Our Critics' Year-End Top Tens: Catherine Downes Hails Nine Inch Nails' Pretty Hate Machine Re-Release

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

In this week's paper, you may notice a piece including some of our DC9 writers' choices for best albums of the year. But, space being limited, we couldn't run all of our writers' lists. So, thanks to the power of the Internet, we're doing just that, right here.

The mind behind our DC9er mixtape feature, the electronica-obsessed Catherine Downes picks her top albums of the year -- and favors an 21-year-old re-issue.

10. Owen Pallett - Heartland

9. Beach House - Teen Dream

8. Caribou - Swim

7. Beat Connection - Surf Noir
I was blindsided by the Seattle duo earlier this year thanks to some casual blog surfing, and, as a consequence, Surf Noir soon became the soundtrack to my summer.

6. Bear In Heaven - Beast Rest Fourth Mouth (Remixed)

5. Thieves Like Us - Again And Again
I've had a very soft spot for this band ever since I first saw the video for "Drugs In My Body" a few years ago. The band's murky delivery of minimalist, new-wavy tracks really does it for me, and the chopped-up '80s film noir music videos that accompany their sonic aesthetic do so quite nicely. What can I say? I'm into it!

4. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles II

3. Small Black - New Chain

2. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening

1. NIN - Pretty Hate Machine (2010 Remaster)
After a two-decade-long struggle with Steve Gottlieb of TVT Records, Trent Reznor was finally able to re-release his 1989 debut this year -- and, let me tell you, it's better than ever. It's on my top-ten-albums-of-all-time list, and it's not likely that anything else that came out this year will boast that distinction. So, yeah, its only natural that Pretty Hate Machine is my No. 1 pick for 2010.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.