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!
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.
- Metacritic compiles all of the 2010 best of list to come up with the consensus top albums of 2010.
- Large Hearted Boy collects hundreds of best of 2010 lists.
- Undomondo's "Meta Best of 2010 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!
- Gorilla vs. Bear's "Albums of 2010"
- Obscure Sound's "Best 50 Albums of 2010"
- Muzzle of Bees' "Best Albums of 2010"
- HearYa's "Best of 2010"
- Stereogum's 50 most downloaded MP3s of 2010
- I Guess I'm Floating's Best Albums of 2010
- Rather than trying to pick the best albums, Tunage focuses instead on their 5 favorite albums of 2010.
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.
- EMusic's "Best Albums of 2010." The top 80 albums based on the votes of the eMusic editorial staff. This has links to download these albums.
- Greg Kot
- National Public Radio's complete list of best music from 2010. This contains recommended albums from the NPR staff, top jazz albums, classical albums, and many more lists, including the "5 best side projects of 2010."
- Rhapsody unveils their 50 "best albums of 2010." Rhapsody also picked their 50 "best tracks of 2010."
- The Rdio staff picks their favorite 50 tracks. This is a playable list of tracks.
- KEXP Seattle critic Kevin Cole picks his favorites from the song-of-the-day from 2010.
- The A.V. Club's "Year in Music 2010."
- Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2010
- Oregon Public Broadcasting
Top Selling/Most Popular
Good for knowing what the kids are listening to. Beware: do not listen if you suffer from autotune annoyance syndrome.
- Top selling albums in 2010
- "A collection of the biggest songs of the year" from Napster. A playable list.
- Top 20 selling tracks on Zune in 2010. A playable list.
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?