Friday, 31 December 2010

theAmp's Albums of 2010

It's been another busy year in the music world, but there have been some gems been released and here's theAmp's pick of the bunch.

The National - High Violet//Although you could say it was somewhat an inferior comeback to 2007's excellent 'Boxer', album no.5 was the one to bring The National to escalating heights. The deep emotional lyircs of Matt Berginer, both feel uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time. A deserved placing into the mainstream for the hardworking New York quintet.

Titus Andronicus - The Monitor//The probable only way to describe Titus Andronicus is 'Bruce Springsteen brawling with The Pogues in 19th century America' however that will still only get you half-way there! The New Jersey literates once again bring their druken, punk energy to the front of their sound, which mixes from eccentric guitar solos, to slow, moving tracks. They probably recorded the most expansive album of the year, which was based on the American Civil War, featuring the readings of Abraham Lincoln, Walt Witman and even a bagpipe solo.

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs//Although an album with 16 tracks, does look like it would be filler material, Arcade Fire manage to somehow produce an album where every track is great. Unlike 'Funeral' and 'Neon Bible', where there were a few outstanding tracks sublemented with weak tracks, there is no weak track here on The Suburbs. A triumphant year for the Montreal band, with headline appearances at Reading and Leeds and a sold out arena tour, the pressure will be on them to deliver another masterpiece next time around.

Fang Island - Fang Island//"The sound of everyone high-fiving everyone" is how this energetic lo-fi band describe themselves, and with their energy and creativism it's hard to argue otherwise. It's been a year of the lo-fi revival, and while some bands have been bland, Fang Island have been a fresh air amongst the crowded market and certainly stood out.

Vampire Weekend - Contra//Contra seemed to have an adverse effect on Vampire Weekend. While it didn't ooze the same mainstream sound as their self-titled debut, it managed to propel them to new heights and went number one on the billboard charts in the native US of A. They experimented more than the previous with reggae, reverb and harps, but once again they lead the pack of chasers of their peers.

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