The Year in Review: Best albums of 2010
Friday 24 December 2010
The Courage of Others, Midlake
My most-played album of the year was Midlake's gorgeous paean to solitude, rusticity and the ways of the past. Soaring harmonies, ringing guitars and haunting flutes combined to evoke the sombre mood of Tarkovsky's film about Russian icon painter Andrei Rublev.
Band of Joy, Robert Plant
Another tribute to the old ways, Robert Plant's Band of Joy was suffused with the spirits of Appalachian mountain music, early rock'n'roll, delta blues and British folk traditions, ingeniously blended with the drone/trance influences which link Plant's beloved North African desert-blues with the indie-rock of Mormon trio Low.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye West
As overblown as his ego, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was a complex epic which found Kanye confronting his character deficiencies and celebrating his demons in some of the most flamboyantly fanciful, rococo arrangements ever attempted in hip-hop.
The Archandroid, Janelle Monae
Listening to The Archandroid was an extraordinary experience, with each track seeming to take off in a different direction, as Janelle Monae's sci-fi fantasy spread across the entire range of musical endeavour, from R&B through psychedelia, glam-rock, jazz and folk, with a few classical arrangements thrown in for good measure. An amazing talent.
The Suburbs, Arcade Fire
Less paranoid than its predecessors, The Suburbs found the band reflecting upon their adolescent dreams, and how those dreams were directed by the suburban sprawl in which they grew up – just one of several ways in which they emulate their intellectual rock forebears Talking Heads.
Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boymusic
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 2 Trevor Noah: Jon Stewart's replacement faces online criticism over 'anti-Semitic' tweets
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
Top Gear live to go ahead: Jeremy Clarkson to join Richard Hammond and James May... just don't call it Top Gear
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Menstruation-themed photo series artist 'censored by Instagram' says images are to demystify taboos around periods
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans