I spent the better half of 2010 trying to mesh my love of melodic pop with my innate music snobbery. For years I sought out slower, more acoustic music that's heavy on lyrical content and saved the fun stuff for running or working out, but this year I went for more danceable stuff. I do have a few new favorite"serious" albums of 2010:
Antony and the Johnson's Swanlights was almost cheery compared to the Mercury Prize winning I Am A Bird Now, and last year's The Crying Light, and lacks a standout track, but I'm happy when there's a new Antony record out. And the songwriting and locals are as gorgeous as ever. Deerhunter's Halcyon Digest surprised the hell out of me, if only because I thought I'd hung up my indie boots long ago. Shades of Guided By Voices, Neutral Milk Hotel, and My Bloody Valentine dominate. Mary Gauthier's The Foundling chronicles her meeting with her birth mother, and was one of the most moving, personal albums released this year.