TBT: Best of 2010?
Sam and Christian square off again this week to prove which was the best album of 2010.
May 23, 2017
“Plastic Beach” Shines in 2010
Gorillaz are known for being a standout amongst the entire music industry; their refreshing blend of alternative pop, rock, and rap combined with a cartoony design have helped them remain unique throughout their entire career, and that was no exception in 2010 with their album Plastic Beach.
Plastic Beach originated from a project called Carousel, which intended on Gorillaz becoming more like a collection of artists who produce music individually that would be presented by Gorillaz. After the cancellation of that concept, Gorillaz creator Damon Albarn decided to create another immersive album that tackled the state of our world’s environment. Alongside features with Snoop Dogg, Mos Def, De La Soul, and much more, Albarn provides the usual variety of genres involving funk, alternative rock, dubstep, and hip hop. Standout tracks such as “On Melancholy Hill”, “Empire Ants”, and “Some Kind of Nature” all deliver a clash of styles that formulates into some of the best work we’ve seen from Gorillaz since their debut.
To sum things up, Plastic Beach is a mesmerizing, utterly beautifully work of art and arguably surpasses their most renowned album, Demon Days, with its high levels of ambition and emphasis on storytelling and variety. Gorillaz’ entire shtick of disappearing for years and returning with a new classic has served them well, as it allows for more effort to be put into their work than most artists do, and Plastic Beach reflects all of their hard work and effort by providing another masterpiece for the ages.
No Contest: Kayne West Regins Supreme in 2010
Kanye West defined the new era of rap in the 2000’s since his debut with College Dropout in 2004, and effortlessly capped off the decade with his magnum opus, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in late 2010. Coming out of rough times in 2009, including the infamous Taylor Swift incident at the VMAs where he jumped on stage and proclaimed that Beyoncé deserved the award more, Kanye came out on top in 2010 with this hip-hop masterpiece no one saw coming. Produced by the man himself and going Platinum in the United States and Australia, the thirteen-track album conceived on his self-imposed exile in Hawaii was a critical success that cemented his legacy as one of the greatest rappers of all time.
MBDTF is artfully crafted and contains themes such as celebrity excess, consumer culture, race, and The American Dream. With a myriad of features including Kid Cudi, Rihanna, Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, John Legend, and others, and including a variety of expertly-produced samples from various different musical muses and eras, the album is a pure Kanye work that contains all of his best musical attributes: writing, lyrics, production, sampling, rapping, and guest stars. Standout tracks such as the strong yet dreamy opening. “Dark Fantasy”, the hard-hitting “Power”, the popular “All of the Lights”, and the feature-packed “Monster” are just a few of the reasons this album stole 2010. Lesser-known tracks such as my personal favorite, “Runaway”, are beautifully-produced and a wonderful listen if you want to spend nine minutes listening to an interesting rap and R&B jewel.
MBDTF is a highly acclaimed and successful album, as well as symbolizing a successful recovery for Kanye. It also defined a decade and brought us into the start of a new one for rap and hip-hop, as well as solidify Kanye West as not only one of the greatest rappers, but one of the greatest artists to ever grace our ears. While he’s been going through another rough time at the end of 2016 and his music released after 2010 considered a mixed bag, history repeats itself, and Kanye is sure to heal and come back atop the musical game with his innovative and video game-inspired anticipated release, Turbo Grafx 16. But for now, we can always look back on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as one of many critics’ greatest albums of all time, and in my opinion, the best album 2010 had to offer.