Top 25 Albums of 2010

12/08/2010 1:00 AM |

#4 Ariel Pink

Before Today

Ariel Pink might be more responsible than anyone for de-emphasizing the once clear-cut signifiers of rock ‘n’ roll cool. For years he’s been reclaiming moves from corny power-pop and half-remembered supermarket soundsystem cheese, making the mothballed sounds of studio hacks seem weird and alive. He doesn’t need blatant aggression, jagged guitars, stylish synth tones, futuristic beats, or anything else to be modern, just finely crafted sounds recalling tropes that were, until recently, considered the lowest of the low. It’s pop art in the classic, Warholian sense. With Before Today, a record that finally had the front-to-back, continued focus that previous releases could only manage in frustrating, tiny bursts, Pink’s particular cracked genius has become undeniable. The result is a musical landscape unmoored, where mosh pits form to Yacht Rock, and it’s hard to tell what’s even going on anymore. Key Track: “Round and Round”

9 Comment

  • for me Titus Andronicus “No Future Part III: Escape From No Future” is track of the year. Nice list.

  • The lack of The National’s High Violet is a major oversight, especially for such a Brooklyn-centric publication.

  • the title of this list be top 25 albums for hipsters. All of their “rock” stuff listed is such a carbon copy of that “indie” soft rock that’s so narcisistic (excuse my spelling) which I think might be the fruition of the facebook generation which is completely self-absorbed in their trivial personal drama and completely removed from reality.

    For example, you have a song like Suburbs from Arcade Fire and you have a great opportunity to talk about real issues regarding suburban sprawl, sustainability, and the advent of the car-economy and super-consumerism. Instead, it’s personal nostalgia for simple days growing up as a white teen in the suburbs.


    (What’re your top 10 albums of the year, that we might more easily situate you within a specific demographic based on your musical taste?)

  • The spelling I can excuse.

  • Nice list. Wasn’t that Charlotte Gainsbourg album released in 2009 though?

  • @madluke
    Nope, Jan 26, 2010.

  • Easy mistake. 🙂
    Nevertheless I like this list more than most. A few albums I’d have liked over others but you can’t please everyone. 🙂

  • Nice list, and you obviously have good taste (thankfully) – I agree with the earlier poster and think that High Violet should be in there. The other big omission to me is Plastic Beach by Gorillaz which I think was one of the most inventive and downright fun records in years. But good job and I love your column!