Who am I to say these are the ten “best” albums of 2010? I mean, what defines “best”? (What I love listening to isn’t the same thing as what you like to listen to. What I think is a great pop song may differ from you.)

So these are my ten favorite albums of 2010.

As a bonus, you can download a ten track mix containing a song from each album. (Not the best song on the album, but I didn’t want to include any songs I’ve already included on previous mixes.) So you’ve got ten of my favorite songs from ten of my favorite albums. Download and enjoy. Or don’t. What the fuck do I care?

(For comparison, here are @adamhuskerson list, and theprenticeapprentice list.)

My favorite albums of 2010, in no particular order:

  • Sleigh Bells - Treats
  • Matt & Kim - Sidewalks
  • Vampire Weekend - Contra
  • Scissor Sisters - Night Work
  • The Bird And The Bee - Interpreting the Masters Vol 1. A Tribute to Hall & Oates
  • Lady Antebellum - Need You Now
  • Taylor Swift - Speak Now
  • Delta Spirit - History From Below
  • Fitz & The Tantrums - Pickin’ Up the Pieces
  • Brandon Flowers - Flamingo

And others that I loved but were just barely kept out of the top ten:

  • Chromeo - Business Casual
  • Aziz Ansari - Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening
  • Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
  • Scott Pilgrim Vs The World soundtrack
  • The National - High Violet
  • The Hold Steady -  Heaven is Whenever

Other new music I really got into this year: Surfer Blood, Best Coast, Lissie, Patrick Park, A B & The Sea, Olin and The Moon, The Pretty Reckless, Jonsi, Aloe Blacc, Atomic Tom, and Foster the People. Additionally, these artists put out some great new albums this year: Guster, Hot Hot Heat, KT Tunstall, Black Keys, Band of Horses, Frightened Rabbit, Rogue Wave and Neil Diamond.

And Bruce Springsteen’s The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town boxset gets a special shout out as being just a phenomenal work, and I haven’t even begun to get into it yet. 3 CDs and 3 DVDs of Springsteen music is the gift that keeps on giving, all year round.

Here’s the track list for The Louder The Song: Best of 2010 Mix:

  1. A/B Machines  -  Sleigh Bells
  2. Wires  -  Matt & Kim
  3. Run  -  Vampire Weekend
  4. Running Out  -  Scissor Sisters
  5. She’s Gone  -  The Bird And The Bee
  6. Stars Tonight  -  Lady Antebellum
  7. Mean  -  Taylor Swift
  8. Devil Knows Your Dead  -  Delta Spirit
  9. Tighter  -  Fitz & The Tantrums
  10. Playing With Fire  -  Brandon Flowers

It should be noted that I saw all but three of the ten artists this year (Sleigh Bells, Taylor Swift, The Bird and the Bee) and that seeing a band perform an album goes a long way to helping you love an album, or hate it, or rediscover songs you previously didn’t even pay attention to on the album. More and more, when people ask me what CD’s they should pick up, I think of artists I’ve seen rather than just artists I’ve heard. Seeing a band you love live is worth it all. If you missed out on a concert or show this year, try again next year. Take someone with you, someone who might not know the band, or someone who loves the band. Either way it’s an experience that’ll rock your world, pun intended.

Life’s too short to not enjoy what we love, what we live for, and what we enjoy. See a movie, see a band, read a book, travel, go on a date, play a game, kiss a girl, kiss a guy, get drunk, eat a pizza, call a friend, take pictures, and just live your life in a way in which you’re happy.

At the end of the day, if you’re not happy, then what’s the point?

Anyways, enjoy this mix if that’s your thing, and if you like any of the songs, check out the full albums.

Here’s to another year of good music. And hopefully no more of that Owl City shit.

Delta Spirit performing live at Amoeba Records in Hollywood on Monday night.

Delta Spirit is one of my favorite bands to see live. Lead singer Matt Vasquez brings such raw emotion to every song, no matter how many times I’ve seen them, it’s always such an engaging, vivid, visceral show.

Last night’s Amoeba set was no exception. The band plowed through songs from their new album, “History From Below”, including “White Table” and “Bushwick Blues”.

Delta Spirits new album “History From Below” drops today, you can get it digitally at Amazon, iTunes, and in stores, as either CD or vinyl. They’re at the El Rey theater in LA on July 23rd, and perform live in the third hour of KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic tomorrow/Wednesday morning at 11:15. You can listen/watch LIVE on www.kcrw.com.