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Jody Rosen's Best of 2010

Trey Songz, Best Coast, Easton Corbin and our critic's other picks for the year's top albums and singles

December 27, 2010 10:55 AM ET
Jody Rosen's Best of 2010

Albums

1. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Def Jam)

2. Sleigh Bells, Treats (Mom & Pop)

Critic's Picks: Rob Sheffield's Best Albums and Singles of 2010

3. Busy Signal, D.O.B. (V.P.)
The Jamaican dancehall star Busy Signal is one world's great rappers — a wit and a charmer, with fearsome flow and great taste in beats. His latest album is his finest yet. Don't sleep, U.S. hip-hop headz!

4. Joanna Newsom, Have One on Me (Drag City)

Rolling Stone's Best of 2010: Music, Movies, Videos, Photos and More

5. Calle 13, Entren Los Que Quieran (Sony)

6. Trey Songz, Passion, Pain & Pleasure (Atlantic)
Step aside, R. Kelly and The-Dream. Trey Songz is R&B's sexiest, silliest, and most pop-savvy Casanova.

7. Standard Fare, The Noyelle Beat (Bar None)
This trio from Sheffield, England supplied one of the year's most unexpected pleasures: a very smart, very tuneful, old-fashioned Britpop album, full of bright melodies and vivid little stories about new love, bad love and lost love. A record to savor, a band to root for.

8. Best Coast, Crazy for You (Mexican Summer)

Critic's Picks: David Fricke's Top Albums and Under-the-Radar Reissues of the Year

9. Of Montreal, False Priest (Polyvinyl)

10. Fabolous, There Is No Competition 2 (The Funeral Service) (Mixtape)

Next: Jody Rosen's Best Singles of 2010

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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