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Ten Top-Notch Albums of 2010

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10. Spoon - Transference

Released in January of 2010, this album featured songs like "Written in Reverse" and "Got Nuffin," which had qualities similar to earlier hits like "The Way We Get By." It also featured "I Saw the Light" with one of the best guitar riffs of any song released in 2010.

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9 . Elton John and Leon Russell - The Union

The duo of Elton John and Leon Russell put together some of the best duets of 2010. Each song on this album had an Americana appeal to it and a beauty and honesty that is often missing in music. Songs like "Hey Ahab," "If It Wasn't for Bad" and the gorgeous song, "Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody)" gave this album a legendary quality. And, this album was produced by T Bone Burnett.

8. John Mellencamp - No Better Than This

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The craft behind this album is truly remarkable. It's a set of traditional songs and covers very similar to his earlier album Trouble No More from 2003. T Bone Burnett produced. Settings like the Sun Studio in Memphis, the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, and a hotel room in San Antonio where Robert Johnson once recorded were all used to create a sound that goes beautifully with Mellencamp's storytelling as he talks about the penniless being "sick of life" on "A Graceful Fall" or as he sings one of the most heartwarming and funny songs on any album this year, "Love at First Sight."

7. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for

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