Official Opinions: An Intern’s (That Means They Don’t Matter) Picks for the Top Ten Albums of 2010

Season’s Greetings, readers! Oh look at that, my own intro sentence has already given me something to rant about. Surely the author didn’t plan that out. Nonetheless, does anyone else realize how meaningless the term “Season’s Greetings” is? Let’s break this down for a second. Literally, it means “greetings of the season.” The phrase could be used any time of the year, and it would be topical. Being that it’s Winter, (unless you’re in the southern hemisphere, but I have a feeling that the Stitely blog doesn’t get too many readers down there) I don’t find this greeting to be very cordial. What you’re saying to the other person is, especially if you live in Chicago, “I greet you with a high temperature of 13, 25-30mph wind gusts, and 6 to 8 inches of snow.” No thank you. I’ll stick with “Happy Holidays” as my greeting of choice. Sorry, atheists.

Now that that’s over, let me get to the actual purpose of the blog. Being that the end of the year is nigh, (if you’re more pessimistic than I am, feel free to remove “of the year” from this sentence) it seems that everyone has all of a sudden gained an exorbitant amount of knowledge on whatever subject they’re writing about. This knowledge undoubtedly forms itself into a “Top 10” list of items from whatever the topic is. Let me be the first of those “expert” critics to offer you my picks for the Top Ten Albums of 2010. These are listed in no particular order, each of them could easily be a solid pick for #1, and two of them aren’t even from the past year, but I first heard them this year and they’re just so flippin’ good that I think not telling you about them would be a shame.

Delta Spirit — History From Below







I absolutely love this band. For me, they can’t do anything wrong. This belief was mostly solidified by “History from Below,” their second album. You can truly feel the passion that they have for their music in all of their songs. Everything on the album had a lot of time and effort put into it and it paid off. If you ever have the chance to see them live, do it. They put on a fantastic show.

Frightened Rabbit — The Winter of Mixed Drinks








This Scottish band put out “Mixed Drinks” in early 2010. Not the happiest of albums in terms of themes, the songs focus mostly on being alone and the feelings that accompany it. Don’t let that scare you away though. I find that there’s always a small glimpse of hope in each song. It’s probably one of the main reasons I keep going back to listen to it.

Vampire Weekend — Contra








There’s really nothing I can say about Vampire Weekend that hasn’t been said before. They’ve got one of the most eclectic sounds that I’ve ever heard and they’re just a fun group to listen to. It seems that Vampire Weekend is fully aware of this and embraces it with this album.

Murder by Death — Good Morning, Magpie








Don’t let the band’s name fool you. This isn’t some band that thrives on dissonant chords and screaming into the microphone. If anything, the relatively light-hearted title should tell you otherwise. The band has a great sound. Think of Johnny Cash, with more whiskey, and a cellist playing in the background.

Mumford and Sons — Sigh No More








My brother has been talking about these guys for over a year now. I finally had my first listen about a month ago and can completely understand his enthusiasm for the group. It could be argued that all of their songs sound really similar, but their vocal harmonies, driving banjo riffs (try not to laugh), and overall musicianship make the album so catchy that it’s almost impossible not to listen to it repeatedly.

Ludovico Einaudi — Divenire








If you’re looking for a great album to do work to, this is it. Einaudi has put together some great piano compositions and is accompanied by a string section on a few of the songs. Meditative and beautifully performed, this relaxing album is something you shouldn’t pass over.

The Avett Brothers — Emotionalism







The Avett Brothers’ Emotionalism has been stuck in my head for the last two months. This North Carolina based group delivers a phenomenal album. With a solid foundation in folk music and the inclusion of some rock and pop influences, The Avett Brothers write lyrics that have a truthfulness to them that’s not found in other bands these days. It’s really refreshing to hear.

The National — High Violet








The National has once again put together an amazing album. It’s filled with these haunting elements that somehow become calming by the end of the thing. It’s probably because of Matt Berninger’s “milk chocolate voice” (thanks to a friend for perfectly describing it) and the great musicianship displayed by the rest of the members of the band.  You won’t be disappointed with this one.

The Morning Benders — Big Echo








You might recognize their song “Excuses” as it’s been used for a recent Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial. With an upbeat tempo throughout most of the album, the Morning Benders have a collection of songs that are great for anyone looking to be put into a brighter mood. It’s a good road trip album.

Arcade Fire — The Suburbs








It’s the Arcade Fire. They are incapable of making a bad album. I’m pretty sure there’s scientific evidence to back that fact up. It’ll be the best $10 you’ve spent in recent memory. Yeah, I know you want to put the money towards a Snuggie, but just buy a cheap bathrobe and wear it backwards. It’s the same thing.

In closing, I’d like to thank all of those who took the time to read the Stitely blog during my time here. I had a fantastic time working with the company and wish them nothing but the best. To all the rest of you, have a happy holiday season and a most excellent weekend.



1 Response to “Official Opinions: An Intern’s (That Means They Don’t Matter) Picks for the Top Ten Albums of 2010”

  1. 1 Derek
    December 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Great list! Although as an avid Avett Brothers fan, I feel it my duty to tell you that “Emotionalism” isn’t from 2010 – it’s from 2007. Their newest studio release “I and Love and You” is from 2009 and their most recent live release “Live: Vol. 3” is from 2010.

    But still, glad to see that a great album is catching new fans 3 years later.

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