I attempted to draw up a list of my favourite albums of 2010, but realised it had been a fairly poor year for music because I couldn’t manage a top ten, I could manage a top three. This might be my own fault, as I have spent the vast majority of the year listening to Fever Ray’s album (from 2009), which I got into a little later than everyone else.
3. ‘Tomorrow, in a year’ The Knife in collaboration with Mt. Sims and Planningtorock
An electro- opera about Charles Darwin, sounds a bit niche (and is) and is fairly hard to listen to initially but once you can start picking out the melodies it becomes easier on the ear. My favourite review of this said: “as a continuous hour and half movement that mercilessly evokes the sheer, fuckoff, awful, inhuman immensity of the natural world, it bloody well works.”
Best songs: Annie’s Box, Colouring of pigeons, The height of summer (that said the album works much better a whole rather than as individual songs).
2. ‘Swanlights’ Antony and the Johnsons
I think this is their most solid and mature album yet, bit more challenging than their last three, but a little more rewarding too. The version of Thank you for your love that he did on Jools Holland was infinitely better than the album version, musically and lyrically (he modified the lyric to say ‘I am the enemy/ the enemy of the earth,/ I don’t know how/ how to stop giving birth’), so my only complaint would be that the album version of that wasn’t - for me- the definitive version.
Best songs: The spirit was gone, Ghost, Salt Silver Oxygen, Christina’s farm.
1. ‘Body talk’ Robyn
Robyn is easily the best thing in pop right now. The trio of albums worked well as far as I’m concerned, I enjoyed the consistent output- it could have failed miserably but didn’t, because the quality of the music was always very high. It’s astounding that someone could produce so many brilliant songs in one year. This review of the lead single ‘Dancing on my own’ in the Guardian is amazing.
Best songs: Love kills, Call your girlfriend, Time machine, We dance to the beat, Indestructible, None of Dem (with Röyksopp) and Dancing on my own.
Honourable mentions: ‘Grey Oceans’ CocoRosie, ‘Memphis Blues’ Cyndi Lauper, ‘Senior’ Röyksopp, ‘Nobody’s Daughter’ Hole, ‘The Family Jewels’ Marina and the Diamonds.
Albums I'm looking forward to in 2011: Adele, R.E.M, PJ Harvey, Nelly Furtado, Hercules and Love Affair, Lady Gaga, Amy Winehouse.
Hope everyone had a good Christmas, and have a healthy and happy 2011!