Top Music Picks – 2010

OK, so it is a little late to be coming out with my top music picks for 2010.  Four weeks ago, audiophiles everywhere were inundated with a myriad of “best of” lists.  I came to a saturation point as I was perusing some of  these a few weeks ago, and decided to put off my list until the musical storm cleared.  There is no such thing as an “objective” best of list…although some hold more authority than others.  I claim no such objectivity or authority.  With that said, here are what I considered to have both the best “art value” and the albums that I actually listened too the most over the course of 2010.  Musical highlights in 2010 also included the chance to catch The National, Sufjan, Buddy Miller, and Patti Griffin live in concert.

Here are a few tasty morsels to check out.  Click on the highlighted text below for full samples and other goodies.  I would love to hear some of your favorites as well.  Click on the SoundCloud widget at the bottom of this page to share your tracks with me.

Here’s to being behind the times.  Enjoy!

Most Listens

1 High Violet – The National
2 Elephants – Aaron Strumpel
3 Highway Rider – Brad Meldau
4 Age of Adz – Sufjan Stevens
5 Lighten our Darkness – John Rutter with the Cambridge Singers

Top 5 Alternative/Folk/Rock/Pop

1 High Violet – The National
2 Age of Adz – Sufjan Stevens
3 Red Balloon EP – Sandra McCracken
4 Magnetic North – Aqualung
5 Clinging to a Scheme – The Radio Dept.

Top 5 Christian/Gospel

1 Aaron Strumpel – Elephants
2 The Welcome Wagon – Welcome to the Welcome Wagon
3 Sandra McCracken – In Feast or Fallow
4 City Life Boston – Prelude
5 Patty Griffin – Downtown Church

Top 5 Classical/Alt-Classical

1 Valintin Silverstrov – Sacred Works
2 Angèle Dubeau and La Pieta – Arvo Part: A Portrait
3 Victoire – Cathedral City
4  John Rutter and the Cambridge Singers – Lighten Our Darkness
5  Brooklyn Rider – Dominant Curve

Top 4 Jazz

1 Brad Meldau – Highway Rider
2 Pat Methany – Orchestrion
3 Nels Cline Singers – Initiate
4 Geri Allen – Flying Toward the Sound

Best Pop Track

Peripheral Visionaries-Young Galaxy

Peripheral Visionaries by pmajorins

Best Live Moment

And finally…Of the 10-12 live shows I attended in 2010 this was my favorite concert moment. I am not easily reduced to tears at a live show, but this was one of those moments. Buddy Miller closing his set at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco. After the band left the stage Buddy walked out armed with his acoustic guitar. The weather was cold. The crowd was vast and drunk. Then, thanks to this encore, they left disoriented. Kingdom come.