It's the blog post you've been waiting for all year: Music Mom's Favorites! While I should be planning the menu for Christmas dinner for 16, it seems far easier and more enjoyable to compile my favorite songs, albums and new artists of 2010. I was going to drag this out into several posts, but then I realized that there are a million other bloggers- not to mention actual journalists and music critics- doing the same thing, so I condensed it to one. Look no further; this is where you will find what the commoner would enjoy, not what the swanky music critic appreciates, although there may be some overlap as I consider myself an honorary professional in the field. (For a list of my favorite videos of 2010, see my post from last week)
I'm starting with my favorite new discoveries of 2010, which means that these artists were not on my iPod before this year. Here they are in alphabetical order so no one has an advantage:
1. The Black Keys - If you have any sort of blues bent at all, you will like this duo.
2. Cee Lo Green - A tiny bit of cheating since I did have Gnarls Barkley on my iPod, but Cee Lo himself was new. I absolutely love his funky R&B vibe.
3. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - I happened upon Grace when I noticed her album in the top 10 on iTunes at one point. I had never heard of her and took a chance. She sings with a lot of heart and has a diverse sound from one song to the next
4. Mavis Staples - How embarrassing that she is new to my iPod and she's a 70 year old Grammy Lifetime Achievement winner. I'm so sorry, Mavis.
5. The New Pornographers - This is my favorite group that I can't get anyone to listen to. I swear it's the band's name, and I was also guilty of discriminating- until I heard them.
6. Nicki Minaj - Nicki is definitely an up-and-comer. She is wacky enough to keep some interesting music coming and talented enough that we'll want to listen to it.
I'm keeping the Best Of Albums section pretty short, partly because it's a tiny bit unusual to really like an album start to finish as opposed to a handful of songs and partly because I cannot afford to listen to absolutely every album that comes out. Here are my top 7 (isn't everyone putting out their Top 7 albums of the year?). Again, they're in no particular order:
1. Congratulations - MGMT
2. Contra - Vampire Weekend
3. The Lady Killer - Cee Lo Green
4. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West
5. The Suburbs - Arcade Fire
6. Together - The New Pornographers
7. You Are Not Alone - Mavis Staples
Finally, my top 18 songs of the year. These are the ones that stood out from the beginning and I liked even more as time went on. I won't rank them because of course you'll want to buy all of them anyway.
1. "Tightrope" - Janelle Monáe
2. "Birthday" - Kings of Leon
3. "Someone's Missing" - MGMT
4. "Holiday" - Vampire Weekend
5. "Dear God 2.0" - The Roots
6. "Hard Enough" - Brandon Flowers
7. "Tiny Light" - Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
8. "Bright Lights Bigger City" - Cee Lo Green
9. "Power" - Kanye West
10. "Last Chance" - Nicki Minaj and Natasha Bedingfield
11. "Someday (We'll Be Together)" - Bruce Springsteeen
12. "Sanford & Son" - T.I., B.o.B, Prince Charlez and Mohombi
13. "Little Lion Man" - Mumford & Sons
14. "Deep Blue" - Arcade Fire
15. "My Shepherd" - The New Pornographers
16. "Shine ("Waiting for 'Superman'" version)" - John Legend and The Roots
17. "You Are Not Alone" - Mavis Staples
18. "Life is Better" - Q-Tip featuring Norah Jones
Blessings to you and your family this holiday season and wishing everyone high quality music in 2011!