Best of 2010

Killian Laher writes.

Top 5 albums

#1. The National – High Violet
Not an original choice. But unignorable. Any doubts were dispelled by an incendiary live show. A collection of songs which on paper shouldn’t instill euphoria but actually do.

#2. Sun Kil Moon – Admiral Fell Promises
An austere collection of icy finger picking, perfect for wintry mornings.

#3. Lloyd Cole – Broken Record
The comeback of the year. Edge is gone, but an addictively relaxed collection of country-rock.

#4. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan – Hawk
Look past the dull title to another strong chapter in this pair’s collaboration.

#5. Neil Young – Le Noise
Who’d have thought that this feedback drenched solo album would be a return to form for Neil Young? Even when the noise is off for a track or 2, it works.

Top 5 singles:

#1. The Twilight Sad – The Wrong Car
An epic from Scottish noisemakers Twilight Sad, the Middle Eastern vibe might point the way to next year’s album?

#2. And So I Watch You From Afar – Straight Through The Sun
If this is anything to go by, the next album from the North’s finest will smash through new boundaries.

#3. The National – Terrible Love
A great way to open the album of the year…

#4. Sun Kil Moon – Australian Winter
Doomy guitar picking. Awesome.

#5. Lloyd Cole – Writer’s Retreat
The catchiest good tune of the year. Bar none.

Top 5 gigs:

#1. The National – Olympia
Bit of a recurring theme here. I swear I don’t work for them. Thankfully they didn’t make a film!

#2. FMC – And So I Watch You From Afar/Jape/Fionn Regan – Whelans
The best value gig of the year, and in ASIWYFA and Jape, 2 vital Irish live bands.

#3. Peter Broderick – Pavilion, Cork
Startlingly talented multi-instrumentalist can not only record great music, but reproduce it live.

#4. Mark Lanegan – Academy
Return visit in August shades it for one of the best rock voices in the business.

#5. Stone Temple Pilots – Olympia
A guilty pleasure. But a damn good one.

Top 5 films:

#1. The Road
Bleak and wonderful. Almost as good as the book. And perfectly timed with the weather, then and now.

#2. White Material
Confusing and at times a hard watch but another intriguing tale from director Claire Denis.

#3. Inception
Probably the most enjoyable movie of the bunch. Entertaining and confusing in equal measures. And I didn’t hate Leonardo Di Caprio.

#4. Far North
Very bleak, beautifully shot with a genuinely disturbing ending.

#5. Micmacs
More lunacy from diretor Jeunet. Virtually indescribable.

Honourable mention should also go to Tindersticks, Mogwai and Bill Callahan. Just because.

There is one comment

  1. Dave

    Nice list. I agree with most of your Best of, some real quality there but mst disagree with Micmacs – awful tired Jeunet twaddle. Has he finished with those turn of the century deep sea water helmets yet? Then there’s the Young’s album. Was it really that good? Or is it becasue it’s Young and Lanois. Maybe some interesting songs there, but also some of his most awkward lyrics.

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