Corey’s Best of 2010

The year 2010 is coming to an end and with that comes my end of the year list!

15. Janelle Monáe- The ArchAndroid

The first I heard of this new talent was on Letterman (  This instantly was, and still is, my favorite late night performance of the year.



14. Best Coast- Crazy for You

This band is taking me by force.  This album makes you want to grab a margarita or Corona and party on the beach.  Only Bethany Cosentino could make me wanna dance to a break-up album… oh wait, and #4.




13. Gayngs- Relayted

A supergroup of epic proportions.  This band combined my favorite artists of the Triangle (with other fantastic artists such as Bon Iver and Solid Gold) and made an album that I always want to bob my head to.  Who knew an entire album at only 69 bpm could be so fun…? Gayngs did.



12. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – I Learned the Hard Way

Sharon Jones has successfully brought the funk and house music back into our hearts.  She has been around the block and back with songs of “life lessons, hard times, and infidelity” that bring soul and passion to the audience.  I instantly fell in love with Sharon and that amazing voice.


11. Sufjan Stevens- The Age of Adz

Few people know that this is Sufjan’s first full length album since Illinois (one of my favorites of all time).  With Adz, Sufjan ventures out into the world of the electronic and makes an album that will redefine him.  One of the highest points of the album is the 25 minute epic, “Impossible Soul”, which is essentially 8 songs in one and is fantastic from start to finish.


10. Broken Social Scene- Forgiveness Rock Record

A thoroughly enjoyable album that brings all of the original members back for another go.  Seeing this band at Hopscotch was a highlight of the weekend, and this album does not disappoint.



9. Cee Lo Green- The Ladykiller

The classiest, and arguably the busiest, man in show business today, Cee Lo delivers a super up-beat and exciting album that makes me want to get up and dance.  Plus who doesn’t love “F**k You”?



8. Frightened Rabbit- The Winter of Mixed Drinks

The makers of my favorite album of 2008 have returned with a different but lovable album.  The lyrically apt Scottsman is one of the best songwriters we have today.  If you don’t have Midnight Organ Fight, this one album will have to do (don’t worry, it’s a good thing).




7. Big Boi- Sir Lucious Left Foot and the Son of Chico Dusty

I reviewed this album back in September (My Review).  Check it out.






6. LCD Soundsystem- This is Happening

One of my favorite songs of the year is “Dance Yrself Clean” and I can’t help but love James Murphy.  His ideas mesh perfectly into this album and he continues to be one of today’s most exciting artists.  I can’t wait to see what he has for 2011.




5.  Caribou- Swim

Seeing this band live in 2010 at Cat’s Cradle was a ridiculously fun time.  The great thing about Caribou is their ability to recreate such intricate music for a live audience.  So fun! So exciting! That’s album #5 for you.




4. Future Islands- In the Evening Air

This is one album that I have had on repeat since it came out.  Something about 2010 makes it a great year for a break-up album, but why can’t a break-up be fun?  That’s exactly what Samuel T. Herring thought after a tough ending to his one true love.  This record brings out the the best in the former Art Lord band.  If you have yet to do it, SEE THIS BAND LIVE! They will blow you off your rocker.


3. Sharon Van Etten- Epic

A amazing album that is a modern day masterpiece.  These  eight songs sit so heavily on my mind after I hear them.  Songs of pain, longing, and sheer anger that can’t be expressed but through Sharon’s captivating voice.  “To say the words I want to say to you would be a lie/ By the time I get the courage I am drunk and you are tired”.  In two words: simply gorgeous.

2. The National- High Violet

The exciting thing about this band: they finally made it.  After working dead-end day jobs and putting every last dime they had into their first two albums, they gained recognition and are now selling out every venue across the country.  My favorite record of all time, Alligator, was the start of a love and a connection to this music that I hold very dear to my heart.  Matt Berninger delivers his hauntingly perfect voice in the best ways on this new album.  This dark chapter in The National’s repertoire evokes an emotion over the listener that has never been matched by another band, in my opinion.  “Now we’ll leave this Silver City to all the silver girls/ that gave us black dreams”  Incredible album by an incredible band.

#1!!!!- Kanye West- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy-  Just kidding… THIS ISN’T PITCHFORK!

1. Wild Nothing- Gemini

This band has completely taken over my life.  I have never gotten into a band so quickly than I have with Wild Nothing.  I listen to this album every day and never get tired of it.  The simple yet perfect riffs are enough to excite anyone, but add light and effect heavy vocals, and you have an unbeatable combination.  What excites me most about this band is their ability to never sound the same.  I always hear a uniqueness to each song that begs me to wonder why no band can do the same.  It pains me to say that I have not seen this band live, but when that day comes, I will be a happy man.  If you get one thing this holiday season, make it this album… for real.

-corey swank

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