Say what you will about 2010 but no one could have predicted some of the odd moments that came to be in the past year. Modern synthpop alumni Brandon Flowers put his rock band on the back burner to record with super disco producer Stuart Price only to turn in an album that is doused with country twang. In a year where the line between dance music and hip hop has been blurred beyond distinction The Chemical Brothers, career long champions of dance/hip hop hybridization, created a rap free psychedelic album that came with custom visuals. Daft Punk and Johnny Marr went Hollywood, separately, contributing to heavily discussed soundtracks to blockbuster films. Then there was the usually lumbering Gorillaz, who unleashed two albums on the public with some of the brightest singles of the year. Who expected the Blur front man's hip hop side-project to be so dominant in 2010?
Album of the year: Goldfrapp Head First
Live television performance: Gorillaz "Rhinestone Eyes" (on Letterman with an awesome misfire early in the clip)
Teaser preview loop of the year: The Human League "Night People"
2nd best teaser preview loop of the year: Brandon Flowers "Only The Young"
Best ex-New Order song: Freebass "Live Tomorrow Die You Go Down"
Best smart phone app: Audiogalaxy (streams your mp3 collection to your phone by way of your computer)
Worst music download sales move (artist): BT releasing his These Hopeful Machines as two tracks: side A and side B (later re-released as 12 individual tracks)
Worst music download sales move (retailer): itunes charging extra for version of albums that include something beyond cover art
Amusing fan gripe: Human League fans who fawned over their heroes signing with Wall Of Sound, the label that refused to fund perhaps their third biggest star Mekon's 2nd album and convinced Stuart Price not to record as Les Rythmes Digitales anymore to avoid working with them, only to be shocked that the label isn't doing much to promote the album.
Announced 2006 release that saw the light of day this year: BT These Hopeful Machines