Graeme Phillips’ top 10 albums

Counting down the best music of 2010


1. BLACK MOUNTAIN Wilderness Heart

From start to finish Wilderness Heart delivers unabashedly derivative classic rock infused anthems, with blatant nods to all our favourite rock heroes. That’s what i like most about this record, how it doesn’t try to hide it’s influences or disguise riffs in an attempt to make them their own. Insted they happily wave the flag of ape-dom, and it pays off. Front to back the best album of the year.

2. EAMON MCGRATH Peacemaker

2010 found me craving some good old authentic, genuine, balls to the wall rock. Peacemaker delivered in spades. I Am The Deer, Cut Knife City Blues and Before You Got So Sad are sonic stunners. When not punching you in the teeth with punk rock, McGrath presents beautiful country infused ballads. Did I mention Eamon has about 20 albums worth of songs recorded in his very early 20s? A current and future writer of Canadian rock anthems.

3. BELLE AND SEBASTIAN Write About Love

I’d almost given up on Belle & Sebastian and then this, my goodness, a near perfect record in Write About Love. This album should be the new benchmark for what a pop record can and should be.

4. AFROCUBISM Afrocubism

A world music lovers wet dream. The best of the best from Mali fly to Cuba to make a record with the best island has to offer, including several Buena Vista Social Club members. Truly a stunner.

5. BIG BOI Sir Luscious Leftfoot

If there was a sub category of album of the summer this record would be number one. This record in universally loved and for good reason Big Boi can come up with alter-egos all day, as long as he keeps putting out records as good as this.

6. SCOUT NIBLETT The Calcination of Scout Niblett

“Welcome to my self made sweatbox” a fitting opening line to the title track of Scout Niblett’s most personal and best record to date. With only her, a guitar and scant drums for the majority of the record, she pulls the listener in close, revealing layer after layer of herself until you could very well be sitting across from her face to face.

7. JANELLE MONAE The ArchAndroid

The only album this year to truly take me on a journey. A concept record that works. Tightrope has to be the single of the year.

8. FLYING LOTUS Cosmogramma

Cosmogramma impresses me in how stylistically it is so varied yet it somehow finds a cohesiveness to the chaos. His albeit brief set at the Opera House is definitely in my top five shows of the year, both the show and the record leaving me wanting more. In a good way.

9. BEST COAST Crazy For You

The jury is still out on whether I like this record more because of my silly boyish crush on Best Coast’s Bethany Conentino rather than her music. The track Boyfriend kinda makes me want to be her boyfriend, what can I say? Quick punchy crunchy pop songs with genuine attitude, all with that California sound and swagger.

10. WOIMA COLLECTIVE Tezeta

Long before the recent surge of upstart Afro-Funk collectives, German hip hop collective The Poets Of Rhythm were sprinkling their beats and live shows with Fela Kuti and the like. Woima Collective is born of the horn section for The Poets Of Rhythm. In Tezeta, they present an album that runs the gamut of African Styles and Rhythms. If the Broken Flowers soundtrack ushered in a scene, Woima Collective should be crowned King.

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