Experimental Music Love

October 29, 2009

Top 100 Albums of the Decade: 10 – 1


100 – 51
50 – 26
25 – 11



10. Loretta Lynn – Van Lear Rose (2004)


Jack White’s production on this is the best thing he has ever done. Even better than that time he cured cancer for a laugh. Then wrote the entire 19 episodes of Eerie Indiana and invented the orgasm. He turns Lynn’s traditional country tones into sweet, rich blues, deep in history, but as contemporary and relevant as Modest Mouse, Wilco or, indeed, White Stripes. Lynn is the star though of course, not afraid to grow up and tell the stories and sing the songs of a life well-lived.
Listen to this: ‘Women’s Prison

9. Avalanches – Since I Left You (2000)

avalanchesSo perfectly formed, creationists would use it as evidence for the existence of God. I just use it to prove that never has there been a more exciting decade for creating music – being able to manipulate, steal and borrow from all that’s gone before, and use the technology to make it as fresh, unique and exciting as this. Blooming brill.
Listen to this: ‘A Different Feeling

8. The Libertines – Up The Bracket (2002)

libertines“WELLLLLLLLLLLL, GET OUT OF IT!!” Pete Doherty was great once. He still is probably, somewhere in there. This was the first record that actually made me excited about music and realise just what an important, fantastic thing it was. No, really. Before that I thought Barenaked Ladies and Turin Brakes were a pinnacle of the artform. They’re not. This made me shout though. I got it for Christmas in 2002. Planet Sound had mentioned them. I trusted Planet Sound even then. I was 15. And very confused. My mother had only let me into Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Small Faces and Manfredd Man, and my dad did not care for sound. I had nothing of my own to claim. The best record I owned was ‘Asleep in the Back’. This was a new world though, and one I was glad to be a part of. I played it on the living room hi-fi on Christmas Day – I’d never done that with my family home. I’m listening to it now. I just want to learn it all again. Every word like I did one time. And every chord. I won’t. Too much of its time.
Listen to this: ‘Up The Bracket

7. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)

wilcoThis took a while to love. A 10/10 from Pitchfork will do that to an album. Such awesome expections. Such confusion on first listen. There’s too much going on, there’s not enough going on. I hate his voice, I love his voice. I don’t understand what he’s trying to convey, I understand it all too well! I wish I never bought this, I want to make love to this CD. And so on. Until I didn’t care anymore and let it all happen naturally.
Listen to this: ‘Jesus etc

6. The Wrens – The Meadowlands (2003)


Long delayed, long played, and £13 I paid. No really. That may be the most I’ve ever spent on a record. It was worth it though. I was too excited. I listened to it the first time climbing Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh. A sunny day. And after a much horrid evening, which involved a man in a towel babbling under his breath and saying ‘cunt’ a lot whilst getting a drink of water. Anyway, some hope was restored by this. Proper voices and proper rock and proper ambition.
Listen to this: ‘Hopeless

5. Arcade Fire – Funeral (2004)


Their only album so far. In my head. Neon Bible belongs with the lonely, rejected orphan children of Dickens. This was different though. First listened to on some headphones in Fopp, being briefly stunned, but in a hurry. Not forgotten though. And to never be. Incredible scope, and something wonderfully fresh as to bring forth a flurry of pale imitators. None were as good.
Listen to this: ‘Wake Up

4. The Delgados – The Great Eastern (2000)


The highest British entry, and a deserving one. Like Arcade Fire, it’s in its ambition that it excels, blending indie with an inspiring classical influence. Dark too of course being Scots, with a bleak but building opener in ‘The Past That Suits You Best’ setting a tone of a battle between the pessimist and the optimist, as lyrics travel through deep depressions and hopeful epiphanies in the likes of ‘Aye Today’. It’s rain and it’s sun. Blue skies and the wind in your face.
Listen to this: ‘No Danger

3. Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (2005)


Oh Conor, you little sweetheart. Getting all your frustrations out like that, but still being the articulate little emo hero too? Joys. His folk answer to ‘Digital Ash’ and an album that follows Cash, Dylan, Young and Springsteen in defining, angry North American folk that ignites a passion but keeps a campfire happy. Opening with a story to set the scene, as a plane crashes and a character seeks meaning in a stranger’s words, before ‘At The Bottom Of Everything’ battles tastes and trends and shows up the darkest sides of the USA in neat couplerts of contemporary poetry. It’s a tone kept throughout – cynical of faceless power and their desire to control, but hopeful in each individual and the journeys they face. Bitterly in love with it all. Comforted by strangers.
Listen to this: ‘Lua

2. Modest Mouse – The Moon And Antarctica (2000)


My most favourite band of my lifetime. This is the main reason why. Such a grand scale yet such personality. A vicious, attack minded recorded, with ‘Tiny Cities’ the sinister creep down the alleyway before ‘A Different City’ reveals the bottle in its fist and delivers some killer blow. A record to knock you out, surprising at each turn, opening gently but always snarling at you along the way. The only music recorded that’s given me the same adrenaline rush as when those dogs jump through the window and try to bite your shins in the first Resident Evil game.
Listen to this: ‘Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes

1. The National – Alligator (2005)


I’ve said enough. Just listen.
Listen to this: ‘Geese Of Beverly Road


100 – 51
50 – 26
25 – 11


1 Comment »

  1. […] 50 – 26 25 – 11 10 – 1 […]

    Pingback by Top 100 Albums of the Decade: 100 – 51 « Experimental Music Love — October 29, 2009 @ 3:09 am |Reply

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