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The Best Albums of 2010: Lloyd Bradley and Robin Denselow

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Mike Diver Mike Diver | 12:40 UK time, Saturday, 18 December 2010

Double the bang for your buck today, as we've another two-for-one on top fives from BBC Album Reviews writers. Lloyd Bradley has been covering music for more years than it would be polite to mention, and was among the first wave of contributors to Q magazine. He's also had work published in Mojo and NME, and his 2001 book Bass Culture is among the most respected tomes on reggae music. Robin Denselow is a regular contributor to the Guardian when his words aren't gracing the BBC site, and is an expert on world and folk music.

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Lloyd Bradley (reviewed albums)

Tom Caruana Presents Wu-Tang Vs The Beatles - Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers
Fab Four samples taken to beyond any logical conclusion.
Wu-Tang Clan on BBC Music
The Beatles on BBC Music

Jammer - Jahmanji
Grime grows up, but still stays snotty.
Read the BBC review and listen to previews

Carolina Chocolate Drops - Genuine Negro Jig
A modern take on traditional African-American fiddle music.
Read the BBC review and listen to previews

The Jolly Boys - Great Expectation
Rock classics done over in Jamaican mento, showing the roots of ska and rock steady.
Read the BBC review and listen to previews

UB40 - Signing Off: 30th Anniversary Edition
DVD footage, bonus tracks, remastering... a timely reminder of how important this group is.
Read the BBC review and listen to previews
(Yes, it's a reissue... but I'll let it stand - Ed)

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Robin Denselow (reviewed albums)

1
Bellowhead - Hedonism
This folk big band is brilliant live, but until now had failed to capture the exhilaration of their concerts on a recording. They got it last at right with this album: it's brave, clever and enormous fun.
Read the BBC review and listen to previews

2
Eliza Carthy and Norma Waterson - Gift
Eliza and her mother Norma have worked together in the past, often with the family group Waterson: Carthy, but this is their first-ever release as a duo, and it's remarkable both for the quality of their singing and the range of material they cover - anything from shanties and spirituals to the wonderfully emotional Bunch of Thyme.
Read the BBC review and listen to previews

3
Hanggai - He Who Travels Far
Rousing and inventive Asian folk-rock from the grasslands of Inner Mongolia, from a band who use traditional horse-hair fiddles as well as guitars and electronics, and specialise in growled 'overtone singing', in which two notes are produced at the same time.
Hanggai on BBC Music

4
Robert Plant - Band of Joy
A new band and a new departure for the Led Zeppelin star. After his massive success working with country star Alison Krauss, he now switches to a more rootsy country-blues-folk fusion, with songs by Los Lobos and Richard Thompson, and magnificent help from the likes of guitarist Buddy Miller.
Read the BBC review and listen to previews

5
Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabaté - Ali and Toumani
Recorded in 2005, just a few months before Ali Farka Toure's death, but only released this year, this is the final album featuring Mali's legendary guitarist and his compatriot, the world's finest kora player, Toumani Diabaté. It's as subtle and exquisite as you would expect.
Read the BBC review and listen to previews

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