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Taking sides: Top five albums of 2010 -- so far

sadeSade's "Soldier of Love" proved to be well worth the wait.

The year is half over so it seems like a good time to take stock of 2010's musical bounty to date with by picking our top five albums so far. What have we been digging - much-hyped debuts (Drake, Sleigh Bells), much-hyped finales (LCD Soundsystem), long-awaited comebacks (Sade)?

Take a look at our favorites after the jump and share your best-of-2010-so-far in the comments.

Chris Richards

1. Sade, "Soldier of Love"
As our digital metabolism continues to increase, pop music can feel more and more fleeting. But this album's power lies in its ability to unpack new pleasures with each listen.

2. Beach House, "Teen Dream"
As our digital metabolism continues to increase, pop music can feel more and more fleeting. But this album's power lies in its ability to unpack new pleasures with each listen. It just isn't quite as good as Sade's.

3. The Soft Pack, "The Soft Pack"
Ask me how many times I've thrashed around my bedroom barking along with the Soft Pack's hardscrabble punk tunes. I will say "zero" and I will be totally lying.

4. Choc Quib Town, "Oro"
Genre-mashing Colombian party-starters make the planet feel smaller and bigger at the same time.

5. [This is the part where I cop out and suggest an eight-way tie for fifth place that includes wonderful recordings from Drake, LCD Soundsystem, Yelawolf, Dierks Bentley, Erykah Badu, Spoon, The-Dream and Gucci Mane. I still have six months to figure this out, right?]

David Malitz

1. LCD Soundsystem, "This Is Happening"
I don't know how he did it again. But he did it again.

2. Titus Andronicus, "The Monitor"
Heart-on-sleeve, barnstorming rock-and-roll epics, fantastically messy sprints through punk, pub and good old New Jersey arena rock. The sound of a man (Patrick Stickles) shouting his lungs out, spilling his guts, and turning his body inside out in other ways.

3. Harlem, "Hippies"
Sixteen nuggets of hip-shaking garage-pop, each one of them loose, limber, swinging and with a chorus that makes you want to sing into a microphone with someone else.

4. Charlotte Gainsbourg - "IRM"
Beck's best work since the '90s? I say yes. The French actress's icy, breathy speak-sing and Beck's minimalist arrangements hit that perfect retro-futurist sweet spot.

5. Drunkdriver, "Drunkdriver"
A few weeks ago a co-worker asked to borrow an album to help her stay awake. I gave her this CD and said, "This will absolutely keep you awake, but it will also give you nightmares when you fall asleep."

Allison Stewart

1. Jonsi, "Go"
Unmissable. And this is from someone who usually wants to punch Sigur Ros in the face.

2. Laura Marling, "I Speak Because I Can"
She's fantastic-the lack of blog heat around her makes me sad.

3. Sleigh Bells, "Treats"
I should be tired of it. But I'm not tired of it.

4. The Black Keys, "Brothers"
You know those records where the band tries to pretend it's a big step forward when really it sounds exactly like all their other records but that's okay because all their other records were really good? It's one of those.

5. Yelawolf, "Trunk Muzik"
Can't tell if this is a guilty pleasure or not. I'm pretty sure it is.

By Chris Richards  |  July 1, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Taking sides  | Tags: Beach House, Black Keys, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Choc Quib Town, Drunkdriver, Harlem, Jonsi, LCD Soundsystem, Laura Marling, Sade, Sleigh Bells, The Soft Pack, Titus Andronicus, Yelawolf  
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Delta Spirit, "History From Below"

Posted by: dnmartin | July 1, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Gonjasufi - A Sufi and a Killer

Posted by: agl132 | July 1, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

No Nas and Damian anywhere?

Posted by: tylerjeffries | July 1, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Nas/Damian is a cool album, but probably won't make my top ten. Is it your number one so far?

Posted by: ChrisRichards | July 1, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Free Energy - "Stuck On Nothing"
Power-Pop rarely gets any better than this. Sleigh Bells can only wish they were this catchy.
High On Fire - "Snakes For The Divine"
Best Metal disc of 2010. Sleigh Bells can only wish they were this loud.
Titus Andronicus - "The Monitor"
Punk/Concept album that somehow manages not to sink under the weight of its own design, whilst still rocking your face off. Sleigh Bells can only wish they had a gimmick this good.
Heavy - "The House That Dirt Built"
Garage/Funk amalgamation that never fails to keep ya movin'. Sleigh Bells can only wish they could get butts shakin' like this.
Earl Greyhound - "Suspicious Package"
Retro Rock trio updates the tired "Power Trio" formula into something new and modern while still acknowledging their '70s predecessors. Sleigh Bells can only wish they were this good at incorporation....

Posted by: skaboom | July 2, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Bravo, well done, skaboom. Great comment - see you at the Titus/Free Energy show in the fall.

Posted by: DavidMalitz | July 2, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

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