To read our #1 through #6 album picks, click here.
To read our #7 through #13 album picks, click here.
#14 – “Colours” by Graffiti 6 – This past year I was rather excitable for a pop/rock duo known as Graffiti 6 who made some of the most soulful and fun pop music you’ve ever heard in way of brilliant album “Colours”. Graffiti 6 weren’t typically the type of band I’d wax fantastic about here on EQ, but they have that “je ne sais quoi” about their music that just grabs you from the inside with it’s rich melody, beautiful writing and clever art direction. With brilliant tracks that include “Stone In My Heart” and “Annie You Save Me” highlighted on the album, “Colours” is just solid music gold. I’m proud to say I was one of the first supporters too- I was writing about “Stare Into The Sun” almost a year before it was released officially and was actually in the studio with the boys while heart-wrenching track “Over You” was being recorded – I’ll never forget that. Graffiti 6 proved in 2010 that being a relevant independent band was far cooler than being a label act. These guys deserve to be massive.
#15 – “Electric Touch” by Sergey Lazarev: Russian pop superstar Sergey Lazarev released his third solo album this past year which saw the singer sign a massive deal with Sony which put him in the same larger-than-life category with the likes of Beyonce and Coldplay in his native country. Outside of Russia, the singer is still relatively unknown which is a shame considering he produces some of the coolest electro-pop music around. “Electric Touch” is actually an album that is very hard to find outside of Russia, but if you can manage to score a copy you’ll be enjoying some of the amazing tracks on it like “Stereo”, “Alarm”, “Feeling High” and “Money On Love”. I’ve always enjoyed Sergey Lazarev’s musical output and often at times have been one of his biggest cheerleaders, but it’s purely because he most definitely deserves more exposure outside of Russia, especially as this album saw him graduate to a more mature and serious sound. Despite the lack of interest outside of Russia, “Electric Touch” is one album you all should go out of your way to find.
#16 – “Heartbeats” by Grum: An amazing piece of eletronic artistry from one of the most promising new artists and producers on the scene – and his name is Grum. I honestly thought “Heartbeats” by Grum would make more of a splash in 2010 given the rather large marketing campaign he was given. But alas, Grum never seemed to explode into the mainstream as he should have this past year. Grum’s dance music is thought-provoking and almost too-cool-for-school with it’s disco chic influence and groovy sensibilities. With the music videos for “All Through The Night” and “Can’t Shake This Feeling” causing a bit of stir amongst pop bloggers and hype machines alike, you can only imagine what the rest of the album would sound like. I’ve got words for you – it’s incredible. My favorite tracks from “Heartbeats” include the attitude-y “Fashion”, the computerized title track anthem and the dark and spooky “LA Lights”. “Heartbeats” by Grum is sort of the album you wish Pet Shop Boys would come back with…
#17 – “The Golden Year” by Ou Est Le Swimming Pool: “The Golden Year” was probably one of the albums I was looking forward to the most in 2010. But with the tragic death of lead singer Charlie Haddon, the album was released to no fanfare at all, but rather met with deep sorrow and ultimatley the breakup of the band – who in my eyes had massive potential. The energy on this album is unparrellel. You could really tell that Ou Est Le Swimming Pool were onto something good here. With tracks like “The Key”, “These New Knights” and the massive “Dance The Way I Feel” heralding the band into popularity, it’s just such a shame the album was as quickly forgotten as it was released. Regardless though, “The Golden Key” remains one of our top choices for 2010 and highly worth checking out if you’re a true fan of electronica.
#18 – “31 Minutes To Takeoff” by Mike Posner: I was kinda late to the Mike Poser party, but after exploring his mixtape and his first polished official release on Sony, I was hooked on his “Bow Chicka Wow Wow” beats. “Cooler Than Me” is undeniabley the coolest jam around that all the kids are jamming out to these days while “Please Don’t Go” is a slick production that establishes the man as a true hitmaker down with youth culture. After spending some time with Mike Posner in-person and attending his UK launch gig, it was apparent to me that the man oozes talent by the bucketfulls. Producing the album from software he illegally downloaded on the internet, it only takes one listen to “31 Minutes To Takeoff” and you’ll find yourself jumping on the bandwagon like I did with this album. I find myself gravitating towards Mike Posner’s album over his buddy Bruno Mars – probably because of the electronica-infused pop elements which make his work a joy to experience.
#19 – “These Hopeful Machines” by BT: Trying to sum up a BT album is almost impossible and probably the hardest review I’ve had to write for this Top 20 album list, but “These Hopeful Machines” is such an overwhelming and totally amazing body of electronica that you cannot exclude it from the list. Finally being recognized by his peers as well, BT scored a Grammy nomination for this album and it doesn’t surprise me at all -what you hear in this album is so utterly fascinating you wonder yourself how BT ever even completed it. It’s technically rich with hundreds of layers and the production is so suberb – world class putting it lightly. For me I have to listen to the album in parts because it can be too much to take in all at once sometimes, but nevertheless, the experience is outerworldly. Even if this album isn’t your cup of tea, you can’t deny that “Suddenly” is the jam and most obvious gem on this album, amongst the many shiny jewels that make up this amazing piece of work.
#20 – “We Are Born” by Sia: Sia still has the unmistakable voice of an angel and that’s something that will never change about her. “We Are Born” saw Sia go through a transformation from downtempo queen to uptempo siren and for me the change was most certainly welcome. “Clap Your Hands” is such an amazing track and rather unexpected from the quircky warbler. “You’ve Changed” explored Sia’s more playful side while talking about her interesting relationship with JD Samson. Her cover of Madonna’s “Oh Father” was also an unexpected move that really made her stand out amongst bloggers this past year. Although some criticized Sia for taking such a drastic change in sound, Sia herself said she was most happy with making an album like “We Are Born” and it saw her take back her musical freedom which you could tell was something she desperately needed.