I tried a couple of times to understand the appeal of Sleigh Bells. All of the indie sources were rating it high on their list of best albums of the year (Paste #6, Stereogum #6, NPR #12, Pitchfork #16, Under the Radar #14), so I thought I’d try again today. Nope. I made it the entire way through the album this time, and I hated it so much I actually wanted to vomit.
At the behesting of my dear friend Herman, and partially out of complete shock at where Sleigh Bells sat on the lists of my favorite sources (Herman pulled them off of his list for yours truly), I decided to compile my own Top 10 list for 2010. What I quickly realized—and why I believe that band made it onto so many lists—is that I wasn’t particularly crazy about much of what came out in 2010. But there were definitely a few highlights that made my year.
10. Goldfrapp, Head First — Holy crap, I love this woman. She makes me want to put on hot pants and high heels and go dancing. Of course, I’m a derby girl—shouldn’t I be doing that regularly anyway? Alive is guaranteed to make the worst day instantly magical.
9. The Black Keys, Brothers — I think this made my top 10 because I’m completely captivated by all that is Dan Auerback. His solo album makes me drooly. Yum.
8. Broken Social Scene, Forgiveness Rock Radio — Broken Social Scene is brilliant. They’ve long been one of my favorite bands for this song alone.
7. Scissor Sisters, Night Work — I have tickets to see these guys in March. I am working on my hot pants/fishnets legs and disco moves already, not to mention that I have an obsession with Jake Shears. The show is going to be amazing, if but for the simple fact that I get to hear Ana Matronic talk about pantyhose in an egg. WOOHOO!
6. Jónsi, Go — It took me a couple of listens to wonder why this guy sounded just like Sigur Rós. It must have been a slow week for me, since he’s the lead singer of the band. Jónsi makes me want to stand on a snowy mountain and shout into the world. And dance. And be happy. While holding sparklers, of course. You should do those things, too. Check it out.
5. Massive Attack, Heligoland — Because OMG, seriously, Massive Attack and Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval = AMAZING! This was a sexy album from start to finish, which is pretty typical of Massive Attack. I absolutely love them.
4. Groove Armada, Black Light — My friend Mike gave me this, and it took me a couple of months to listen to it, which makes me want to punch myself in the face. Seriously. It was a solid, SOLID album—the whole way through. Paper Romance is my jam. Plus, I absolutely love SaintSaviour’s look. I watched this video so much I was almost ready to cut off my hair, dye it blonde and convert to gold.
3. The National, High Violet — There must be something about those bands from Ohio. All I know is this: I need a mini-Matt Berninger to live in my pocket so he can sing me to sleep whenever I demand it.
2. Yeasayer, Odd Blood — I was a fan of Yeasayer’s first album. But their sophomore record? There was not a bad song on this album. I fell head over heels in love with Ambling Alp as these words helped me get through some tough times this year: “Now, the world can be an unfair place at times, But your lows will have their complement of highs, And if anyone should cheat you, take advantage of, or beat you, Raise your head and wear your wounds with pride.” Amen, Yeasayer. Amen.
1. Sufjan Stevens, The Age of Adz — If you read my blog, you already know how I feel about Sufjan. But when I was greeted with Futile Devices, I knew this album would be my favorite for the year. It still gives me chills. Sufjan is home to me. Plus, his lovely face, banjo playing and knowledge of Illinois are quite endearing, too.
So there you go. My picks came from my love of dancing, joy, incredible musicianship and, uhh, sex appeal. Basically, if you make me want to nap, cry, be happy or wear hot pants, you made my top 10.