My top of 2010

Aright, hop hop hop, I’m going to go quickly. I’ve already written about half of these groups on Dead Rooster or will be talking about them in the near future, so let’s not delay. My top 10 (and a ½) of the year are the following:

  1. The National - High Violet
  2. Yann Tiersen - Dust Lane
  3. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
  4. Beach House - Teen Dream
  5. Best Coast - Crazy For You
  6. The Black Keys - Brothers
  7. Dum Dum Girls - I Will Be
  8. She & Him - Volume 2
  9. Crocodiles - Sleep Forever
  10. The Livingstones I Presume - The Stanley EP (yeah, that’s cheating)

Special Mentions:

  • The “Soledad Brothers” Prize for Best Concert: The National, Yann Tiersen, and Arcade Fire (how about that!)
  • The “Fredo Corleone” Prize for Biggest Let Down: Of Montreal (a 2008 winner), MGMT
  • The “Badly Drawn Boy” Prize for Biggest Let Down in Concert: Dum Dum Girls
  • The “Sheetah & les Weissmuller” Prize for Best Name: The Phoenix Foundation, Com Truise, Dumbo Gets Mad
  • The “Sonic Youth” Prize for That Group That Everyone Loves But I Don’t Really Get It: Joanna Newsom, Sufjan Stevens, Gorillaz
  • The “Andrea c’est toi” Prize for Humor in a Song: Katerine, obviously
  • The “Jean Rochefort” Prize for Veterans that Never Let Down: Belle and Sebastian, Interpol

The First Place spots for 2001 to 2009 are all taken. The National is therefore the last group to join the clan of the top of the 00’s1, which as a brief reminder, is the following:

  • 2001. The Strokes - Is This It
  • 2002. Nada Surf - Let Go
  • 2003. Hot Hot Heat - Make Up The Breakdown
  • 2004. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
  • 2005. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
  • 2006. The Strokes - First Impressions Of Earth
  • 2007. Interpol - Our Love To Admire
  • 2008. She & Him - Volume One
  • 2009. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • 2010. The National - High Violet

The Big Picture

Aright, let’s talk about it. You might be asking, “Is it vain to put together top of the year lists?”, to which I will respond, “Probably Yes…- But who cares, cause it’s fun!”. Now, so that things are clear, let’s face it: all music sites and magazines take advantage of the end of the year period to assess and synthesize in one post 52 hard weeks of musical analysis. To think that we as readers wasted our time reading up in real time this whole time…

That being said, these lists are often useful because they remind us of all the interesting and varied music we’ve encountered over the past year, especially by reviewing various sites. So, how to start? And am I going to forget an important site/list/song? Don’t panic kids, daddy is here and will provide a detailed Excel file – no, I’m not kidding – to show the complete analysis of the top music of all the sites that he likes.

The Method

I started with the top music of the following sites:

  • Pitchfork: The Bible of the US, at the same time covering mainstream and eclectic and unknown, you can find as much new music as you can articles about Bruce Springsteen and Weezer
  • Stereogum: also an American source, a bit more alternative in spirit, but pretty similar to Pitchfork
  • I Guess I’m Floating: my favorite US “pre-hype” blog, they have their small network and they often discover really interesting treats
  • Les Inrocks: The essential French source
  • Ground Zero: a Parisian record shop
  • Bon Pour les Oreilles: a blog by Swiss Christophe Schenk
  • Top Blogueurs français: several french blogs combined their selections to have a more robust list
  • Rolling Stone Magazine: for mainstream US
  • NME: for mainstream UK

Then, I attributed points to groups nominated by each site depending on the site and the group’s ranking on the site. Each site has a maximum number of points that I assigned, which is completely partial and undoubtedly unfair,… but who cares. In any case, the analysis was pretty quick and it was really fun for me to conduct my own “American Idol” (“Eurovision”):

DAVE - Les Inrocks are about to announce number 13 on their list. Pay attention…

LES INROCKS - The Coral, 76 points!

DAVE - Ah, the English finally get some points, it’s madness at the group’s table. James Skelly is jumping of joy and is kissing his drummer.

The Verdict

The verdict comes without surprise. At the top of the final ranking, 5 artists are clearly without contest. Drum roll please… here is the top 10 essential artists of 2010 according to my media sources:

  1. Arcade Fire
  2. Kanye West
  3. Beach House
  4. Deerhunter
  5. LCD Soundsystem
  6. Vampire Weekend
  7. The National
  8. Janelle Monáe
  9. Robyn
  10. Sleigh Bells

The Analysis

Arcade Fire’s victory comes as no surprise. Despite a second disappointing album which made me expect the worst, The Suburbs realigned all pendulums and confirmed Arcade Fire as THE major group of the year… and even of the decade if we look closely. The presence of LCD Soundsystem, The National, and Vampire Weekend were also predictable.

It makes me really happy to find Beach House in the top 10. The group was a complete unknown at the beginning of 2010 despite two existing disks – how could this small unknown make it so boldly to the pantheon of 2010? Without doubt due to good press of their new sing Norway. Also just goes to show you, a good single can completely influence the scores.

I shutter at the fact that Kanye West and Robyn appear so high on the ranking. A bit less about Janelle Monae, who I find interesting. Well, that type of music is not my cup of tea so no need to go on and on about it.

I raise an eyebrow at the presence of Deerhunter and Sleigh Bells. I definitely remember seeing their names over the course of the year and having listened to some songs, but nothing that made me think twice. I’ll have to listen again.

The complete list

The details of the complete ranking are shared using this Google Doc.

Here is also a big tagcloud of all the artists listed in the survey. Don’t be afraid to explore, that’s what it’s there for.

  • !!!
  • Abe Vigoba
  • Alicia Keys
  • Aloe Blacc
  • Anthony & The Johnsons
  • Arcade Fire
  • Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
  • Arnaud Fleurent-Didier
  • Avey Tare
  • Avi Buffalo
  • Azari & III
  • B.o.B.
  • Band of Horses
  • Baths
  • Beach Fossils
  • Beach House
  • Beat Connection
  • Belle And Sebastian
  • Bertrand Belin
  • Best Coast
  • Big Boi
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
  • Blackbird Blackbird
  • Bonnie Prince Billy & The Cairo Gang
  • Brian Eno
  • Broken Bells
  • Broken Social Scene
  • Buvette
  • Candy Claws
  • Caribou
  • Carl Barat
  • Cee Lo Green
  • ceo
  • Chapelier Fou
  • Chapter
  • Charlotte Gainsbourg
  • Cold War Kids
  • Crocodiles
  • Crystal Castles
  • Cults
  • Das Racist
  • Deerhunter
  • Delorean
  • Die Antwoord
  • Diplomats
  • DOM
  • Dominant Legs
  • Donovan Woods
  • Drake
  • Dum Dum Girls
  • Edwyn Collins
  • Eels // End Times
  • Eels // Tomorrow Morning
  • Elizabeth Cook
  • Elton John & Leon Russell
  • Emeralds
  • Eminem
  • Errors
  • Erykah Badu
  • Everything Everything
  • Factory Floor
  • Fang Island
  • Field Music
  • First Aid Kit
  • Florent Marchet
  • Flying Lotus
  • Foals
  • Forest Swords
  • Four Tet
  • Foxes in Fiction
  • Frank (Just Frank)
  • Freddie Gibbs
  • Frightened Rabbit
  • Fyfe Dangerfield
  • Gayngs
  • Gil Scott-Heron
  • Girl Unit
  • Girls
  • Glass Vaults
  • Glasser
  • Gold Panda
  • Gonjasufi
  • Gorillaz
  • Grinderman
  • Gritt
  • Guards
  • Happy Birthday
  • Harlem
  • Here We Go Magic
  • Hot Chip
  • Houses
  • How to Dress Well
  • Hurts
  • Ikonika
  • Interpol
  • Islet
  • Jaga Jazzist
  • Jakob Dylan
  • James Blake
  • Jamey Johnson
  • Janelle Monae
  • Japandroids
  • Javelin
  • Jay Electronica
  • jj
  • Joanna Newsom
  • John Grant
  • John Mellencamp
  • Johnny and Jenny
  • Johnny Cash
  • Joker
  • Josh Ritter
  • Junip
  • Kanye West
  • Katerine
  • Katy Perry
  • Ke$ha
  • Kelis
  • Kendal Johansson
  • Kid Rock
  • Kingdom
  • Kings of Leon
  • Kisses
  • Klaxons
  • Kylesa
  • Lady Gaga
  • Laura Marling
  • LCD Soundsystem
  • Les Savy Fav
  • Levek
  • Liars
  • Lindstrom & Christabelle
  • Lloyd Banks
  • Local Natives
  • Lonelady
  • Lower Dens
  • M.I.A.
  • Magnetic Man
  • Male Bonding
  • Manic Street Preachers
  • Marie Stern
  • Marina and the Diamonds
  • Mark Ronson
  • Massive Attack
  • Matthew Dear
  • Mavis Staples
  • Maximum Balloon
  • MGMT
  • Micah P. Hinson
  • Midlake
  • Mount Kimble
  • My Chemical Romance
  • My Heart Belongs To Cecilia Winter
  • Mystery Jets
  • N.E.R.D.
  • NDF
  • Neil Young
  • New Young Pony Club
  • Nice Nice
  • Nicky Minaj
  • Nightlands
  • Nina Nastasia
  • No Age
  • Oberhofer
  • Of Montreal
  • Olivia Pedroli
  • Oneohtrix Point Never
  • Owen Pallett
  • Oy
  • Panda Bear
  • Pantha du Prince
  • Paul Weller
  • Pepper Rabbit
  • Perfume Genius
  • Peter Wolf
  • Phantogram
  • Philip Selway
  • Plan B
  • Pulled Apart By Horses
  • Ramadanman
  • Ratatat
  • Rick Ross
  • Rihanna
  • Ripperton
  • Robert Plant
  • Robyn
  • Rory Erickson feat. Okkervil River
  • Ruby Suns
  • Sade
  • Sage Francis
  • Salem
  • Sarah Jaffe
  • Sharon Van Etten
  • She & Him
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Small Black
  • Smiths Western
  • Soft Pack
  • Sophie Hunger
  • Spoon
  • Steve Mason
  • Strange Shapes
  • Suckers
  • Sufjan Stevens
  • Sun Kill Moon
  • Superchunk
  • Surfer Blood
  • Suuns
  • Swans
  • Syd Matters
  • Tamaryn
  • Tame Impala
  • Tanlines
  • Taylor Swift
  • Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
  • Teengirl Fantasy
  • The Avett Brothers
  • The Black Keys
  • The Coral
  • The Dead Weather
  • The Dillinger Escape Plan
  • The Drums
  • The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
  • The Fall
  • The Fresh & Onlys
  • The Gaslight Anthem
  • The Knife
  • The Legendary Tigerman
  • The Love Language
  • The Morning Benders
  • The National
  • The New Pornographers
  • The Radio Dept.
  • The Rolling Stones
  • The Roots
  • The Tallest Man On Earth
  • The Third Eye Foundation
  • The Walkmen
  • The-Dream
  • These New Puritans
  • Tindersticks
  • Titus Andronicus
  • Tom Petty
  • Toro Y Moi
  • TV Girl
  • Twin Shadow
  • Twin Sister
  • Two Door Cinema Club
  • Ty Segall
  • Tyler, the Creator
  • Unknown Mortal Orchestra
  • unouomedude
  • Usher
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Ventura
  • Viernes
  • Villagers
  • Waka Flocka Flame
  • Walls
  • Warpaint
  • Wavves
  • Wild Nothing
  • Wise Blood
  • Women
  • Woods
  • Yann Tiersen
  • Yeasayer
  • Yellow Ostrich
  • Young Man
  • Zola Jesus


As a bonus of all the information, I present you three mix tapes that you can download at the following addresses:

See you soon for the top films of 2010 which will be much more concise.

  1. Some people think the decade runs from 2000-2009, not 2001-2010… But it’s false.