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Guest lists 2010: Phoenix critics weigh in on the year in music

What consensus?
By PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  December 21, 2010

 

Michael C. Walsh
1. Crystal Castles & Robert Smith, “Not In Love” (digital single)
2. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, “Round and Round” (from Before Today)
3. James Blake,“I Only Know (What I Know Now)” (from Klavierwerke)
4. Jamie xx, “Far Nearer” (unreleased)
5. Caribou, “Sun” (from Swim)
6. Kanye West, “Runaway” (from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy)
7. Ndf, “Since We Last Met” (single)
8. Guido, “Mad Sax” (from Anidea)
9. Teengirl Fantasy,“Cheaters” (from 7 AM)
10. The Diplomats, “Salute” (single)

Ironically, in a year where I’ve finally abandoned any and all hope for electro to exist as anything more than a post-Justice excuse to dumb out while pissy drunk, my top song winds up being an unadulterated banger. “Not In Love” exists right on that cusp of sincere emotional despondency and corniness that plucks my heartstrings in the best way every time I hear it. The rest of my 2010 listening pleasures can pretty much be divvied into two themes. The polar opposite (and utterly batshit) ends of the pop spectrum that Kanye West and Ariel Pink have existed on for the past year. And dubstep -- the genre that occupied a vast majority of my ear time, but I was reluctant to divulge my obsessive enthusiasm to anyone in fear of coming across as an e-tard. While the movement continued to bleed over into the mainstream consciousness, folks like Flying Lotus, Scuba, and the Night Slugs crew succeeded in keeping dubstep weird. But it was James Blake, Jamie xx, Mount Kimbie, and the like, who were able to flip it’s club-centric core to arrive at something very much introverted and very much ethereal. Anyway, summarizing an entire years worth of music in 200 words and 10 songs. Yeah! P.S. James Murphy <3

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