Well, 'tis the time of year for lists and charts! Several mags and blogs attempted to answer the question you've been dying to ask:
Who had the best album/"new music"?
a) men who are
b) preferably white unless
c) they make rap or hip-hop, in which case it's ok for them to not be white, or
d) they are young and hot, in which case it's possible under extenuating circumstances to be female but only about 20% of the time.
British music mag NME's list of the top 75 albums of 2010 was largely American, and geared towards white people who like electronica:
The Top Five:
1 These New Puritans - Hidden
2 Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
3 Beach House - Teen Dream
4 LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
5 Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can
They did include several L.A.-area artists:
Flying Lotus' who came in at 61; No Age's Everything In Between which placed at 29; Best Coast's Crazy for You which was just ahead of them at 27; Avi Buffalo's self-titled record at number 25; Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti's Before Today at 23; Warpaint's the Fool at number 18.
Vibe Magazine's Ten Best Albums of 2010 allowed for the possibility of not being white, and included:
1. Kanye West-My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
2. Rick Ross-Teflon Don
3. Drake-Thank Me Later
4. Eminem- Recovery
5. Janelle Monae- The Archandroid (Suites II and III)
Lil Kim did not place in their top ten, for those of you keeping track of the ongoing beef.
1. Robyn-Body Talk
2. Kanye West-My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
3. Girls-Broken Dreams Club EP
4. Sufjan Stevens-The Age of Adz
5. Twin Shadow-Forget
And Billboard created a new type of list, based not on album sales or any measure of quality, but on such measures as artist page views, and song plays via iLike, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Social media users seem to be more tolerant of diversity than the people who make these lists, allowing for a record 60% of the top slots to be taken by non-male people, and 40% to be people of color.
Top Social 50 This Week:
2. Justin Bieber
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4. Lady Gaga
5. Nicki Minaj
Note to those of you who have been following the Nicki Minaj/Lil' Kim beef: 'Lil Kim did not place on the Top Social 50.