The Best of the "Best of 2010"

Every year, starting in December, music bloggers and critics come out with their "best of" lists. In this blog post, I pick my favorites of these 2010 "best of" lists.

I've categorized these lists into different groups. To turn a popular saying around, one person's treasure is another person's trash.. Hopefully this categorization will help you zero in on some lists that you will like.

My goal is that, after checking these lists out, you will be able to find some music that you like. As a bonus, you may also be able to name check the hipsterest of hipster darlings and know the latest hit on the radio.


The types of lists

I've broken this into four different types of lists. Here are the mostly tongue-in-cheek descriptions:

  • Compilations and meta lists -- these, like this blog post are compilations of other peoples' opinions. If you are lazy, check out this section.
  • Music critics -- if you want to know what the music intelligentsia and people who use words and phrase like "personal aesthetic," "myriad" and "self-empowerment manifesto", check out these lists.
  • Indie music blogs -- if your taste is for something a little outside the mainstream, obscure or annoyingly hip and pretentious, check these lists out.
  • Biggest selling and most popular -- if your attitude is "critics be damned," then this is the list for you. You will find the most catchy, mindless pop drivel here.

Without further ado, onto the lists!


The Lists

Compilations and Meta Lists

If you only look at a single list from this blog, then make it the Metacritic list. Every year Metacritic provides one of the best services available to music fans by compiling lists from critics to create one big meta top album list. They do the job of reading dozens and dozens of reviews and boiling it down to one list. Thanks Metacritic!

If you really, really want to read literally hundreds of lists, then Large Hearted Boy has you covered. They link to every list.


Indie Music Blogs

Below are a few lists from various indie music blogs that I follow. The nice thing about these lists is that most of them contain links to the actual songs themselves, so you can listen right from the page. Hipsters read on!



These lists are from a variety of recognized critics and the editorial staffs of different music services. I skipped a lot of the newspapers that I linked to last year, because, by and large, all of these critics' opinions are factored into the MetaCritic 2010 scorecard (see above). Most of the music services will let you at least sample the songs, if not listen to them in their entirety. Of course, if you already subscribe to one of these services, this is a great way to listen to tracks and albums quickly and easily.


Top Selling/Most Popular

Good for knowing what the kids are listening to. Beware: do not listen if you suffer from autotune annoyance syndrome.


What About You?

Find anything good? Is anything missing? Which albums and songs were your favorites in 2010? Who had your favorite list of 2010?

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