2010 In Brief: The First Half

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2010 In Brief: The First Half

A few weeks ago, we started publishing a weekly capsule called “Reviews in brief,” rounding up a summary of the week’s reviews in one-sentence form, along with completely arbitrary ratings, just for fun. We do this, not as a substitute for our reviews, but as a supplement. If any of our readers missed something, and wanted an easy way to catch up before reading each review, verbatim, we could offer a shorter introduction, and even a teaser as to whether or not we liked the damn things. But the year’s half-over now (more than half, actually) and now seemed like a good time to put together one-sentence summaries of our favorite albums of the year. We assembled 36 of them. Sure, it’s a lot, but it’s been a pretty impressive year so far. So even if it’s just 14 albums shy of our year-end tally, bear in mind that this is just a milemarker, and that the next five months could just as easily match or even best what we’ve seen so far.

Erykah BaduNew Amerykah, Part Two (Return of the Ankh) (Universal Motown)

A little less freaky, a little less fiery, but still the stunning songstress as always.

Rating: 8 out of 10 afrocosms.
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Band of HorsesInfinite Arms (Columbia)

A little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. A lot of win.

Rating: 8 out of 10 geographical mix-ups.
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Beach HouseTeen Dream (Sub Pop)

Dream-gazer, slow-pop wonderment, now with real drums!

Rating: 9 out of 10 reparations from Katy Perry.
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The Besnard LakesThe Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse (Jagjaguwar)

A dense rock epic that hits like a tidal wave.

Rating: 8 out of 10 oceanic metaphors.
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Big BoiSir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty (Def Jam)

Outkast emcee shows just how fat Daddy’s sax is. Pimp.

Rating: 9 out of 10 fur coats.
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Broken Social SceneForgiveness Rock Record (Arts & Crafts)

Ever-expanding indie rock collective invites some more in for a breezy, art-rock party.

Rating: 8 out of 10 unshaven frontmen.
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CaribouSwim (Merge)

Snaith pumps a disco pulse into his electronic wilderness.

Rating: 8 out of 10 aquatic antlers.
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EmeraldsDoes It Look Like I’m Here (Editions Mego)

Hypnotic late night dreamworlds and sci-fi synthscapes.

Rating: 8 out of 10 rhetorical questions.
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Flying LotusCosmogramma (Warp)

LA turntablist goes cosmic on some zodiac shit, trips out Sun Ra style.

Rating: 9 out of 10 satelllliiiiiiites.
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FoalsTotal Life Forever (Transgressive-Sub Pop)

UK indie rockers ramp up the grooves and mature gracefully.

Rating: 8 out of 10 fresh salt licks.
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