Creating a list of your top ten albums of the year should, on the face of it, be relatively easy. The biggest enemy is time. If an album released in February is still much treasured by December there’s a fair chance it’s going to remain a favourite. An album released only three or four weeks ago is harder to judge. Sometimes no matter how much you think you love something initially, time tells a different tale. Look back through your record collection and you’ll almost inevitably find something that will make you question your state of mind at the time. That’s OK though, records are like human relationships. Some form long term partnerships from the start, some grow on you and some start in a fury of passion but quickly die out.
The next biggest enemy is order. Is it really possible to say that X album is eighth best and Y is ninth? Wake up, roll over and on the next day X may be nine and Y seven.
Against this context, over the next ten days we present our ten albums of the year. Some will be no surprise to regular readers of the blog, but some may be. This is a personal list of the records that we’ve formed the best relationships with this year – be it something deep and long lasting or something a little more heady, giddy and spontaneous that will shortly fizzle out. A number of them appear on other published lists - after all a good album is a good album, and sometimes a number of people are going to agree. Right? Then there's taste. It's a funny old thing that maybe explains why one or two of our choices may be a little different. We're possibly going out on a limb with our #8 and #2 choices for example. It's not that our taste is good or bad, right or wrong - just different to some others, sometimes.
This time next year we may think differently about some of these albums, right now that’s impossible to tell, nobody can predict the future. However, we’re damn sure that the top 3 in our list will remain as our top 3. Whilst we might internally quarrel about the relative merits and positions of the albums listed between 4 and 10, our number 1 album stands majestically above everything else we’ve heard this year – and albums 2 and 3 are also solid in their positions.
But before that, here are five acts that didn't quite make our top ten, but whom all produced fine albums this year that would have certainly featured in our top 20. There are videos from Emeralds experimental sci-fi retro synth brilliance on Does It Look Like I'm Here ? and Foals development to a more expansive sound on Total Life Forever, plus streams from Kylie's solid pop on Aphrodite, our One's to Watch 2009 Marina and the Diamond's coming up trumps with her idiosyncratic debut and London's Revere showing just what can be done in terms of dynamics with their album Hey Selim!
Then below all that we recap our previous albums of the year from 2008 and 2009. Our countdown for this year starts tomorrow around 5pm GMT.
Get Outta My Way by kylieminogue
Our 2 previous years top 10.
Albums of the Year 2009
1.Blue Roses - Blue Roses
2. The XX - XX
3. The Antlers - Hospice
4. Florence and the Machine - Lungs
5. La Roux - La Roux
6. Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More
7. Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport
8. The Unthanks - Here’s The Tender Coming
9. Lucky Elephant - Starsign Trampoline
10. The Horrors - Primary Colours
Albums of the Year 2008
1. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
2. Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
3. Glasvegas – Glasvegas
4. Laura Marling – Alas I Cannot Swim
5. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
6. Scarlett Johansson – Anywhere I Lay My Head
7. Lykke Li – Youth Novels
8. James Yuill – Turning Down Water For Air
9. Duffy – Rockferry
10. TV On The Radio – Dear Science