By Aaron Calvin
As this is the last issue of The Hofstra Chronicle of, not only the semester, but of the year 2010, I felt that we should make sure we ran the obligatory "best of the year" list. The following is a list of, in this assistant editor's humble opinion, the best albums of the year 2010.
1. ‘High Violet' – The National
A combination of masterfully orchestrated and layered instrumentation and brooding lyrics, High Violet acts as The National's magnum opus.
2. ‘The Wild Hunt' – The Tallest Man on Earth
Leave it Sweden to provide one of the most promising heirs to the Americana/Folk music tradition. Sparseness and technical ability come together to create a sparse and masterful album.
3. ‘Contra' – Vampire Weekend
One of the most Successful "indie" bands of recent years, Vampire Weekend proves their worth by evolving while keeping their trademark lyrics and rhythmic sound. Smart yet accessible, the album morphs continuously while keeping continuity throughout and remains light throughout.
4. ‘Age of Adz' – Sufjan Stevens
Proving himself once again to be not only one of the best songwriters of our time, Stevens shows us how expansive his music can be, moving from acoustic and orchestral music to a more electronic, textural sound.
5. ‘The Suburbs' – Arcade Fire
A concept album about suburban malaise, Win Butler and company turn modern ailments into a symphonic dissertation on the current state of America. Like the sprawl it dismays over, the album moves in vast strokes, flourishing in subtle and unexpected ways.
6. ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' – Kanye West
Returning from the wasteland of the mediocre 808's and Heartbreaks and bitter, televised outbursts, West brings sneering verses and varied collaboration to prove that he's as awesome as he thinks he is. By bringing in different artists from his own level of stardom, as well as a few indie surprises, this album plays out as one of the greatest comeback records of recent in recent memory.
7. ‘The Moniter' – Titus Andronicus
If Arcade Fire made a symphony out of suburban malaise, than Titus Andronicus wrote a dissertation on urban outrage. Possibely never before has an album displayed such grit while including a bagpipe solo.
8. ‘Buzzard' – Margot and The Nuclear So and So's
Margot abandoned their orchestrated pop sound for their newest release, exchanging it for a gritty, melodically simple, yet powerful work. Filled with ambiguous, harrowing lyrics and fuzz laden guitars, the album shows an unexpected evolution.Content ranges from the windy streets of Chicago to the dirty streets of New York City, from the troubles of infedelity to bitter contempt for modern times.
9. ‘Flaws' – Bombay Bicycle Club
The British band stripped down their jaunty rock sound to create a tasteful and acoustic aesthetic to create a very singular album. Lyrics flow simply and intimately.
10. ‘Infinite Arms' – Band of Horses
Fusing reverb vocals, resonating guitars, and a variety of well crafted rock songs, a memorable album consistent in quality.