10) James Blake: CMYK EP
9) Gorillaz: Plastic Beach
8) Deerhunter: Halcyon Digest
7) Big Boi: Sir Lucious Leftfoot-The Son of Chico Dusty
6) Das Racist: Sit Down, Man
5) LCD Soundsystem: This is Happening
4) The-Dream: Love King
3) Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti: Before Today
2) Titus Andronicus: The Monitor
1) Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
2010 has proved to be an ambitious year for music with new artists giving listeners original material to enjoy (James Blake, Das Racist), and older (veteran in the case of Big Boi) creating their best work to date. R&B proved to be a genre that still can produce great music and voices with a big hand from The-Dream. The Gorillaz re-imagined their image and style to bring us an excellent cross-genre album, Big Boi finally was able to release his long awaited Sir Lucious to no disappointment and James Murphy continued his rock/dance propaganda, which is no easy feat especially having to compete with his own Sound of Silver.
As excellent and thoroughly pleasurable it has been listening to these great artists it was Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy that has stole the show. It is funny how some people can still not get over the fact that this man is a egotistical, moaning, often pretentious, prick. They are missing the whole point. These people that repel him seem to be more concerned with his persona than his actual music, which is unfortunate because his new album is an excellent piece of work that caters to pop, hip-hop and world music listeners. It is short and sweet for a hip-hop album with no skits and no bad or mediocre tracks. The opener Dark Fantasy follows a West routine with an uplifting chorus, but introduces a RZA co-production that gives his verse a sharper edge. West the continues to prove that his lyricism has improved over his career on the vocal distorted Gorgeous.
POWER is a confident retaliation to all public controversies that he has faced the past year, yet ends with a suicide thought that comes off as a nice release. Possibly the best track on the album, All of the Lights, takes some of the biggest pop names out there today and allocates them to minor roles that creates a grandiose event. West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi, Drake, The-Dream, Alicia Keys, Fergie all drop by to do their part. Hell even Elton John gets in a "I tried to tell you, but all I could say was...". Monster is a chaotic rap anthem for 2010, so much going on and when Nicki Minaj makes her presence known its game over (Is everyone else as turned on by her psychotic shouting as I am). Too bad Jay-Z made an appearance, he seems out of place on this track, definitely not a monster here. He should take note of Raekwon and Ghostface-be proud of your age and stop trying to be "forever young" it is embarrassing and people are beginning to talk.
Hell of a Life is the most interesting song in that West criticises porn star critics and imagines his life with one of these fine actresses by recognizing her as a worthy wife, who isn't a product of what society deems "good". Blame Game is West's most personal song to date, it almost feels like we shouldn't be listening to it, especially near the end when he admits "I heard the whole thing". Chris Rock's appearance at the end can't even give the track an ease. The closer, Lost in the World, is another pop extravagganza that climaxes with a few words of strong reality from Gil Scott-Heron that help us escape from West's Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.