As of midnight tonight 2010 is officially half over. Already this year there have been a number of quite good albums. Here's a rundown of my favorites by genre.
The Scissor Sisters' cheeky third album, Night Work, is probably my favorite album of the year so far and definitely the year's best pop album. The sassy, sexy set is smutty, joyous fun.
Honorable mentions: The Music of Glee, particularly the Madonna EP and Volume 3, Robyn's electropop EP Body Talk Pt. 1, which insantly raised expectations for parts 2 and 3, and Goldfrapp's very early '80s fifth album, Head First.
The National's gorgeous album High Violet is probably my second favorite album so far this year. Although this is their fifth album, I'd never listened to them before, and this definitely made me want to hear more. I've already checked out their fourth album, Boxer, which is also good.
Honorable mentions: Keane's EP Night Train was an experimental turn for the British band. Although I haven't reviewed it yet, Gaslight Anthem's American Slang sounds like a winner.
Broken Bells, the collaboration between Danger Mouse and the Shins' James Mercer is the best album Danger Mouse has produced. They get bonus points for using Mad Men's Christina Hendricks in the super cool video for "The Ghost Inside."
Honorable mentions: The debut from Two Door Cinema Club, Tourist History; the hard-hitting sound of Sleigh Bells' Treats; and the eclectic second album from Vampire Weekend, Contra.
The genre-hopping The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III), the big label debut from Janelle Monae, was a great find this spring. The ambitious album is both retro and futuristic--challenging and inviting.
Honorable mentions: British hip-hop artist Plan B's soulful turn on The Defamation of Strickland Banks; Soldier of Love, the first album in 10 years from Sade; and the heartfelt sophomore set from Corinne Bailey Rae, The Sea.