Top 10 records of 2010

By JIM MACNIE  |  December 22, 2010

THE BLACK KEYS | BROTHERS | NONESUCH

It takes a bit of sophistication to convincingly act like a caveman. Those thuds have to be judiciously placed, and the moans need to have meaning. Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach have reached the point where their garage-nurtured primal chic has a bit of grace to it. Maybe it was the Muscle Shoals recording session. Down there it's "get hot or go home," so no wonder this thing sounds like Prince plugging in with the White Stripes.

KANYE WEST | MY BEAUTIFUL DARK TWISTED FANTASY | ROC-A-FELLA

He's more than just a "Chi-Town nigga with a nice flow" — that's for sure. Indeed, he's a wildly ambitious workaholic who conceived this tribute to his manic creativity knowing that it's also responsible for a handful of douchebag moments. From Rick Ross to Nicky Minaj, the guests have some key moves, but Yeezy's the main attraction. His Cecil B. DeMille aesthetic makes this circus of self-scrutiny a cinematic triumph.

TOM ZÉ | ESTUDANDO O BOSSA | LUAKA BOP

I'd almost forgotten how addictive the whimsical Brazilian's ditties have always been — five years have passed since his last domestic disc and, if I recall correctly, it wasn't as wondrous as his history would suggest. This investigation into bossa nova is, though, because the froggy-voiced 70-year-old is incapable of squelching his idiosyncrasies. So the trad strums of bossa are here, but they're bent to fit a personality proud of its quirks.

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