Nov 23, 2009

50 Best Albums of The Decade

In 1999 Pavement released what would turn out to be their final album. "Terror Twilight" was to be the band's swansong. Their final point. By November they had played their final show, bringing an end to the most important band of the 90s. In some quarters, these ones, the most important band of all time. Of course they shared this last decade of the century with other seminal bands such as Radiohead and Built to Spill. Both of these bands would continue to make music into this current decade, but in my opinion it would not be their best work. We would need to look elsewhere to find the best of this decade. It turned out that there would be many surprises and rewarding developments. But it was one band that started out in 1993, who would not put a foot wrong in the 2000s. Spoon. As I compiled my favourite albums of the decade I realised that this Austin band would finish with four albums in my top fifty. An indication of their remarkable output in quality and also their consistency. They also seemed trendless. They just know how to one thing extremely well. Write great songs. That is all.

But what else happened. Well commercial music would get worse, if that was possible. We conducted karoake contests to discover new talent. There would be many very good Australian bands, but no truly great ones. English music would struggle to find itself, churning out bands with little appeal in these parts. Live music would boom in the festival area, but struggle in the smaller pubs. But two things stood out above all else. The internet and Canada. The internet became the place to market and discover new music. It also became the place where many people obtained their music. Blogs grew and an industry developed. This one started just over 3 years ago and is still going strong. I think. Then there was Canada. The land that gave us Celine Dion and Bryan Adams would deliver us an avalanche of vital and exciting music. Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene would light the fire. Spencer and Dan would carry the torch. In fact when I compiled my list of albums there was only one choice for number one.
Only one...

1-Apologies To The Queen Mary-Wolf Parade
Split lips. Aching bones. Crushed hearts. Scorched ears. Sunlit eyes. Tweaked noses. Dancing fingers. Twinkling toes. Full lungs. Trembling skin. Album of the decade? Try this. My favourite album of all time.

2-The Glow Pt. 2-The Microphones

Phil Elverum creates magic out of nothing. This was to be his finest hour. A majestic tapestry of sound. Simply breathtaking. A headphone masterpiece.

3-Funeral-Arcade Fire
For good reason this captured the imagination of all of us. It was music that thrilled from the word go and never let up. Will be timeless.

4-Dragonslayer-Sunset Rubdown
Too soon? I think not. This is just too good to ignore. This man writes melodies like no other. Each song is a unique story in itself.

5-Meadowlands-The Wrens
An incandescent joy. A complete and near perfect collection of songs. The only tragedy is we have to wait so long between efforts.

6-This Night-Destroyer
So much to choose from Mr Bejar, but I believe this to be his greatest work. The man writes lyrics like no other. We are not worthy.

7-Shut Up I Am Dreaming-Sunset Rubdown
An emotional and confounding statement. Swings from rapture to despair, all wrapped inside the distinctive voice that is Krug.

8-Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever-Explosions in the Sky
A perfect illustration that you do not need words to express direct emotion. In some moments this can still move me to tears.

9-Random Spirit Lover-Sunset Rubdown
Complex and sometimes bewildering. Nonetheless it's greatness can not be denied. I still marvel at the strength and genius that is RSL.

10-You Forgot It In People-Broken Social Scene
The sophisticated soundtrack to this decade. A sumptuous and elegant piece of music. Elegant, sensual and ravishingly beautiful.

11-Blueberry Boat-The Fiery Furnaces
12-Yankee Hotel Foxtrot-Wilco
13-Streethawk: A Seduction-Destroyer
14-Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga-Spoon
15-Lifted Or The Story Is In The Soil, Keep Your Ear To The Ground-Bright Eyes
16-Gimme Fiction-Spoon
17-Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?-The Unicorns
18-Alligator-The National
19-Down The River Of Golden Dreams-Okkervil River
20-At Mount Zoomer-Wolf Parade
21-The Sophtware Slump-Grandaddy
22-Girls Can Tell-Spoon
23-Plague Park-Handsome Furs
24-It Still Moves-My Morning Jacket
25-The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place-Explosions in The Sky
26-Come On Feel The Illinoise!-Sufjan Stevens
27-Feels-Animal Collective
28-Fevers & Mirrors-Bright Eyes
29-The Moon And Antarctica-Modest Mouse
30-Don't Fall In Love With Everyone You See-Okkervil River
31-Fleet Foxes-Fleet Foxes
32-Veckatimest-Grizzly Bear
33-Time (The Revelator)-Gillian Welch
34-Turn On The Bright Lights-Interpol
35-Clap Your Hands Say Yeah-Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
36-Strawberry Jam-Animal Collective
37-Person Pitch-Panda Bear
38-Boys And Girls in America-The Hold Steady
39-Sung Tongs-Animal Collective
40-Master and Everyone-Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
41-Ys-Joanna Newsom
42-Broken Social Scene-Broken Social Scene
43-Oh, Inverted World-The Shins
44-Picaresque-The Decemberists
45-You, You're A History in Rust-Do Make Say Think
46-The Sunset Tree-The Mountain Goats
47-You & Me-The Walkmen
49-Friend and Foe-Menomena
50-Kill The Moonlight-Spoon


  • At November 23, 2009 , Blogger Tim said...

    Excellent list, Wayne! I think mine would be very close to that. Definitely the most Krug-centric and therefore best list of the decade I've seen to date!

  • At November 24, 2009 , Blogger James said...

    Wayne - While I don't agree with so much Krug, I wish I loved an artist as much as you love his work.

    Agreed on Spoon.

    Interesting which Okkervil River and MMJ albums you chose....

    Good work overall and a nice read as I sit here enjoying my lunch break.


  • At November 24, 2009 , Blogger Changa said...

    Great list you've compiled.

    kudos on the Spoon choices

  • At November 30, 2009 , Anonymous Bill said...

    great list Wayne, lots of overlap with my list lol. I agree with the other poster that it's interesting which Okkervil River and MMJ albums you chose. It's also funny that I just downloaded Blueberry Boat this weekend because I saw it on another site's best of list and hadn't ever heard it. So now I'm even more intrigued.

    And I love that ATTQM is your favorite album ever, that's awesome. I don't like that you had to one-up me and put 4 Spencer albums in the top 10, where I only had 4 in the top 12. He is a god.

  • At November 30, 2009 , Blogger Wayne said...

    Tim, no doubt about the creative force that is Mr Krug.

    James and Bill,
    I feel those two OR albums are their best as far as the quality of song writing goes. I love BSB though and I think it would make a
    Top 100 if I had done one.
    My fav MMJ of all time is The Tennessee Fire, but that was released in '99, so It Still Moves is my fav of this decade.

    Thanks to all for your comments.

  • At July 18, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Um,WOW. Thanks for that.

  • At July 19, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I was wondering if there was a consensus on best W.P. song. I'm new to hearing them, what would youz recommend.

  • At July 19, 2012 , Blogger Wayne said...

    I wouldn't say there would be consensus, but I'll Believe in Anything, Shine a Light and Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts would be top of the list.


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