The entirely subjective Albums of the decade list

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The entirely subjective Albums of the decade list

Post  Tom on Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:03 pm

Its the end of the decade and (far more importantly) i am dangerously bored. So i thought i'd make a list of my top 6 albums of the decade. There wont be any detailed analysis, as the days when i thought i could analyse music died years ago*, so i thought a short summary (a strong term, i'm sure you'll agree) and a youtube video or two could pass the time.

So without further ado here are my own albums of the decade. Feel free to post your own. Although because Paul (i.e.the other poster) doesn't listen to music from this decade that could be a struggle

Honourable Mentions

Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans\ Michigan: Very very nearly as good as illinoise.

Any Pearl Jam album from the decade (i think there have been 4) - I am still after all these years a grunge fan, i still love Pearl jam, but even i recognise that they haven't released anything great since No Code. They've been good, just not as good as they were once upon a time.

Forward Russia- Give me a wall: Not for the album, lord no. For the t-shirts. They were a craze that really should've never gone out of style. I want another one.


So in no particular order, here are my albums of the decade

Sufjan Stevens - Here comes the Illinoise
Whatever happened to the 50 States project? no-one ever thought that he would stick to it, but i expected more than 2 states to be covered before he suffered his apparent existential crisis personally i would've loved to hear one about utah, but alas it was not to be. Anyway I know very little about Illinois and ii wouldn't know anything if it wasn't for this album. Is that a good thing... possibly. Hell i still dont know what they hell they celebrate on Casimir Pulaski Day

White Stripes - White Blood Cells
Ahhh the first PROPER album you own. (no, i dont count Robbie Williams) It always holds a place of pride in your collection. This album is undoubtedly the best that Jack white has ever made and the first one where he didn't resort to using old Delta blues covers to fill an album, which is actually kind of a shame. Most importantly however, this was before everyone noticed that Meg White was a really bad drummer... I mean Ringo bad. Oh linkage

Beck - Sea Change
The fact that i dont hold Beck's religious beliefs against him is amazing. Usually I think all Scientologists are lunatics (see Cruise, Tom) and Beck is, but he a more loveable lunatic. This is his sad acoustic album. A jarring change of pace from his other albums (which i'm also a fan of... mainly) and the biggest surprise is how well he manages to pull it off. I think that lost cause is probably the song of decade. Dont agree? Sue me.

Arcade Fire - Funeral
One thing that this decade has killed (or at least mortally wounded) is the concept of an album as a whole body of work. I blame MP3's.. and Tom Cruise. Now if an album has a coherent theme it is labelled a Rock Opera (God i hate you Green Day), which just plain sucks. This isnt Opera, its a good old fashioned album. It's consistently emotional, it manages to be both depressing and uplifting at the same time. Frankly its brilliant. I'm going to stop with the links. You all should own this album anyway.

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever ago
I refuse to believe the story that has seemingly transcended time and space and catapulted this album into everyone's hearts. There was no log cabin. I demand receipts and... other things, hell show me the cabin. Every review i've read of this album begins with an explanation of its beautiful\bullshit back story. Well i don't believe you mr Vernon and its also completely irrelevant. He could've written this whilst eating ice cream in his underwear and it wouldn't change anything. A truly Astounding piece of work. Even the continual use of this album in every American Tv show cant diminish it. And it should.

Sigor Ros - ()
One day i'll learn hopelandic... one day. That's all i'm going to say about this album. They gave us no words, so i wont waste mine. That's going to sound bitter but its not, it's proof that truly great music doesn't necessarily need lyrics as a hook. Better Yaaaaaah than "are we human or we dancer".

I was going to do 10 but I became bored of writing. This means that you have gotten long tired of reading, If you haven't stopped entirely. If you have good for you. Fight the power... or the rambling fool.

*Also looking back at my earlier posts, it seems i couldn't write a coherent sentence as little as 18 months ago. Maybe i cant now, who knows? (or cares...)

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Re: The entirely subjective Albums of the decade list

Post  Christophe on Sat Dec 19, 2009 3:30 pm

I will give this some thought when I can be bothered to give this some thought, but my initial response is a hearty head-nod to both Funeral and Illinois(e). Plus one that doesn't even need any thought, for me, is Kid A.

I'd also like to stand up in defence of poor neglected Ringo. Obviously he wasn't the best songwriter in the Beatles, but to say that he was a poor drummer at all, let alone a drummer of Meg White standards is, well, harsh. This, for instance, is basically a Ringo song:

He's got blisters on his hands, goddammit!

Also, I looked up Casimir Pulaski Day and, like pretty much everything the Americans celebrate, it's got something to do with the war of independence. Although, a sizeable chunk of the guy's wikipedia page (linky) is about the Sufjan song, so I'm guessing he's not exactly a national hero...
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Re: The entirely subjective Albums of the decade list

Post  Tom on Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:40 pm

well there were 2 drawbacks to Kid A getting on the list.
1) It fell prey to the whole "i really cant be bothered to write anymore, i know i'll stop here" thing
and 2) i wasn't sure on the decade of the album. I could've looked it up, but that would have taken effort.

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Re: The entirely subjective Albums of the decade list

Post  Paulio on Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:54 pm

Tom wrote:So without further ado here are my own albums of the decade. Feel free to post your own. Although because Paul (i.e.the other poster) doesn't listen to music from this decade that could be a struggle
I think this a highly unfair accusation. I have not only listened to all of the bands you mention but also enjoy some of the albums you've listed. I would find it hard to do a top ten albums of any decade though. Its too subjective a question for one as indecisive as me. However, I would like to take this opportunity to once again point out there's another year to go before the end of the decade and therefore it seems a bit rash to decide upon a top ten right now.

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Re: The entirely subjective Albums of the decade list

Post  Tom on Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:38 pm

Paul it 2010. The BBC has done a best of the decade list. Everybody else has done a best of the decade list. Channel 4 has done a best of the decade list (although that hurts my argument). Let it go and stop trying to be awkward.

Plus its a top 6 of the decade list. so... y'know... TAKE THAT! (who may or may not be in grainy's best of the decade list)

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Re: The entirely subjective Albums of the decade list

Post  Christophe on Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:12 am

Paulio wrote:I would find it hard to do a top ten albums of any decade though. Its too subjective a question for one as indecisive as me.

I would pick you up on this failure to have an opinion, but having only recently survived the battle to get you decide what you want to for breakfast, I'm not sure I want to go there.

However, I would like to take this opportunity to once again point out there's another year to go before the end of the decade and therefore it seems a bit rash to decide upon a top ten right now.

Since a decade is basically just an arbitrary selection of a ten year period, there's no reason why the end of 2009 isn't also the end of a decade. Why don't we just say that the Jesusy people back in the old days were at fault for not starting to count early enough; thus, the very first decade had only nine years and was therefore actually a nonade(?), but everyone successive decade since then is as was. I think that's easier than going back and revising the whole of modern history to make 1980 part of the 70s, 1990 part of the 80s and so on and so on ad nauseum.

Otherwise, for a start, Kid A (released in 2000, for the record, Tom) would technically be one of the best albums of the 1990s. And that would be silly.
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Re: The entirely subjective Albums of the decade list

Post  Paulio on Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:59 am

Christophe wrote:I would pick you up on this failure to have an opinion, but having only
recently survived the battle to get you decide what you want to for
breakfast, I'm not sure I want to go there.

This is exactly my point. If you overwhelm me with choices as you did then my ability to make a decision is obliterated. I mean for fecks sake who has that many choices of bread alone? I mean sure its alright for you as you can work your way through them all, review them and choose one according to how the mood takes you. But how am I supposed to work out the optimal choice? You put most hotels to shame with your choice of bread based products.

Anyway back to music. How does one decide upon the best 6 albums? Is it based on the amount you've listened to albums? But then even if I could work out which I listened to the most is that representative of what I truly thought was best? Then should I give marks to each album based on various attributes and average them? But then thats probably too scientific an approach the results of which I'd disagree with. Also what about the bias of time? Surely some newer albums that I've played less are going to sound fresher and more interesting than albums I've listened to at the start of the decade. Though in a couple of years it may be I decide never to play them again. Maybe then I should average the reviews of albums I enjoyed to see which comes out top, but again too scientific. There's also the variable of mood to consider. What I might pick could vary wildly depending on how I'm feeling that particular day, and thats if I managed to make all my choices within a day.

Anyway where is your top 6 Mr Baynes? Surely an expert music reviewer such as yourself will be able to cut through the issues I've raised like a honed blade of musical insight.

Otherwise, for a start, Kid A (released in 2000, for the record,
Tom) would technically be one of the best albums of the 1990s. And that
would be silly.

Have you looked at the top albums on Spotify? I've been looking at various other countries on it and other places seem to generally have better tastes in music than we do. For example I'll give you our top six and then Poland's

  1. Now Thats What I Call Music 72
  2. The Fame - Lady Gaga
  3. I AM... SASHA FIERCE - Beyonce
  4. THE E.N.D - Black Eyed Peas
  5. The Essential Michael Jackson
  6. Lungs - Florence And The Machine (I challenge our terrestrial tv channels to make a programme trailer without playing Dog Days)

  1. Kid A - Radiohead
  2. The Essential Michael Jackson
  3. Hail To The Thief. (The Gloaming.) - Radiohead
  4. OK Computer (Collector's Edition) - Radiohead
  5. xx - The xx
  6. The Best Of - Radiohead
While that is very Radiohead heavy the rest of their top 80 is fairly eclectic and far less depressing than ours.

Christophe wrote:I think that's easier than going back and revising the whole of modern
history to make 1980 part of the 70s, 1990 part of the 80s and so on
and so on ad nauseum.

You don't have to revise the whole of history. Just keep in mind when decades start and end when discussing them. Besides I'm disappointed in you two. I'd have thought you'd see this as an excellent chance to excel at the art form of pedantry. The piece below by Douglas Adams is what made me realise I was going to be a pedant all those years ago and as such I feel compelled to uphold its values.

Doulgas Adams wrote:
Significant Events of the Millennium



1 January 1000 Almost everyone celebrates the beginning of the second Millennium.
1 January 1001 Pedants celebrate the beginning of the second Millennium.

1 January 1100 Almost everyone celebrates the beginning of the twelfth century.
1 January 1101 Pedants celebrate the beginning of the twelfth century.

1 January 1200 Almost everyone celebrates the beginning of the thirteenth century.
1 January 1201 Pedants celebrate the beginning of the thirteenth century.

1 January 1300 Almost everyone celebrates the beginning of the fourteenth century.
1 January 1301 Pedants celebrate the beginning of the fourteenth century.

10 June 1381 The Pedants' Revolt reaches London. (Not the Pedants' Revolt,
the Peasants' Revolt.
(sgd.) A Pedant. And kindly close the brackets.) (Thank you.)

1 January 1400 Almost everyone celebrates the beginning of the fifteenth century.
1 January 1401 Pedants celebrate the beginning of the fifteenth century.

1 January 1500 Almost everyone celebrates the beginning of the sixteenth century.
1 January 1501 Pedants celebrate the beginning of the sixteenth century.

1 January 1600 Almost everyone celebrates the beginning of the seventeenth century.
1 January 1601 People begin to get really fed up with pedants.

1 January 1700 Almost everyone celebrates the beginning of the eighteenth century.
1 January 1701 A few pedants begin to notice that pedants tend not to have very
good celebrations.

1 January 1800 Almost everyone celebrates the beginning of the nineteenth century.
A splinter group of ex-pedants turn up and get very drunk.
1 January 1801 The rest of the pedants celebrate the beginning of the nineteenth
century.

1 January 1900 Almost everyone celebrates the beginning of the twentieth century.
No pedants allowed.
1 January 1901 Pedants hold a Morris dancing festival.

24 November 1996 The Digital Village web site goes online: the third Millennium
starts early and catches everybody by surprise.

1 January 2000 Anybody who even mentions the Millennium gets garrotted.
1 January 2001 Massacre of the Pedants.

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