Top 10 of the Top 10s
The final votes are in, from Consequence of Sound, State and The Line Of Best Fit, so it's time to run through the AnyDecentMusic definitive summary of the Best Of 2010 lists.
We've compiled the best-album rankings from 27 magazines, newspapers and websites from our sources to provide a comprehensive reflection of the critical favourites of the year. It's the ultimate "Best of the Best Albums of 2010" chart.
Declared: Uncut, Mojo, Q, The Skinny, Drowned in Sound, NME, Bowlegs, Clash, AV Club, Spin, Rolling Stone, The Quietus, music OMH, The Fly, Pop Matters, Prefix, Rave Magazine, Slant Magazine, Faster Louder, No Ripcord, The Guardian, Tiny Mix Tapes, Pitchfork, Daily Telegraph, Consequence of Sound, State, The Line Of Best Fit
- 1. 391 Arcade Fire The Suburbs
- 2. 293 Kanye West My Beautiful ... Fantasy
- 3. 288 The National High Violet
- 4. 251 LCD Soundsystem This Is Happening
- 5. 238 Beach House Teen Dream
- 6. 175 Deerhunter Halcyon Digest
- 7. 166 Janelle Monae The ArchAndroid
- 8. 136 Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot
- 9. 131 Sleigh Bells Treats
- 10. 116 Caribou Swim
- 11.115 Vampire Weekend Contra
- 12.112 Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti Before Today
- 13.111 Joanna Newsom Have One On Me
- 14.104 Black Keys Brothers
- 15. 99 These New Puritans Hidden
- 16. 97 Foals Total Life Forever
- 17. 85 Gorillaz Plastic Beach
- 18. 84 Flying Lotus Cosmogramma
- 19. 82 Titus Andronicus The Monitor
- 20. 77 Robyn Body Talk
- 21. 76 Laura Marling I Speak Because I Can
- 22. 71 John Grant Queen Of Denmark
- 22. 71 Yeasayer Odd Blood
- 24. 55 Liars Sisterworld
- 25. 52 Avi Buffalo Avi Buffalo
- 25. 52 Warpaint The Fool
- 27. 48 Robert Plant Band Of Joy
- 28. 46 Paul Weller Wake Up The Nation
- 29. 40 Grinderman Grinderman 2
- 29. 40 The Roots How I Got Over
- 31. 39 Swans My Father Will Guide Me ...
- 31. 39 Villagers Becoming A Jackal
- 33. 38 Salem King Night
- 33. 38 Gil Scott-Heron I'm New Here
- 35. 37 Pantha Du Prince Black Noise
- 36. 36 Wild Nothing Crystal Castles
- 37. 35 Crystal Castles Crystal Castles
- 38. 33 Emeralds Does It Look Like I'm Here
- 39. 32 Jamey Johnson The Guitar Song
- 39. 32 MGMT Congratulations
- 41. 30 Plan B The Defamation Of
- 41. 30 Jonsi Go
- 43. 29 Perfume Genius Learning
- 43. 29 Sufjan Stevens The Age OF Adz
- 45. 27 Best Coast Crazy For You
- 45. 27 The Fall Your Future Our Clutter
- 45. 27 No Age Everything In Between
- 48. 26 Hot Chip One Life Stand
- 48. 26 Lindstrom & Christabelle Real Life Is No Cool
- 48. 26 The Walkmen Lisbon
So what conclusions can we draw from how the critics have judged the musical output of 2010?
There's no denying that rock still rules the roost, primarily that of the indie variety. Half of the top 10 could be filed under that loose classification, but rap / R&B has a strong presence too, courtesy of Big Boi, Janelle Monae and, of course, possibly the critical surprise of the year, Kanye West's almost unanimously lauded My Favourite Dark Twisted Fantasy.
It has been a triumphant year for Arcade Fire, both on record and live, and one in which they probably lived up to the claims of many that they are indeed the best band in the world right now. From the start, there was never much doubt that The Suburbs would top our listings, but it would have been interesting to see how close it was had Kanye West's album been released a month or so earlier, giving more critics time to consider the views of an extraordinary number of reviewers that it is a game-changing, defining piece of work.
As it was, we suspect that its late-November release made it too late for inclusion in those Best Of lists compiled early in December.
Two other names stand out at the top of the listings. Beach House have lived up to the opinion of several reviewers that their multi-textured dream pop album Teen Dream was a slow-burner. We doubt many would have predicted such a prominent presence for an album which gained a comparatively modest 7.7 ADM rating on its release back in January.
The other name is notable for its omission: that of Anais Mitchell. The Vermont folk singer-songwriter sits on top of our all-time chart (that's all time as in the two years of ADM's existence) but received just one mention in the top 20 of any of our sources, from The Guardian. This despite her Hadestown "folk opera" album attracting adjectives such as awe-inspiring, incredible, wonderful and memorable from a variety of print and online reviewers.
Nor has another folk luminary fared as well as we might have expected. Joanna Newsom's Have One On Me was garlanded with almost as many 10/10 reviews as Kanye West on its release in March, but it would seem that its appeal has worn somewhat in the ensuing months.
Elsewhere, no-one is going to be surprised at the prominence of The National, LCD Soundsystem and Deerhunter. Less easy to predict would have been the strong showing for the idiosyncratic lo-fi pop of Ariel Pink.
And, hearteningly, there is a healthy number of new names in the higher reaches of the listings in amongst the obvious big-hitters, including two debut albums in the top 10, from Janelle Monae and Sleigh Bells.
* How the chart is calculated: To get a representative cross-section, we award a corresponding number of points (20 for No.1, 19 for No.2 etc) to the top 20 albums from each source. Simple really.
MOST NUMBER 1s
- 8: Kanye West
- 2: Janelle Monáe, Arcade Fire, The National, Joanna Newsom
- 1: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Crystal Castles, Emeralds, Foals. John Grant, LCD Soundsystem, Liars, These New Puritans, Tame Impala, Vampire Weekend, Zs
You want more lists? We've got them. All those top 20s in full are right here:
Those top 20s in full