Best albums of 2010 part 3: numbers 15-11

Back to our best albums of the year series...

At number 15, Band of Horses with Infinite Suns. I wasn't sure about this initially, as it is quite a change for them - from the quite dark indie of their first two albums to a sunnier country rock feel - think the Jayhawks, early Eagles even.  But the songs come through, and 'Older' is one of my favourite tracks of the year.

Midlake are at 14, with Courage of Others.  Their last album - Trials of Von Occupanther - is a great favourite of mine, resurrecting 70s West Coast AOR and adding a lyrical strangeness to the great tunes and harmonies.  Now with this album, they've gone back even further, to late 60s / early 70s British folk / rock / prog; early Moody Blues , Jethro Tull, Fairport Convention.  Doesn't sound that enticing but strangely it works; mesmerising and beautiful.

Number 13 is the very Scottish Frightened Rabbit with the enigmatically titled Winter of Mixed Drinks. Perhaps the best 'Indie' album of the year, this is their third and best so far; emotional, driven, at times angry songs but also uplifting and melodic.  In a perfect world, this would have been their Snow Patrol type breakthrough moment.

At 12, the very talented Lissie and Catching a Tiger. Saw her live two weeks ago and this girl can really sing.  Pop / country / folk, and just a very enjoyable album. This isn't on the album but must be one of the most unusual and best Metallica covers you'll ever hear!

And finally for today, at 11 and missing out on the top 10 by a whisker, the New Pornographers with Together. You wonder why this 'band' - or loose amalgam of Canadian indie, rock and country musicians - isn't bigger as their last three albums have all been excellent.  Does their name divert people?  An album of intelligent, interesting but catchy pop / rock songs, with different vocalists including the incomparable Neko Case.

And tomorrow we move into the long-awaited top ten...

Voices (2)

  1. Paul Howard:

    Some good stuff here, excellent taste as usual Peter! I particularly enjoyed Band of Horses, reminded me of some early R.E.M. stuff.

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