Swear I'm not Paul: List: Best Albums of the Decade 100-91

My blog has moved! Redirecting...

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit http://www.swearimnotpaul.com and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

List: Best Albums of the Decade 100-91

Part Two of my countdown of the top 110 albums of the decade. You can find 110-101 here. But for now, here's 100-91...

100. Pete Yorn - musicforthemorningafter (2001)
Sometimes you make something so good with your first attempt that you can never hit those high standards ever again. Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly knows what this is all about. As does Pete Yorn. These days he's duetting with Scarlett Johansson and making so-so records. His debut, on the other hand, was a fantastic radio rock album, which leant many of its singles to soundtracks. It's not just a soundtrack album though, like Moby's Play, it has so much more to offer.

99. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky (2007)
Wilco are never going to make another Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. But the offspring of Uncle Tupelo came damn close with Sky Blue Sky. A much more rounded and polished album, it was their highest ever charting record. It's a much simpler album, much more direct, but is not worse off in any way; 'Impossible Germany' may well be Jeff Tweedy's finest hour.

98. Sigur Rós - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (2008)
Sigur Rós are another of these acts that'll never match their early work (Ágætis byrjun is a masterpiece, but technically a 1999 release), however they will not cease in trying to be better. Thus their fifth album was yet another change in direction, this one even had a song in English. It charted in the top 5 in both Ireland and the UK, and was much more pop than any of their past efforts. In fact, this was the first fun album Sigur Rós recorded. Yes. It's fun.

97. Okkervil River - The Stage Names (2007)
Will Sheff was always clever. WIth Shearwater he lets his aggression out, but Okkervil River is his best project. The lyrics are intelligent and also funny, but the melodies are what makes the album really shine. No album this decade ends on a higher note, 'John Allyn Smith Sails' is a reworking of the traditional 'Sloop John B' made famous by the Beach Boys, and is every bit as good as Brian Wilson's own.

96. Bruce Springsteen - Magic (2007)
Bruce Springsteen really regained form in the 00s. His 80s output was fantastic, but his 90s work left a lot to be desired. But out of his five albums released this decade, four of them are among his best (the newest,Working on a Dream, is awful). Magic was one of the two upbeat pop ones, less dark than The Rising, and perfect for radio.

95. Ryan Adams - 29 (2005)
The third of Ryan Adams' 2005 trilogy, and his grittiest ever work. It had nine long songs which seeped into your consciousness. A real grower of an album, it's beautiful. There was an article in the Guardian last week saying that a director's minor work - the film that's most different than the rest of their output - is their real best. Many people think this may be the case with Adams. They may well be right.

94. The National - Alligator (2005)
Alligator was the National's third album, but was the one on which they really shone. Filled with bleakly beautiful songs, it was an album which showed its beauty on first listen, but got even better on repeated spins. Interestingly, PopMatters gave it two reviews on its release - the total of which added up to give it 9 (2/10 and 7/10). Bet they're kicking themselves now.

93. Glen Phillips - Abulum (2001)
Toad the Wet Sprocket were much bigger on the other side of the Atlantic than over here. But anyone who doesn't know of them should take notice of their frontman, Glen Phillips's debut solo album. Abulum is like that old warm family friend, filled with curious observations, and a great deal of wit. It's also damn addictive.

92. U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000)
U2 came out of the blocks this decade with the splendid single 'Beautiful Day', which has soundtracked many a highlight reel since. Every song was a possible single, but it was the slower numbers like 'Walk On' and Bono's tribute to his late friend Michael Hutchence, 'Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of'. 'Peace on Earth' was the only weak point on what is otherwise a marvellous Irish album.

91. Richard Hawley - Coles Corner (2005)
Coles Corner was Hawley's fourth solo album and is named after one of Sheffield's hotspots. It was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2006 which gained Hawley a much wider fanbase. It contained many gorgeous songs, for example 'The Ocean', 'Hotel Room', and the tremendous title track.

The Countdown continues tomorrow...

1 comment:

Peter N said...

I think Pee Yorn is my guilty pleasure!