Do they know more than I do? That's entirely possible. But great music is in the ear of the beholder, and these are the ones from 2010 that I keep going back to, over and over again.
Give them a listen. I think you'll like what you hear.
10. Beach House - Teen Dream
This one actually was on many Top 40 lists. It's a very strong album that I only recently discovered, but I find myself consistently getting lost in the lo-fi pop beauty of it.
Favorite Track: Silver Soul
9. Keith Urban - Get Closer
I actually think Urban's 2009 effort, Defying Gravity, is a better album, but he just keeps getting it right over and over again. Great pop-country.
Favorite Track: Right On Back To You
8. The Weepies - Be My Thrill
The Weepies - the duo of Deb Talan and Steve Tannen, put out some of the most consistently great lo-fi indie pop around. Their 2008 album, Hideaway, was one of my favorites of all time. And this one continues their rich tradition of simple songwriting with great lyrics and tremendous harmonies.
Favorite Track: Empty Your Hands
7. Little Big Town - The Reason Why
It's a crying shame that Little Big Town's 2007 disc, A Place To Land, didn't meet with the same platinum success as its predecessor, because it's a far superior album. But LBT kept the quality coming with 2010's The Reason Why. Another great country-crossover effort.
Favorite Track: Kiss Goodbye
6. Anberlin - Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place
One of my favorite bands of the past few years. Like so many others in the last couple of years, I first heard them from fellow Blip DJ's on Blip.fm. These guys have a knack for great lyrics wrapped inside killer melodies. They've been compared in some circles to the Goo Goo Dolls. Maybe, if the Goo's were a bit more emo. Dark Is A Way, Light Is A Place, builds on the great foundation this band laid on Cities in 2007. A very worthy listen.
Favorite Track: Art Of War
5. OK Go - Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky
OK Go, the band perhaps best know for the "treadmill video" (Here In Your Arms) is actually a quite good pop band. On Of The Blue Color Of The Sky, the group stretches its wings a bit, incorporating new sounds and styles. This album is very different from their past efforts, but a real gem.
Favorite Song: End Love
4. Mackintosh Braun - Where We Are
This band originated in Portland, and features a sound that something of a throwback to late 80's electronic pop, a la the Pet Shop Boys, New Order, and the like. And most every song features a hook you just can't get out of your head.
3. Band Of Horses - Infinite Arms
I gotta admit - at first glance this Seattle-area band looks like they should be playing banjos and the jugs. Just sayin'. But, as they say, never-judge-a-book-by-its cover. Band Of Horses puts out some sweet indie pop/rock. Infinite Arms is their most complete, consistent album to date. Excellent.
Favorite Track: Laredo
Favorite Track: Laredo
2. My Chemical Romance - Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
Post-punk power mixed with emo lyrics and a fantastic pop sensibility. I didn't think these guys could out-do 2006's Welcome the the Black Parade. I was wrong.
1. Athlete - Black Swan
My most cherished find of 2010. This band gets a knocked a lot for being similar to Coldplay. Who cares about similarities if the music is great? Which this is, in spades. My favorite album of 2010.
Check these out, and let me know what you think in the comments. Or tell me what your favorites were in 2010. Cheers!