My Year In Music 2010 - Top Ten Albums

*Each fave track has a link so you can listen to them* 
My Year In Music 2010 - Albums 40 - 31
My Year In Music 2010 - Albums 30 - 21
My Year In Music 2010 - Albums 20 - 11

10. The Coral - Butterfly House
A comeback of sorts after the departure of one of their guitarists Bill Ryder Jones, The Coral continue to be one of the best bands in Britain yet no one seems to ever notice. On this album produced by John Leckie, they add to their trademark sound, the song Butterfly House is pastoral folk pop for instance, and maintain their gift for undeniable melodies and hooks.
Fave Track - 1000 Years
9. Best Coast - Crazy For You
Fuzzy, lo-fi indie popsurf rock you say?....I'm in. An album that evokes, equally, sixties girl pop and early nighties guitar rock is always going to earn affection from me, both remind me of when I was thirteen and was a complete sucker for songs pining for someone or something stitched to melodies that won't leave your brain. This album reminded me of so much music I was into at the time (Belly, Weezer to name just two) that its straightforwardness is easily forgiven and becomes a virtue rather than a vice in my book.
Fave Track - Goodbye

8. Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep
In his fiftieth year Edwyn Collins unleashed his seventh solo album and is as good as anything he's done previously. His first album recorded since his serious illness this could have been very heavy indeed, instead he's kept his trademark wit and catchy guitar lines on show. Featuring guest apperances from half of Franz Ferdinand, Roddy Frame, Johnny Marr, The Cribs' Ryan Jarman and most of The Drums this album has a guest list nearly as impressive as a Gorillaz gig.
Fave Track - Do It Again

7. Vampire Weekend - Contra
Album no.2 from Ezra and the gang and anyone who hated their first album would almost definitely hate this as well, but that's their loss. The band return more confident judging from the almost surreal mixtures of sounds, styles and beats on show here. The music on this album is as sunny, exciting and wilfully energetic as could be possibly hoped for, and most importantly of all, fun to listen to.
Fave Track - Cousins

6. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
It amazes me how cohesive this album is considering how varied the guest performers are on this album (Snoop Dogg, De La Soul, Bobby Womack, Lou Reed, Mark E.Smith and Gruff Rhys to name just a few for f*ck sake) so credit must go to Albarn for keeping it altogether and for making an interesting deep, melancholy pop album that never fails to engage.  
Fave Track - Superfast Jellyfish
5. Tindersticks - Falling Down A Mountain
Staples and co. returned with Falling Down A Mountain. The template's the same as anything they've done (smoky vocals, duet with a female singer, moody instrumentals, etc.) but that's just fine because no one else can quite do what they do and this is also the brightest they've sounded in a good while, almost playful even, once the six minutes mood-a-thon of the title track is over with.
Fave Track - Black Smoke

4. She & Him - Volume 2
Zooey Deschanel and M Ward return with more classic girl pop (which I've already stated I'm a sucker for) with the little hint of country. M Ward's production yet again helps Deschanel's songs (and a couple of covers) take flight and even more impressively than the first time round and he also lends his vocal styles on this one. The lush opener Thieves goes straight into the piano hook led In The Sun and Don't Look Back and the rest of the album is as pretty as Deschanel herself (sorry, it's true though!). Overall, nearly flawless, like herself (ok I'll stop...). 
Fave Track - In The Sun

3. Beach House - Teen Dream
Dreamy alright. One of the most strangely seductive albums released in a good while, you can't help but fall in love with what you're listening to. It really should be the soundtrack to some sexy European vampire horror flick from the sixties such is the atmosphere of most of the songs that have more lovely guitar work, spooky, dreamy keyboards and moody vocals than really should be allowed.
Fave Track - Norway
2. MGMT - Congratulations
This could have been number one to be honest. Pushing the boundaries of what their sound is has seemed to alienate most of their original fanbase and their record company, but they really should be applauded for making an album as full of ideas and playfulness as this. Every song is bursting with ideas, at the point where you've think you've got a song figured out or looks like running out of steam they manage to pull another addictive melody out of somewhere. Every song on the album stands up on its own as well.
Fave Track - Song For Dan Treacy

Drumroll please......

1. Lawrence Arabia - Chant Darling
Beating MGMT to number one purely for it's sheer doggedness, this album has probably soundtracked this last year more than anything else I've listened to. Hailing from New Zealand, James Milne has crafted a playful album that is packed full of great pop hooks, americana, witty and occasionally self deprecating lyrics and also reveals something new on every listen. Again each song is a lesson in songcraft and showcases just how to craft a tune. To name just a few of the highlights on here, there's the strange falsetto jangle pop of Apple Pie Bed, there's the cute mocking of hipsters on The Beautiful Young Crew, tropical beats on Auckland CBD, Pt Two, the beautiful horn tinged jaunty sing along of Eye A, the epic The Crew of the Commodore and also the brilliantly titled and executed country rock of I've Smoked Too Much.

Fave Track - I've Smoked Too Much