The list author says: "Another banner year for music. Below are my favorite full-length albums, but it was hard not to include some great EPs as well: Zola Jesus's Stridulum/Valusia, The Clientele's Minotaur, The Tallest Man On Earth's Sometimes The Blues is Just a Passing Bird, Girls' Broken Dreams Club, and Twin Sister's Color Your Life were all great."
"It's always exciting when artists perfect their sound and release an album that is the most "them." Beach House's third album (and first for Sub Pop) is the most "Beach House" release so far, with 10 songs marked by undeniable melodies, Alex Scally's dreamy guitar work, and Victoria Legrand's haunting vocals. http://goo.gl/0wBFO"
"It wouldn't take much to stand out amongst pop ranging from unremarkable to unlistenable, but this sexy Swede who reinvented herself as a futuristic diva with 2005's self-titled powerhouse bludgeoned the competition with THREE stellar releases. You could quibble about some of the choices for this (essentially a Best Of), but you should just dance instead. http://goo.gl/rYFYE"
"Kanye West is not a great rapper. His limited range of topics (being great, being persecuted) and sometimes awkward delivery have always been saved by the occasional clever twist and consistently great production. With his fifth album, however, he has mined new musical and emotional territory for hip hop and has finally lived up to his own hype: this album is Important. http://goo.gl/yqwy"
"I'll admit complete ignorance of Ariel Pink prior to this album. His was a name you'd read in interviews with musicians talking about their favorite musicians, but success eluded him until he hooked up with 4AD and recorded the best chorus of 2010: http://goo.gl/0LQla"
"Over the last decade, Dan Snaith has somehow managed to be consistently great and never repeat himself. His fifth album leaves behind the '60s influences of 2007's Andorra and marks out new territory with wobbly organic dance music. http://goo.gl/mfcH"
"Big Boi's always getting overshadowed: first by the more colorful Andre 3000 in OutKast and now by the more attention-hungry Kanye West in The State of Hip Hop. Don't think it gets him down, though -- even while closing in on 20 years in the business, he stays fresh and funky: http://goo.gl/APAzP"
"I like to imagine that Joanna Newsom dropped this behemoth just to thumb her nose at the haters: three discs of her acquired taste of a voice, virtuosic harp playing, twee imagery, and literary references galore, just to say, "Whaddaya gonna do about it?" http://goo.gl/jknc"
"2007's Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga was met with rapturous acclaim, and for good reason: its rewards were immediate and unassailable. This follow-up was shrugged off, but to my ears it's a much more interesting record. http://goo.gl/cDDyO"
"More Swedes! The duo that recorded my favorite song last year (http://goo.gl/Q5t6t) return with two EPs that explore new sounds -- an Icelandic choir backs them up on the first and the second features what I can only describe as a reserved steel drum. http://goo.gl/5UTtl"
"While better known as an actress (or just the offspring of two of Europe's coolest), Ms. Gainsbourg sure knows how to pick musical collaborators. Beck wrote and produced most of this album, and it may be his best work in almost a decade. It certainly resulted in a great video: http://goo.gl/HAp3y"
"Jana Hunter, who recorded one of my favorite albums of the previous decade with There's No Home, tosses off the annoying "freak folk" mantle in favor of the electric and atmospheric sounds she crafts with her new four-piece. http://goo.gl/GEChK"
"No Age is probably the best of the recent rash of minimalist Two Dudes, a Guitar, and Some Drums set-ups. This album finds them turning out more focused efforts than their previous two full-lengths, but with no less grit or ingenuity. http://goo.gl/wIli1"
"Okay, so I like Sweden. 15 years into their career, Johan AngergŚrd discovers African music and Karolina Komstedt's pleasant voice keeps up with the poly-rhythms like they've done it that way forever. http://goo.gl/iTHXr"
"Compared with her 2009 debut, this follow-up certainly lives up to its title, despite featuring only 7 songs. Her first release was little more than her voice (impressive) and guitar (expressive -- ha! Kill me), but here she has surrounded herself with talented musicians who know just how to accent her mournful songs without bogging them down. http://goo.gl/0Vm1I"
"The most exciting debut album of the year came from this genre-hopping young woman who sounds so confident even as her concepts get more convoluted and, let's face it: dorky. Supposedly this record is about an android from the future. Just sounds fun to me. http://goo.gl/FZSA"
"I had pretty much written off BSS after Kevin Drew's less-than-stellar 2007 solo album, but that was a mistake: Here the songs earn the anthemic grandeur that this forty-two-piece band (that's them on the cover) supplies. Take me back, Kevin! http://goo.gl/xkMNh"
"Essentially Jon O'Regan's solo debut, Special Affections is ten songs of deceptively thin electro-pop with Ian Curtis-like vocals singing glammed up songs of longing. Yes, please. http://goo.gl/GA6vr"
"Sleigh Bells sound like the future. On record, they take the popular he-plays-she-sings approach (one of four duos like that on this list alone), but with decidedly different results: namely, Sleigh Bells are LOUD. http://goo.gl/IPb5"
"Cameron Mesirow's debut album features a rhythmic and dramatic pop that owes debts to BjŲrk and Joni Mitchell. For once, those comparisons are justified, if a bit reductive. Glasser is one to watch. http://goo.gl/fdGpO"
"James Murphy produced these ten infectious tracks, but don't expect the DFA sound we all know and love. Instead, Free Energy dial it back to the Big Dumb '70s, but in the best possible way. http://goo.gl/m0Q1p"
"2008's Skeletal Lamping was probably too rushed a follow-up to the high water mark that was 2007's Hissing Fauna. Kevin Barnes took his time (and some advice from musical Midas Jon Brion) with this unabashedly sexed up romp. Appearances by Solange Knowles and Janelle MonŠe definitely help. http://goo.gl/g0IAt"
"The most underrated band in North America releases another maelstrom of an album that no one knows what to do with. Seems pretty simple to me: listen to Carey Mercer yelp over the noise and just enjoy. http://goo.gl/kZBvo"