Best Music of 2010 (So Far): Rachael Maddux, Associate Editor

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To celebrate the half-way point of 2010, this week Paste staffers are counting down their favorite albums of the year (so far). Check out all of our lists here, and share your own favorites in the comments.

Somehow I haven’t been forced (because I always have to be forced into these things, because I am a big weenie) into making a public declaration of “the best” (ie, “my favorite”) albums of any span of time since last year around this time, so when I sat down to sketch out my favorite albums of 2010 up to this point, I was kind of nervous. Would I wind up with only eight albums I really loved and make people all mad for not throwing their favorite record into one of the last two spots, like last year What if I wound up with more than ten and I had to make some really really tough choices? Did I even remember how to rank things, albums or otherwise? Does two still come before three? But it wasn’t so bad, actually! Turns out, there are ten albums out this year so far that I’m really quite keen on. There are a few more that I kind of love, just not as much; those have five or six months to really grow on me and join up with all the as-yet-unreleased stuff to make my end-of-the-year ranking truly painful. My knees are already knocking.

1. Phosphorescent – Here’s To Taking It Easy
2. Laura Veirs July Flame
3. LCD Soundsystem This Is Happening
4. Laura Marling I Speak Because I Can
5. Janelle Monae The ArchAndroid
6. Titus Andronicus The Monitor
7. Anais Mitchell Hadestown
8. Beach House Teen Dream
9. Sleigh Bells – Treats
10. Various Artists – Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine

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