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Lostprophets lead your top Welsh albums of 2010

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James McLaren James McLaren | 08:45 UK time, Tuesday, 14 December 2010

For the past two weeks or so, we've been asking for your thoughts as to the best Welsh album of 2010. In this wholly unscientific effort, we've been amazed by the response and the fervour with which you've argued the case for each record.

Here we present 10 albums which have caught your eye (and ear) this year, in no particular order, However, it would be remiss of us not to doff our caps to Lostprophets, whose army of fans came out in force for The Betrayed. The Pontypridd band tweeted and retweeted our invitations to participate and it's testament to the force of social media that hundreds took up those invitations on their behalf.

We must also say that by-and-large asking for suggestions through social media (as well as the BBC Wales website) means the responses were self-selecting. Those acts with big Twitter and Facebook followings are those who were able to marshal those followers effectively. No doubt, had Katherine Jenkins released a new album in 2010, her 40,000 followers would have inundated our mailboxes.

As it was, it was pretty much down to the indie and rock bands this year:

The Betrayed

The Betrayed

Lostprophets - The Betrayed
(Visible Noise)

We've covered this record extensively since it was released in January. It rewards repeated listens and its dark - albeit poppy - sounds translated well on their spring arena tour. Ridding themselves of the constraints of major label A&R men seemed to liberate their songwriting. JackBlaze on our blog wrote: "Lostprophets - The Betrayed. Best band in the UK, and an amazing album."
Read the BBC Music review of the album.

Persistence In This Game

Persistence In This Game

Straight Lines - Persistence In This Game
(Xtra Mile Recordings)

This record came late to me this year, but listening to it extensively in the car in recent times has shown an inventive, tuneful, slightly gritty pop rock record that augurs well for their future.

The very first comment we had on the blog was from Davy: "Straight Lines - Persistence In This Game. Brilliant lyrics doused in pop-punk melodies makes it almost impossible not to bounce and sing along."
Read the BBC Music review of the album.

Bad News Makes Big Noise

Colours Of One - Bad News Makes Big Noise
(Rogues Gallery Records)

This south Wales indie rock band really surprised me with the amount of support Bad News... got. Their grungey power pop rock prompted Lucy to email us and say: "Welsh album of the year has to go to Colours Of One for Bad News Makes Big Noise. I saw them support Attack! Attack! last month and subsequently bought their CD - it blew my mind. I think I've listened to it every day since then. I love, love, love Burning Ants the opening track! Beautiful intro meets destructive verses! Fab!"

Dirt

Kids In Glass Houses - Dirt
(Roadrunner)

Anyone who saw their great headline performance at Cardiff's Big Weekend in 2009 will know how these Valleys boys command a stage. This year's Dirt took them further into the big league of UK rock with its big sound and bigger hooks. Steven emailed us and said: "My album of the year has got to be Kids In Glass Houses' newest album Dirt. Those guys are such a nice breath of fresh air right now and of course the album is top notch! The fact they've worked so hard to make it and actually succeeded is really inspiring."
Read the BBC Music review of the album.

Luck

Luck

The Storys - Luck
(Angel Air)

Sadly departed now, The Storys (fronted by the charismatic Steve Balsamo) delivered an album in 2010 of classic MOR pop rock. They had their big break supporting Elton John a couple of years back, and they impressed many with their West Coast Americana feel and British pop nous. On the blog, starman2001uk said: "The Storys' Luck album is without doubt the finest Welsh album of 2010. Steve Balsamo and co exhibit musical genius; and Steve has one of the finest voices in the world."

Parade

Parade

The Last Republic - Parade
(Monnowtone Records)

This record reminds me of Britpop also-rans Marion (whose singer's heroin habit let him to being caught for nicking garden ornaments), plus bits of Radiohead, Elbow and harder rockers like Muse. Its stadium rock atmospherics inspired Freebornjen to post on our blog: "What an amazing album from extremely talented musicians. Loving every song. Definitely worth checking out."

Tear The Signs Down

Tear The Signs Down

The Automatic - Tear The Signs Down
(Armoured Records)

This, their third album, was ignored by most, but it was under-appreciated rather than disappointing. On Radio Wales this year the band showed what they could do with new(ish) man Paul Mullen in the fold with some great acoustic session tracks. Check out Interstate and Run And Hide. Their indie pop has lost some of spikiness but gained a subtlety. Goteamdrama on the blog said: "The Automatic - Tear The Signs Down is brilliant; really, really underrated album and band."
Read the BBC Music review of the album.

Postcards

Postcards

Manic Street Preachers - Postcards From A Young Man
(Columbia)

A real return to the commercial arena, Postcards... was a critical success, even if commercially it followed the pattern of their recent releases. Mind you, appearing on Strictly Come Dancing certainly put them in the limelight. Peter D Cox told us: "Constant re-invention, great musicality, real 'outreach' for new audiences, solid and commendable sentiments, and bloody great entertainment. It will last the course. Another stepping stone in a remarkable career path."
Read the BBC Music review of the album.

Fever

Fever

Bullet For My Valentine - Fever
(Sony)

There was a surprising paucity of votes for Fever when you consider that BFMV are both the heaviest and biggest band of all those featured in this list. Fever was their second album in a row to break the US Billboard top three and this week they play Wembley Arena. As ever with BFMV it's monster riffs, massive production, hyper-frenzied drum beats. Unfortunately none of their fans had anything in depth to say about the record, so we'll just say: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Read the BBC Music review of the album.

The Latest Fashion

The Latest Fashion

Attack! Attack! - The Latest Fashion
(Hassle Records)

Very much part of the new generation of rock bands from Wales, Attack! Attack! delivered a chunky, occasionally earnest, mostly fun album of fist-punching power pop. Again, no-one gave us a reason for The Latest Fashion, but as we said in our track-by-track guide, "It sounds expensive; it's polished hard rock with a keen ear for killer hooks and with support from magazines, TV and radio it could be another in a long line of Welsh guitar-toting successes".
Read the BBC Music review of the album.

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