New Music Mix: Best of the Best for 2010

To end the year right, we over
at felt the need to recap some of the highlights in music this past
year, the best of the best, so to speak. 2010 has been quite the year in music,
for both gay male musicians, as well as for exciting new talent. Artists like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Kanye West released some of their best
work to date. Newcomers like Florence +
the Machine
and Janelle Monaé
rose to international fame. Michael
got in on the action with his first (of many, I presume) posthumous
albums and Ricky Martin finally came

Let’s dive in on a recap of the
highlights of 2010, with 10 Gay Male Artists who truly shined in 2010, a list of
Top 40 songs every gay man needs to have on his iPod, and the Top 10 Albums of
this excellent year in music history

10 Gay Male Artists Who Shined in 2010

2010 has been quite the year
for gay male artists, many of which took this year to officially declare themselves
as openly gay men.

Some of these men sparked a tad
bit of controversy in the media; an environment that seems it’s not yet quite
sure how to handle the overabundance of openly gay public figures, while others
took 2010 as the year to release some of their finest work to date.

we take a look at ten openly gay male artists who excelled in 2010.


Go is the debut studio
album by Jónsi, the
Icelandic frontman for the band Sigur
Rós. 2010 found Jónsi embarking on a worldwide tour of his critically
acclaimed project, which was produced in part by his boyfriend Alex Somers. Go received mostly positive reviews across the board from critics
and rose to number twenty-three on the Billboard 200 Chart in the US. His lead
single “Go Do” features Jónsi’s
falsetto styling with fluttering flutes and soaring electronics, accompanied by
a video that MTV describes as having a “natural weirdness.”

2. Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend)

Openly gay producer,
multi-instrumentalist and New York based indie rock band Vampire Weekend member Rostam
had much to celebrate this year. In February Batmanglij publicly
came out to OUT Magazine as his band’s sophomore album Contra became their first album to reach number one on the
Billboard 200. The album spawned the hits “Horchata,” “Cousins,” and the aptly
titled “I Think UR a Contra.” In a year of highlights for this relatively new
indie group, they found themselves in a $2 million lawsuit brought on by the
girl pictured on the front cover of their album (apparently they used the photo
without her permission).


2010 was certainly a
remarkable year for American Idol runner-up
Adam Lambert
. His 2009-released debut album For Your Entertainment continued its reign in the pop music arena
with hits “If I Had You” and “Whataya Want From Me” ruling the radio airwave;
the latter garnering the new artist a Grammy nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal
Performance. 2010 sparked the first official solo concert for Lambert titled
Glam Nation. In the fall Lambert took his tour international and sparked
controversy in Malaysia, due to their anti-homosexuality stance. Lambert
continued his fight for equality as one of only a few openly gay male artists
to launch their career on a major music label. In December Lambert released an
acoustic EP titled Acoustic Live!,
recorded during the artist’s international travels.

Elton John

In June 2010 Sir Elton John performed at the fourth
wedding of the conservative commentator Rush
for a reported $1 million, sparking considerable controversy due
to Limbaugh’s opposition to gay marriage. John claims his appearance at
Limbaugh’s wedding is a step in the right direction towards getting Limbaugh on
the side of equality. John again sparked controversy when he defied an artist boycott
in Arizona over the state’s immigration law. In response John stated: “We are
all very pleased to be playing in Arizona. I have read that some of the artists
won’t come here. They are f*ckwits! Let’s face it: I still play in California,
and as a gay man I have no legal rights whatsoever. So what’s the f*ck with
these people?” On October 25th, 2010 with American musician and
songwriter Leon Russell, John
released his thirtieth studio album, The
, which debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200, John’s highest
charting studio album since his 1976 album Blue
The track “If It Wasn’t for Bad” was nominated for a Grammy for Best
Pop Collaboration With Vocals.

Kele Okereke

2010 marked two landmark
events for indie rock band Bloc Party
lead singer Kele Okereke: he
released his debut solo album The Boxer produced
by XXXChange, and after years of dodging the question, Okereke finally publicly
came out in the March issue of Butt magazine, followed closely by a cover story
to the June issue of Attitude magazine. Okereke was named the Sexiest Out Gay
Male Artist by music website LP33. His debut album took a shift towards a more
mainstream club sound, perhaps influenced by his coming out. The album received
considerable favorable reviews from critics. His first single was the club
friendly “Tenderoni,” followed by “Everything You Wanted” and “On the Lam.”

Boy George

After being released
early from prison for the crime of imprisoning a male escort, which
subsequently kept him from participating in the final season of the UK’s
Celebrity Big Brother, Boy George
needed a break. And 2010 was just that for the former Culture Club member. On October 28, George finally released his
first studio album in eight years, the long-awaited Ordinary Alien, produced by longtime dance partner Kinky Rowland. The lead single “Amazing
Grace” features Portuguese pop star Ana
and is easily one of the best dance songs of the year. Another
victory for George occurred when the BBC’s Radio 1 lifted a longtime ban from
playing his music. His song “Somebody To
Love Me,” off Mark Ronson’s Record Collection, was met with critical

Scissor Sisters

2010 marked the release
of the third studio album, Night Work, by
American rock band Scissor Sisters,
consisting of openly gay members Jake
, Babydaddy and Del Marquis. The album spawned three
hit singles for the group: “Fire With Fire,” “Invisible Light” and “Any Which
Way.” Produced by Stuart Price (Madonna, The Killers, Kylie Minogue)
Night Work debuted at number eighteen
on the Billboard 200 and number two on the UK Albums Chart. The group embarked
on a worldwide tour called The Night Work Tour, and lucky viewers at
Glastonbury got to catch a duet with Kylie Minogue on the track “Any Which

Joe McElderry

Joe McElderry, winner of the sixth season of the UK’s
The X-Factor, started out the year joining a litany of megastars including Miley Cyrus, Leona Lewis, Rod Stewart,
Mariah Carey, Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue
on a cover of R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” as a charity
single for the victims of the Haitian Earthquake. In July, on his official
website, McElderry publicly came out, shortly after his Twitter account was
hacked and messages were posted alluding to his sexuality. In October, he
released his debut album Wide Awake with
the lead single “Ambitions”, a cover of the Norwegian band Donkeyboy’s. His follow up single “Someone Wake Me Up”, was
featured on the soundtrack for Disney’s The
Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
. 2010 marks the year
that the UK’s gay rights group Stonewall named McElderry as a gay role model.

Matt Morris

On the January 22nd
charity telethon Hope For Haiti Now, Matt
performed alongside fellow Mickey Mouse Club member Justin Timberlake a cover of Canadian
singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen’s
“Hallelujah.” The song shot to number 1 on the iTunes music charts and number
13 on the Billboard Hot 100. That same month Morris released his album When Everything Breaks Open on
Timberlake’s Tennman Records. The album gained wide distribution and
considerable praise, for the songwriter behind Christina Aguilera’s hit “Can’t Hold Us Down” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Miss Independent.”
2010 also marks the one-year anniversary for Morris and his husband whom he
married in California during the brief time same-sex marriage was legalized.

10. Ricky Martin

Living most of his life
as a closeted gay man, 2010 was quite the reversal for Puerto Rican superstar Ricky Martin. On March 29th,
2010, after years of speculation Martin decided to publicly come out in a post
on his official web site stating “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate
homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.” During his appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Martin announced
that he is in a relationship, though he has chosen to protect his boyfriend
from the overwhelming affects of being in the spotlight. On Larry King Live, Martin expressed his
support for same-sex marriage, adding that if he had known how good it was
going to make him feel, he would have come out ten years ago. On November 2nd,
Martin released his autobiography Me, which
became a New York Times Best Seller, and amidst all his press appearances
publicly campaigning gay rights issues, Martin found time to release a single
“The Best Thing About Me Is You,” a duet with Joss Stone.


2010 Gay Man’s Must Have Playlist

The following list by no means
happens to be the exhaustive list of the best songs of the year, but it does
entail a list of songs, that as a gay man, I feel my fellow gay man must
have on their iPod. These were my reflective favorite songs of the past year,
those “go-to songs” in a year filled with highs and lows. Hopefully you’ll
discover a new favorite in this mix…. This 2010 Gay Man’s Must Have Mixtape.

Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine

Florence + the Machine

– “Cosmic Love” tie
Heavy In Your Arms

This has been quite the
year for Ms. Florence Welch. After
her performance on the MTV Video Music Awards, her band Florence + the Machine became the most Googled and Tweeted artist
for a day, rocketing her very excellent debut album Lungs to No 2 on the iTunes Album Chart and her single “Dog Days
Are Over” to No 9. While “Dog Days are
Over” is a fun upbeat track, I love when Florence goes darker and her best
work, in my opinion, are two such darker singles released this year. “Cosmic
Love”, the sixth single from Lungs
and “Heavy In Your Arms” from The Twilight Eclipse Soundtrack are both so good
they tie for our best songs of 2010.

Taio Cruz– “Dynamite

Britain’s own Taio Cruz,
whose charm and sex appeal is easily comparable to Usher, broke onto the scene this year with his hit “Break Your
Heart.” But it was his follow up smash single “Dynamite” that blew up becoming
the unofficial “song of the summer,” proving Mr. Cruz is more than a one-hit
wonder. “Dynamite” is the sort of track
that can get stuck in your head for weeks and weeks… and, in this case, that’s
not a bad thing.

Wynter Gordon– “Dirty

Wynter Gordon got her
start as the female vocalist on Flo Rida’s
hit “Sugar.” She’s gearing up for her
debut album, With The Music I Die, in
2011 and her first single “Dirty Talk” is one of the best R&B/dance songs
out since Kelly Rowland’s “When Love Takes Over.” You may have heard this hot track featured on
the final season of MTV’s The Hills.

Matisse feat Akon – “Better
Than Her

She looks like Paris Hilton, but sings much, much
better, and Matisse’s first single as a solo artist (She was formerly in the
duo Brit & Alex, with her twin
sister) reached Number One on Billboard’s Hot Dance Airplay charts. It’s an
instantly catchy track that excites me for new Matisse material in the New

Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP
– “We No Speak Americano

Until the cast of MTV’s
The Jersey Shore hopped on board and made the viral tribute video for
this track, it was relatively under my radar. Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP’s “We No Speak Americano” is now the
go-to song for any party, and it’s likely one of the most original and fun songs
you’ll hear all year.

Alexandra Burke feat Pitbull– “All
Night Long

After winning the fifth
season of Britain’s The X-Factor, Alexandra
debut album Overcome
produced four Number one singles in the UK. The best has to be her
collaboration with Pitbull on “All
Night Long.” Boy, that girl can sing!

Adele– “Rolling
In the Deep

To end the year out
right, Adele has released a new
single “Rolling in the Deep” from her forthcoming sophomore album 21. Produced by Florence + the Machine’s Lungs
producer Paul Epworth, it’s an
instant classic and a beautiful track by this 22-year-old Grammy-award-winning
British singer. The video is gorgeous!

Penguin Prison– “Something
I’m Not

Chris Glover, a.k.a. Penguin Prison, is a relatively new
artist to the scene, known primarily for his excellent remixes by artists like Goldfrapp, Passion Pit, The Temper Trap
and Kylie Minogue. The New York based artist released his first
single in 2009, “Animal,” and this year he’s put out a two-song EP titled The
Worse It Gets / Something I’m Not
. Both are great songs, but “Something I’m
Not” and the Krispin Korg Remix to
the track, (which you can grab free here)
have been a jam I’ve enjoyed year round.

Marina & the Diamonds –Mowgli’s Road

Marina Diamandis has become one of my favorite artists this year. Her live performances have
oft been compared to those of Lady Gaga,
and she has released a string of excellent tracks including “I Am Not a Robot,”
“Hollywood” and “Shampain,” Her song “Mowgli’s Road” from her 2010 debut album The Family Jewels stands out among the
rest, and when Mille, the Swedish
electro mastermind behind the hit “Crysteena,” got a hold of the track, he gave
it a whole new life.

Kaskade & Dragonette
Fire in Your New Shoes

Sort of a two-for-one
here: Super cute Chicago-based Kaskade’s
latest album Dynasty features an
ensemble of talented collaborations, and his work with Dragonette is by far the best. “Fire In your New Shoes” is easily
the best song I’ve heard all year from the both of them.

Usher – “DJ
Got Us Fallin’ In Love

When my boyfriend’s high
school age brother asked me who this Usher
guy was and where he had been all these years, I felt old for the first time in
my life. I realized that there is an entire generation of Justin Bieber and Miley
age fans who never got to experience the Usher first known for hits
like “Nice and Slow” and “You Make Me Wanna.”
This same generation also missed out on “U Remind Me” and “U Got It
Bad.” In fact I’m not so sure they were even old enough to remember “Yeah!” and
“Burn.” Wow I feel old. Well 2010 has been another landmark year for Usher and
he is back and bigger than ever with 2010 release Raymond vs. Raymond. “OMG” was great and all but it was Usher’s
follow-up single “Dj Got Us Fallin’ In Love” that put him on back on the map
and on the iPods of high school boys and gay men (my age) everywhere.

Ellie Goulding – “Starry

singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding rose
to fame this year topping the BBC Sound of 2010 poll and winning the Critics’
Choice award at the 2010 BRIT Awards, making her the second artist to win both
in the same year (Adele was the
first). Goulding’s debut album Lights
might have been one of the most anticipated albums in the blogosphere, and her
sweet voice shines on the track “Starry Eyed,” which climbed the highest on the
charts for this breakout star.

Florrie – “Give
Me Your Love

This year the internet
was abuzz with chatter about former Girls
and Pet Shop Boys
collaborator and drummer Florrie
launching her solo career. While she has yet to release her highly anticipated
debut project An Introduction To, Florrie
has blessed us with loads of hot singles to give an idea of what we can expect.
In collaboration with remix genius Fred
she put out “Call 911,” “Panic Attack” and “Fascinate Me” which have
lead numerous critics to dub her “a rising star to watch.” Our personal
favorite happens to “Give Me Your Love” which showcases her beautiful voice and
drumming talent. Just watch the video.

Human Life– “In It

With their fresh
electronic sound, Los Angeles-based Human
has become one of the hottest new groups to launch their careers in
2010. “In It Together” instantly became one of the best songs I heard this
summer and their wildly creative music video only further cemented them on this

Diana Vickers – “The
Boy Who Murdered Love

Another artist from the
fifth season of Britain’s The X-Factor, Diana
was the fourth runner-up to Alexandra
. Vickers’ debut album, Songs
from the Tainted Cherry Tree,
was released in March of 2010 and has gained
positive attention with even celebrity blogger Perez Hilton claiming to be a major fan. Vickers often plays on
themes of love and murder in her songs with her debut single “Once” coyly
stating “I’m only going to let you kill me once.” Her best track though this
year is definitely “The Boy Who Murdered Love.” It was one of those songs that
I loved instantly, then moved on from, and every time I came back to it, it
kept getting it stuck in my head! I sang it for days. Just ask the boyfriend
who endured it.

Kelly Rowland – “Commander

After the huge success
of “When Love Takes Over” much pressure has been on former Destiny’s Child artist Kelly
’s shoulders to follow up her David
-produced worldwide number one dance hit. Well this year Rowland did
just that and then some with her follow-up Guetta-produced “Commander” landing
once again at number one on the American Dance Club Songs chart. Kelly
Rowland’s self titled album will be out in 2011.

The Temper Trap– “Love

Their 2009 album Conditions is easily one of the best of
that year, but this is 2010 and I wasn’t writing last year to let you guys now.
Hopefully you’ve picked up a copy. So this year The Temper Trap released their second single from Conditions- “Love Lost” and I’m glad
they did, as it’s easily my second favorite single on that album. Second to
their wonderful “Sweet Disposition.” Go check it out.

Deluka– “Cascade

Hailing from Birmingham,
England and residing in Brooklyn, Deluka
broke out onto the scene last year with their upbeat rock hit “OMFG.” In October
2010 they released their debut album You
Are The Night,
spawning the amazing follow-up “Cascade.” One listen and you’ll,
too, be a fan of the latest and greatest rock synth band.

The National – “Afraid of Everyone

One of my most
anticipated albums of the year happened to be The National’s fifth studio album High Violet released in May 2010. The album’s first single “Bloodbuzz
Ohio” received critical acclaim, yet “Afraid of Everyone” (which you can
actually get for free over
on has remained my personal favorite. The We Plants Are Happy Plants Remix to the song is also one worth
checking out.

Local Natives – “Wide

Local Natives are
a Los Angeles-based indie rock band that deserves some major buzz. If you like Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes, or Grizzly
, chances are you’re gonna love the sweet harmonies of lead singers
Taylor Rice and Kelcey Ayer, which can be particularly heard on the track “Wide

Flight Facilities– “Crave You

This simply is one of
the sweetest, prettiest songs I’ve heard all year, with one of the best beats
to back it up. The Sydney Australia-based Flight
are a relatively new act and “Crave You” is their only song to date.
They’ve teamed up on this beautiful hit with fellow Australian Giselle Roselli, who has a very Feist-y sound to her voice. Enjoy

Kelis – “Home

Kelis’s venture into euro-dance
music with the help of mega-producers David
Guetta and Benny Benassi on her
latest album Flesh Tone proved to be
an unexpected surprise. Her track “Home,” instantly became my favorite, and
possibly the track I jammed out to the most this year. Have a listen.

Cee Lo Green– “Bright
Lights, Bigger City

With everyone buzzing
about former Gnarls Barkley member, Cee Lo Green’s Grammy-nominated hit
“F**k You,” with all its ingenuity and a great video to match, I’d still have
to say, the track failed to stick with me, the way it was apparently supposed
to. Not saying it’s bad, just saying I couldn’t listen to it more than once.
Green’s third solo album The Lady Killer;
however, is jam-packed with
excellent hits and even features Florence
+ the Machine
’s Lungs producer Paul Epworth on tracks “It’s Ok” and
“No One’s Gonna Love You.” That being said, Green’s second single “Bright
Lights, Bigger City” is, in my opinion the best, and I hope you’ll agree.

Matt & Kim– “Cameras

The Brooklyn-based duo Matt & Kim have released quite the catchy lead single “Cameras” off their third studio album Sidewalks. The group that became famous in 2009 for “Daylight,”
have one-upped themselves in 2010 with this track. Enjoy

Young the Giant – “My

I’ll admit I only just
discovered these guys this past September when they were the opening act for Marina & the Diamonds. But, I’ve
seldom, if ever, had an opening act strike me the way these boys were able to.
The lead vocalist, Sameer Gadhia,
has one of the most soothing and gorgeous male voices I’ve heard in a while.
The California five-piece released their debut album Young the Giant this October and their track “My Body” is one of
those songs leaving you wanting more and more by this talented emerging group.

(Alex Metric Mix

The Gorillaz’ 2010 album Plastic
is quite possibly their best. “Stylo” is an excellent song by the duo consisting of British
musician Damon Albarn and British
cartoonist Jamie Hewlett, and the
video features a rugged Bruce Willis
racing through the desert. While the original is great, British DJ Alex Metric has taken the track to a
whole ‘nother level with his remix. Enjoy

Janelle Monaé– “Tightrope

Easily one of the most
talented artists on the scene, Janelle
’s first full length album, The
was released this year, and has been heralded everywhere as
one of the best albums of 2010. Joined by her fellow Atlanta-native superstar
friend Outkast’s Big Boi on the track “Tightrope,” Monae shines in such a way that
regardless of one’s musical-preferences, you can’t help but appreciate the
originality. Heck, even my mom loved it.

Chromeo – “Night
By Night

Canadian electro-funk
duo Chromeo consisting of P-Thugg and Dave 1, gained mainstream attention with their 2007 album Fancy Footwork. Their blast into the
80’s-past sound, consisting of synthesizers and talk boxes shines on their 2010
album Business Casual and their hit
“Night By Night” stands strong next to those hits that made them famous – “Bonafied Lovin” and “Fancy Footwork” for example.

Calvin Harris – “You
Used To Hold Me

Scottish singer-songwriter, record producer and DJ, Calvin
sophomore album Ready For
the Weekend
consists of a string of hits such as “I’m Not Alone,” “Ready
for the Weekend” and “Flashback” (one of my favorite songs of 2009). In 2010
Harris released the single “You Used to Hold Me,” showing exactly why this man
is so talented.

Rihanna – “Only
Girl (In the World)

2010 has been quite the
year for Rihanna. She ditched her edgier Rated
sound and musically moved on from that whole Chris Brown incident, finally returning to the upbeat carefree
Rihanna that we all know and love. Her first single “Only Girl (In the World)”
off her latest album Loud is the
perfect dance anthem. Exactly what we’ve been missing from camp RiRi.

Katy Perry
– “Firework

Katy Perry’s
Grammy-nominated album Teenage Dream
produced the hits “California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream” and “Peacock”, but it was
her video for “Firework” where Perry showed tribute to the bullying of gay
teens by both their family members and classmates that turned this song into a
modern day Christina Aguilera’s
“Beautiful” and landed on our best of 2010 list.


While M.I.A.’s latest album /\/\ /\ Y /\ certainly
did not produce the radio-friendly follow up to her mega hit “Paper Planes, the
Sri Lankan artist did manage to gather a considerable amount of attention with
her controversial video for “Born Free”(banned from YouTube for violence) as
well engage in a public feud with a New York Times columnist. Amidst all the
drama, there still was one standout
hit on this album- “XXXO.” This futuristic techno tribal dance hit is
everything we were hoping from M.I.A…. and then some.

Kanye West– “Monster

Never one to keep quiet
amidst a storm of controversy, Kanye West
came back stronger than ever this year with the post-Taylor Swift VMA debacle album- My
Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
. The album is a rock opera filled with the
usual cameos one would expect to hear on a hip hop album (KiD CuDi, John Legend, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj), but like some of
today’s forward thinking artists of this genre (Janelle Monaé and B.o.b),
West shows his wide range of musical interest by teaming up with indie artists
like Bon Iver (a personal favorite
of mine), creating one of West’s most powerful songs to date- “Monster.” Which
makes it quite understandable why West’s album has been on the top of nearly
every chart this year.

Groove Armada– “Paper

The electronic
London-based musical duo Groove Armada
released their sixth studio album in 2010 titled Black Light. The album utilizes the same mainstream sound used on Soundboy Rock combined with ‘80s
synthesizers. “Paper Romance” is the second single off this excellent album and
is a great return to form for the act that brought us hits like “Get Down” and
“Superstylin.” “Paper Romance” features two relatively new and exciting
artists, a personal favorite, Fenech-Soler
as well as SaintSaviour. Go check it

Robyn – “Hang
With Me

2010 no doubt has been
the year for Swedish singer Robyn. With
over twenty fresh tracks released this year, deciding upon her best was no
small feat. “Hang with Me” wins the race though, as it instantly touched me in
a way her others did not and the video only further validated why I love this
lady so much.

– “Teenage

Katy Perry’s hit
“Teenage Dream” was immortalized this year by the handsome new Glee star Darren Criss. Amidst a room full of
schoolboys clad in uniform, Criss serenaded gay star Chris Colfer (Kurt Hummel), making “Teenage Dream” a favorite among
gay men and rocketing Criss into superstardom.

Sade – “Soldier
of Love

After a ten-year hiatus,
the woman with that unmistakable voice, Sade,
finally gave us some new material in 2010, and a beautiful song at that.
“Soldier of Love” plays heavily on a military theme with a deep drumbeat, yet
stands along with some of her best most timeless tracks, making 2010 a
year to celebrate for Sade fans.

Kylie Minogue – “Get
Outta My Way

Kylie Minogue’s
eleventh studio album Aphrodite
started off strong with the lead single “All the Lovers” and a gorgeous video
to match. Yet it was her second single “Get Outta My Way” that was exactly what
I had been looking for on Minogue’s latest musical endeavor…. A fun uplifting
dance anthem that seriously makes you want to hit repeat. And repeat. And

Lissie – “When
I’m Alone

The soulful California
singer, Lissie, got her start as Morgan Page’s muse on the tracks “Fight
For You” and “Longest Road.” Her covers of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and KiD CuDi’s “Pursuit of Happiness,”
gained her considerable attention, both of which tied at No 1 on The Best Cover Songs of 2010 by Paste Magazine. 2010 is the year that Lissie finally
released her own album of original gorgeous music. “When I’m Alone” is this jazzy, haunting song
that is a perfect fit for Lissie’s stellar vocals.

Lady Gaga – “Monster

While 2010 saw the rise
of Lady Gaga’s Fame Monster hits
“Alejandro” and “Telephone,” personally her hit “Monster” has been my go-to
year round. While the aforementioned hits have lost their luster, “Monster” is
one Gaga track that I can play again and again and still love it every time.
And that’s what makes a song one of the best of the year, is it not?

Best Albums of 2010

2010 certainly marks the year when
foreign talent piqued the American Music Industry’s interests, with a string of
European and Australian artists generating some of the more inventive albums of
the year. However, some American artists chose this year to reinvent their
sound putting out some of their best work to date. This was certainly a year
for the newcomers, as many artists’ debut albums landed on this years “Best Of”

our pick of the Top 10 Albums of 2010

Janelle MonaéThe ArchAndroid

The fascinating Georgia-based
singer and performance artist, Janelle
followed up her highly acclaimed debut EP Metropolis: The Chase Suite (on which the track “Sincerely, Jane”
first caught my attention), with her hugely successful debut album The ArchAndroid. On her first full
length album, Monaé churned hits like “Cold War,” “Tightrope” and “Crown of
Thorns.” Start to finish it’s a masterpiece. If you’re lucky enough to score a
ticket, you can catch Monaé opening for Prince
on his 2011 tour.

KelisFlesh Tone

Best known for the
somewhat annoying hits like “Milkshake” and “Bossy,” Kelis decided in 2010 to take an entirely different direction
musically on her fifth studio album Flesh
. While teaming up with dance masters Benny Benassi (“Satisfaction”) and David Guetta (“When Love Takes Over”), Kelis released one of the
best concept albums of the year filled with hits like “Acapella,” “22nd
Century,” “4th of July (Fireworks)” and my personal favorite “Home.”
The album has been called a “euphoric dance album,” and her hits “Acapella” and
“4th of July (Fireworks)” both climbed the U.S. Dance/Club charts, while
she toured alongside Robyn on their
All Hearts Tour.

RobynBody Talk

With three different albums
out this year, Robyn created some of
her best work to date. Teaming up with Diplo,
, and Max Martin (who
worked on her 90’s hit “Show Me Love”), Robyn’s highlights include the crowd
pleaser “Dancing On My Own,” the beautiful “Hang With Me”, the anthemic
“Fembot”, a kickass hit “Don’t F*cking Tell Me What To Do” and the ballad of
the year “Indestructible.” With a hardly
a lowlight on any of her three EPs, (except for perhaps her Swedish folk song
“Jag Vet En Dejlig Rosa”), the finale Body
which is a collection of the greatest songs from each, is hands down
the best album of the year.

The NationalHigh Violet

The Brooklyn-based rock
band The National released one of their
most critically acclaimed albums in 2010, their fifth studio release High Violet. With the hits “Bloodbuzz
Ohio” and “Afraid of Everyone,” lead singer Matt Berninger’s baritone vocals belt out the gloomy melodies, akin
to some of the greatest tracks like “Mr. November” and “Start A War.” High Violet has ranked on numerous Best
of 2010 lists and charted #3 on the Billboard 200 in its first week of sales.
It’s definitely an album to get when you’re in a somber mood.

Marina & The Diamonds
The Family Jewels

Marina & the Diamonds
released her debut full-length album in 2010, The Family Jewels, which is a collection of some of Marina’s
greatest songs from several EPs she released as an independent artist, as well
as some new tracks by this Welsh singer/songwriter of Greek Descent. Hits like
“I Am Not A Robot,” “Hollywood,” “Mowgli’s Road,” “Oh No,” and “Shampain” are
why she ranked number two on the BBC Sound of 2010 poll list, second to Ellie Goulding. With her influences
ranging from Madonna to Nirvana, this up-tempo new wave-style
artist is one to watch in 2011.

Ellie GouldingBright Lights

English singer/songwriter
Ellie Goulding released her debut
full-length studio album, Lights, in
2010. With the help of Frankmusik
and Starsmith, Goulding’s churned
out hit after hit including “Wish I Stayed,” “Guns and Horses,” “The Writer,”
“Under the Sheets”, and “Starry Eyed”… quite a lot for an artist’s debut. Lights reached
number one on the UK Albums Chart, and in November Goulding re-released Lights as Bright Lights including
six brand new tracks, with the first single a cover of Elton John’s 1970’s classic “Your Song.”

Cee Lo GreenThe Lady Killer

On The Lady Killer, his first solo effort in six years, former Gnarls Barkley vocalist Cee Lo Green creates some of his best
work to date. Green blends hip-hop and soul with a star-studded production team
consisting of Salaam Remi (Amy Winehouse), Jack Splash (Missy Elliot, Alicia Keys), Fraser T. Smith (Ellie Goulding, James Morrison) and Paul Epworth (Adele, Florence + the
). His blockbuster single “F**k You” drew more than 2 million plays
in five days and garnered five Grammy nominations. Standout singles consist of
“Bright Lights Bigger City,” “No One’s Gonna Love You,” and “It’s Ok.” Start to
finish the album is a beautifully inventive example of Green’s soulful

Young The GiantYoung The Giant

On Young the Giant’s debut album Young
the Giant
, the California based quintet prove they’re destined for
greatness. The beautiful falsetto voice of lead singer Sameer Gadhia shines on the tracks “My Body,” “Cough Syrup,” “I
Got,” “Garands” and “Strings,” while the up-tempo jazz rhythms of electric
slide guitar create a masterpiece of music as diverse as the artists ethnic
backgrounds- Indian, Persian, British and French-Canadian. I have certainty
these boys will be the next Kings of
or The Killers with a
little time. Just one listen and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Erik HasslePieces

Swedish pop
singer/songwriter Erik Hassle
released his debut album Pieces in
2010. His instantly catchy hit
“Hurtful” charted internationally, and his follow-up “Don’t Bring Flowers” which
seems to be a post-mortem revenge ballad is one of his best. With “Isn’t It
Obvious” and “Wanna Be Loved,” Hassle evokes raw emotion on some of the most
well-crafted pop songs of the year. The six-foot tall, red haired crooner
(think a male La Roux) attended the
same school as fellow Swede Robyn,
and proves he’s got the same gift to create hook-laden hit after hit.

10. Angus & Julia Stone
Down the Way

The brother-sister duo Angus & Julia Stone from Newport,
Australia created one of their best albums to date this year on their sophomore
self-produced Down the Way. The
ruggedly handsome Angus Stone beautifully blends his vocals with his sister on
tracks like “Big Jet Plane” and “Draw Your Swords.” The duo trade off vocal and
instrumental duties, creating this Americana folk sound that is simply