Friday 11 December 2009

Top 5 Albums of the 2000s

Continuing my run down of the best of the noughts these are my favourite albums of the decade.

1. "Funeral" Arcade Fire (2005) - Difficult to find words to do this justice. This is art rock without the pretension. A brilliant big sound full of joy, energy and excitement.

2. "White Blood Cells" The White Stripes (2001) - I'd read a fair bit about the White Stripes before picking up this, their third album, but I couldn't imagine a guitar and drums duo could actually make anything sound this amazing. "White Blood Cells" is full of stripped down raw energy but underlying it all there's some great songmanship. The White Stripes turned out to be much more than their hype suggested and led me on a trail into Garage Rock and beyond. I love most of their first four albums (not so keen on the later output) but this remains my favourite.

3. "The Greatest" Cat Power (2006) - It took me a long time to get round to listening to Cat Power and this was the first album I heard. It's got a wonderful lush Memphis soul sound that accentuates Chan Marshall's gorgeous yet fragile voice. This is an album I can put on at any time of the day and feel happier about life when it's finished.

4. "Relationship of Command" At The Drive-In (2000) - ATDI arrived in an explosion of noise and hair, blew everyone away with their post-hardcore sonic attack, then promptly split up on the verge of making it massive. It was probably for the best as it would have been hard to top this album and various subsequent projects have veered a little too closely to Spinal Tap's "Jazz Odyssey" for my liking.

5. "Ys" Joanna Newsome (2006) - I'd previously avoided the apparently squeaky voiced performances of Ms Newsome but the critical clamour for this album intrigued me enough to give it a go and I was converted. On first listen it's easy to dismiss this as whimsical or contrived but there's a depth of feeling and intensity that shines through.


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