26 November 2009

best albums of the 2000s

I notice these 2000s retrospectives lists are everywhere at the moment so I thought I would compile my own. I should really be packing up my things as I need to move out of my flat on Monday- but of course I'll leave that to the last minute. At least this way I can see there is a product to my procrastination.

The way I did this was to go through my itunes and list all of the best albums, then I whittled it down to a shortlist of 50, then I wrote each one on a slip of paper and arranged them all across my bed and painstakingly put them in an order. I'm not even joking.

I decided not to justify my reasons, because it's my list. The reason for all of them is "because it's my list and I like it", that said- I did write a little note with some of them.

If you know me then there will be no surprises in this list. If you don't, then there still won't be, because you don't know me.

50. Supernature by Goldfrapp
best track: Ride on a white horse

49.Ys by Joanna Newsom
best track: Emily

48. Seventh Tree by Goldfrapp
best track: Clowns

47. Hopes and Fears by Keane
best track: She has no time/ Bedshaped
I know it’s deemed as inexcusably uncool to like Keane, but I’m proudly waving my flag of love for their first album. It was definitely brilliant, and was at its best during it’s quieter moments.

46. Hotel by Moby
best track: Spiders/ Home
Again, another uncool choice- but it’s a really beautiful album, and I think his work on the whole sits alone really in terms of style.

45. Shine by Cyndi Lauper
best track: Waters edge
Not a great Cyndi album, but still worthy of its place. I think the production is what ruins this, the whole thing feels a bit cheap and tinny.

44. Folklore by Nelly Furtardo
best track: Forca/ Explode
I think most anti-pop people would be pleasantly surprised at this album. It's really raw and quite rootsy, and seems a bit more faithful to itself than her other albums, which aren't very good at all.

43. Amarantine by Enya
best track: Less than a pearl

42. Super Extra Gravity by the Cardigans
best track: Losing a friend/ Don’t blame your daughter

41. Bring Ya 2 the Brink by Cyndi Lauper
best track: Into the nightlife/ Echo/ Rain on me
Again, not really a great Cyndi album, but has some really good high points- and can definitely be appreciated as a full album when one is in the right mood.

40. Want One and Want Two by Rufus Wainwright
best track: Oh what a world

39. Kala by MIA
best track: paperplanes/ boyz/ jimmy

38. Music for Men by Gossip
best track: Eighth wonder of the world

37. Safe Inside the Day by Baby Dee
best track: title track/ You’ll find your footing

36. Hercules and Love Affair (self titled)
best track: You belong/ Blind

35. 19 by Adele
best track: Tired
I tried to avoid liking her for as long as possible, but I fell for her charm. Her voice is beautiful and the album is quite mellow and retro. I like.

34. Playing the Angel by Depeche Mode
best track: Pain that I’m used to/ Nothing’s impossible

33. The Fame by Lady Gaga
best track: Paparazzi

32. This City Draws Maps by the Rosie Taylor Project
best track: The sun on my right/ good café on George Street/ The water’s edge
Perhaps this is a bit of a biased choice, but it was a great summer album for me this year and I find it extremely easy to listen to.

31. She Who Dwells in the Secret Place of the Most High Shall Abide Under the Shadow of the Almighty by Sinead O’Connor
best track: Emma’s song
I’m definitely cheating by including this as it’s not a studio album, but rather a career retrospective with a live disc and a disc of b-sides, early demos and covers. But it’s really brilliant, the best thing she released since Universal Mother in 1994.

30. A Woman a Man Walked By by PJ Harvey and John Parish
best track: April

29. Robyn (self titled)
best track: With every heartbeat/ Who’s that girl/ Handle me

28. Silent Shout by the Knife
best track: Forest families/ Marble house

27. Takk by Sigur Ros
best track: Gong/ Glosoli/ Saeglopur

26. Meds by Placebo
best track: Follow the cops back home

25. Lycanthropy by Patrick Wolf
best track: To the lighthouse

24. Fur and Gold by Bat for Lashes
best track: Horse and I

23. Volta by Bjork
best track: Dull Flame of Desire/ Wanderlust/ Earth Intruders/ Vertebrae by vertebrae
I surprised myself here- I thought I would have placed this higher, but it doesn’t begin to compare with some of her earlier efforts.

22. Crying Light by Antony and the Johnsons
best track: Aeon

21. Yes, Virginia by Dresden Dolls
best track: Sex Changes/ Delilah

20. Back to Black by Amy Winehouse
best track: Back to black
Really obvious choice, but that’s because it’s an ingenious album that absolutely everyone seems to love.

19. Speak for Yourself by Imogen Heap
best track: Headlock/ Hide and seek/ The moment I said it

18. Two Suns by Bat for Lashes
best track: Moon and moon/ Glass

17. Soviet Kitsch by Regina Spektor
best track: Us/ The flowers/ Ode to divorce

16. The Bachelor by Patrick Wolf
best track: The sun is often out/ Damaris/ Theseus

15. Laundry Service by Shakira
best track: Eyes like yours
A very underrated pop album. It stands leagues above much of the more successful pop albums these days. Genuinely has its own sound and the lyrics are top notch.

14. You are the Quarry by Morrissey
best track: Irish Blood, English Heart/ I like you/ All the lazy dykes

13. Howling Bells (self titled)
best track: Low happening

12. The adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn by CocoRosie
best track: Werewolf/ Animals

11. Confessions on the Dancefloor by Madonna
best track: Forbidden love/ Sorry/ Future lover
Easily the strongest of Madonna’s 2000s albums, really infectious dancefloor music, without being too camp and it has yet to be surpassed for its type I think. Almost as good as Ray of Light. But not.

Top Ten

10. Ringleader of the Tormentors by Morrissey
best track: Life is a pigsty

9. I am a Bird Now by Antony and the Johnsons
best track: Bird Gurhl/ For today I am a boy

8. Details by Frou Frou
best track: Let go/ Psychobabble

7. Around the Sun by REM
best track: Worst joke ever/ Electron blue/ Around the sun
For some reason I can’t stop going back to this album, even though most think it’s one of their weakest. I think it’s really ethereal and epic but quite atmospheric too. It’s infinitely better than Accelerate, that was so formulaic it felt like something an REM tribute band would produce.

6. Glasvegas (self titled)
best track: Daddy’s gone/ Flowers and football tops/ Go square go
Beautiful album that on paper I shouldn’t really like. It’s flawless musically, lyrically and vocally. It’s pretty much the soundtrack to the phrase “it’s grim up north” but far less clichéd

5. Medulla by Bjork

best track: can’t pick one.
A mammoth musical feat. As far as conceptual albums go- this is pretty much the best. It flows like one long orgasmic sigh, it’s haunting and untouchable, but also entirely listenable and accessible.

4. White Chalk by PJ Harvey

best track: White Chalk/ Silence/ Grow grow grow
Peej outdid herself with this one.

3. Aerial by Kate Bush

best track: from disc one A coral room, disc two is practically just one song
I refer particularly to disc two, which absolutely blows me away still to listen to. It’s so slick and complete, how someone could sit down to produce such a solid and inspired piece of continual music is beyond me.

2. Melankton by Kate Havnevik

best track: Nowhere warm/ New day
A random find through myspace, and when I eventually bought the album, I couldn’t believe it wasn’t more well known, it’s in the same vein as Imogen Heap and Bjork, but really nothing like either, much more accessible. It’s absolutely charming.

1. Vespertine by Bjork

best track: Unison/ Undo/ Pagan poetry/ Cocoon/ Hidden Place/ Harm of will
This is musical perfection as far as I’m concerned. It’s whispery and tiny, but lush and huge at the same time. It’s so mellow without being timid and it’s fierce without compromising the sound. I just love it from start to finish and pretty much can’t gush enough about it. Definitely Bjork’s most solid work ever, including Homogenic, which, if I could include it on this list (which I can’t as it was made in 1997) I would put between Medulla and Volta- if you’re interested.

Definitely need to start packing now. Feel free to discuss, argue or curse me for omitting your favourite album :o)

love love x

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