NPR listeners pick the top 50 best albums of 2010's first half. Discuss! |

Music | The Music Mix

NPR listeners pick the top 50 best albums of 2010's first half. Discuss!


gorillaz-nprImage Credit: Jamie Hewlett/EMI MusicAs we head into the holiday weekend, what better way to honor the spirit of our great nation than with a highly subjective list guaranteed to elicit disdain, incredulity, and comments-section flame wars the likes of which our great forefathers and their pearly muskets could only dream?

AMERICA! Land of the free, home of the relentlessly opinionated, we celebrate you!

So let’s put on our fightin’ pants, shall we? NPR has released its listeners’ top 50 albums of the year to date, and honestly, it’s pretty solid—though by its nature, not nearly definitive. This is not the endzone for Kylies and Drakes and Lady Antebellums; the 50 albums contained here are comprised almost entirely of music for the KEXP-loving, Etsy-crafting, farmer’s-market-radish-buying members of the metaphysical nation state known as IndieSchmindieLand.

There are, of course, a few sad omissions amongst these largely excellent picks (I will leave it to you, dear Music Mixers, to supply the names, though cases could be made for, among others, Cocorosie, Titus Andronicus, Gil Scott Heron, Ariel Pink, Robyn, Marina and the Diamonds and Tame Impala to replace some underwhelmers like Jakob Dylan, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Band of Horses).

Mostly, though, it’s the number-one pick that’s kind of a Wha Happen? The complete list is posted after the jump; but suffice it to say, those cartoon simians at the pinnacle did not exactly blow my mind back in March:

50 David Byrne: Here Lies Love
49 Bettye LaVette: Interpretations: The British Songbook
48 Laura Marling: I Speak Because I Can
47 Sade: Soldier Of Love
46 Corinne Bailey Rae: The Sea
45 Kings Go Forth: Outsiders Are Back
44 Quasi: American Gong
43 Owen Pallett: Heartland
42 Erykah Badu: New Amerykah Pt. 2, Return Of The Ankh
41 Ratatat: LP4
40 The Flaming Lips: Dark Side Of The Moon
39 Blitzen Trapper: Destroyer Of The Void
38. Four Tet: There Is Love In You
37 Laura Veirs: July Flame
36 Jakob Dylan: Women And Country
35 Charlotte Gainsbourg: IRM
34 Freelance Whales: Weathervanes
33 Massive Attack: Heligoland
32 Hold Steady: Heaven Is Whenever
31 Gaslight Anthem: American Slang
30 Crystal Castles: Crystal Castles (II)
29 Dead Weather: Sea Of Cowards
28 Caribou: Swim
27 Dr. Dog: Shame, Shame
26 Surfer Blood: Astro Coast
25 Frightened Rabbit: The Winter Of Mixed Drinks
24 Janelle Monae: The ArchAndroid
23 Josh Ritter: So Runs The World Away
22 Joanna Newsom: Have One On Me
21 MGMT: Congratulations
20 Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings: I Learned The Hard Way
19 Broken Social Scene: Forgiveness Rock Record
18 The Knife: Tomorrow, In A Year
17 Jonsi: Go
16 Band of Horses: Infinite Arms
15 She & Him: Volume Two
14 Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma
13 The New Pornographers: Together
12 Yeasayer: Odd Blood
11 Local Natives: Gorilla Manor
10 Sleigh Bells: Treats
09 Spoon: Transference
08 Mumford And Sons: Sigh No More
07 Beach House: Teen Dream
06 Vampire Weekend: Contra
05 LCD Soundsystem: This Is Happening
04 Broken Bells: Broken Bells
03 The Black Keys: Brothers
02 The National: High Violet
01 Gorillaz: Plastic Beach

So readers, tell us: Who would you shuffle, rejigger, or boot entirely? Who has been unjustly exiled from Etsy Radish Radio Island? (And thank you to Stereogum for getting here first)

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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