Listeners Pick 2010's Best Music (So Far)

photo of The National by Keith Klenowski i i
photo of The National by Keith Klenowski

NPR listeners cast thousands of votes for the year's best music to date and kept the race tight. In the end, Gorillaz edged out every other artist with the sprawling and inspired album Plastic Beach to take the No. 1 spot. The National, The Black Keys, Broken Bells and LCD Soundsystem rounded out the Top 5.

Regardless of how the votes fell, it was an exciting chance to pause and look back on what an incredible year it's been for music so far, to rediscover a few of our favorites, and to spend time with some of the albums and artists we may have missed.

NPR Listener's Pick 2010's Best Music (So Far)

gorillaz cover

1. Plastic Beach

  • Artist: Gorillaz
  • Album: Plastic Beach [Deluxe Edition] [CD/DVD]
  • Song: On Melancholy Hill
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "On Melancholy Hill"
  • Album: Plastic Beach [Deluxe Edition] [CD/DVD]
  • Artist: Gorillaz
  • Label: Virgin
  • Released: 2010
 
national cover

2. High Violet

  • Artist: The National
  • Album: High Violet
  • Song: Bloodbuzz Ohio
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Bloodbuzz Ohio"
  • Album: High Violet
  • Artist: The National
  • Label: 4AD
  • Released: 2010
 
black keys cover

3. Brothers

  • Artist: The Black Keys
  • Album: Brothers
  • Song: Everlasting Light
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Everlasting Light"
  • Album: Brothers
  • Artist: The Black Keys
  • Label: Nonesuch Records
  • Released: 2010
 
broken bells cover

4. Broken Bells

  • Artist: Broken Bells
  • Album: Broken Bells
  • Song: The High Road
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "The High Road"
  • Album: Broken Bells
  • Artist: Broken Bells
  • Label: Sony
  • Released: 2010
 
lcd soundsystem cover

5. This Is Happening

  • Artist: LCD Soundsystem
  • Album: This Is Happening
  • Song: All I Want
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "All I Want"
  • Album: This Is Happening
  • Artist: LCD Soundsystem
  • Label: Virgin
  • Released: 2010
 
vampire weekend cover

6. Contra

  • Artist: Vampire Weekend
  • Album: Contra
  • Song: Taxi Cab
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Taxi Cab"
  • Album: Contra
  • Artist: Vampire Weekend
  • Label: XL
  • Released: 2010
 
beach house cover

7. Teen Dream

  • Artist: Beach House
  • Album: Teen Dream
  • Song: Zebra
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Zebra"
  • Album: Teen Dream
  • Artist: Beach House
  • Label: Sub Pop Records
  • Released: 2010
 
spoon cover

9. Transference

  • Artist: Spoon
  • Album: Transference
  • Song: I Saw the Light
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "I Saw the Light"
  • Album: Transference
  • Artist: Spoon
  • Label: Merge Records
  • Released: 2010
 
sleigh bells cover

10. Treats

  • Artist: Sleigh Bells
  • Album: Treats
  • Song: Rill Rill
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Rill Rill"
  • Album: Treats
  • Artist: Sleigh Bells
  • Label: Mom & Pop Music
  • Released: 2010
 
local natives cover

11. Gorilla Manor

  • Artist: Local Natives
  • Album: Gorilla Manor
  • Song: Camera Talk
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Camera Talk"
  • Album: Gorilla Manor
  • Artist: Local Natives
  • Label: Frenchkiss Records
  • Released: 2010
 
yeasayer cover

12. Odd Blood

  • Artist: Yeasayer
  • Album: Odd Blood
  • Song: Ambling Alp
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Ambling Alp"
  • Album: Odd Blood
  • Artist: Yeasayer
  • Label: Secretly Canadian
  • Released: 2010
 
new pornographers cover

13. Together

  • Artist: The New Pornographers
  • Album: Together
  • Song: Moves
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Moves"
  • Album: Together
  • Artist: The New Pornographers
  • Label: Matador
  • Released: 2010
 
flying lotus cover

14. Cosmogramma

  • Artist: Flying Lotus
  • Album: Cosmogramma
  • Song: Do the Astral Plane
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Do the Astral Plane"
  • Album: Cosmogramma
  • Artist: Flying Lotus
  • Label: Warp
  • Released: 2010
 
she and him cover

15. Volume Two

  • Artist: She & Him
  • Album: Volume Two
  • Song: Ridin' In My Car
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Ridin' In My Car"
  • Album: Volume Two
  • Artist: She & Him
  • Label: Merge Records
  • Released: 2010
 
band of horses cover

16. Infinite Arms

  • Artist: Band of Horses
  • Album: Infinite Arms
  • Song: Older
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Older"
  • Album: Infinite Arms
  • Artist: Band of Horses
  • Label: Sony Music
  • Released: 2010
 
jonsi cover

17. Go

  • Artist: Jónsi
  • Album: Go
  • Song: Animal Arithmetic
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Animal Arithmetic"
  • Album: Go
  • Artist: Jónsi
  • Label: XL
  • Released: 2010
 
the knife cover

18. Tomorrow, In A Year

  • Artist: The Knife
  • Album: Tomorrow, In A Year
  • Song: Annie's Box (Alt. Vocal)
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Annie's Box (Alt. Vocal)"
  • Album: Tomorrow, In A Year
  • Artist: The Knife
  • Label: Mute
  • Released: 2010
 
broken social scene

19. Forgiveness Rock Record

  • Artist: Broken Social Scene
  • Album: Forgiveness Rock Record
  • Song: World Sick
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "World Sick"
  • Album: Forgiveness Rock Record
  • Artist: Broken Social Scene
  • Label: Arts & Crafts
  • Released: 2010
 
sharon jones and the dap kings cover

20. I Learned the Hard Way

  • Artist: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
  • Album: I Learned the Hard Way
  • Song: Money
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Money"
  • Album: I Learned the Hard Way
  • Artist: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
  • Label: Daptone Records
  • Released: 2010
 

About All Songs Considered

Download this show in the All Songs Considered podcast.

Sign up for the All Songs Considered newsletter and we'll tell you when new music features are available on the site.

Register with the NPR.org community to join in our discussions.

Contact us with your questions and comments.

Below are the Top 20 albums of 2010 (so far), as selected by NPR listeners.

You can see and download a full list of the top 50 albums at the All Songs Considered blog.

Featured Artist

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.