Friday, 8 January 2010

My Favourite Records of the Past Decade

035. The Used, The Used (2002) favourite track: 'Buried Myself Alive'
034. Tegan and Sara, If It Was You (2003) favourite track: 'Living Room'
033. The Last Shadow Puppets, The Age Of the Understatement (2008) favourite track: 'The Time Has Come Again'
032. Fischerspooner, Oddyssey (2005) favourite track: 'Never Win'
031. Kings of Convenience, Riot on an Empty Street (2004) favourite track: 'Stay Out of Trouble'

030. Klaxons, Myths of the Near Future (2007) favourite track: 'Totem on the Timeline'
029. Fionn Regan, The End of History (2006) favourite track: 'Put a Penny in the Slot'
028. AFI, Sing the Sorrow (2003) favourite track: 'Silver and Cold'
027. the Libertines, the Libertines (2003) favourite track: 'The Man Who Would Be King'
026. the Kills, No Wow (2003) favourite track: 'Love is a Deserter'

025. Euros Childs, Chops (2006) favourite track: 'Costa Rita'
024. Gossip, Music For Men (2009) favourite track: 'Four Letter Word'
023. Private, My Secret Lover (2007) favourite track: 'Killer on the Dancefloor'
022. McAlmont & Butler, Bring it Back (2002) favourite track: 'Falling'
021. Bat for Lashes, Fur and Gold (2006) favourite track: 'Trophy'

020. Le Le, Flage (2008) favourite track: 'International Pants'
019. Superheroes, Superheroes (2003) favourite track: 'Someone's Watching Me'
018. Florence the Machine, Lungs (2009) favourite track: 'Howl'
017. Adam Green, Gemstones (2005) favourite track: 'Who's Your Boyfriend'
016. the Horrors, Strange House (2007) favourite track: 'Excellent Choice'

015. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, B.R.M.C. (2002) favourite track: 'Red Eyes and Tears'
014. the Arcade Fire, Funeral (2004) favourite track: 'Wake Up'
013. Patrick Wolf, Wind in the Wires (2005) favourite track: 'the Railway House'
012. Mystery Jets, Twenty One (2008) favourite track: 'Behind the Bunhouse'
011. Duffy, Rockferry (2007) favourite track: 'Rockferry'

010. Hope of the States, Left (2006)
I've always described this record as an emotional assault, and that's exactly what it is. Few bands have had to go through so much trauma and still went on. Their guitarist killed himself just months before their debut came out and this follow-up sounds like it's dealing with the aftermath of it. A few years after it happened the anger, regret, sadness and love just hit you 'round the ears. To think they went through so much and came out the other end with such a gorgeous record is amazing. They largely went under the radar but this is a great accomplishment, all the songs are so nuanced and in a strange way it's reassuring they broke up months after they released it. It's a heavy burden to carry, a friend's suicide; listen to this record and be thankful the Hope of the States carried on.
favourite track: 'Industry'

009. dEUS, Pocket Revolution (2005)
'Nothing Really Ends' with that line about Martin Sheen alone makes this album worthwhile, I never realised songs like that existed, little moments captured in time.
favourite track: 'Nothing Really Ends'

008. Interpol, Antics (2004)
For some reason (probably because I'm a snob and don't like sharing my favourite music with millions of others) I tried resisting Interpol for a long, long time. Turn On the Bright Lights didn't do much for me on the first couple of listens and I didn't really get what the fuss was about, but 'Evil' really worked itself into my head and then when I heard 'Take You On A Cruise' at 3.30 in the morning, everything just fell into place. This album was just a perfect collection of songs for that space in time, and I've yet to give any of their other albums a listen.
favourite track: 'Take You on a Cruise'

007. Delays, You See Colours (2006)
No other album manages to make me so deliriously happy as this one; 'Cavalry' and 'Winter's Memory of Summer' make my heart feel like it's going to swell out of my chest. When I saw the Delays open for the Veils in 2004, I immediately took to them; Greg Gilbert's beautiful sunny voice and his brother's quite sinister-sounding synthesizers -- 'Lost In A Melody' (a non-album single) steam-rollered right over you and You See Colours is such a great mix of both that sweetness and that.. sleaziness. An immense pop album.
favourite track: 'Cavalry'

006. Kasabian, Kasabian (2004)
I haven't gotten as much slack for liking Kasabian since I was a 12-year-old obsessed with Kula Shaker. Now, before you say I deserve that slack, let me just explain why I think Kasabian are the best band still together right now. They may come off as a bunch of football hooligans, but they dedicate videos to Jan Pallach, end another one with a black screen saying "dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" and all the while manage to look and sound as cool as the Rolling Stones probably did back in the day. This debut was a killer, could have done without the blatant psychedelics, but still. Tom Meighan's got an amazing voice, a lot of soul for a white boy.
favourite track: 'U Boat'

005. the Veils, the Runaway Found (2004)
The Veils first came to my attention because my darling Bernard Butler produced some tracks for them, and I proceeded to fall head over heels for them. This album was a godsend when I was 17 and a high-school drop-out. This album, which sounds so displaced, gave me back my optimism which I so badly needed. Just the idea of this skinny boy from New Zealand going out into the world to form a band in London and record this album and having it all nearly go down the drain, but then having it saved and having it sound so magically good.. damn. I really miss that feeling on the other Veils records, which is why I prefer to just stick to this album.
favourite track: 'The Leavers' Dance'

004. Foals, Antidotes (2008)
'Math rock' is quite possibly the shittest "genre" the music press has come up with, but as you listen to this album your head sort of fills with sharp angles and geometric shapes. It sounds sort of cold, distanced, because of it, but maybe because of that, it hits you a lot harder at the same time.
favourite track: 'Big Big Love (Fig. 2)'

003. the Dandy Warhols, Thirteen Tales from Ubran Bohemia (2000)
After 2003's Welcome to the Monkeyhouse they kind of lost their sense of coolness, but this album, from start to finish, is just so much fun. This album, more than any other Dandy record, sounds like a group of friends having fun and writing fantastic tunes. That sense of fun, and joy, just seeps from every song. Effortless cool.
favourite track: 'Get Off'

002. Dan Le Sac VS Scroobius Pip, Angles (2008)
Thinking of indie snob favourite 'Thou Shalt Always Kill', I would never have thought Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip would deliver such a stunning album. With its killer, hilarious lyrics 'Thou Shalt Always Kill' kind of seemed like the perfect one-hit wonder, but instead we got this amazing album with great beats and lyrics on true love, self-mutilation and suicide, modern-day hip hop and Tommy Cooper. Can't wait for their next record, which is coming out some time this year.
favourite track: 'Magician's Assistant'

001. The Cooper Temple Clause, See This Through And Leave (2002)
Of course, it's quite easy (and tempting) to describe these albums using the biggest clichés imaginable, but I tried not to. I can't with See This Through and Leave, though, because this album changed my universe. I came into contact with so many great people through the Coopers, and they (the music and the people I met) saw me through some tough times. The Coopers have been playing in the background since I was 15-year-old and songs like 'Been Training Dogs' gave me the incentive to grow some proverbial balls.
favourite track: 'Did You Miss Me?'


Anonymous said...


E is for Eleanor said...

umm this is a bit mad, because my top 5 probably would be exactly the same! TCTC will always have a special place in my heart.

Gem said...

Love your list, brings back memories of bands I forgot all about