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Livewire's Top 10

While 2010 wasn't exactly a blockbuster year for the music industry at large, there were still several top selling releases and under the radar indie affairs that deserved to be hot commodities. When it comes to Andy Argyrakis' iPod, here are his top ten discs from the past 12 months, spanning everything from the perky pop of Katy Perry and Kylie Minogue, to the classic sensibilities of Bryan Ferry and Peter Gabriel, to dance floor favorites like Massive Attack and The Chemical Brothers.
So read on and weigh in via our "Rant or Rave" section on whether or not these particular projects make your grade.


By Andy Argyrakis
Ted Leo10 ) Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - The Brutalist Bricks
(Matador)

From his rise to fame in the hardcore scene followed by leading the Pharmacists full time, Ted Leo's gradually ascended with indie credibility, while simultaneously spreading unshakable hooks inspired by everyone from Elvis Costello to The Jam. Those trends continue on the group's latest long player, but there's plenty of ferocity that hearkens back to the early days, sure to cross pollinate an always expanding fan base even further.
Peter Gabriel9) Peter Gabriel - Scratch My Back
(Real World)

Though his first long player in eight years is a covers project (Arcade Fire, David Bowie, Radiohead, Lou Reed), it once again defies convention by spiking guitars, drums and traditional rock band instruments in favor of just orchestral accompaniment, in turn, becoming one of his most epic and beautiful albums to date.
The Chemical Brothers8) The Chemical Brothers - Further
(Astralwerks)

Even if The Chemical Brothers first found fame in the early days of house, there's nothing dated about its direction two decades down the road. The group sounds just as connected with today's trends as ever on Further, which consists of eight new tunes loaded with other worldly rhythms, cutting edge programming and booming bass that's destined for the dance floor.
Tom Petty7) Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Mojo
(Reprise)

IAfter Tom Petty reconnected with his first group Mudcrutch, he's taken a decidedly bluesy direction with the occasional jam session thrown in. Though that falls right in line with the Heartbreakers' roots rock n' roll sound, fans of that band might be surprised to find Mojo leaning in an even grittier direction than before.
Gorillaz6) Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
(Virgin)

Blur front man Damon Albarn is currently in Gorillaz mode, the virtual band of sorts featuring its own cartooned personalities. However, the group sounds far from fiction throughout Plastic Beach thanks to a robust combination of electronically-enhanced pop, alternative rock and hip-hop.
Bryan Ferry5) Bryan Ferry - Olympia
(Astralwerks)

The Roxy Music front man hasn't exactly been prolific throughout the 2000s thus far, but Olympia more than makes up for lost time. Besides his suave singing style sounding firmly in tact, the project boasts an extraordinary mash-up of musical innovators and current tastemakers, spanning Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, Scissor Sisters, Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea, Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood and even his Roxy band mates.
Massive Attack4) Massive Attack *Heligoland* (Virgin)
(Interscope)

One of the trip hop scene's heralded heroes brings its electronica-doused grooves to the stage behind its first official studio CD in seven years. Sure, Massive Attack's stayed in public view with EPs and a greatest hits compilation, but the group's fifth long player finds the British production duo staying atop the club world with a slew of special guests, including members of TV on the Radio, Elbow and Blur.
Kylie Minogue3) Kylie Minogue - Aphrodite
(Astralwerks)

She's the Madonna of Australia and even scored some chart action in America with a handful of dance/pop pleasantries. These days, Kylie Minogue is ready to dethrone good old Madge and take the like-minded Lady Gaga down for the count on Aphrodite thanks to some robust four on the floor beats that burn with modern-day disco decadence.
Broken Bells2) Broken Bells - Broken Bells
(RCA)

Indie rock supergroup Broken Bells was one of the most buzzed about at this year's SxSW Festival, followed by a self-titled CD that's garnered stellar reviews across the globe. That's because the band consists of The Shins singer James Mercer and Brian Burton (better known as Danger Mouse), an unusual combination perhaps, but one that merges alternative rock innovation with sophisticated programming.
Katy Perry1) Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
(Capitol)

With over five million copies sold of her sugary sweet (though still substance filled) debut One of the Boys, Katy Perry follows-up with the equally fantastic Teenage Dream. The pop diva who kisses girls and likes it (but is married to a guy) knows just how to push people's buttons while laughing all the way to the bank as her fans sing-a-long to summertime dance ditties.


Top 10

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