Critics' Picks: Billboard's Top 10 Albums of 2010

The Top 25 Music Moments of 2010

From banjo-led English folk to bone-crushing Miami rap, 2010 offered a plethora of superb albums that dominated the stereos of Billboard's staff. Check out our picks of the top 10 albums of the year, and tell us your personal favorites of 2010 in the comments section.

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10. Big Boi, "Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty"

After years of delays, the solo debut from the less flashy Outkast rapper dazzled when it was finally released in July. Mixing old-school wordplay with futuristic beats, Big Boi delivered explosive Southern rap ("General Patton"), soulful R&B ("Be Still") and funky party jams ("Shutterbugg").

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9. Rick Ross, "Teflon Don"

Working over luxuriant beats and alongside A-list guest stars (Jay-Z, Drake, Gucci Mane), Rick Ross elevated his game on his fourth LP and commanded album highlights like "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)" and "I'm Not a Star." The Miami rapper also owned the most memorable opening line of any song this year -- "I think I'm Big Meech! Larry Hoover!"

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8. MGMT, "Congratulations"

Instead of trying to create another "Time To Pretend" or "Kids," Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden decided to pack all of their weirdest tendencies into their much-anticipated sophomore LP. "Congratulations" may not have had a catchy single, but the blissful harmonies of "Flash Delirium," whacked-out pop of "Brian Eno" and epic psychedelica of "Siberian Breaks" made for a bold follow-up to MGMT's breakthrough debut.

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7. Drake, "Thank Me Later"

Drake made good on his promising 2009 with "Thank Me Later," an endlessly playable meditation on vulnerability in the spotlight. The Canadian rapper proved to be a unique voice in both hip-hop and R&B, especially when he juggles the two genres on introverted tracks like "Karaoke."

Next: Mr. Murphy cranks up his Soundsystem

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6. LCD Soundsystem, "This Is Happening"

James Murphy continued to perfect slow-building dance music on "This Is Happening," LCD Soundsystem's follow-up to 2007's critically acclaimed "Sound of Silver" and first release to grace the top 10 of the Billboard 200. Murphy dips into his soulful falsetto on the stylish break-up track "I Can Change," while "Pow Pow" is a jittery jam in the vein of Talking Heads.

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5. Beach House, "Teen Dream"

Just like Grizzly Bear in 2009, dream-pop duo Beach House used their third studio album to experiment with a more accessible sound, and the results were breathtaking. Although Victoria Legrand's haunting voice propels the choruses of "Zebra" and "Norway," "10 Mile Stereo" is driven by the gorgeous interplay between its sumptuous guitar line and crashing cymbals.

Next: Banjo Ditties and Little Lion Men

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4. Mumford & Sons, "Sigh No More"

Few rock bands received the type of slow-growing buzz that Mumford & Sons earned this year, but the English folk quartet's success can be chalked up to its quietly alluring debut album. Frontman Marcus Mumford offered a handful of hypnotic vocal hooks on the album, and "Country" Winston Marshall added a dash of joyful banjo-strumming to the mix.

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3. Robyn, "Body Talk"

In an inspired marketing move, Swedish pop princess Robyn put out three "Body Talk" releases this year, with each album showcasing a stunning mix of electronic beats and heavenly vocals. With the third album combining previously released singles like "Dancing On My Own" and "Hang With Me" with new winners like "Indestructible," Robyn ended the year on a triumphant note and established a pop presence in the States.

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2. Arcade Fire, "The Suburbs"

Three years after defiantly pumping their fists against "adult" establishments on "Neon Bible," Montreal indie rockers Arcade Fire discovered middle-class dissatisfaction on "The Suburbs," their sprawling third album. The shift in perspective paid off musically -- "Ready To Start" and "We Used to Wait" are some of the group's most immediate tracks -- as well as commercially, with the album hitting No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and receiving a Grammy nod for album of the year.

More: Artists picks for album of the year


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