Half-Time Report: Favorite Albums of the Year (So Far)

It has been, in my opinion, a very rich and fruitful year for new music. I could come up with a very fine Top 10 or 15 list right now– and we still have six months ago. So naturally, compiling my list of favorites so far is tough; I can only imagine what kinds of agonizing decisions I’m going to have to make when it comes time for the year-end list in December.

As with my “best of the first quarter” list from earlier this year, I’m only counting albums that have already released as of the end of June 2010; thus, such excellent records from the “coming soon” department, including (but not limited to) Big Boi, Ray Lamontagne, Robert Plant, The Innocence Mission, and others, are not considered here. And speaking of that “best of the first quarter” list, let it be noted that, from that list, only two albums return for this top ten, which goes to show just how many terrific recordings have come out in the spring and early summer.

So, with no further explanation, here are the ten albums that have moved me, entertained me, rewarded me, and inspired me the most in the first half of 2010– and yes, all or most of them could very well end up on my year-end-list come December.

01. The Roots
How I Got Over
(review)

02. Elizabeth Cook
Welder
(review)

03. Anais Mitchell
Hadestown
(review)

04. Gorillaz
Plastic Beach
(review)

05. The Black Keys
Brothers
(review)

06. Robert Randolph and the Family Band
We Walk This Road
(review)

07. Trombone Shorty
Backatown
(review)

08. The Tallest Man on Earth
The Wild Hunt
(review)

09. Alejandro Escovedo
Street Songs of Love
(review)

10. Josh Ritter
So Runs the World Away
(review)

Some Honorable Mentions: Paul Weller– Wake Up the Nation; Spoon– Transference; Elizabeth Shepherd– Heavy Falls the Night; Peter Gabriel– Scratch My Back; Peter Wolf– Midnight Souvenirs; Gil Scott-Heron– I’m New Here; Mary Gauthier– The Foundling



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  1. Favorite Singles of 2010: Revisited « The Hurst Review - August 1, 2010

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