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This year I’m changing the top 10 albums approach. Usually it turns into this tormented process in which I weigh many complicated and mysterious factors to select and order the nominees. Something like {(personal preference + indie coolness + critical credibility) / commercial sell out index} – predictability rating = ranking score. This year I have thrown all Pitchforkian considerations to the wind and gone with the gut! Partly with this funny & succinct blog post on top tens in mind.

To put it nice and simple, only the albums that moved me the most in 2010 have made the cut. A few have moved me literally, urging me onto the dance floor, some have warmed the cockles of my heart with their melodious deliciousness, others brought a delicate tear to the corner of my eye. One thing is for sure, they have all had many many repeat spins on my ipod.

10. Caribou – Swim

I would not consider myself well versed in the world of electronica, but this terrific album obviously reached even a lay person as myself due to its cleverly crafted crossover appeal. It deserves mention for the two standout singles Odessa and Sun alone, but there is much more to discover. The hypnotic trip that is Bowls for in stance, and the poppy track Hannibal with its old school Phoenix vibe. For me though, Sun has got to be one of the best songs of 2010, in addition to winning the award for most minimalistic lyrics.

9. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

The incredible amount of raving press this album has received in the last three weeks almost made me want to ignore it, but what a waste that would have been! Kanye is back. He lost me after College Dropout and Late Registration, but he sure put those hamster cheeks to good use on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.  So much has been written already, but for me its brilliance is in the diversity, accessible yet innovative beats and production and last but definitely not least: a cast of amazing guest vocalists. Kanye knows he’ll never be Jay-Z, but he can get him to drop some lines and lift a track to a higher level.

8. Foals – Total Life Forever

It’s great to see Foals are still upping their game. Total Life Forever may be a bit less frantic and dancy, but it has made way for a more diverse style, more room for experiment and more catchy mid tempo tunes. In a way it’s a diesel train of an album. You might be lured in by the jumpy drum driven lead single This Orient and then be won over by the raw emotion of Blue Blood or the slow burning repetitive mantras of Spanish Sahara. I am still discovering new corners and side alleys on this album.

7. Hot Chip – One Life Stand

Hot Chip doesn’t dilly dally or beat around the bush. They know what it’s all about: love, synth nerds need it as much as anyone. And so on One Life Stand they set out to pay tribute to the subject in all its guises, and they have the perfect beats and grooves to do the job. You cannot help but smile when Alexis Taylor sings “I’ve known for a long time, you are my love life” in Hand Me Down Your Love, or “We have love, give it up give it up, there is nothing else to be proud of” (We Have Love). And besides smile you must dance. Hot Chip insists.

6. De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig – De Lachende Derde

Yes, in the brokenbranches top ten it is entirely possible that a Dutch hiphop release ranks higher than Kanye’s megalomanic ‘record of the decade’, and for good reason. DJVT have taken their characteristic combination of incredibly sharp and witty lyrics, making up a whole new vocabulary along the way, with Bas Bron’s supreme beatsmanship to another level on De Lachende Derde, their third release. There’s the silliness you would expect in songs like the winning single Sterrenstof and Get Spanish (don’t be fooled though, silly but shrewd as hell). But the youth is growing up too, as can be heard in Zo Volwassen, Zo Beleefd and tear jerker Huilend Naar De Club. Most exciting of all there are some proper dance floor stompers like Sexy Beesten and Elektrotechnique I can’t wait to hear in the club.

5. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record

I’ve had a thing for BSS for quite some time now, but somehow they have always remained a bit elusive to me, just out of reach. Perhaps not so strange considering the band is constantly shape shifting. But I’ve really been able to sink my teeth into Forgiveness Rock Record and now I get it. It’s official, they have made it into the ‘favourite bands’ category you’d list on an online profile page. I like everything about this album, the way some songs gently meander (Sweetest Kill, Highway Slippery Jam), others amp up the drama (anthem in the making World Sick and the majestic instrumental Meet Me In The Basement) and how it brings together magical guest contributions like Amy Millan, Feist and personal favourite Emily Haines on Sentimental X’s.

4. Beach House – Teen Dream

Zebra, what a song to open an album with. The mysterious name alone will make you curious, then you’re welcomed with a friendly guitar tune, soothing aaaahhhhhs and Victoria Legrand huskily asking you “Don’t I know you better than the rest?”. It makes you wish it was true. I’m at a loss to pick songs to highlight on Teen Dream, there is such a bounty to choose from. From the woeful wailing of Silver Soul to the light and airy beauty of Norway, the melancholy piano driven Used To Be and Take Care‘s heart breaking lyric “I’ll take care of you, if you ask me to”.

3. Local Natives – Gorilla Manor

Now it’s getting serious, top three time. Let’s just get those two words out of the way first: Fleet Foxes. Yes, Local Natives have had a good listen to their west coast peers, but in my opinion they have masterfully blended americana and folk influences with a hearty dollop of indie and pop sensitivity and have come up trumps with this extremely accomplished debut album. There is a remarkable number of quality hook-laden singalongs like Wide Eyes, World News, Shape Shifter and Talking Heads cover Warning Sign. And let’s not forget the moving single Airplanes, about a son who misses his mother. Go see them live too, such a nice and talented bunch!

PS Just found out this album was already released in november of 2009! Oh well, I only discovered it this year, allow me one cheat…

2. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

Well, no surprise for any brokenbranches regulars, this one was bound to end up in my top 3. A stroll through blogville and twittland have taught me it is apparently uncool to list this album for your top ten as it is too predictable a pick and ‘not that good’. Well, I beg to differ! This is the album Arcade Fire have been aiming for over the last years, the soundtrack of a generation. It is the perfect culmination of years of pent up suburban boredom, having to grow up, longing for days gone by and fear of what is to come, clinging to those you want close to you in the face of approaching ugliness. The Suburbs is therefore the perfect opening song and album title, moving straight into the excitement of Ready To Start. Other album highlights include the haunting Rococo, a real showcase of Win’s growing confidence and ability as a frontman, We Used To Wait and Deep Blue. It might take you longer to let The Suburbs into your heart than Funeral or Neon Bible, but it’s a keeper.

1. Robyn – Body Talk Pt. 1

The number one slot is even a bit of a surprise to me, but so deserved. I have played Robyn’s first Body Talk release to death! For anyone who hasn’t noticed yet: the days that Robyn was a mainstream poppy R&B chart girl are long gone. Her 2005 self titled release saw a definite turn in her career and the Body Talk trilogy has sealed the deal: make way for Robyn the electropop hiphop dancehall queen. I could have gone for the final of the three releases which combines most of Body Talk Part 1 & 2, but I think the first one stands out on its own.
Dancing on My Own is easily one of the best songs of the year, and the super-disco-sexy Röyksopp co-production The Girl And The Robot will stick in your head for days. Part 1 has the acoustic version of Hang With Me, which holds it’s own and turns into Part 2’s standout track in the electronic version. Dance Hall Queen and None Of Dem show off Robyn’s sassy side, and I was able to witness in Paradiso she has all the necessary moves to back it up. Robyn has really come into her own. Her music is sincere, from the heart and from the gut, and she has a perfectly tuned ear for what makes a good song amazing. To see her on stage is a delight, a confident, gorgeous and talented woman doing what she does best.

If you’re on Spotify, check out these albums in my best of 2010 playlist.

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

As predicted, Friday’s afterparty back at the camping made sure that Ane Brun‘s early time slot on Saturday was an unattainable feat for this festivalgoer… To torture myself I listened to her session online at 3voor12 (I strongly suggest you do the same) and heard it was enchanting gosh darn it! 

Thankfully there was Laura Marling to ease the pain, what a charming surprise she was! Before coming to Lowlands I had only really knew one song and was slightly afraid she might be a bit of a self obsessed teenager with guitar, but no! She was wonderful (as was her very tasty violin playing band member) and her small folky compositions won over the Lima crowd easily, despite her shyness.

The Bravo tent had a double Dutch slot up next: The Opposites and De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig, it was nice to see the tent was absolutely packed for both home grown acts. I decided to squeeze into the sea of bodies to catch the end of The Opposites‘ set and was rewarded: they closed with Dom, Lomp & Famous (the very track that gave brokenbranches some serious traffic after this post) and the crowd went suitably mad. De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig took to the stage straight after and kept the crowd going with tight performances of best sellers like Shenkie, Voor Je Kijken Doorlopen and Hollereer.
Blood Red Shoes

Blood Red Shoes

Now things got very exciting: time to zig zag through the anxiously waiting crowd in the India tent to get up close and personal with my number one in the highest-festival-expectations ranking: Blood Red Shoes. It’s safe to say all expectations were lived up to and then some. They gave the India crowd a kick up the backside that had me jumping and yelling the entire gig, only after their last chord did I come back down to earth and take any notice of what was going on around me. The place was one big swirling sweaty sauna of jumping bodies, the entire centre of the tent turned into a mosh pit, I must have seen at least 15 crowd surfers (which is officially not allowed!) fly by. Highlights were (the obvious) Say Something, Say Anything, It’s Getting Boring By The Sea and the ripping set closer ADHD. Please come back next year with a new album!!

crowdsurfer at Blood Red Shoes

crowdsurfer at Blood Red Shoes

No rest for the wicked, just as the Brighton twosome finished up, Los Campesinos! kicked off all the way across the terrain in Charlie. Navigating my way through the thousands heading the opposite direction because the N*E*R*D* set had just finished (which was great according to my festivalbuddies), I managed to reach the energetic seven piece Welsh outfit in time to catch most of their performance. I was amazed at just how young these kids are when I saw them! But youth is obviously no deterrant for giving a great show, besides playing crowd pleaser You! Me! Dancing! they ended the show with Sweet Dreams Sweet Cheeks, which was a big hit. One blink for yes, two blinks for no, sweet dreams sweet cheeks, we leave alone!

Thankfully a brief dip in my hectic timetable allowed for some taking-the-weight-off and dinner, before it was time to join the hords for one of the festival headliners: Franz Ferdinand. They played some of their new yet to be released material, which sounded very promising. But obviously they got the Alpha all hot and bothered with well known Franz Frenzy-causing tracks such as Take Me Out, Dark Of The Matinee and most notably This Fire, which raised the roof. The audience kept chanting This fire is out of control, we’ve got to burn this city, burn this city!. Excellent performance, but the new album is long overdue. Get it out there already!

 James Rushent - Does It Offend You, Yeah?

At this stage of the day I had about 4 solid hours of jumping and shouting under my belt, but I had one little pocket of energy saved, because I knew I was going to need it badly: next up, Does It Offend You, Yeah?. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had a feeling it was going to get slightly silly in the rediculously small X-Ray container. In order to witness “the hype” up front we got there half an hour beforehand. Soon enough the place was inundated with bright young things, all painfully fashionable and glow stick accessorized. When the band took the stage the excitement in the air was incredibly tangible, and with the first synthesizer key being struck the X-Ray instantly turned into a tumble dryer of insanity. I was there with two friends, but we were immediately catapulted meters apart in different directions, unbelievable!

This insanity lasted the entire gig. Shreds of what I do remember: the vocals were quite lackadaisical (particularly on Let’s Make Out, my favourire track), but they were clearly secondary to the impact of the music, which could be felt in every bone of your body. James Rushent was extremely cocky and put down their radio friendly hit Dawn Of The Dead as “a song Spandau Ballet would love”. Morgan Quaintance insisted we scream “Fuck the Sex Pistols” rather a lot. Other than that it’s all a bit of a blur, but one I’m very glad to have experienced. What an end to an amazing second festival day.

Does It Offend You, Yeah?

Does It Offend You, Yeah?

(want m’n haute couture is oh zo duur)

UPDATE: check under the clip for an attempt at the Dutch lyrics and a translation!

[Foto van Eva Reurs, klik hier voor meer foto’s van de videoshoot.]

They did it again. De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig, arguably Holland’s freshest hiphop act, have a new single out called “Hollereer” with bleeps beeps and hilarious lyrics that suck you in from the first beat. Love this track (almost as much as Shenkie, who’s video star has a cameo in this one too) and can’t wait to hear what else is on their new album De Machine.

Someone dared to undertake the near impossible: deciphering the lyrics! With thanks to “Tinuzzz” who posted them on this hyves site. There is a thread attempting the same at for those wanting to do some more research.


daar komt vjezze
holler at ya boy boy
boy daar komt vjezze
holler at ya boy
daar komt vjezze
holler at ya boy boy
boy daar komt vjezze
holler at ya boy

je kan me vinden in de maccie of de wopperschuur
saus op me shirt BA op me haute couture
harder papi
meer chanel dan coco
vjezze fur
meer stijl dan een homo

je kijkt o zo zuur naar me haute couture
want me haute couture is o zo duur
kom niet zomaar, wat doet die met die ho’s daar
vjezze komt smooth, hij komt nu van clochard

karl kanker kani’s uurgh
vaak komen ze in groepen
te dom om te poepen
oeniger dan koeien
ik zal ze niet vervloeken
het is niet hun schuld
daarom fok je moeder

ik weet zeker dat ik niks van je aan heb
want jij bent slechts jij
en ik ben aan gek
ik ben zo blij dat ik ben wie ik ben
dat ik ga waar ga dat ik sta blablabla

daar komt wiwa
holler at ya boy boy
boy daar komt wiwa
holler at ya boy
daar komt wiwa
holler at ya boy boy
boy daar komt wiwa
holler at ya boy

willes hoor yo wederom waarzinnig
papi’s geil op dope en die boys gaan innen
kinnen omhoog borsten vooruit
mic in de hand
en wat borsten voor buit
hou het sickie zo simpel
bespaar je de rimpels “je haat op mn stijl”
terwijl je staat op mn gympen
gemaakt om te pimpen
jij om te fronten
altijd in je ooghoek
net als je oogpoep

holler naar die bolle gooi die hals omhoog
want zeg nou zelf ik ben kankerdope
baas pop hopen doh’ gewoon de illest
nigger wees weg omdat hier een willes
ok laat me eens vertel en wat het is
wartaal spacet meer dan achilles
tis die boy die met meer poes dan oedie
nigga holler at ya boy, G

holler at ya boy boy
boy faberyayo
holler at ya boy
holler at ya boy boy
boy faberyayo “was volgens mij dope maar ik doe het nog één keertje voor “le zekerheid”
holler at ya boy

laat het mokkel daar maar hobbelen op me hobbelpaard
f tot de aber jongen god maak de roddels waar
praat met respect als de baas je wat zegt
ik ben rijk, rap lastig en aantrekkelijk
uitermate kek als ik slets schreckelek
uitermate nep als ik raps van je rap
klippen door je schuur
dorp of plantsoen ghostwrite mn moer
kork of tantu
faber-yayo vader-lay low
praat met 2-woords drama ego
klik niet met caps en saaie air max
schroom niet, zwaai met me hermes

als ik de tent verlaat
wordt de manager kwaad
sletten staan stil
echt de laatste plaat
keer me om en die snollen hollen weer
dus kom niet weer aan de rimmen met de hollereer

je kijkt o zo zuur naar me haute couture want me haute couture is o zo duur

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

(some parts haven’t been translated, suggestions welcome)

here comes vjezze
holler at ya boy boy
boy here comes vjezze
holler at ya boy
here comes vjezze
holler at ya boy boy
boy here comes vjezze
holler at ya boy

you can find me in the maccie or the Wolvenschuur
sauce on my shirt BA on my haute couture
harder papi
more chanel than coco
vjezze fur
more style than a homo

you’re looking oh so “sour” at my haute couture (sour as in jealous/ resentful)
cause my haute couture is oh so expensive

don’t come for nothing, what’s he doing with those ho’s there
vjezze comest smooth, he came from clochard now
karl fuckin kani’s uurgh
often they come in groups
too stupid to take a shit
sillier than cows
I won’t curse them
It’s not their fault
so there fok your mom

I’m sure I’m not wearing anything of yours
cause you’re just you
and I’m it fool
I’m so happy to be who I am
to go where I go that I stand blablabla
here comes wiwa
holler at ya boy boy
boy here comes wiwa
holler at ya boy
here comes wiwa
holler at ya boy boy
boy here comes wiwa
holler at ya boy

willes yo insane as usual
papi’s horny on dope and the boys are inning
chins up and breasts out
mic in hand
and some breast as loot
keep it sickie so simple
save your wrinkles “you’re hating on my style”
while you’re standing on my sneakers
made for pimping
you for fronting
always in the corner of your eye
just like your eyebuggers 
holler at the big guy throw that neck up
just admit I’m fuckin dope
baas pop hopen doh’ just the illest
nigger get out cause here’s willes
ok let me tell you what it is
wartaal spaces more than achilles
it’s the boy with more pussy than oedie

nigga holler at ya boy, G
holler at ya boy boy
boy faberyayo
holler at ya boy
holler at ya boy boy
boy faberyayo “I think it was dope but I’ll do it again just to be “le sure”
holler at ya boy

let the mokkel rock it on my rockin horse
f to the aber boy god makes the rumours true
talk with respect when the boss tells you something
I’m rich, rap tricky and attractive
extremely kek when I slets schreckelek
extremely fake when I rip your raps
klipping through your barn
village or square ghostwrite mn moer
kork or tantu
faber-yayo father-lay low
speak with two words drama ego
don’t klik with caps and boring air max
no shame, swing my hermes
when I leave the club
the manager gets upset
sluts stand still
really the last record
turn around and those bimbos are running again
so don’t touch those rims again with the hollereer

you’re looking oh so sour at my haute couture cause my haute couture is oh so expensive

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