The Wrong Opinion: Top 5 Albums of 2010
Hey blog-reading-people, this is Daniel Molloy AKA spamspaz AKA The Wrong Opinion. Why did you click on this? The title clearly says that this is the wrong opinion on the Top 5 Albums of 2010. Why would any blog writer make you not want to click on a header? Is this blog going to be filled with funny jokes about how people are wrong about music? Nah, it’s because that’s the name of my blog. I’ve called it this for two reasons. First, whenever I have a conversation with Joe, the conversation usually boils down to: I am wrong. If I cannot clearly articulate why Joe is wrong about something, I am automatically wrong. That’s just the way we talk. Secondly, The Wrong Opinion, when abbreviated, is T.W.O., so my entries are like a second opinion. I will try and do counter-reviews of Joe’s entries when possible to either completely degrade his points or to somehow agree, but you should probably know that we never really agree on many things.
Now that that is out of the way, The Top 5 Albums of 2010… so far. Something could come up in the dwindling days of this year that could change this list (probably Jonestown 2) that could make this list incorrect. Also, I am going to omit Buck 65’s three EPs, because even though played back to back they’re an album to me, they are really three separate mini-albums. You should still download those though.
#5: Childish Gambino – Culdesac
This free-for-download album clocks in at an astounding 60 minutes. Why is that astounding? This is the third mixtape so far this year for Childish Gambino AKA Donald Glover. Yes, that Donald Glover, who writes for 30 Rock and is on Community (admittedly, neither of which I watch). The simple fact that he found the time write all the beats for, record all the instruments, and rap over these 15 tracks is impressive enough. But really, this album stands up just as well without any of this information. Glover confidently juggles genres, moving from over-inflated braggart to open scared alcoholic, crooning R&B one track and rock rapping the next, making jokes and saying stop laughing at him.
It’s a schizophrenic style that would seem messy on most other albums. But Culdesac feels like a whole; much more than mixtape, more a show-off of skills on the mic, an open call for accepting him as anything but a comedian, an apology to his girlfriends and family, and a call for help in general. If any other rapper said that their biggest role model was Tina Fey, you wouldn’t believe it. I believe in Childish Gambino, in all his referential glory. Key tracks: The Last, Do Ya Like, Let Me Dope You
#4: Sleigh Bells – Treats
This is an album I have been trying to get Joe to accept ever since it came out. He refuses to, and it’s half the reason I am writing this blog right now. This album needs to be heard, not because it’s revolutionary or political or smart. It’s dumb and usually opts for the most satisfying elements, it’s candy cheerleader pop in all the best ways. It’s loud and angry, it’s thrash punk in all the best ways. It’s a chocolate peanut butter situation of Gwen Stefani and the fuzz punk, and it works.
It is the album that when I am listening to on my headphones, I want to dance and scream along to. It’s great ear bleeding catharsis. It’s also the only album this year that I learned how to play entirely on guitar, that is how addictive this music is. For a short adrenaline shot before doing anything, listen to Straight A’s. Key Tracks: Crown on the Ground, Infinity Guitars, Straight A’s
#3: Cee-Lo Green – The Lady Killer
Cee-Lo has had an interesting discovery through his career. Originally, just a rapper, he started to sing on his second solo album, Cee-Lo Green… is the Soul Machine. Unfortunately for fans of his rapping, he hasn’t gone back since. Luckily for everyone else, his warm blanket of a voice has been used effectively since in Gnarls Barkley. Unlike Gnarls Barkley, which is a quagmire of genres, The Lady Killer is extremely focused. With the intro, Cee-Lo sets up the premise for an album, a James Bond without the spies/intrigue, just the girls. He doesn’t break the theme for the entire album, and he doesn’t change the genre, just plays with it. The whole thing is beautifully polished throwback soul.
Sure, the soul changes directions at a few points, moving from heartbroken to heartbreaking, but the singularity of the album is where it shines. You have heard Fuck You (if you haven’t, where are you from?), it is fantastic out of context, but in context, the album is mostly free of stand out tracks, because every track is as fantastic as the next. This is the happiest and most tears-of-joy jerking album on my compucomp. Having a bad day? Let the human mini-fridge sing you to a better place. Key Tracks: I Want You, Fuck You, Wildflower
#2: Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
This album is full of itself. The intros and outros are pulled out minutes longer than they should be. The music is so dense with instruments that All of the Lights has a literal choir of A-List musicians over top of Elton John pianos. Yes, this album has Elton John on it and he didn’t even sing. Most of the verses compare Kanye to a king, a god, and a martyr. This would sink the ship of most albums, who’d listen to someone so full of themselves? The problem? This album is so good it forces you to agree with him. He. Is. That. Good.
This is Kanye at his best ever. The verses are sharp, funny, and sad. The beats are unstoppable and monstrous. The features have the biggest, and more importantly, the best rappers today. This album deserves to be here just for Raekwon, Jay-Z, and Nicki Minaj’s contributions alone. But the best rapper here is Kanye, someone painting himself as misunderstood, misogynistic, and magical all at the same time. You hate him and feel sorry for him, all while you smash your head to the beat. Key Tracks: POWER, Monster, Runaway
#1: Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
The best album of the year is also the strangest. Starting with swelling, haunting strings and horns, it floats into Snoop Dogg, huh? A middle-eastern band plays a fun, light-hearted melody which is ripped apart by two British rappers talking about the end of wars and days at the beach, wha? Hell, Damon Alburn doesn’t even show up til the fourth track. It’s a rave: Glitter Freeze. It’s a funeral: Cloud of Unknowing. It’s a commercial: Superfast Jellyfish.
The album at first seems disjointed and struggling to find a base, but that is the base. The playlist of every genre under the sun melded together into a concept album about the apocalypse and a haven of garbage in the middle of the ocean moves so easily between genres that it becomes a genre itself. It’s the most fun while being the most affecting. After multiple listens, you will still be shocked at how much ground this album covers. It’s the complete opposite of what you expect and when you expect it, it is the beginning of the fun. A challenging and beautiful masterpiece. Key Tracks: Glitter Freeze, Some Kind of Nature, Pirate Jet
You can see the article that this is a response to HERE!