How Good Was The Year (in music) - 2010?

Not so much a quantum leap as a mild stutter as HGWTY wakes up after a brief nap to find we have moved on 3 years from the last thread to a critical review of 2010.

A reminder of the premise of the thread

After a number of days of posting and reminiscing, we’ll be rating the music of the year out of ten, based on the albums, singles, gigs, whatever that stand out for you that year, and voting for our favourite nominated albums and songs.

Everyone can nominate one album and one song from the year which will then be collated into side-polls two days before the thread closes - please make it clear when you post a nomination for the poll (as opposed to just posting clips or lists of songs and albums you like, which are very welcome).

Rank Year Rating Top Album Top Song
1 1991 8.98 Slint - Spiderland Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy
2 1997 8.6 Radiohead - OK Computer The Beta Band - Dry The Rain
3 1967 8.48 Love - Forever Changes Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Some Velvet Morning
4 1992 8.29 Pavement - Slanted & Enchanted Pulp - Babies
4 2013 8.29 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Jubilee Street
6 2019 8.14 Self Esteem - Compliments Please Big Thief - Not
7 1975 8.13 Neil Young - Tonight’s the Night / Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Cortez the Killer
7 2007 8.13 LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver / Radiohead - In Rainbows LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends / M.I.A. - Paper Planes
9 2004 8.1 Madvillain - Madvillainy / Arcade Fire - Funeral The Walkmen - The Rat
10 1981 8.06 The Cure - Faith New Order - Ceremony
11 1982 7.76 The Cure - Pornography / Kate Bush - The Dreaming Robert Wyatt - Shipbuilding / The Associates - Party Fears Two
12 2014 7.69 FKA Twigs - LP1 FKA Twigs - Two Weeks
13 1970 7.61 Neil Young - After the Goldrush Curtis Mayfield - Move on Up
14 1990 7.47 Sonic Youth - Goo The Cure - Pictures of You
14 1976 7.47 David Bowie - Station to Station Bob Dylan - Hurricane
16 1986 7.42 Talk Talk - The Colour of Spring New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle
17 2005 7.39 Sufjan Stevens - Illinois Amerie - 1 Thing
18 1965 7.38 The Beatles - Rubber Soul Frank Wilson - Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
19 2009 7.1 Fever Ray - Fever Ray Animal Collective - My Girls
20 1974 6.95 Neil Young - On The Beach Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - The Bottle
21 1985 6.53 Tom Waits - Rain Dogs Prince and the Revolution - Raspberry Beret
22 1960 6 Howlin’ Wolf - Howlin’ Wolf Dick Dale - Misirlou
23 1961 5.16 John Coltrane - My Favourite Things Roy Orbison - Crying

2010 was the year air travel across Europe was grounded by an ash cloud from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano , Kathryn Bigelow became the first female winner of the Best Director Oscar for The Hurt Locker, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown was recorded referring to a member of the public as “some bigoted woman,” BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, sank and created the largest marine oil spill in history and Paul Gascoigne took a can of lager, some chicken, a fishing rod, a Newcastle shirt and a dressing gown to on-the-run multiple murderer Raoul Moat after a bracing fourteen lines of coke.

Leslie Nielsen, Alexander McQueen, Dennis Hopper, Gary Coleman, Tony Curtis, Lynn Redgrave and J.D. Salinger all died this year.

How good was the music?

You have until Friday 9th September to nominate one album and one song which will then go into a poll along with a number rating poll for year overall out of 10, which will close on Monday 12th.

Some lists for inspiration:

Drowned in Sound's Albums of the Year 2010: 10-1 / In Depth // Drowned In Sound
The Top 50 Albums of 2010 | Pitchfork
The 40 best albums of 2010 | Pop and rock | The Guardian
Best Albums of 2010 : Best Ever Albums
Best albums of 2010 - Rate Your Music
100 Greatest Albums of 2010
NME's best albums and tracks of 2010
The Top 100 Tracks of 2010 | Pitchfork
The 50 Best Songs of 2010 - Paste
100 Greatest Songs From 2010

Nominations will be tallied here as the week goes on:

Album Nominations

Song Nominations

Gil-Scott Heron - Me and the Devil

1 Like

Song nomination Robyn - Dancing on my own

Album Nomination Pantha Du Prince - Black Noise


I’m interested to see if ‘The Suburbs’ makes an appearance. I’m sure someone will nominate ‘Age of Adz’ so I’ll
Nominate album Broken Bells - s/t

Three absolutely amazing albums vying for my nomination. I’m going to leave them unnamed for now while I ponder and re-listen and hope that in the interim at least two of them get nominated.

In the meantime:

Nominate song: Jessica Lea Mayfield - Our Hearts Are Wrong

The only time I miss you
Is every single day

1 Like

Nominate Album: Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me

Nominate Song: Joanna Newsom - Baby Birch


Hooray - one of my three potential nominees ticked off the list! What an album this is.

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Album nomination

and from the same album
Track nomination


Nominate Album: Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest


Think 2010 was probably the last year where I felt I was totally plugged in to what was going on around me at the time. Might have even done a top 100 for 2010 for a music blog (remember them??) which I might try and dig out later.

Anyway, Album nomination is Sun Araw - On Patrol, no question - absolute all timer for me

Song of the year is also really easy. At the risk of splitting the Joanna Newsom vote - Joanna Newsom - Go Long. Think it’s her best song, which is really, really saying something


Got a clear cut choice for album and song but gonna hold off to see if someone else nominates them first.

In the meantime, candidates for 2nd and 3rd album on the list:

Autolux — Transit Transit
The Soft Moon — The Soft Moon
The Naked and the Famous — Pass Me, Aggressive You
LCD Soundsystem — This is Happening
The Radio Dept. — Clinging to a Scheme
Los Campesinos — Romance is Boring
BRMC — Beat the Devil’s Tattoo

Far too many songs. Will have to come back to this one.

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Some other belters that haven’t been mentioned yet


Yep. Clinging To A Scheme is a belter, but may not be my nomination either…… :grimacing:

The first thing I think of when it comes to 2010 is Titus Andronicus’s The Monitor. I was OBSESSED with it, maybe the most temporarily obsessed I’ve ever been with an album. I still think it’s great but a lot of its impact has burnt away with time. Maybe it was the ultimate right time, right place album.

Albums I LOVED at the time:
Titus Andronicus - The Monitor
The National - High Violet
Wolf Parade - Expo 86
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

Aside from a few of the peaks I’ve gone off The Suburbs pretty hard. Haven’t listened to it in years and the idea of sitting through it seems like an ordeal.

Albums I liked at the time:
Deftones - Diamond Eyes
Woods - At Echo Lake
Swans - My Father Will Guie Me Up a Rope Into the Sky

Deftones is the only one I still listen to (and whose stock has risen over the past couple years). Should probably revisit Woods, I remember it being a nice album.

Great albums and good albums I discovered much later
Wavves - King of the Beach
Alcest - Écailles de Lune
Tamaryn - The Waves
Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz
Eluvium - Similes
Emeralds - Does It Look Like I’m Here?
Beach House - Teen Dream
The Radio Dept. - Clinging to a Scheme
Sun Kil Moon - Admiral Fell Promises
The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night

Still need to think about nominations, but High Violet feels like the longterm AOTY.


Wavves feel extremely overlooked / forgotten about on here. King of the Beach is such a weird blast of energy, I love it.

Just a perfectly constructed song here and one of the catchiest things I’ve ever heard. That outro takes things to another level.

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Realistically I’m going to be debating between these two songs for nomination:

Alcest - Écailles De Lune Pt. 1
Just a sad, magical journey

Tamaryn - Dawning
Listen to how magical this is

Hoping others will get the big hitters by Titus Andronicus and The National in there.


One of their absolute best, wish they were this energetic and loud all the time.

2010 was such a good year for me music wise. My favourite albums were gorillaz - plastic beach and liars - sisterworld
Album: plastic beach, gorillaz
Song: scissor, liars

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Quite an eclectic year for me lots of music from different directions

loads of awesome midwest revival emo/ screamo albums coming in on the fourth wave like Youthpictures…, everyone everywhere, joie de vivre, cstvt, midwest pen pals, merchant ships and lastly but first for me with its post hardcore edge Caravels.

nominate album - caravels - floorboards

Lots of great and differing electronica too with the likes of Active Child, Former Ghosts and Fitzsimmons curious little foray in to the field sitting atop the pile.

gotta be one of the best debut ep’s oat - Active Child - Curtis Lane

plus there’s lots of little one off tracks that I love like Ceschi’s anthemic hip hop half mast

and the sublime (with it’s chiptune can be beautiful intro) actually nominate track -

Geographer - Kites

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Massive year for a branch of electronic/dance I still adore with all timers from Four Tet, Caribou, Bonobo, Pantha du Prince, Hot Chip, Radio Dept & Emeralds. So in that vein:

Nominate album: Four Tet - There Is Love In You

Nominate song: Caribou - Jamelia


Somehow forget them in my post initially, one of my favorite early pandemic discoveries.