Last.fm is an incredibly useful tool to catalog your listening habits. Tracking anything you listen to in your computer’s music player or iPod, it makes a giant list with statistics and histories of not only you, but ever other Last.fm user.
I mention this because 2010 has been an interesting year in music so far and since we’re halfway through it seems a good place to pause and look back and I plan on using last.fm to do so.
For starters, 2010 has been an incredible year so far for music. I made an end-of-the-year album and song list for 2009 in December and realized I hadn’t really explored a good majority of the music from that year. I only had about 15 new albums and missed a lot of what was on critics’ year end lists. For 2010, it’s an entirely different story: I have about 45 albums from this year and they’ve composed the bulk of my listening of the last 6 months.
So, I decided I’d post my 10 most listened to albums from 2010 so far with brief write ups and maybe one demo song each. I want to save the actual ranking for the end of the year, when I can really look back and see what’s had the most staying power.
10. Snowblink – Long Live
Snowblink was my big small band discovery of 2010, easily. Coming out of nowhere opening for Owen Pallett, their live show blew me away so much I had to buy their album then and there and as number 10 on the list, it would seem the purchase was well warranted.
Snowblink | Ambergris [download](rightclick>saveas…)
9. Surfer Blood – Astrocoast
I’m sure this excellent surf rock album from some Floridan college students will get more plays once it really hits summer for me. I’m still a little befuddled as to why it came out in February, but that’s hardly worth worrying about. Just listen to the groove of “Take it Easy” to hear what I’m talking about.
Surfer Blood | Take it Easy [download](rightclick>saveas…)
8. Passion Pit – Manners
Passion Pit’s front-loaded record actually came out around this time last year, but I entirely missed it. Addictive and danceable, I’m sorry to have missed it last summer. I’ll play it some for this one, but everyone might be tired out by them by now. “Sleepyhead” is still a great song, and I’ll never not have the urge to shout the chorus of “The Reeling.”
Passion Pit | The Reeling [download](rightclick>saveas…)
7. The National – High Violet
It’s surprising to even me that the only album from this year that I’ve called a Masterpiece is seventh. The actual listens of this album might be inaccurate however, because they didn’t count the number of times I streamed it from the New York Times when they put it up there before its release. This album is still incredible to me. (Picking one song is also very difficult, but the absolutely gorgeous and anthemic “England” was one of my favorites on first listen. The whole album is straight 5 stars, though.)
The National | England [download](rightclick>saveas…)
6. Freelance Whales – Weathervanes
This album was a bit of surprise to see again, because I had briefly forgotten about it. Going back to it, it’s still one of those simple, great albums that doesn’t try too hard. It’s mostly likely number 6 on this list because I absolutely adore the first two songs, “Generator ^ First Floor” and “Hannah” which are catchy and endearing and certainly hard not to love.
I’ll put them both up in one flash player and give you the former to download.
Freelance Whales | 1. Generator ^ First Floor and 2. Hannah