PopMatters Picks:

The Best Music of 2010

By PopMatters Staff

16 December 2010

Get ready for two weeks of musical greatness. This Monday it was the best singles, next Monday brings the best albums, and in between leading up to the holidays will be more than 15 lists of genre bests. You should have more fun than usual finding out who goes where on what list, since 2010 was all about curveballs and crossovers.
The 70 Best Albums of 2010

The year's best albums are highlighted by the emergence of a future superstar, two veteran and virtuoso rappers, and a Dream Team of indie bands releasing career peaks.

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The 60 Best Songs of 2010

Sixty slices of musical greatness highlighted by one of the most delightful expletive-ridden hits in pop music history.

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The Best Indie Pop of 2010

It’s not that young music fans are completely forsaking cool and disaffected guitar-rock bands for sensitive and fanciful pop bands, but there does seem some movement in that direction.

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23 Dec 2010 // 9:00 PM

The Best Electronic Music of 2010

As per usual, electronic music in 2010 was rhizomatic, but it was curiously unnamed. We're getting no help from the artists themselves, who seem gleefully unconcerned with staying in one spot very long.

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The Best 20 Re-Issues of 2010

The year's best re-issues are highlighted by a trio of rock gods in the Stones, Lennon and Bowie as well as a bona fide American jazz genius and a bevy seminal '70s and '80s British bands.

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The Best Metal Albums of 2010

In the end, the metal world honored the memory of Ronnie James Dio in the coolest possible way: by making this the best year for new music the genre has seen in a very long time.

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The Best Experimental Music of 2010

It's not that more experimental-type music was made in 2010. It's just that more of it was getting heard.

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The Best Live Albums of 2010

Successful live albums are challenging things, judged by their ability to adequately portray the power of a performance. 2010 proved that even a strong crop of carefully staged and recorded recent shows could still be overshadowed by legendary sets of the past.

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15 Dec 2010 // 9:00 PM

The Best World Music of 2010

As in past years, Africa continues to dominate the world music scene in 2010 -- or at least, it seems to dominate Western perceptions of what "world music" might be. That said, the new vinyl archeology could be seen at work in all areas and all eras of recorded music.

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The Best Americana Music of 2010

2010 was a splendid year for Americana releases; then again, that’s something you can say about any year given the sprawling range of sub-genres under Americana's vast umbrella, a point reinforced again by this year’s Top Ten.

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The Best Fantastical Music of 2010

The more you look, the more examples of the fantastic you find in music this year.

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14 Dec 2010 // 9:00 PM

The Best Country Music of 2010

The synthesis of the past, present and future is so much of what country music is about these days. The traditions haven’t disappeared, but the music is changing all of the time.

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The Best Punk of 2010

Since punk is a wide-ranging umbrella genre saturated with numerous subcultures, styles, aesthetics, and attitudes, making a list is more like trying to super-glue together a ripped and torn fanzine.

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The Best Bluegrass of 2010

All in all, it was a banner year for bluegrass. With so many of the genre's most exciting bands in action in 2010, bluegrass fans were offered quite a smorgasboard.

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The 10 Most Disappointing Albums of 2010

Considering the caliber of artistry here, some of them are major disappointments, while others were simply predictable, but failed to deliver on the off-chance hope that it could have been better.

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The Best R&B of 2010

It is fashionable to say R&B is dead because it's not the commercial force it was in the late 1980s and the 1990s. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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The Best Free Albums of 2010

Though it's a tough environment for musicians to try and make a living, some artists have built and broadened their audience because of their free tunes.

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The Best Female Artists of 2010

While the men were showing us their dark and beautiful fantasies, or pulling us into their high brooding violet, the women were absolutely taking over 2010.

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7 Dec 2010 // 9:00 PM

The Best Hip-Hop of 2010

Epic, sleek, weed rap, emo, sociopolitical, gangsta, or house party? In which direction will hip-hop go? This was a year for all of the above.

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7 Dec 2010 // 9:00 PM

The Best Jazz of 2010

Jazz is working all the angles these days. Is there any other genre that has as much range -- from solo instruments to big bands, from instrumental to vocal, from European musicians to both North and South Americans, from truly pretty music to raucously avant-garde "noise"?

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The Best Indie Rock of 2010

"Indie rock" has become a term as amorphous and hard-to-pin-down as some of its associated lingo. But for our purposes here, we'll go with a line of demarcation strangely omitted from the discussion much of the time: the rock portion of the equation.

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//Mixed media
//Blogs

Hozier + Death Cab for Cutie + Rock Radio 104.5's Birthday Show (Photo Gallery)

// Notes from the Road

"Radio 104.5's birthday show featured great bands and might have been the unofficial start of summer festival season in the Northeast.

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