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

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Song
On Melancholy Hill
Album
Plastic Beach [Deluxe Edition] [CD/DVD]
Artist
Gorillaz
Label
Virgin
Released
2010

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national cover

2. High Violet

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

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Song
Bloodbuzz Ohio
Album
High Violet
Artist
The National
Label
4AD
Released
2010

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black keys cover

3. Brothers

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

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Song
Everlasting Light
Album
Brothers
Artist
The Black Keys
Label
Nonesuch Records
Released
2010

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broken bells cover

4. Broken Bells

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

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Song
The High Road
Album
Broken Bells
Artist
Broken Bells
Label
Sony
Released
2010

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lcd soundsystem cover

5. This Is Happening

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

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Song
All I Want
Album
This Is Happening
Artist
LCD Soundsystem
Label
Virgin
Released
2010

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vampire weekend cover

6. Contra

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

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Song
Taxi Cab
Album
Contra
Artist
Vampire Weekend
Label
XL
Released
2010

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beach house cover

7. Teen Dream

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

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Song
Zebra
Album
Teen Dream
Artist
Beach House
Label
Sub Pop Records
Released
2010

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spoon cover

9. Transference

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

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Song
I Saw the Light
Album
Transference
Artist
Spoon
Label
Merge Records
Released
2010

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sleigh bells cover

10. Treats

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

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Song
Rill Rill
Album
Treats
Artist
Sleigh Bells
Label
Mom & Pop Music
Released
2010

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local natives cover

11. Gorilla Manor

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

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Song
Camera Talk
Album
Gorilla Manor
Artist
Local Natives
Label
Frenchkiss Records
Released
2010

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yeasayer cover

12. Odd Blood

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

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Song
Ambling Alp
Album
Odd Blood
Artist
Yeasayer
Label
Secretly Canadian
Released
2010

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new pornographers cover

13. Together

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

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Song
Moves
Album
Together
Artist
The New Pornographers
Label
Matador
Released
2010

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flying lotus cover

14. Cosmogramma

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

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Song
Do the Astral Plane
Album
Cosmogramma
Artist
Flying Lotus
Label
Warp
Released
2010

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she and him cover

15. Volume Two

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

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Song
Ridin' In My Car
Album
Volume Two
Artist
She & Him
Label
Merge Records
Released
2010

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band of horses cover

16. Infinite Arms

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

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Song
Older
Album
Infinite Arms
Artist
Band of Horses
Label
Sony Music
Released
2010

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jonsi cover

17. Go

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

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Song
Animal Arithmetic
Album
Go
Artist
Jónsi
Label
XL
Released
2010

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the knife cover

18. Tomorrow, In A Year

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

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Song
Annie's Box (Alt. Vocal)
Album
Tomorrow, In A Year
Artist
The Knife
Label
Mute
Released
2010

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broken social scene

19. Forgiveness Rock Record

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

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Song
World Sick
Album
Forgiveness Rock Record
Artist
Broken Social Scene
Label
Arts & Crafts
Released
2010

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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

Purchase Featured Music

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

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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.

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