A year ago, I reflected upon my musical evolution during 2009. As another year passes us by, it’s time to dive into my last.fm data once again for an empirical reality-check on what I’m listening to:
|1||The Avett Brothers||3||(+2)|
|4||The Black Keys||40||(+36)|
|9||Kings of Leon||22||(+13)|
All in all, this year was a transition year for music, and I feel it’s continuing to move. Whereas 2009 was largely a solidification of 2008’s favorites, 2010 saw dramatic shifts, with 4 bands making double digit jumps, and 5 bands falling off the top 10 entirely. The only music from last year’s top 10 which became more popular was The Avett Brothers, who leaped to a commanding first place lead on the strength of I and Love and You and a belated discovery of Four Theives Gone.
As a whole, this year was a move towards a stronger rock influence, as opposed to a folk influence. John Mayer, The Black Keys, Kings of Leon, and the Gaslight Anthem have all landed in my favorite artist lists. In particular, three albums have stood out as essential listening: The Black Keys’ Brothers, The Gaslight Anthem’s The ’59 Sound, and Kings of Leon’s Because of the Times.
This year I turned 21, which opened up some new opportunities for concerts. Electric Six, Regina Spector, Guster, The Avett Brothers, John Mayer, The Tallest Man on Earth, Joe Pug, and Sufjan Stevens were all particularly memorable nights. Sufjan’s concert was mind-blowingly amazing, both in terms of on-stage production and overall musicianship. I had not heard Age of Adz until that night, but the epic 25-minute “Impossible Soul” is one of the coolest experiments ever. (Sufjan ranked 12th in 2010.)