Al Jazeera News
Song - Artist - Album
Mouthful of Diamonds - Phantogram - Eyelid Movies
Let me preface by saying I play world free-form, most of these are ones I encountered while programming my show.
2010 CDs that just missed the top 10 but could be substituted anywhere between #6 and #10 without compromising the list include: Emilie Claire Barlow "The Beat Goes On"; Dungen ("doon-yen") "Skit I Alit"; The Concretes "WYWH"; The Tallest Man On Earth "The Wild Hunt" (see Chelsea's top 10); and SIa "We Are Born".
#10 - Sofia Rei Koutsouvitis - “Sube Azul” Folk-Jazz/ Argentina Passionate Spanish language vocals highlight this, her second album. Sensual, mostly original songs, tying together folkloric traditions of Argentina with modern jazz accompaniment.
#9 - The Vaselines - "Sex With An X" - The second release from the indie pop duo from Glasgow, Scotland, comprised of Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee.
#8 - Jenny & Johnny - "I'm Having Fun Now" - fun indie-folk-pop from Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley) and Johnathan Rice, sweet harmonies abound in songs about relationships.
#7 - Taeko - "Voice" - her second full length CD offers a wide variety of tunes to help accent her impressive range. This is smoooooth contemporary jazz with crystal clear execution. From songs of Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Marvin Gaye, and Duke Ellington Taeko adds traditional Japanese folk tunes all performed in her distinctive style.
#6 - Brian Eno - "Small Craft On A Milk Sea" - A well thought out collection of improvised compositions from Brian, Jon Hopkins and Leo Abrahams, mellow electronica instrumentals.
#5 - Olof Arnalds - "Innundir Skinni" - Olof (Oluff) found the formula to release world music so it gets attention with her latest release; half in English and half in her native Icelandic. The result is wonderful.
#4 - Ron Hynes - "Stealing Genius" - excels writing and performing story songs and his new CD is no exception. "My Father's Ghost" is another brilliant tune from the Canadian who gave us "Here Lies Lenora Jennings" and "Sonny's Dream".
#3 - Katie Melua - "The House" - Katie keeps getting better with each new CD, this one is a gem, could easily have been my top pick. "A Moment of Madness" highlights an extremely beautiful CD.
#2 - Natasha Borzilova - "Balancing Act" - An excellent album throughout. Former lead singer of Bering Strait sings original gentle airy songs with well written lyrics, all in English except "Rechka" (River) a traditional Russian folk song included as the last track, but not an afterthought.
#1 - Gin Wigmore - "Holy Smoke" - Not a surprise to anyone who has listened to my show. Ms. Wigmore's addictive vocals highlight her debut full length CD. High energy vocals, a mix of pop, soul, blues, and rock&roll with a touch of emo. Dynamite songs include "Dying Day" and "I Do". Australian singer had a way too brief US tour this summer, she is already writing and recording for a new album.