My turn! These are firmly favourites, as opposed to "the best", and I'm sure there's a fair few that might make you, dear reader, think "huh?!", but whateverrrrr.
Just missed out:
Beck - Modern Guilt
She & Him - Volume One
Late of the Pier - Fantasy Black Channel
Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common Life
Sigur Ros - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
Here's my top 10. Many, most, have been written about at length before, some on these very pages this very day by Joe. So I'm not gonna talk about all of them. Just some of them.
10. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
9. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend - fun fun fun bouncy fun
8. Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - Cardinology - yeah, so you probably didn't expect this, you probably don't think it's that good, maybe it's not the bestest album ever, i mean it's probably one of his weaker albums to be fair. but i like it. a lot. and i've listened to it a lot. both of which are things which feed into each other and make me listen to/like it more. especially lyrically - especially "cobwebs" and "stop" and "crossed out name". and there's "magick", and two-and-a-half minute radio pop-rock thing which is pleasing. and i saw them live, which obviously helps. so yeah. i like it. a lot.
7. Kanye West - 808's & Heartbreak - well obviously this is kinda divisive, but i figured that 'divisive' would mean that some people would love it, and it would get on a fair few year-end lists. but it doesn't seem to have done. UNTIL NOWWW!!! umm, yeah - well i just admire anyone who can completely and utterly change their sound, even/especially if that new sound is one that they actually CAN'T DO. coz kanye totally can't sing. but that doesn't mean that the album doesn't work. it has really good songs. "sung" more than adequately. period. a'rite?
6. Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid
5. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
4. Mystery Jets - Twenty One - it's happy and real and unpretentious and young and unashamed and exuberant and eighties and pop and sad and beautiful and summery and happy. they were a highlight of glastonbury, above all because they looked like they were having a brilliant time on stage. enthusiasm is infectious. the entire crowd seemed to know all the songs. unsung heroes. or sung quite a lot in my room. in bad falsetto on "flakes" and "behind the bunhouse", the latter a song so embedded in my head that i always end up calling nearby favourite pub the bun shop 'the bunhouse'. ah well.
3. Lightspeed Champion - Falling Under The Lavender Bridge - again with the kanye praise - this couldn't be more different to test icicles. and dev has left behind his old proto-nu-rave identity much more successfully than kanye did his former graduating rapper. not that test-icicles sold a million copies of their album in the first week. imagine if they did... aaaanyway, back to reality - another album that feels to me unashamedly young, another band that i've been really happy when watching live. a soundtrack to my life, complete with lyrics that i may have on occasion taken as my own and projected my own life on to. also, he has a really really good blog.
2. TV on the Radio - Dear Science
1. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive - Like the other albums except better. Strong melodies, varied instrumentation, think-making lyrics. and an ecstatic live show back in july. this was my summer album, my summer-in-America album, my constructive summer album. A moment: on the train from LA to San Jose, after four weeks travelling alone, from Montreal in the North to Monterrey in the South, via New York, Nashville, Austin and others - I put on Stay Positive: "We're gonna build something this summer". I totally did. Y'know, in a metaphorical sense. Unashamed surrender to self-satisfied clichedom. Whatever. Stay positive.
And here's a load of other albums I liked, in lower case coz i was feeling lazy:
nick cave - dig!!! lazarus, dig!!!
lykke li - youth novels
coldplay - viva la vida...
scarlett johansson - anywhere i lay my head - am i supposed to like this or not? oh, the dilemma. whatever. i like it.
fleet foxes - fleet foxes
laura marling - alas, i cannot swim
kings of leon - only by the night ok, sliiiiightly disappointing due to unrealistic expectations, but still. song for song, it surpasses most of the albums here. apart from the high school musical 3 soundtrack.
weezer - weezer (the red album) whatever, i liked it. it was fun.
girl talk - feed the animals
high school musical 3 OST don't you dare dispute this. seriously. me and my army of twelve-year-old girls will TAKE YOU DOWN. don't you dare ask why i have an army of twelve-year-old girls either.
ben folds - way to normal just, like, my opinion, man, but i kinda preferred the fake leak. does that make me a pretentious and bad person?
bloc party - intimacy
flight of the conchords - flight of the conchords
conor oberst - conor oberst
dr horrible's sing-along blog OST (joss whedon et al) - this counts, of course it counts, why shouldn't it count?
noah and the whale - peaceful the world lays me down
spiritualized - songs in A&E
raconteurs - consolers of the lonely
mgmt - oracular spectacular
last shadow puppets - the age of the understatement
santogold - santogold
hot chip - made in the dark