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.
tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods
tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
comedy Erm...he seems to be back
tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
- 5 Magna Carta will be 800 years old next year – the perfect reminder of the rights and freedoms we must hold dear
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
The Interview film review: Controversial gross-out satire is broad, bawdy and bad - but undeniably entertaining
Doctor Who Christmas special, review: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever