Best Of 2010

Best Album: Brothers, by the Black Keys

True, only about half of this, the Black Keys' best and most tuneful album, was recorded at the duo's Akron home studio. Parts were also laid down at the famous Muscle Shoals studio that produced some of the greatest soul records of the 1960s and '70s, and one track was made with producer Danger Mouse in New York. It all flows together seamlessly, but those Akron songs are a bit more gritty — the closest the Keys come here to the stripped-down, old-school sound of their earliest records. Enjoy it, because this could be the group's last album made here: drummer Pat Carney has already shipped out to NYC, and singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach is talking about a move to Nashville.