Rory Flynn: My Favorite Albums of 2010

, Editor-in-Chief

We had our writers take a stab at picking their favorite albums from 2010. Here, in no particular order, are Editor-in-Chief Rory Flynn’s picks:

Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More: The English folk-rockers debut album hit this side of the pond in February and the buzz began to swell with each month. It’s with good reason as Mumford & Sons deliver a unique polished sound that keeps the listening enchanted from beginning to end.

Vampire Weekend – Contra: A band that had a lot of pressure to live up to their impressive debut album. Thankfully, there was no sophomore slump here. In fact, the album is fantastic and proves these guys are one of the most unique bands out there. Using just about every instrument imaginable, Contra spans a wide array of influences that give give life to each song.

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs: The Montreal collective went big with their third album and hit it out of the park. Packed with grandiose anthems, the band continues their evolution to arena rock heroes.

Jamey Johnson – The Guitar Song: As Nashville goes pop, Johnson is turning the town upside down by playing true traditionalist country that would make Cash, Jones and Haggard proud. To further defy the status quo, he released this stellar double-disc effort. Great songwriting with strong vocals and musicianship made this a very pleasant surprise.

The Black Keys – Brothers: The duo from Ohio take it to a whole new level on their sixth album. The Danger Mouse-produced hit single “Tighten Up” is the hook but the rest of the album is filled with bluesy-garage rock tunes that stir plenty of emotion with lots of energy.

Frightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed Drinks: Following up their awesome 2008 album The Midnight Organ Fight was going to be a tall task but the Scottish indie rockers continued to prove they are a  special band with this rock solid release featuring “Swim Until You Can’t See Land” and “Living In Colour”.

Taylor Swift – Speak Now: The young country pop star continues her domination of the music world with her third album. Its not as strong as Fearless, but it stills soars with standouts “Mine”, “Back To December” and “Long Live”. Producer Nathan Chapman is far too underrated.

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals – Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
: For their self-titled third studio album, the Vermont band features a pair of new members and a producer Mark Batson. The results are fantastic with just enough sass and soul.

The Hold Steady – Heaven Is Whenever: Following the departure of keyboardist Franz Nicolay, the band turned up the amplifiers with this guitar-heavy rocker featuring standouts “The Weekenders” and “Rock Problems”.

Pete Yorn – Pete Yorn
: Always very underrated in my book, Yorn returned this year with his self-titled fifth album. Produced by Frank Black of the Pixies, the album was recorded in just five days but the results yielded one of the year’s best with songs like “Precious Stone”, “Rock Crowd” and a cover of Gram Parsons’ “Wheels”.

Honorable Mentions

Guster – Easy Wonderful
Peter Wolf – Midnight Souvenirs

Eli “Paperboy” Reed & The True Loves – Come & Get It

All three are listed in our Favorite Local Albums of the year so I don’t want to be repetitive other than to say, you need to pick them up. All three were excellent in their own night and in constant rotation for me. Guster continues to deliver infectious pop-rock, Wolf triumphantly returns and Eli rises to the occasion on his major label debut.

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