Every year I sit down to compile a list of the best albums of the year. I usually try to write a list of the top five or ten albums, but usually end up getting over my head and even writing on albums that were not released in that year. For instance, last year I released the top ten albums of 2009 and the top ten albums that I discovered in 2009. Some of the albums were the same, and I ended up writing for days on why these albums were so important to me. This year I have decided to go a different route yet again.
This year, while deciding the route I wanted to take, I figured I would write a list of my top five and that’s it. But as soon as I started thinking about all of the great music that came out this year, I knew I had to reconsider. So I decided to break it up into categories. So this year I am writing my top five albums in the following categories:
- Rock & Roll
- Hip Hop & R&B
For each of these I will list them in reverse chronological order and I will discuss each album in detail. So sit back, relax, and let me take you on a tour of what I consider the best music, the best albums of 2010.
Being so obsessed with dance music means I have to be obsessed with popular music. A lot of dance music actually stems from remixes of pop songs. Over the years pop has changed though. Acts like Katy Perry, Ke$ha, and Lady Gaga don’t really have a lot of talent, but I can’t get enough of their music. Every track gets better and better, and no thanks to radio pounding it over and over again. Lady Gaga is a treat, that’s for sure. Below you will find my choice of the top five pop albums of 2010.
5. The Audition – Great Danger
These guys have released a few studio albums by now, and it’s true, they all sound the exact same. They are growing older, but not growing as musicians. But that’s okay, they don’t need to. Not yet anyway. Their lyrics are getting better, but you couldn’t tell without paying close attention. I first saw these guys on Warped Tour and was blown away by their live performance. The lead vocals are unforgettable and I love their beats. But there is just something about them. The more I listen the more I want to listen. I love their sound, I love their message, and I love them live. They are a pop band (almost rock, but still considered pop) that just begs for more. Not to mention the ballads they throw in every so often.
Original Release Date: March 16, 2010
4. Brandon Flowers – Flamingo
So the lead singer from the Killers decided to branch out and do an album on his own this year. I wasn’t a fan of it at first, especially since I think the band has been going downhill since their first album. These guys are from Las Vegas, hence the name of his first solo album, Flamingo. But the album doesn’t sound solo. It sounds just like his work with the Killers. For all I know the band behind him are the same guys in the band.
The album showcases his voice a little. From their first album, Hot Fuss, they have been reaching. They have been trying to find a new sound, a sound that better fits the radio. But why? They don’t need to. They need to focus on their skills. But this album reminds me so much of the early Killers sound that I am so used to. I hope he decides to go back to that, but behind the band that produced an epic album like Hot Fuss. It’s a great disc, but not one you will listen to more than once or twice. And I am not sure I could see him perform this live either. I would need the Killers if you are giving me Flowers.
Original Release Date: September 14, 2010
3. Miranda Cosgrove – Sparks Fly
You can laugh all you want, but this album is great. Sure, she is young. Sure, she is on Nickelodeon as the star of iCarly and is just like all the other one hit wonder pop stars, but I love this disc. She has a ton of talent, she can dance, and her lyrics (I am sure written by someone else) are great. They fit her perfectly and her voice will change into her style as she gets older.
Granted, this isn’t the next big thing by any means, but I have to throw in some surprises on the list, right? I like it. I like her, and I love her voice. Hearing it then seeing her on TV you would never know it’s the same person. She is young, very young, and I am glad to see her having produced such an adult sound with his disc.
Original Release Date: April 27, 2010
2. Maroon 5 – Hands All Over
Why can’t I stop liking these guys? They just get better. Their new album is not much different than their last, but it’s a lot more mature than I expected from these guys. Their best album to date, and quite possibly the best they will ever produce, is Call & Response: The Remix Album. But their latest disc is titled Hands All Over and the album cover says it all.
Their hit single from this disc is Misery, and it’s an instant classic, but it just sounds like Maroon 5. I have not seen these guys live, but I would like to see what they sound like in person. They are pushing the edge of being electronic, but bring it back with their vocals. Their lyrics are pretty solid too, sometimes pushing the limits on that as well. The occasional cuss word isn’t so bad I guess.
1. Enrique Iglesias – Euphoria
Go ahead, finish laughing. But when you are finished you need to run out and buy this album. Its unreal. The entire album is filled with talent as he features names like Pitbull, Usher, Akon and more. This album is meant for the nightclubs. I even started dancing the first time I heard this album.
I have always been a fan of his, and he just seems to get better too. His accent is still thick, and is easy to pick up even when he is adding filler vocals, but the album is a dance album. A party album that I just want to throw on and groove to. When you start adding some of the biggest names in the business, it just adds to the overall enjoyment. I dare you to listen to Dirty Dancer and not hit repeat. Instant classic.