Swear I'm not Paul: List: Best Albums of the Decade 50-41

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

List: Best Albums of the Decade 50-41

Getting ever nearer that final ten... Part Seven of my countdown of the top 110 albums of the decade. You can find 110-101 here, 100-91 here, 90-81 here, 80-71 here, 70-61 here, and 60-51 here. But for now, here's 50-41...

50. Richard Hawley - Lady's Bridge (2007)
The fifth album from the Sheffield troubador. It's also his best work so far. Every song on here is a crooning masterpiece, but amazingly that tome of online music journalism, Pitchfork gave it 5.8. How? There's no way anyone could not like this. Beautiful, bleak, and brilliant.

49. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm (2002)
Is there a better rock song this decade than 'Banquet'? Regardless of what else was on Bloc Party's debut, that song alone would guarantee its brilliance. However, the rest of it is damn good too. The repetition of 'She's Hearing Voices' and the power of 'So Here We Are' are wonderful. 'Price of Gas' was the only low-point, but instead of playing that, just throw on 'Banquet' again.

48. World's End Girlfriend - Hurtbreak Wonderland (2007)
The only instrumental album to make my list, it's also the best album to come out of Asia this decade. It's a post-rock epic record, filled with songs capable of soundtracking any Tim Burton film. It's so easy to think of this record alongside those photos from the new Alice in Wonderland. Tim, if you don't already have someone in mind, snap up Katsuhiko Maeda already.

47. Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova/The Swell Season - Once OST (2007)
Both this and the self-titled record deserve to be here, but since they are more or less the same album, I decided to go with the one more people own, and also the one which includes the wonderful 'Gold' and the hilarious 'Broken Hearted Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy'. The highlights are endless, but I couldn't really talk about this album without mentioning that song. Worthy of every award, it's one of the most beautiful duets you'll ever hear.

46. The White Stripes - Elephant (2003)
If you own only one White Stripes record, it's probably this one. But don't just stop after the opener, there's so much more here than 'Seven Nation Army'. The cover of the Bacharach/David classic 'I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself' is just as amazing as their wonderful take on 'Jolene'. Don't listen to any of that crap that you've heard. Meg White is a damn good drummer. Just misunderstood.

45. Thom Yorke - The Eraser (2006)
Radiohead mainman goes it alone. Shock! But it's so much better than those who wrote it off as Radiohead-lite. Why do you think everyone went so crazy about Yorke's exploits with Flea and his odd new live band. These songs are fantastic in themselves. It's actually better than Kid A, the album it probably most closely resembles. 'Black Swan' is incredible. Listen to it. Now.

44. Muse - Original of Symmetry (2001)
Muse's second album is their best. It took what worked from the first album, Showbiz, and turned it all up to eleven. There are so many classics on here, it's hard to choose a favourite: 'New Born', 'Bliss', 'Citizen Erased', 'Plug In Baby', and that cover of 'Feeling Good'. And the solos, oh those solos...

43. Destroyer - Trouble in Dreams (2008)
Some may argue that Destroyer's Rubies is the better album, but for me this is Dan Bejar's finest hour. It's a fuller record, a more rounded album, and one that's easier to get into. You know why that is? Because it's better. A brilliant album, the perfect comfort blanket, it'll soothe you in ways you didn't know were possible.

42. Miranda Lambert - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2007)
Gretchen Wilson for grown-ups, the second album from Miranda Lambert outdid her debut in every way. Opener 'Gunpowder & Lead' just tells you what type of album this is. The second song, 'Dry Town' is penned by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings too. The album is almost as good as Gillian's best work, and marks Lambert out as one to watch. Her 2009 record wasn't as good, but she'll be back better than ever.

41. Drive-By Truckers - Brighter Than Creation's Dark (2008)
We wondered would the DBTs be as good after the exodus of Jason Isbell. We knew they could be fantastic without him, as they had been on their first three albums, but we the jury was still out on whether they could be as good. Luckily, they proved they could be. Shonna Tucker took on writing and vocal duties alongside Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood, and showed that she was damn good in her own right. It was more country than the Isbell era, but it was the rockers that shone. '3 Dimes Down', 'That Man I Shot', and 'A Ghost To Most' are among their best. Amazing.

The Countdown continues tomorrow...


Anonymous said...

I love the Once soundtrack! I am going to try and check out the other artists on your list!

Ronan said...

If you like Once, you should really like that Miranda Lambert album.

Thanks for the comment.