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Friday, December 03, 2010

EQ's Top 20 Albums of 2010 Part 1: Robyn, Simon Curtis, Ali Love, Hurts, Leni Ward and Locnville

To read our #7 through #13 album picks, click here.

To read our #13 through #20 album picks, click here.


#1 - "Body Talk" by Robyn: By far EQ's most favourite and exciting album project of 2010.  Robyn was mega ambitious to release THREE albums in one year, but she did it in a way which kept all of us interested and excited and continously intrigued.  Even if Robyn would have released just the one album, it would have been amazing, but the fact that the project erupted with the final "Body Talk" album, it proved even further that the Swedish treasure has what it takes to maintain a massive pop career while still being effortlessly cool and lo-fi enough for the indie kids.  

Get "Body Talk" by Robyn on Body Talk - Robyn

Simon curtis

#2 - "8 Bit Heart" by Simon Curtis:  Yes, I'm a massive Simon Curtis fan, one of the first if I might brag - and I most certainly will. But having known how brilliant his pop music was like before "8-Bit Heart" was released, I have to say that even I was surprised at the level of accomplishment Simon Curtis brought to the table with his first official independent release.  Utterly mind-blowing and an unsung pop triumph, "8-Bit Heart" managed to score a massive fan base for the relatively unknown pop crooner.  The album was met with mixed reviews from critics and bloggers alike, but when you examine it at it's heart - "8-Bit Heart" is lyrically genius and set the standard for male led "electro-pop" in 2010.  Not bad for a kid with no manager, no budget and no record label...and with the latter, I might add - is a crime against pop music.

Get "8-Bit Heart" by Simon Curtis for FREE.

Ali love love harder

#3 - "Love Harder" by Ali Love:  One of 2010's best records that you probably overlooked.  I'm a bit surprised that Ali Love didn't garner more attention this past year with this fine record, but the beauty of the whole situation is that you can still discover "Love Harder" - and I guarantee you that you will like what you hear.  Dark and mysterious at times, cheeky and groovetastic at others, "Love Harder" is an excellent collection of tracks that any fan of electronic music will appreciate.  Standout tracks "Done The Dirty" and "Smoke & Mirrors" on their own would please even the most judgemental of electronica fans.

Get "Love Harder" by Ali Love on Love Harder (Album) - Ali Love

Hurts Happiness

#4 - "Happiness" by Hurts:  2010 was the year that Hurts stepped in as the new Depeche Mode and it was very difficult for anyone to come up with anything negative at all to say about this moody duo - who rarely ever smile.  One might think that the Hurts sound would be achingly depressive, but on the contrary, the record is as uplifting as it is dramatic.  "Wonderful Life" established the band as massively cool while the strange yet addictive "Better Than Love" and the dreamy "Stay" proved that Hurts were a force to be recokned with this year.  "Happiness" is most certainly the right descriptive that best summarized this record, but the range of emotions this collection of tracks evoked were of a wide spectrum - it's actually too hard to put into words.

Get "Happiness" by Hurts from Happiness - Hurts

LeniWard hope

#5 - "Hope" by Leni Ward:  Only just recently released, "Hope" by Leni Ward is music genius from another name that didn't receive the wide attention she should have this past year. A one woman army with an arsenal of synths, mixers and special effects, "Hope" is beautifully poignant and heartachingly honest.  Debut single "Opening Doors" is a gorgeous ode to unclear optimism while standout single "I Want My Heart Back" is a glittery yet gritty track about a woman's angst over a bad breakup.  Having showcased this record at EQ Live last month, Leni Ward's show proved that she's just not another geeky girl with a synth, but rather quite the opposite.  Leni Ward is an uber cool and relevant musician who can tell beautiful stories through an intricate weave of electronica and melody.

Get "Hope" by Leni Ward on Hope - Leni Ward


#6 - "Sun In My Pocket" by Locnville:  The twins from South Africa really couldn't do no wrong this past year, but unless you read EQ regularly, you probably missed the hot fuss we made over their debut record.   An amazing blend of electronica, hip-hop and rock, "Sun In My Pocket" is already a massive hit and chart-topper in South Africa and it should come as no surprise that Sony UK scooped them up right away and has some rather big plans for the boys.  Although the lead title single is great, it was tracks like "Love Rush", "Purple Days" and "6 Second Poison" that made this record stand out amongst the hundreds of CDs I received this year.  Yeah the boys are pretty to look at, but "Sun In My Pocket" is more than just another teen dream cash cow, it's an artistic record that effortlessly blends genres together to come up with something new and clever that you've never quite heard of before - way cooler than The Jonas Brothers... 

Get the single "Sun In My Pocket" by Locnville on Sun In My Pocket - Single - Locnville

Check out our reviews for #7 through #13 right here...


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