Hey folks, I’ll be taking tomorrow off from posting because I intend to stuff myself silly with Christmas-related goodies (many of which will very likely contain alcohol), and I haven’t had the opportunity to build up my usual backlog of posts that I can fall back on when I’m lazy/stuffed/drunk. So to you Popblerd! readers who celebrate Christmas, I wish you a safe and joyous holiday. To those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas, enjoy your Chinese food and Tron: Legacy. I hear it’s the bomb!
In case you missed ‘em:
Now, moving on with the countdown (in Casey Kasem voice):
25. Sade, Soldier of Love (Epic)
First off, how is it that Sade Adu still looks as good as she did 25 years ago? Second, how is it that Adu and her namesake band can take a decade off from recording albums, come back, and sound like they’ve never missed a beat? Soldier of Love is one of those albums that doesn’t require an intense listen to “get”, it’s treasures are subtle, but immediate. It was also the very first album I wrote a post about for this site. I just hope they don’t take another 10 years to record again.
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24. Daniel Merriweather, Love & War (J)
I’m kinda cheating here. I first heard Love & War last year, and purchased it on import, not realizing that it was gonna be scheduled for U.S. release. Then, in January, it showed up on our shores, and although it wasn’t a hit (not to say it shouldn’t have been, obviously), those of us Yanks who picked it up got a lesson in blue-eyed soul from an Aussie who proved himself to be a student of classic soul men from Redding to Jackson. Consider Love & War to be the male version of Amy Winehouse’s classic Back to Black, without the car-crash effect that Wino’s music has.
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23. Crowded House, Intriguer (Fantasy)
Crowded House’s comeback album, Time on Earth, was something of a disappointment to my ears upon first listen: merely good instead of amazing (as most albums that anyone from the Finn family participates in tend to be). Maybe it was just Neil Finn getting his feet wet after being away from the Crowded House dynamic for so long. At any rate, Intriguer found the band clicking on all cylinders again. The haunting “Either Side of the World” is one of my favorite non-single tracks of the year, and the remainder of the album is no slouch, either. My biggest regret of the year-not seeing them in concert, even though I had the opportunity to. What was I thinking?
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22. Kings of Leon, Come Around Sundown (RCA)
When not getting laughed at for being prima donnas (hey, a bird shit in Cyndi Lauper’s mouth while she was performing and she just kept on going), Kings of Leon were busy crafting a follow-up to Only by the Night, their Grammy-winning pop breakthrough. Would their next effort go far left and be uber-experimental? Would it be a sellout move designed to cement their status as kings of American rock radio? Thankfully, Come Around Sundown did neither of those things. It was a solid album very much in line with the rest of KoL’s catalog. Sure, the production might be a little cleaner, but that’s small potatoes when you consider how well-written and performed the songs are-as they always have been.
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21. Meth, Ghost and Rae, Wu-Massacre (Def Jam)
The three most high-profile members of the mercurial Wu-Tang Clan got together for Wu-Massacre and wound up with the most solid Wu-related effort since Ghost’s Fishscale half a decade ago (I feel like had Ghost’s Apollo Kids hadn’t come out just a couple of days ago, it would have made this list as well). Tony Starks is as brilliant as ever, Rae continues the career renaissance that began with Only Built for Cuban Linx 2, and they gave Meth enough of a kick in the ass that he responded with his best rhymes in damn near a decade. I jump on and off the Wu train with regularity, but the Clan’s work during 2010 has me back on that train with a vengeance!
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