Published Jan 31, 20111. Arcade Fire The Suburbs (Merge)
Redefining the Canadian presence in modern rock with each album they produce.
Kyle Marshall, Victoria BC
An album of remorse and wonder, The Suburbs manages the rare trick of being genuinely moving without being overly sentimental or saccharine. Arcade Fire speak to the hopes and fears of a desperate generation with grace and dignity. Personal and universal and singularly remarkable, The Suburbs is a true achievement.
James Kearns, Toronto ON
In a world gone privatized, globalized and securitized, suburbia rules and we all need some kind of soundtrack to calm our urban spirits.
Nehal Tolia, Toronto ON
Another album by Arcade Fire that cements the band in the annals of music as creative geniuses. As good as this album is to listen to intimately on headphones, the live show plants a desire to spread the good word to one and all. This band is unparalleled in their consistently unique output in both this country and afar.
Adam Harrison, Regina SK
I struggle to find words to describe the sheer, subtle greatness of The Suburbs. Not only is this the best album of 2010, it's an album that supplants its makers on a different playing field than everyone else. While their contemporaries continue to scour the sand for leftover Beach Boys hooks, Arcade Fire move forward, onward and upward.
Trystan Carter, Vernon BC
Have you heard this band? Of course you have, unless you have been living under a rock, and in this economy... Oh, you have been living under a rock. Here, have this radio.
Michelle Schnob, Toronto ON
2. Katy Perry Teenage Dream (EMI)
Katy Perry won us over this year with "Teenage Dream," the pop track that could have been an indie rock song.
Shannon Palmer, North Bay ON
I was not originally a fan of Katy, but her music is so catchy that you have to bop your head. It's perfect, summertime beach music, and gets everybody moving. I also like how Katy pushes the envelope, but stays away from scandal a la some of the other teen starlets of our day.
Jenna Celmer, Kitchener ON
Her music is so catchy and upbeat. I love listening to it on the way to work or out partying.
Jeffrey Quon, Lethbridge AB
3. Black Keys Brothers (Nonesuch)
It's been said that true rock music is extinct. The Black Keys kick that theory in the teeth.
Quinn Martin, Brantford ON
They take blues, rockabilly and classic rock beats and turn it into their own. The album plays like a score to modern life and the music never gets old.
Corey Hinze, London ON
Motown meets the White Stripes simplicity! Easily one of the best albums of 2010. Powerful music, soulful lyrics and hard hitting impact with every song.
Steven Kraus, Sudbury ON
4. Lady Gaga The Fame Monster (Interscope)
Wonderful creative music with a cutting edge.
Joshua Jameson, Brantford ON
She is a true visionary. She is incredibly creative and had the best pop album of the year. Hands down. No question.
Christina Gould, Puslinch ON
She does whatever the heck she wants to without any regrets and doesn't explain herself to no one. She is what she is... whether she's made or real, she's at least fresh and new, in a day where musicians are practically cut-outs, manufactured and totally sucked from life. She is so out there that you can't help but admire her. She's alone in her world, and loves it. I admire her bravery. And it shines through in her music, like an abstract artist, not scared of the masses. She creates for herself with her unique viewpoint.
Nadia Clifton, Prince Rupert BC
5. Beach House Teen Dream (Sub Pop)
There is no end to the number of indie bands doing minimalist and pretty indie rock these days but Beach House prove that if you have the sound and the songs then no amount of critical over-thinking can stop you from enjoying a great record.
Alexander Adrock, Toronto ON
Overshadowed in the mainstream by another Teen(...) Dream album this year, this is one of those instant cult classic albums best left to those who will truly appreciate it. The album shows promise to make Beach House the next Yeah Yeah Yeahs, it is elegantly produced, earnestly delivered and full of great hooks that aren't "hooks" but stick in your head.
James McDonough, Toronto ON
It's not often a record that comes out in the early part of the year sticks around long enough to warrant a mention on the myriad year's end lists. This is the ultimate exception. An unholy masterpiece of poignant tearjerkers and gauzy barnstormers. In every sense of the word, a perfect, perfect album.
Jeffrey P. Nesker, Toronto ON
6. Black Mountain Wilderness Heart (Outside)
Congratulations, you've gone and one-upped what many people already considered to be a monolithic achievement.
Shane Saunderson, Toronto ON
A genuine band for the genuine music fan. This band is the real deal and local to boot. If you're the least bit interested in honest modern Southern-style rock and roll make sure to check out this band live.
Dave Cross, Vancouver BC
Fantastic stoner rock that even your mom could groove too!
Ian Burmaster, Edmonton AB
7. The National High Violet (4AD)
This is the summation of all of the National's strengths. There isn't a weak moment on the record and every song feels like the song they've been working their whole career on.
Rick Andrade, Waterloo ON
The best album of the year! The National are quickly becoming the band of the 2000s. This record delivers with smooth, sombre, melodic perfection, capturing our hearts and minds in a world with economic recession and heightened depression ratings. From the sound of the guitars to the baritone voice you simply can not beat this album.
Eric Scharf, Ottawa ON
8. Owen Pallett Heartland (For Great Justice)
Most incredible artistic experience I've ever had. The narrative, the soundscapes, the album has so much depth you can get completely lost in it, (I've listened to the vinyl record 15 times in one day. True story.)
Aaron Thacker, Saskatoon SK
Owen Pallett's Heartland finally reins in the wild eccentricity of his music. It's cohesive, heartfelt, brilliant, and wildly original.
Joel Letemann, Winnipeg MB
9. Broken Social Scene Forgiveness Rock Record (Arts & Crafts)
Highly anticipated and well received. I was definitely not disappointed and didn't want the record to end when I first listened to Forgiveness Rock Record.
Boris Cho, Toronto ON
What can I say? Been a long time fan of BSS ever since I stumbled upon Feist's records and consequently ended up with a BSS record in hand. Their music never fails to please, and I find this release every bit as catchy and awesome as their old stuff. "Texico Bitches" is a personal favourite of mine.
Nam-An Dinh, Mississauga ON
Busts me up inside ― especially the brass.
Natalie Zina Walschots, Toronto ON
10. Deerhunter Halcyon Digest (4AD)
Halcyon Digest is easily the most expressive and free-sounding of Deerhunter's albums. The sheer waves of glory that roll over "Helicopter," and the opener "Earthquake" is a perfect slow burn to start the album. Most definitely a contender for album of the year.
Mark Bertolini, Brampton ON
While everyone else is hanging out in The Suburbs, I'm traversing a strange land that is oddly familiar and yet staggeringly unique, reading through Deerhunter's Halcyon Digest. What happened to this band since their previous album? I'm convinced my music collection has much crossover with the band members ― but I don't simplistically say they "sound like" so-and-so. On this album, I have been amazed to be reminded of music from all over the map and across many decades, and I just beam with gratitude for Deerhunter to have channelled these innate melodies into this new, quite flawless package.
Greg deJong, Oakburn MB
Notwithstanding the fact that I am utterly fascinated by Bradford Cox as an individual, he and Deerhunter have made a beautiful record in Halcyon Digest. They've definitely got a signature style throughout the album, without it sounding repetitive. "Helicopters" could be the song of the year.
Zaheen Karim, Ottawa ON
They keep maturing, writing poignant, and crafty pop songs with a psychedelic tinge.
Jamie Tripp, Ottawa ON