[SKOA Presents] The 25 Best Albums of 2010: 5-1

Tied for 5. Air - Love 2 [Buy CD
I had approached this record with caution because Pocket Symphony had fallen so flat of what I expected to follow up an album like Talkie Walkie from a band as epic as Air. Thankfully, what we got this time around was an album that picked up right where TW left off. Love 2 is an album that you love to love. It's romantic and dreamy in all the good ways that TW was but takes it to the next level. You will find your mind drifting away to a better place courtesy of songs like "Sing Sang Sung", "So Light Is Her Footfall" and "Do The Joy". This French duo have truly mastered weaving wispy electronic melodies into a breathtaking 46 minutes of pure bliss. - Kibbe

4. Deftones - Diamond Eyes

After scrapping the work they’d previously worked on following the tragic departure of Chi Cheng, Deftones set to work on a new record which materialised as the beautifully rounded and ferocious Diamond Eyes. From the offset this album comes at you and it’s evident this album is an evolution not an album to mourn a missing component. Chino’s vocals soar to new levels as he screams the end of the opening 2 tracks “Diamond Eyes” and “Royal”. A standout for me is the slower tempo “Sextape” which is a beautifully dark track that progresses into a melodic chorus and bridge. “This Place Is Death” serves as a nice perspective and look at the bands future, or what might of been and closes a stellar record from Chino and Co. This album serves as a progression and sets the bar higher for them in future endeavours but also puts them firmly in out top 5 albums of 2010. - Rocko & Shey

 3. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach [Buy CD | Vinyl]

Plastic Beach hands down was one of the most anticipated and exciting releases of 2010. After Albarn's 2nd Gorillaz album Demon Days, many weren't sure if the animated fab four would make another LP as rumors spread around that Damon and Jamie were ending the final phase on the note of a film. Damon later announced on Radio 1 that a third LP was in the works and previewed some early works in progress. Then early last year the single "Stylo" hit us all in the chest out of nowhere leaving us all wanting more. With Albarn now handling the production duties himself, fans including myself were left wondering how this 3rd LP would turn out. Fast forward to mid 2010, after months of viral promotion and previews Plastic Beach was finally in our hands and it did not disappoint. With its wide array of multi genre guests and with creative Standout tracks like "Stylo", "Superfast Jellyfish", "Rhinestone Eyes", "On Melancholy Hill" and pretty much the entire album it's a no brainer that Plastic Beach was one of 2010s Top albums of the year. This a must have album for any good music collector. - Rocko

2. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs [Buy CD | Vinyl]

An album for a generation is the best way I can think to start off with this album. Whatever your mood, wherever you are, whatever the weather, Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs is a modern day classic that will be talked about for years to come. From the offset it takes you on a journey from title track “The Suburbs” which sets the scene onto one of my songs of the year, “Ready To Start” which is a raucous in your face track that starts off with a snare being hit repeatedly before becoming an uptempo thigh slapper. Every song on the album is a beauty. I could reel for hours about them. The layering of tracks, how they have gone back to basics and taken a step back in some aspects of creating tracks, in the sense of instruments, as well as taken huge leaps forward in music making from previous albums Neon Bible and Funeral. The fuzz filled “Month Of May” is a stand out as it’s the most brash and in your face from start to finish. The album clocks in at just over 60 minutes long with the closing song “The Suburbs (continued)” being a breath taking slowed down, string filled version of the albums opener. Win’s gentle vox just bring a chill to my spine every play. I’ll play this to my kids one day, that’s how good this album is. - Shey

1. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy [Buy CD | Vinyl]

Wake up Mr. West! How loudly Kanye West woke up and once again entered the spotlight over the course of the last year will go down in music history. After being one of the most hated, arrogant figures in hip hop, ‘Ye managed to redeem himself with hard work and dedication, all the while capturing the attention of countless numbers of music lovers. Whether it was his G.O.O.D. Friday series, or his decision to tap into his pre-808’s roots, or the sheer wonder that was his “Runaway” short-film, it all brought me into Kanye’s beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy, and I fuckin’ love it. Every song on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy brings something unique to the table, whether it’s the hard hitting opener “Dark Fantasy,” or the guest heavy “All of the Lights,” or the ever beautiful and ethereal “Runaway,” it all comes together to create a near perfect product that I believe is Kanye’s masterpiece. Yes, he may be an asshole, and he may not be the best rapper out there, but what makes him, and his work on this album, so unique is the fact that he’s willing to take risks, try something new, and set out to redefine the hip hop genre and music as a whole. It’s not hard to see why Kanye West is such an important figure in music, and why he will be remembered for a long time as a pop culture icon. - Adrian