List: Top 100 Albums of 2010 – 50-41

Part three of my best albums of 2010 list. Here’s 50-41…


Paraphrase Accolade

I’ll be honest, it took a good few listens for Nouveanoise’s Paraphrase Accolade to grow on me. Initially, ‘Goni’ stood out, but the rest of it didn’t leave a lasting impression. But it was thanks to the layered tones, and fantastic random interjections of melody in that opener, that I returned for a second and third helping. Further listening led to the discovery of many new sounds, some of them unsettling, but still warm and charming, particularly the standout ‘Cinnte’. It’s an uplifting record in the way only electronic albums can be. A bright start for a wonderful new Irish band.



The opening howl of ‘Threadbare’ immediately lets you know you’re in for a rocking record. Mixing the sounds of their punk forebears (think the Ramones) with a David Byrne-style vocal, Jogging were a breath of fresh air on the Irish rock scene in 2010. The album never gives up and whizzes by at a relentless pace, knocking you over with ferocious riffs. It’s impossible not to trash about to this record, which urges you to play it at full volume from start to finish.


It Goes, It Goes (Forver & Ever)

Sounding like the soundtrack to a haunted house movie, Halves’ debut is one that will enchant you long after closer ‘Mountain Bell’ ends. This is a band who’ve taken their strengths and improved on them, and in doing so, made one of the most interesting albums of the year. It’s one which demands repeated listens. Delicately beautiful, it’s exactly what we’ve been waiting for from the Dublin-based foursome.


The Dead Weather
Sea of Cowards

A year-end best of list wouldn’t be complete without an entry from Jack White. One of the most consistent performers in music, he stepped back even more on the second Dead Weather album and let Alison Mosshart shine. The vocal interplay between the duo is fantastic, ranging from a howl to a shriek. This is their charm. While not as straightforward as White’s other endeavours, the Dead Weather succeed frankly because they’re different. The dirty rock, the shrieks and howls, it’s all just so damn enjoyable.


Sufjan Stevens
The Age of Adz

Having dispensed with his mid-life crisis of songs about roads, Sufjan Stevens returned with a proper album five years after his last. EP All Delighted People arrived unannounced, but left some fans disappointed. However, the album which followed was much better. Full of the fantastic ideas and turns of phrase we’ve come to expect from Stevens, it’s an album of distinct tracks rather than one great concept record. But when it sounds like this, the other 48 states can go screw themselves.



Combining a Saw Doctors style vocal with a trashier rock aesthetic shouldn’t work, but that’s exactly what Groom did on Marriage. Don’t worry though, oldies won’t be grooving to this, and there’s no mention of stone walls, but the third album from Groom is their best to date. Filled with great lyrical quirks, and even some breezy brass accompaniment, Marriage is the album we’ve been waiting for from Groom, announcing them as one of Ireland’s best alt-pop bands. Or as the band would say themselves: “progtastic”.


Fionn Regan
Shadow of an Empire

Were Fionn Regan from Tennessee, he’d be regarded as one of his countries’ finest Americana artists. This is his second record, and is equally as heart-warming as his Mercury nominated debut. Like Ryan Adams’ Love and Hell, Regan’s label Lost Highway were unhappy with the songs he recorded with producer Ethan Johns, and so he left the label. But their loss is music’s gain. More rockier than his debut, it’s a stunning collection of bluesy folk tunes. Also, his voice has never sounded better.


Arcade Fire
The Suburbs

After the disappointment of Neon Bible, many people (me included) wondered whether Canada’s Arcade Fire were a one album wonder. But with The Suburbs, they proved the doubters wrong. It’s no Funeral, but we should never expect anything like that again. What it is is a lovely collection of radio-friendly tracks that are captivating enough to hold on to us for an entire album of stadium-filling flourishes and crescendos. Oh and how awesome is this fan made video?


Ryan Adams and the Cardinals

It’s not as good as Heartbreaker, Gold, Love is Hell, Cold Roses, Jacksonville City Nights, 29, or even Easy Tiger, but this double album of archived Ryan Adams material is the best thing he’s put out in years. It shows what he’s still capable of, and while every song isn’t a winner, there’s enough to take away from this record to be considered a decent album. It would have made an awesome 8-10 song record, but I’m glad we got to hear it all. That way, everyone has a different favourite.


Adebisi Shank
This is the Second Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank

Opening with the kind of plink-plonk you’d expect if Rafael Nadal entered the world of Tron and became a Pong player, Adebisi Shank’s second album TITSAOABCAS is one of the most inventive records of 2010. Even more so than that Daft Punk soundtrack. With tracks called ‘Micromachines’, ‘(-_-)’ and the ‘Run to the Hills’-on-speed of ‘Genki Shank’, there’s a lot to like about Adebisi’s second long player. It’s a genuinely, exciting album, that is crying out for international acclaim.

Read more:

Related posts:

  1. List: Top 100 Albums of 2010 – 100-76
  2. List: Top 100 Albums of 2010 – 75-51
  3. List: Irish Acts’ own favourite Albums of 2010 Part 2
  4. List: Best Albums of the Decade 10-1
  5. List: Irish Acts’ own favourite Albums of 2010 Part 3

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