a fluffernutter sandwich doesn’t it?

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