Experimental Music Love

October 28, 2009

Top 100 Albums of the Decade: 25 – 11


100 – 51
50 – 26
10 – 1



25. Jay Z –  The Blueprint
The start of something extraordinary as Mr Z became more than merely a hip-hop star, but one of the world’s biggest and most celebrated entertainers, businessmen and Beyonce lovers. Tremendous production flashes over the casual misogynisim, but it’s more than that, with the odd glimpse into the emotions and romance of Shawn Carter in the likes of ‘Song Cry’ and ‘Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)’.
Listen to this: ‘Never Change

24. Brian Wilson –  Smile
Nearly 40 years to make Wilson eh? Where’s your work ethic? Some people might think you had a nervous break down or something. At least it was worth it.
Listen to this: ‘Wonderful

23. Various: Smithsonian Collection – Classic Labour Songs
I toyed with the idea of putting compilations in this here list, but decided against it. Then I recalled this and went ‘dang’. Literally. Out loud. Surrounded by people. Staring at me. Wondering what my anguish was over. I never told. For this, like most other Smithsonian Collections, was just too worthy not to include. Probably the most emotional record on here – a collection of work songs over the century, taking in the American lower class labour life, but with a main focus on protest and unions, fighting for fair employment and justice against the greed of the companies that gave them their wage packet. Or didn’t.
Listen to this: Woody Guthrie – ‘1913 Massacre’

22. Okkervil River –  Stage Names
That Will Sheff’s a bit loud isn’t he? All that shouting. It’s like he actually cares about what he’s singing or something. A brilliant band at their brilliant peak, combatting American alt-rock with modern lyrical films of celebrity and the warped concept of life Hollywood offers us. And smartly so.
Listen to this: ‘Unless It Kicks

21. At the Drive In –  Relationship of Command
Like Sonic Youth all over again, but all a bit more contained and melodic, and maybe even a bit louder, and all just as brilliant. It took a few albums, but they became a necessary part of the rock and roll world.
Listen to this: ‘Invalid Litter Dept.

20. Reflection Eternal – Train of Thought
My favourite hip-hop album of the decade apparently. Hmmm. It probably is. Maybe not as huge as The Blueprint, or inspirational as The College Dropout or as zeitgeist as Original Pirate Material, but just the most melodic, interesting and intelligent, with Taleb Kweli articulate and dynamic throughout.
Listen to this: ‘Good Mourning

19. Twilight Sad – Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters
Pitchfork called them ‘Groundskeeper Wullie singing My Bloody Valentine’ which is about right, if not quite getting across just how huge and powerful such a combination is. Like being drowned in distortion whilst some mad drunken Scot shouts about how much of a cunt you and everyone else is. That’s what you want from music, isn’t it?
Listen to this: ‘And She Would Darken The Memory

18. Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not
If you don’t understand why this is here, just go away now and never read any music related writing again. I don’t care if you don’t like it, but if you don’t appreciate it, then you’re too deluded to worth explaining things too.
Listen to this: ‘From The Ritz To The Rubble’

17. Sufjan Stevens –  Come On Feel The Illinoise
Indulgent and overlong, but with too many moments of American alt-rock majesty to be too infuriated with. Give him a limit of 35 minutes and he’ll make the greatest album ever.
Listen to this: ‘Chicago

16. Radiohead  – Kid A
How to follow one of the greatest works of art ever? Do something completely different. And they did. And it was great.
Listen to this: ‘How To Disappear Completely

15. New Pornographers –  Twin Cinema
An album you can’t not help but move something to at any point. A supergroup of unheard of vocal styles and pop mindsets that master epic abilities and a cheeky three minutes.
Listen to this: ‘Star Bodies

14. The Strokes –  Is This It?
Apparently did something sometime for music and rock and roll and guitars and haircuts and military style jackes. Absolutely beezer too.
Listen to this: ‘Hard To Explain

13. The National –  Boxer
I was so disappointed the first time I heard this. But I kept on putting it on for the one or two tracks I warmed to. Then I put on a few more times. Then I never took it off. Then I did. But I wasn’t happy.
Listen to this: ‘Apartment Story

12. Godspeed You Black Emperor! –  Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven
So big. Four tracks, two CDs one big gasping sigh when it all ends. A post-rock pinnacle.
Listen to this: ‘Storm

11. Hope of the States –  The Lost Riots
Took a while to decide if this was top ten material or not. And it was for so long. And it probably should be in there. What with combining my love of raw vocals, driving indie, awesome relentless percussion and a trio of strings, keys and brass to just put in the realsm of utter spacking beauty. It was close.
Listen to this: ‘Nehemiah


100 – 51
50 – 26
10 – 1



  1. […] in Nottingham!Top 150 Albums of the Decade: 50 – 26School of ComedyThe Cribs Interview 10/12/05Top 100 Albums of the Decade: 25 – 11Tom Jones – 24 HoursPolly Scattergood – Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh 13/04/09Top 100 Albums of the […]

    Pingback by Top 100 Albums of the Decade: 100 – 51 « Experimental Music Love — October 29, 2009 @ 2:59 am |Reply

  2. […] 100 – 51 50 – 26 25 – 11 […]

    Pingback by Top 100 Albums of the Decade: 10 – 1 « Experimental Music Love — October 29, 2009 @ 3:01 am |Reply

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