Bullz-Eye’s Favorite Albums of 2010: Staff Writer Mike Farley’s picks

It was an interesting year for me music-wise. So much great stuff passed my desk or by e-mail from publicists, but something odd happened: my old PC started getting so slow that I literally could not listen to my iTunes and work at the same time. Makes writing CD reviews tough, but makes listening while I work to get a feel for new music even harder. I persevered, playing stuff in the car and also, finally, getting a super-fast new PC recently. My joy of listening to my iTunes catalog and discovering new music has returned. And so, I give to you, my Top 10 albums of 2010:

1. The Silver Seas: Chateau Revenge
There are two songs on this album that can bring anyone from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs in no time flat: “The Best Things in Life” and “What’s the Drawback.” Daniel Tashian and company continue to make some of the best music that, unfortunately, most people have never heard. So hey, this holiday season, do something about that. Go buy the Silver Seas’ music, and tell them I sent you.

2. Rooney: Eureka
Bullz-Eye Music Editor David Medsker: “Hey, I think you’ll like these guys.” Me, after hearing band: “Um, understatement.” It’s just good, unadulterated pop/rock – no whiny kid voice and no Auto Tune.

3. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals: Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
It’s nice that this indie queen is finally getting her due with Disney-owned Hollywood Records, because she’s got the goods. She can write, sing and play. Did I say sing? Yeah, Grace can REALLY sing.

4. Leeroy Stagger: Everything Is Real
You don’t have to be Canadian to dig a good alternative twang artist like Leeroy Stagger. In fact, you have to just dig that fact that he can make music this good.

5. Rogue Wave: Permalight
This band just oozes cool without anyone telling them that they’re cool. This album is a bit different than previous work, but when you’re awesome, you’re awesome.

6. The Album Leaf: A Chorus Of Storytellers
This group continues to make mesmerizingly hip music to chill to. Bonus: chicks dig the Album Leaf. Well, my wife does.

7. Heart: Red Velvet Car
Back with their first studio album in almost a decade, and their best since maybe the ‘70s.

8. Miggs: Wide Awake
Pure pop/rock along the lines of Butch Walker with a bit of New Jersey-ish Bon Jovi vocal tone.

9. Bachman & Turner: Bachman & Turner
Speaking of their best in decades, Randy Bachman and Fred Turner reunite for a new incarnation of BTO with new awesome songs.

10. Aqualung: Magnetic North
“36 Hours” is another top song of the year on another strong effort from Aqualung.