18
Nov
09

HOW GOOD IS THIS!!!??? – NUMBER 36

BEST ALBUMS OF THE NOUGHTIES

The daunting task of putting together something that you know lots of readers won’t agree with is never easy, but then we thought you could always go make your own lists.  At least we had the balls…

So the 50s had rock n roll, the 60s had it’s pop and folk, the 70s it’s punk, disco and glam, the 80s it’s pop, hip hop and hair rock, the 90s it’s grunge, brit pop and dance music.  It begs the question – what standout genre defines the Noughties?

In the age of the Internet, mass communication and rapid pace, it seems very few themes had a chance to settle.  Whether this is a bad thing for the adoring Teen is uncertain.  NME magazine were desperate to tie bands together, as we saw with their own invention of nu-rave, following the Klaxons debut.

So diluted are people’s tastes, that if you ask anyone what type of music they like, 90% will now answer, “…a bit of everything really“.  We are no longer Mods or Rockers, or into hip hop or rock.  We put this down to a number of cultural factors, but alongside the obvious invention of the Internet, one big influential change came with another man-made creation:  Ecstasy.

This drug meant that typical fans of rock music were missing out on all this drug-fuelled fun that the dancing ravers were having, so it meant dropping your guard and embracing the ‘other’ sort of music.  So it turned out that you could like rock music during the week, then pile into clubs for dance music at the weekends.  And so the dilution began…

Now we all happily enjoy “…a bit of everything” and that has to be good.  Gone are the clans and the cliques.  However, the Teenager may have lost out on the magical feeling of being part of a genre that defines your Tribe.  Are we no longer “Talkin’ bout Your Generation“?

And so to the list…gulp…

1.)  LCD SOUNDSYSTEM – SOUND OF SILVER (2007) :  The past, present and future all dispensed in one mind-shattering, occasionally apocalyptic, but ultimately life-affirming experience that went straight for the cerebral cortex.  This is very much the property of James Murphy, but it’s ripples can be found in many other artist’s subsequent work.  However, subtle ripples is all they are, as although truly great albums spawn many pretenders, nobody can repeat something as magical as this.  Indie, dance, punk, electronica, funk, pop, new wave, rock, it’s all in here.  At it’s peaks it is a crest of a tidal wave.  At it’s depths it has songs we want played at our funeral.  Truly special.


Best Track – All My Friends (ysi)

2.)  ARCADE FIRE – NEON BIBLE (2007) : This Canadian masterpiece, and it is a true masterpiece, simply couldn’t have been written by anyone else.  Finally, something otherworldly that wasn’t done in a self-indulgent, psychedelic way.  Their strong debut, Funeral, which was a lot of people’s best kept secret, made the follow up a definitive ‘difficult second album’, but they blew the myth out of the water.  Never before has an album felt so much like an all-encompassing, religious experience.  This is one cult we are all better off for joining.


Best Track – Intervention (ysi)

3.)  ARCTIC MONKEYS – WHATEVER PEOPLE SAY I AM, THAT’S WHAT I’M NOT (2006) :  It seems Alex Turner and co were never that keen on the limelight, which possibly dimmed with each subsequent album, but there’s no denying the consistent power of this massive debut.  They were the first true Myspace generation band.  Life was never the same again following those first few chords at the beginning of I Bet You look Good On The Dancefloor.  Singing in your accent finally cast aside any dominant American shackles that indie music had.  Cue adoring hoards, gorgeous girlfriends, and plentiful riches.  Damn that limelight eh!


Best Track – A Certain Romance (ysi)

4.)  RADIOHEAD – KID A (2000) :  This is the musical equivalent of a marmite album if ever there was one. It sounded like the future, from a band that truly embraced new technology and change, during the birth of the new millenium, when the rest of us were still learning to walk with it.  For a band that had showed off their talents on many previous occasions it was beautiful to see they still had this many clever tricks up their sleeve.  Never has an album been so anticipated, only to surprise us all upon it’s eventual release.  Amazingly, boundaries have continued tumbling with every album since.  This Oxford five piece are the definition of independent.


Best Track – The National Anthem (ysi)

5.)  THE STROKES – IS THIS IT? (2001) :  You could argue that the title’s clever question was immediately answered upon hitting play on an album that seemed to jump start the decade, just as the world was still looking for fresh ideas.  Strange really, as upon first glance it seemed very retrospective with it’s 70s garage rock influences.  However, this record , and it does feel like it should be called a record, had more ferocious power and lyrical comment hidden away.  Oh, and every single band member looked way cooler than anybody had for years!  This had an equally big impact on style as it did music.


Best Track – The Modern Age (ysi)

6.)  TV ON THE RADIO – DEAR SCIENCE (2008) : A tough choice, seeing as their previous attempt, Return To Cookie Mountain, was also very strong. It’s with their latest effort that we think they deserve their listing though. It’s a step up in our books. Unbelievably smart tracks, such as opener Halfway Home, or the equally original Golden Age, seem so thunderously strong that they came with a lightning bolt to the head included.


Best Track – Golden Age (ysi)

7.)  GREEN DAY -AMERICAN IDIOT (2004) :  Never before has a band switched from being the possession of the young to the wider acceptance of the adult music fan with such a thump as this Californian three piece’s 7th album.  Yes, that’s 7th album!  But this isn’t a case of monkeys writing out Shakespeare if given the time, oh no.  We always knew this band had ability, it’s just that true quality often takes time to evolve, (or grow up, if you like).  They kept their punk brilliance, but added in more politics and melody.  It’s argued this is the only good thing to appear as a result of George Bush’s existence.


Best Track – Holiday (ysi)

8.)  BLOC PARTY – A WEEKEND IN THE CITY (2007) :  Albums simply don’t get more urban than this.  Songs of both losing and finding love, this album scaled the emotional heights.  This was music made by people who had clearly built on the promise of their strong debut, Silent Alarm, reassuring fans that their full locker was the real deal.  This was a band who you can sum up in their lyric from one of the album’s highlights,  “Tonight make me unstoppable…and I will dazzle, I will outshine them all“.

An aerial night shot of a motorway junction with two levels. Lit sports pitches are visible in the top right-hand corner.
Best Track – I Still Remember (ysi)

9.)  THE LIBERTINES – UP THE BRACKET (2002) : Like all greatness they burned bright and then exploded, or should that be imploded, leaving every teen fan gasping for air and longing for reconciliation ever since. Touted as this generation’s Lennon and McCartney combo, Pete Doherty and Carl Barat have similarly never scaled the heights as individuals that they reached when their parts were combined. Fuck Robbie Williams, in a world of pop comebacks, this is the really big, glaring omission.


Best Track – Time For Heroes (ysi)

10.)  ELBOW – THE SELDOM SEEN KID (2008) :  We know a lot of people liked Asleep In The Back, but there’s a reason Elbow’s most recent album was more commercially successful, won massive critical acclaim and scooped the Mercury Prize.  Namely, it’s songs scaled heights (The Loneliness Of Tower Crane Driver), channelled raw power (Grounds For Divorce) and truly fulfilled the promise of their collective talents in one of the best show-closers of all time, (One Day Like This). Never before has reward been so deserving.


Best Track – One Day Like This (ysi)

11.)  THE YEAH YEAH YEAHS – IT’S BLITZ (2009) :   Their debut, Fever To Tell, and the follow up, Show Your Bones, had fantastic highlights, but their latest album offered up true consistency.  Adopting more electronics and synths, without dropping any of the craft we had previously witnessed, was both surprising and reassuring.  It worked well with their image and they retained lots of originality, whilst still managing to pander to a wider audience.  Interestingly,  it’s the only entry on this list from 2009.


Best Track – Zero (ysi)

12.)  BRIGHT EYES – I’M WIDE AWAKE, IT’S MORNING (2005) :  Touting him as the new Bob Dylan perhaps over-played his impact, but he’s probably the closest any modern artist has come.  No wandering songsmith has mastered the power of the lyric quite as well as Conor Oberst.  This is an album of brave honesty and clever ideas.  Only hearts of stone couldn’t connect to this album.


Best Track – First Day Of My Life (ysi)

13.) KLAXONS – MYTHS OF THE NEAR FUTURE (2007) :  This was one Mercury Prize winning album that truly deserved the recognition.  Adventurous, refreshing and more than anything, original.  Although they resisted the NME’s nu rave pigeon hole, there’s no denying this album caught the teenager’s imagination.  It’s style was copied by many and it even injected colour back into the world of fashion.  All eyes on what will be a very difficult ‘second album’ then.


Best Track – Golden Skans (ysi)

14.)  THE WHITE STRIPES – ELEPHANT (2003) :  Although it’s predecessor, White Blood Cells, showed off many sparks of Jack’s genius, it was this follow up that eventually engulfed the world in red and white flames.  One guitar, one set of drums, one totally colossal sound.  It’s fitting that this rock duo, who plunder the genre of blues more than anything, make music that’s never been so stripped back to it’s basics.


Best Track – Hardest Button To Button (ysi)

15.)  JUSTICE(2007) :  Was this the peak in a hit and miss decade for the genre of dance?  This Parisian pair of hipsters spawned a whole new sub-genre, blog house, and influenced all dance music for the next two years.  Cue pandemonium in every live set.  Dance had never been so rock, they even ended their gigs with a Metallica tune!  Embraced by the online world, it seemed fitting that an electronic piece of cool turned us bloggers on so much, as that’s precisely what we (incorrectly) think we are!  It’s the album Daft Punk wished they had made, yet it wouldn’t have existed without them.


Best Track – DVNO (ysi)

16.)  THE FLAMING LIPS – YOSHIMI BATTLES THE PINK ROBOTS (2002) :  This band really are in a world all their own and for this unique album we were all transported there, (aboard a pink spaceship, captained by Wayne Coyne).  A truly magical piece of work with many outstanding peaks.  Alternative rock has never been so refreshingly creative. The tour that followed was equally as mind-blowing.


Best Track – Do You Realize? (ysi)

17.)  FOALS – ANTIDOTES (2008) :  OK, so the genre attached to this group was one of the most short lived in history, but these purveyors of math rock were one of the shining lights in 2008.  A mangled collection of influences, this was truly intelligent music, with brilliant jarring guitars played high up the neck.  It was as sharp as it was original.


Best Track – Cassius (ysi)

18.)  MUSE – BLACK HOLES AND REVELATIONS (2006) :  If you could attach a scale of size to music, then this Cornish, yes Cornish (!), trio would be well off it.  Their music is truly fucking huuuuge!  Previous albums seemed a little trite and over the top, but interestingly this follow up was all the better for going ever further over it.  Never before has a band taken such a giant, confident leap into a stadium.


Best Track – Invincible (ysi)

19.)  FRANZ FERDINAND – FRANZ FERDINAND (2004) :  This showed the kids that you could dance all night long without needing electronics or Ecstasy.  As British as gets, it had barrellfulls of pomp, art, intelligence and wit rolled up inside it.  The instant you heard the riff drop 55 seconds into Take Me Out we were all properly hooked.  You had forgotten it won the Mercury Prize too didn’t you?


Best Track – Take Me Out (ysi)

20.)  EMINEM – THE MARSHALL MATHERS LP (2000) :  He may have exited stage left since, but this angry, little white man had the world of the white teenager in the palm of his hands and that was as dangerous as it was fair.  On show was his comedic, rapid flow (The Real Slim Shady), his schizophrenic darker side (Stan) and his most biting anger (The Way I Am).  All produced by the mastermind of hip hop, Dr Dre, before Jay Z deservedly stole that crown.


Best Track – Stan (ysi)

21.)  SUPER FURRY ANIMALS – RINGS AROUND THE WORLD (2001) – This is lush, gorgeous pop at it’s kaleidoscopic best.  An album has never been so multi-layered, which sometimes even made it inconsistent, but that’s the Super Furry Animals in a nut shell.  It’s outstanding melodic heights, which at their best are comparable to The Beatles, are perhaps not surprising since legends likes Paul McCartney and John Cale provided cameo support on it.


Best Track – Sidewalk Serfer Girl (ysi)

22.) IAN BROWN – MUSIC OF THE SPHERES (2001) :  To our generation The Stone Roses were as important as The Beatles.  If a solo album was to appear after their split, there had to be some quality hidden in there.  It was refreshingly found in Ian’s third solo attempt.  Often bleak and minimal, often rich and tuneful, it’s the timelessness that will keep it as a favourite for many years to come.  At it’s heart it’s essentially the sound of promise being fulfilled.


Best Track – F.E.A.R (ysi)

23.) DJ SHADOW – THE PRIVATE PRESS (2002) :  So Endtroducing was possibly his best work, but this was the most accessible album from Josh Davis.  From those opening warped chords of Fixed Income we were totally hooked.  This was the world’s most masterful sampler at his most intricate.  So wide was it’s variety you could dance to one track, then let your sofa eat you up in a stoned haze to the next.


Best Track – Six Days (ysi)

24.) JAY-Z – THE BLACK ALBUM (2003) :  Although the Blueprint series of albums, including 2009’s, are all great, it’s actually this one that made us fall for Jay-Z’s charms the most.  Famous for it’s variety of producers, from Kanye West, to Rick Rubin, to Neptunes, not only gave Sean Carter the tightest album of all time, but it was a showcase of the power this ex-hustler had obtained.  (It even gave birth to an album that could’ve featured on this list, Danger Mouse’s Grey Album, mashing this and The Beatles White Album to great effect).  This is a hip hop master stroke, by a hip hop master, at his smooth story-telling best.

Best Track – Dirt Off Your Shoulder (ysi)

25.) LEMON JELLY – LOST HORIZONS (2002) :  Original doesn’t quite do it justice!  During live sets they’d play Bingo, get the crowd to hand out sweets to each other, play spot the fan by putting his face on a giant screen, sell t-shirts instead of tickets making you wear them to get in etc etc!  As for their albums, this was their masterpiece.  Inventive, original, but above all a shit load of memorable fun.


Best Track – Rambling Man (ysi)

OK, so let us have you responses.  We know you won’t agree, so vent in the comments section please.  Got a list of your own?  Let us know.  Obviously we were missing some big artists here, so who do you think were the glaring omissions?

Doing this list was perhaps one of the biggest posts we’ve ever done, but rest assured that this was an absolute joy to do.  Perhaps you too should reflect on your favourite musical highlights of the decade?  Somehow, it’s reassured us that this world can still produce amazing, original and timeless music.

See you back here shortly for ‘The Best Tracks Of 2009‘ post.  Nice.
(by MB)

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21 Responses to “HOW GOOD IS THIS!!!??? – NUMBER 36”


  1. 1 Matt
    November 19, 2009 at 3:04 am

    You’re crazy dude! It’s Blitz better than Fever To Tell or even Show Your Bones!? Dear Science better than Young Liars (okay that’s an EP) or Blood Thirsty…? The first LCD album was their best… Hot Chip fart better songs than Foals…. And not even NME put Green bloody Day in their list.

    Good call for Jay Z though. Missing from many lists I’ve seen recently.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. November 19, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    As a footnote, here’s the 10 albums that nearly made it.

    We had initially written out 100 albums in total to pick from!

    Still, we thought it worth mentioning these nearly-rans…

    Arcade Fire (Funeral), Gorillaz (Demon Days), Sufjan Stevems (Illinoise), Kings Of Leon (Youth And Young Manhood), MIA (Arular), Wild Beasts (Two Dancers), MGMT (Orracular Spectacular), We Were Promised Jetpacks (These Four Walls), The Streets (A Grand Don’t Come For Free), Radiohead (In Rainbows).

    Surely, that’s covered them all now, right?

    What!? Oh, for fucks sake…

  3. November 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Great List Mikey!!

    Def think the following should be included:

    Kings of Leon – Only by the Night
    Gorillaz – Demon Days
    Danger mouse – The Grey Album
    Kasabian – Kasabian
    Athlete – Tourist
    Rufus Wainwright – Want One
    Groove Armada – Vertigo

    And I Can’t believe you missed off the best album of all time ever!!!!

    Back to Bedlam – James Blunt………”You’re Beautiful”….ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    All the best mate

    Tim xx

  4. November 20, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Yep, I’d go with a lot of these – neat list. Personally I would have gone for In Rainbows as Radioheads best album of the decade, and like Matt above I’m a bit shocked by the choice of Its Blitz, but overall a pretty good list. Oh – Foals ? Loved the singles but the album did nothing for me. I also think the 1st 2 Streets albums could have been on there (although I see one of them ‘almost’ made it) Three personal favourites not mentioned would be Bon Iver ‘For Emma Forever Ago’ Antony and the Johnsons ‘I Am A Bird Now’ and Joanna Newsom’s Y’s

    One thing that you seem to have not included at all (with the exception of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) are women ? 24 of these acts are male dominated ? In a decade when there have been many strong female acts Amy Winehouse, PJ Harvey, Bat For Lashes, Florence and the Machine, MIA, Kylie Minogue and the aformentioned Joanna Newsom none of them get a mention ? This seems to be indicative of many of the lists I have seen produced for ‘End of the Decade’. I wonder why ?

    Looking forward to your ‘Best tracks of 2009’ list. I’ve been contributing to a warped but fun list at Sweeping The Nation blog that doesn’t go for the necessarily obvious. My own blog won’t be doing any decade lists, but from the last couple of days of November I’ll be running down my Ten Ones To Watch for 2010 ( 3 of which I voted for on the BBC’s Sound of 2010 list which this year the BBC invited me to vote in (!) ) and then finishing of with my Ten Albums of the Year.

    • November 20, 2009 at 2:03 pm

      Yeah, that’s a great point about the lack of women being represented. I see there’s also a lot of discussion elsewhere on the blogosphere about black musicians too. If indie, dance and rock music has been a dominant force this decade then I guess it’s perhaps expected. I’m a massive fan of Bat For Lashes and MIA, but although they came close, I’d probably enter them in a top 50 list instead.

      However, I think it’s worth stating that 2009, with Florence, La Roux, Little Boots, V V Brown, amongst others, have started the correction. It looks like 2010 will possibly be even stronger, as Marina & The Diamonds, Ellie Goulding, The Good Fortune and Muchuu will all break through. The next decade is looking far better for the female. I remember that both me and you clearly spotted this trend in older posts on our blogs.

      Congratulations on the BBC poll. That’s a firm mark of respect for your opinions. We’ve also been asked to do this poll, so it will be interesting how it all pans out. Your blog is well thought out and well written, so you deserve nothing less. I look forward to your albums of the year.

      Many thanks
      Mike

      p.s. It made me consider what might have entered the last decade’s list. What do you think? Nirvana (Nevermind), Oasis (Definitely Maybe), Massive Attack (Blue Lines), Blur (Parklife), Radiohead (OK Computer), Pulp (Different Class)? Puts the Noughties into perspective…

  5. November 20, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Mike,

    Just seen you’re noughties list, some good choices (though Jay Z!).
    Great to see Arcade Fire ‘Black Neon’ in there, much better and improved follow up to ‘Funeral’ in my eyes. I’ve argued this one out with bloody loads of people who think it’s just okish.
    I didn’t realize you were doing this list but you have quiet a few in there that I would have recommended.

    In case you may find of interest here is my 2009 list. I’m working on my noughties one for my blog, should be up in a few weeks.

    Albums of 2009:- (All in alphabetical order)

    An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump – ‘Buy A Life’ (EP)
    Animal Collective – ‘Merriweather Post Pavillion’
    Bat For Lashes – ‘Two Suns’
    Esben And The Witch – ‘33’ (EP)
    Faust – ‘C’est Com Com Complique’
    Fiery Furnaces, The – ‘I’m Going Away’
    Fuck Buttons – ‘Tarot Sport’
    Hunches, The – ‘Exit Dreams’
    Mew – ‘No More Stories’
    Speech Debelle – ‘Speech Therapy’
    Sunset Rubdown – ‘Dragon Slayer’
    Themsleves – ‘Crowns Down’
    White Denim – ‘Fits’
    Why? – ‘Eskimo Snow’
    Wild Beasts – ‘Two Dancers’
    Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘It’s Blitz’

    I also found that my lists seemed to be mostly dominated by men though it’s in no way intentional. I’m afraid I haven’t an answer but like Mike said 2010 looks to be a strong year for the ladies.

  6. 8 Pikkie01
    November 20, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    THE KNIFE!!!!

  7. 9 Nate
    November 20, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Good list. I love a lot of this music and I’ll be finding some of the stuff I haven’t heard yet.

    I have to agree about YYY though – It’s Blitz is like a tiger with no teeth.

    As far as women go, I would put Regina Spektor, Jenny Lewis, Neko Case, St. Vincent, Alison Krauss in with rest of this music. Cat Power maybe.

    Oh, and where is Band of Horses?

  8. November 21, 2009 at 11:49 am

    for me the Noughties is typified by the full introduction of the internet and the ‘mash-up’ takes precedence everything from ‘A Stroke of Genius’ through 2manydj’s, ‘Crazy in Love’ and just people’s general consensus, everyone is so much more open to music now, from young to old. Tastes have changed, and music is free, whether you buy it or steal it. Therefore the music journalist must change and these old notions of grouping things together, pigeonholing and so forth…. maybe the way we describe music needs to change, perhaps actually learning about music and describing it by texture, structure and so on, might make sense than ‘indie’ or ‘dance’ or any of there sub-genres.

  9. November 22, 2009 at 9:07 am

    i’ve been a lurker for almost half a year now (thank you so much for introducing me to so many artists, including the tallest man on earth) and i just gotta say on this post how my heart swelled knowing i have more than half of the albums on this list. ❤ time and time again, your recommendations have proved absolutely amazing, so i trust you so much. thank you thank you.

    • November 22, 2009 at 6:08 pm

      Wow thanks. That’s got to be one of the kindest comments ever! Gald we can help, as a lot of time and effort goes into providing people with the best quality music we can find.

      It’s always lovely to find out readers are making use of the blog and enjoying our recommendations. Lot’s more will come in 2010 and we are currently working on our ‘Best Tracks of 2009’ list so that will be up before the year end.

      Oh and if you’re ever in Brighton look our for our gigs next year, which is where we showcase the bands that we’ve covered online…

      Thanks very muchly.
      Mike

  10. 13 Joshua
    November 24, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    I liked what you said about people really getting into all genres of music this decade. I think a huge sign of that is the mash-up craze which no one mentioned. To me that’s crazy seeing as Girl Talk and Super Mash Bros are being played non stop at parties these days. What could be better than every pop hook in the last 30 years in one album? Genius, seriously. And no mention of the Mars Volta? 5 albums and 1 EP in this decade and none of em made the list? I have to say I’m only mildly biased because I like the Mars Volta. Not to mention all the solo work Omar and Cedric have done in between.

  11. 14 Seok Ho
    December 1, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Green Day having the 7th best album of the 2000’s? What a load of rubbish. All American Idiot was a desperate attempt by Green Day to remain semi-relevant by trying to appeal to the 14 and 15 year emo’s out there who thought they were being non-conformist and rebelling against society by listening to Billy-Joe Armstrong whinging about the state of America in 2003.

    As for the rest of your choices – pretty average I thought. Weird, considering I usually like most of your recommendations.

    As for my picks, I’m way too indecisive to actually compile a list that I’d be 100% happy with, but definate albums would include:

    LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
    The Shins – Oh, Inverted World
    Iron & Wine – The Creek Drank the Cradle
    Postal Service – Give Up
    Death Cab For Cutie – Transatlanticism
    Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
    Daft Punk – Discovery
    Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
    2manydj’s – As Heard on Radio Soulwax Pt.2
    Kanye West – The College Dropout

    Wow, that’s actually 10 albums. How about that? Suppose that would be my Top 10 of the 2000’s.

    • December 1, 2009 at 1:59 pm

      Hi Seok Ho – I guess I gotta reply to that one! Firstly, thanks for your comment. We all share many differing opinions, so no worries…

      Regarding the Green Day selection, it was a solid album that I listened to again and again, and I wasn’t a 15yr old emo kid at that time! It went on to influence a massive wave of punk emo bands that are still attempting it to this day, but not as well. It was one of the most critically acclaimed albums of that yr, gaining a number one both sides of the Atlantic and a Grammy for best rock album. Many reviews compared it’s bravery to The Clash or it’s scale to The Who. It stepped away from the usual broken hearted skater subject matter, into political ranting. It’s not the best album of all time, but in a list of 25 albums in a decade it tops all the other punk emo albums out there for sure. Although in your defense it also gave us Busted and McFly!! For that they are truly bastards.

      Also, I defend the list being “average”. Any list of the Best Albums of the Decade are going to include work that’s been noticed by a lot of people. However, I haven’t seen many include Lemon Jelly or Super Furry Animals, or have Sound Of Silver at number 1. It’s not as if I plumped for Coldplay, Killers and Keane now is it!? Only a bad blogger would try really hard to be ‘unusual’. It’s almost more brave to choose albums people know and risk being called average, as at least my selections are grounded in a belief in an album, rather than any fear of reprisal.

      I’m not going to ridicule your list, as I’m pleased you at least had a punt. As I said, we share many differing opinions.

      As for the blog, we always try and maintain a certain quality control on it, so glad you regularly find stuff that interests you.

      Be warned, we are currently putting the finishing touches to ‘The Best Tracks of 2009’ so make sure you return to share you views on that one! Gulp! Should be some amazing tracks on there, so lot’s to talk about…

      All the best,
      Mike

  12. December 6, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Really good list, obviously I don’t completely agree (it seems like most people read these lists expecting for it to be a carbon copy of their opinion!), but I was interested that you chose AWITC over Silent Alarm! Any particular reason?

    • December 7, 2009 at 12:22 am

      Phil – There’s a few reasons to be honest, (although I should inform you that I totally and utterly adore Silent Alarm).

      Firstly, AWITC is an album that particularly resonated with me on a personal level, so although it may not have appeased everyone, it’s a fave of mine, and as you cleverly spotted, this is my list.

      Oh, and it has some truly amazing songs. Waiting For The 7:18, which happens to be about Brighton, the city in which I live, is a special example. Perhaps it could even have been called A Weekend In Brighton?!

      Also, it had the track The Prayer, which made me feel like I could triumph in a war against Mordor itself. Other highlights, such as I Still Remember, had the kind of lead riffs The Killers only wished they could write, and Hunting For Witches, which ONLY Bloc Party could write.

      It’s a contradictory and eccentric album overall, but I think this somehow suits the English. Like many great indie rock albums, it’s packed with doom, power, big choruses, intelligence and is about as urban as it gets. For this I included it over their debut, which although brilliant, felt more cathartic, less tuneful and in such a hurry I found myself constantly wishing I could catch up.

      If Silent Alarm was their powerful rallying speech that allowed me to start believing, then perhaps AWITC is them finally winning my vote.

      Thanks
      Mike

      • December 7, 2009 at 12:27 am

        by the way…to anyone reading this, please head over to http://notmanyexperts.com, as Phil has a superbly written, informative and well laid out blog. Ta

        Mike

      • December 7, 2009 at 7:20 pm

        You’ve almost convinced me that I like AWITC more than Silent Alarm! To be honest, I just think that it’s a shame how much of a mess Intimacy turned out to be. I mean, I think it is a really good album with some flaws, but the underwelming way in which the album was broken to the world was the first nail in Bloc Party’s coffin, I think. I just feel like the lack of reaction that the rush release got made Bloc Party feel totally irrelevant to music journalists. Unfortunately, I think that the biggest negative effect this has had (so far, who knows if it will cause the band to break up) is that it has muddied critic’s opinions of Silent Alarm and AWITC, hence them both being ignored in most people’s (less wise than your’s, obviously) end of decade lists. Obviously, this is ultimately of very little importance, but it’s just a shame that Bloc Party’s reputation has been so damaged after two fantastic albums, and one good album that was very poorly marketed.

        Thanks for the positive words, as well. As soon as I read this post I subscribed to your RSS, so you’ve definitely won at least one new reader!

        Phil


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