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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 12/ 2/2010

Speculation: Predicting Pitchfork's top 10 of 2010

By David Malitz and Chris Richards

pitchfork top 10Are these Pitchfork's four favorites artists of 2010?

One of our favorite December rituals is trying to predict Pitchfork’s year-end Top 10 list. They’ve made it much easier in recent years -- pretty much anyone can click through the site's Best New Music archive and see which albums earned the highest ratings.

Still, there are a few other factors to consider: (1) Pitchfork's numerous contributors each have a vote, so albums that appear on the most lists will rank highest. (2) Certain artists have gained or lost momentum over the course of the year, and that seems like it can effect their year-end score. And (3), Pitchfork appears to give bonus points to bands the site helped break.

With that in mind, here's a stab at this year's top 10.

1. Kanye West - “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”

Obviously. Kanye earned a unicorny 10.0. It's a lock.

2. Deerhunter - “Halcyon Digest”

Bradford Cox and friends are locked in a four-way tie with Big Boi, Joanna Newsom and LCD Soundsystem for 2010's second highest rating -- a 9.2 -- but this album seems likely to be on most lists.

3. Big Boi - “Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty”

Two hip-hop albums in the top three? Makes sense in year when Pitchfork's awkward embrace of the genre grew tighter than ever before. For every new Tom Breihan review, there were three more that quoted an old Tom Breihan review.

4. LCD Soundsystem - “This Is Happening”

James Murphy's swansong may have ranked lower, had he not headlined July's Pitchfork Festival.

5. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Grafitti - “Before Today”

Longtime cult favorite finally releases the album everyone can get behind.

6. Joanna Newsom - “Have One On Me”

Huge rating early in the year, but how long did it stay in rotation?

7. Flying Lotus - “Cosmogramma”

There's always one out-of-left-field pick, usually of the experimental/electronic variety.

8. Beach House - “Teen Dream”

Seems like the right spot for an album that will be on plenty of lists, but not often at the tippy top.

9. Sleigh Bells - “Treats”

This stuff sure sounded a lot better in the summer than in winter, didn't it?

10. How to Dress Well - “Love Remains”

Did anyone care about this incredibly mediocre music before Pitchfork put its stamp on it? We're guessing they'll stand by their man -- even if he is a truly wretched singer.

By David Malitz and Chris Richards  | December 2, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Speculation  | Tags:  Big Boi, Deerhunter, Joanna Newsom, Kanye West, LCD Soundsystem, Pitchfork, Sleigh Bells  
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Pretty sure Kanye has the top spot on lock, but surely Titus Andronicus' The Monitor will break the Top Ten, right?

I also think that Wavves and Best Coast also have outside shots of getting into the Top Ten since Pitchfork certainly did their part to help break them. Yes, they gave Nathan Williams the shaft last year (or was it two years ago?) and then he came back with another Best New Music nod.

Janelle Monae should be in the Top Ten but won't be.

Posted by: universaltravaler | December 2, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

no Arcade Fire?

Posted by: tylerjeffries | December 2, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Arcade Fire got an 8.4 and we predict that Pitchfork will throw their muscle behind some new blood. Same logic behind Vampire Weekend not making the top ten.

Posted by: ChrisRichards | December 2, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Much as I hate to say this, but was I the only one who thought Big Boi's album was kind of overrated? Definitely had some good tunes (Shine Blockas is one for the ages), but honestly I've barely listed to it since around the time it came out.

Kanye will be Pitchfork's number 1, beyond that I don't really know or care.

Posted by: agl132 | December 2, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

My predictions:
1) Kanye West
2) Deerhunter
3) LCD Soundsystem
4) Beach House
5) Big Boi
6) Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
7) The National
8) Joanna Newsom
9) Flying Lotus
10) Titus Andronicus
11) Sleigh Bells
12) How To Dress Well
13) The Walkmen
14) Arcade Fire
15) No Age
16) Vampire Weekend
17) Das Racist
18) Janelle Monae
19) Tame Impala
20) The Tallest Man On Earth

Posted by: fangb | December 2, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

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