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The 20 Most Anticipated Albums Of 2010

Edit: See above “2010 Album Reviews” for reviews of many of these albums.

I believe that 2009 was a great year for music. We saw what many people consider to be two of the greatest albums of the decade, ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’ and ‘Veckatimest’, and even if I don’t completely agree, that is still pretty momentous.

We have witnessed some great followup albums, such as White Rabbits’ ‘It’s Frightening’, a much stronger record than their debut ‘Fort Nightly’, and The Very Best’s ‘Warm Heart Of Africa’, which builds on the sound evident in their debut mixtape. We also got some established acts further refining their sound, such as Muse’s ‘The Resistance’, Pearl Jam’s ‘Backspacer’, and Kasabian’s ‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum’.

Some very established acts produced records that are widely considered as their best, such as Dirty Projectors’ ‘Bitte Orca’. Most excitingly however, 2009 produced some truly excellent debut albums, such as Mumford And Sons’ ‘Sigh No More’, Girls’ ‘Album’, and of course The XX’s ‘XX’. In fact you could almost say 2009 was the year of the buzz band: for once, expectations seem to have mostly been met by the bloggers’ favourites, such as The XX and Girls. One of the few exceptions is The Dodos, whose 2009 release was mostly ignored, despite being a strong offering.

On the Australian side of things, it looks as if we have a great group of bands coming through- none more exciting than The Middle East, who gained international attention in 2009. This year also saw the release of another single from Cloud Control, Leader Cheetah’s debut album, Jonathan Boulet’s self-titled debut, and of course Yves Klein Blue’s stellar ‘Ragged And Ecstatic’. Couple this with the quantity and quality of bands that toured Australia in 2009, and it was a great year to be a music fan living down under.

As the year draws to a close, I thought that I would put together a list of my most anticipated albums of 2010, as I hope that next year will be as good as this one.

20. Interpol – TBA

Interpol’s debut album, ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’, was a magnificent record, and their two followup albums have done it justice. Anything Interpol does is worth attention, and their upcoming fourth album, due for release in 2010, will undoubtably be worth a listen.

19. Lightspeed Champion – Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You

News of this album made me very happy. Rumours were flying this year that Devonté Hynes had abandoned this project, despite the very warm reception to ‘Falling Off The Lavender Bridge’, however ‘studio reports’ posted on YouTube by Dev confirmed that Lightspeed Champion is alive and well, and that a 2010 album is on the way.

18. Elbow – TBA

Very little hype surrounds this upcoming release, however it is believed to be coming early next year. Elbow are one of the most underrated acts in the world at the moment: they have put out consistently excellent records, and I’m betting that this won’t be any different.

17. LCD Soundsystem – TBA

Supposedly due in March, James Murphy’s upcoming third album will be released next year despite rumours of an LCD Soundsystem breakup. This is good news, because everybody loves LCD Soundsystem. Now, tell me why he’s coming to Australia and only playing DJ sets?

16. Patrick Wolf – The Conquerer

‘The Conquerer’ was originally intended to be part of a double album along with Patrick’s 2009 release, ‘The Bachelor’. Instead, he has divided them up and scheduled ‘The Conquerer’ for a 2010 release. If the material on ‘The Bachelor’ is anything to go by, then this is something to really look forward to. Patrick has said that this album will be more upbeat and happy than ‘The Bachelor’, so perhaps something more in line with ‘The Magic Position’ is coming, which can only be a good thing. A few songs have been debuted live, and they sound great (albeit very different from traditional Patrick Wolf), so fingers crossed for another strong album.

15. Fleet Foxes – TBA

Initially set for release this year, Fleet Foxes’ followup to their widely acclaimed debut self-titled album is now pencilled in for release in the second half of 2010. Even if I’m not a huge fan, it’s undeniably one to watch for.

14. Vampire Weekend – Contra

Vampire Weekend try way too hard. Or that’s how I see them, anyway. I think all really great music should seem effortless and natural, and Vampire Weekend just never have sounded like that to me. But, regardless, there can be no denying that this is an anticipated release.

13. MGMT – Congratulations

Say what you want, you can’t deny that ‘Oracular Spectacular’ was catchy as hell, especially the first half. Whenever I hear Kids, I can’t get it out of my head for the rest of the day. By the sounds of new songs played live, however, MGMT have done away with hooks and are trying for a more mature, complex sound. This is bad. But, of course, only time will tell.

12. The Drums – TBA (Unconfirmed)

Supposedly The Drums are busy recording their debut album, following their very successful EPs and singles. One of the buzz bands of 2009, and I hope that this will continue next year leading up to a fitting debut LP.

11. Your Twenties – TBA

Another hyped band of 2009 that will release a debut album next year which will consolidate their spot as one of the best new bands around. Predictable, but I still can’t wait.

10. Delphic – Acolyte

‘Acolyte’, Delphic’s debut album, is due to be released on the 11th of January next year. It will include the already-available songs Counterpoint and This Momentary, and it looks absolutely brilliant. It’s hard to see this one being a disappointment.

9. The Magnetic Fields – Realism

The Magnetic Fields, the main project of influential musician Stephin Merrit, had a quiet 2009, but are expected to explode again next year with the release of ‘Realism’, due January 26th. Apparently recorded without the use of synths, as with the last two Magnetic Fields albums, this should be the latest in a long line of satisfying Stephin Merritt releases. He’s even described it as his ‘folk album’, which has me very intrigued indeed.

8. Jens Lekman – TBA (Unconfirmed)

It’s impossible not to like Jens Lekman’s music, and his last album, ‘Night Falls Over Kortedala’, was one of my favourite records of 2007. It is known that Jens is recording new material, however it is anyone’s guess when the album will be released, so all we can do is hope that it will be sometime during the second half of 2010.

7. Jónsi – Go

I just don’t have it in me to not like anything this man does. ‘Go’, due March 2010, will be his first truly solo record, even though he has been the main contributor to all Sigur Rós records, as well as the 2009 Jónsi and Alex release ‘Riceboy Sleeps’. A song from ‘Go’ has already been released, Boy Lilikoi. It is simply magical; it is beautiful and impassioned and flawless. If I wasn’t already madly excited for ‘Go’, I was after hearing this song. However it is really weird to hear Jónsi sing in English (he has only done so on one Sigur Rós song, All Alright). It will be interesting to see if this will mean that Sigur Rós start recording in English, because Jónsi’s grasp of the language certainly appears to have improved drastically. Anyway, whatever the case, Boy Lilikoi is gorgeous. More of the same, please.

6.  The New Pornographers – TBA

YES, a New Pornographers record! The supergroup’s latest album was released in 2007, which seems like an eternity ago in modern music, where bands are expected to churn out quality records year-after-year. Challengers, off their latest album of the same name, is one of my favourite songs of all time, so I was very excited to hear news of a new album. I respect a band taking a bit of time to record new material, especially when most of the members have other projects going on, but it really has been too long since some New Pornographers goodness.

5. The Middle East – TBA (Unconfirmed)

This one is more speculation on my part than anything: there hasn’t been much talk of an upcoming Middle East album, but it seems likely to be released sometime next year given the amount of new songs that the band have been performing live. They would be crazy not to utilise the hype surrounding them at the moment, so long as it doesn’t mean they compromise their album. As you probably know, Blood is one of my favourite songs at the moment, and their EP is littered with other great songs such as The Darkest Side. The new songs I heard live sounded a bit different; a bit more rock n’ roll, but they were still of course brilliant. Don’t rush, but… hurry up! The wait is killing me.

4. Spoon – Transference

One of the few things music in 2009 is lacking is a Spoon album. The band are one of the most consistent acts in indie rock, constantly putting out brilliant records with seemingly little effort. Their 2007 album ‘Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga’ was predictably great, and it’s highly likely ‘Transference’, due January 26th 2010, will be just the same. Heaps of the upcoming songs have been played live, but of course sometimes with new songs this can be a poor indicator of what’s to come. They sound good though. There’s just no way this won’t be a great album.

Edit: Read my review of the album here.

3. Cloud Control – TBA

Cloud Control are one of my favourite Australian acts going around. This year has seen their release of Gold Canary, to add to a growing collection of strong and catchy singles and EPs. They easily have enough hits to put together a brilliant album, and it will be interesting to see whether they opt to include them all or not. They have played a few new songs live, such as Ghost Story and This Is What I Said, which both sounded awesome. Even if this upcoming album, due early 2010, is a compilation of already released songs plus songs played live, I wouldn’t complain. And whether there is new material or not, this should be a guaranteed hit of 2010.

Equal #1: Arcade Fire – TBA; The National – TBA

It’s a cop-out I know, but I simply cannot split my two most anticipated releases of 2010. Both bands have produced albums that are among my favourites of all time: Arcade Fire’s ‘Funeral’, and The National’s ‘Boxer’. Both bands are confirmed to be recording material for new albums, and words simply cannot describe my joy. This year hasn’t been a no-show for The National and Arcade Fire, however: they both contributed a song to the compilation album ‘Dark Was The Night’, which was produced and conceived by The National. While The National’s new album is due in Spring 2010, Arcade Fire’s new offering will supposedly be released in May 2010. The risk of course is that these new albums fall short of expectations. And, given the previous offerings of these bands, this is definitely a possibility. For me, it is hard to imagine anything that comes close to ‘Funeral’ and ‘Boxer’. But, even if the records are half of what I hope they will be, they will be stellar albums. And who knows, one (or both) could be a classic: with these bands, it’s a distinct possibility. My two favourite bands releasing albums in the same year has me very excited. All that’s left to do is to wait, and say: WORLD TOURS, PLEASE!

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3 Responses to “The 20 Most Anticipated Albums Of 2010”

  1. The Recordings of The Middle East was originally self released as an album, clocking in at 52:10 with 8 songs. They are in the studio though, not sure what it will end up as though. NO doubt it will be amazing.

    • Good point David, I was forgetting the self-released album, however what I was referring to was of course the re-release, which I consider an EP. Good to be able to confirm they are in the studio however, hopefully Rohin can recover from his bike accident as quickly as possible.
      Cheers for the comment!

  2. How are the Strokes not on this???

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