American Songwriter’s Top 50 Albums Of 2010


It’s been a great year for music. Here are 50 staff favorites from 2010. Let us know your picks for the best albums of the year in the comments.

1.Black Keys – Brothers
2.Mumford and Sons- Sigh No More
3.Dylan LeBlanc – Pauper’s Field
4.Jamey Johnson – The Guitar Song
5.Yeasayer – Odd Blood
6.Robert Plant – Band Of Joy
7. Phosphorescent – Here’s To Taking It Easy
8. Neil Young – Le Noise
9. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
10. Laura Veirs – July Flame
11. MGMT – Congratulations
12. Taylor Swift – Speak Now
13. Elizabeth Cook – Welder
14. Elvis Costello – National Ransom
15. Punch Brothers – Antifogmatic
16. John Mellencamp – No Better Than This
17. Zac Brown Band – You Get What You Give
18. Old 97’s – The Grand Theatre Volume 1
19. Kings Of Leon – Come Around Sundown
20. Bonnie Prince Billy – The Wonder Show of the World
21, Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz
22. Junip – Fields
23. Superchunk – Majesty Shredding
24. Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can
25. Midlake – The Courage Of Others
26. Vampire Weekend – Contra
27. Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues
28. Damien Jurado – Saint Bartlett
29. Lightspeed Champion – Life is Sweet! Nice To Meet You
30. Warpaint – The Fool
31. William Tyler – Behold The Spirit
32. Johnny Flynn – Been Listening
33. Mount Eerie – Song Islands Vol. 2
34. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band – Preservation Hall: An Album To Benefit Preservation Hall
35. The Dead Weather – Sea Of Cowards
36. Jenny & Johnny – I’m Having Fun Now
37. Thee Oh Sees – Warm Slime
38. Chromeo – Business Casual
39. Caribou – Swim
40. Beach House – Teen Dream
41. Jim Lauderdale – Patchwork River
42. Local Natives – Gorilla Manor
43. Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me
44. Ty Segall – Melted
45. Black Angels – Phosphene Dream
46. Dr. Dog – Shame, Shame
47. Javelin – No Mas
48. Lissie – Catching A Tiger
49. Patty Griffin – Downtown Church
50. Sun Kil Moon – Admiral Fell Promises




  1. I’d like to add:

    Chatham County Line – Wildwood
    Shannon Whitworth – Water Bound

    Both feature exceptional songwriting. CCL is a bluegrass album and Shannon’s is more in the Americana / Singer-Songwriter vein.

  2. Why does everyone forget Ryan Bingham on these lists. He’s put out three classics but no one seems to notice.

  3. I agree 100% with Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More and would have Johnny Flynn’s Been Listening right behind it

  4. No Peter Cooper/Eric Brace??? But yet Taylor Swift is on the list?? IMO, this throws the credibility of the list into question.

  5. the first thing i wondered when clicking through to this list was where josh ritter would place… shocked that he didn’t make the cut. the album as a whole may have been just the slightest bit of a disappointment but man, “the curse” and “another new world” are literally as good as songwriting gets.

  6. I’d add:

    Ray LaMontagne- God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise
    Mavis Staples- You Are Not Alone
    Carolina Chocolate Drops- Genuine Negro Jig

  7. I’m glad to see that Punch Brothers are getting recognition. Their arrangements, use of dynamics and blending of musical styles is revolutionary. Not too mention that their are all virtuosos on their individual instruments.

  8. Best of all: Punch Brothers, Antifogmatic
    There is no better band!

    2nd place Mumford and Sons, Sigh No More
    3rd place Carolina Chocolate Drops.
    Authentic Negro Jig (Hope I have the title right)

  9. Come on guys, this was an amazing list. Think about the ammount of really terrible stuff that the guys had the decency of letting out despite the collective state of insanity that is all over our “specialized” media.


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