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Favourite 4 albums of 2010

© WikiMedia (Wikimedia) 1 Kanye West and Jamie Foxx perform ‘Gold Digger’ Source http://flic
© WikiMedia (Wikimedia)

1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West

Kanye finally perfects the album he seems to have been trying to make for the last four or five years, with the help of a who’s who of the ‘urban’ music industry, if not the music industry in general. Using a painful break-up and the backlash at his occasionally outlandish behaviour as inspiration, his widescreen ‘Hip hop-eras’, if you will, are intelligent, thrilling, beautiful and often all three simultaneously. “Pillock” that he may well be, it’s hard to dispute that his larger-than-life character makes for interesting listening and, to these ears at least, great music too. The album works brilliantly with fantastical feature-length film Runaway.

2. Total Life Forever – Foals.

Leaving behind their cooler-than-thou Indie, which was technically brilliant, but largely inaccessible to anyone with a sub-150 IQ, Foals relax a lot more on this album and they’re all the better for it with this funky, psychedelic, often melancholic Indie rock. Yannis’ lyrics are still bemusing at times, but one can always tell that there is meaning in the words from the conviction in his newly-found, rather lovely, sparse vocals. Antidotes’ maths references, almost barked-out over angular guitar riffs perpetually played above the 13th fret, was fun in small doses, but the lush sounds of this amount to a more inviting and ultimately rewarding listen.

3. Magnetic Man – Magnetic Man.

Three of the best Dubstep producers in their own right combine with each other and a plethora of helping hands and voices to find the notoriously hard balance between the very loud and basslines low and heavy enough to cause tremors in surrounding objects (for D’n’B purists) and having discernible tunes, melody and even ‘real’ instruments (for everyone else). For this, they deserve applause.

4. One Night Stand – Hot Chip.

Hot Chip give even more proof to being one of the select few ‘dance’ acts who make songs with more than a great beat, catchy hook and an attractive female guest singer, as they switch effortlessly from dancefloor bangers to soulful ballads. Funky, poppy, soulful and intelligent.

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