Albums of the Decade Pt. I

Hello and welcome to my new blog series. I'm going to sum up the past ten years' music as best as I can by bringing you my top 10 albums from each year. At the end you will find out my top 10 albums of 2009 and then what I consider the top 10 albums of the decade.

No doubt you will all disagree with me on every single point imaginable, but nevertheless let's start with the year 2000.

10. Invincible – Five
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I’m not going to beat around the bush, I think Five were easily the best boy band around at the turn of the millennium, and this album proves why. Cheesy samples and cringeworthy raps aside, they were simply riotous fun to listen to. Plus they co-penned one of the best tracks of the decade (Keep On Movin’) on this, their second album, which helps them into the top 10 of the year.
Key track: Keep On Movin’

9. Veni Vidi Vicious – The Hives
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Mixing the essence of a punk band with the strut of the Stones, Sweden’s the Hives were a breath of fresh air. Their ridiculously catchy and hard-hitting second album is listed by many as one of the key garage rock albums of all time. At under half an hour in length and packed with songs as cool as Hate To Say I Told You So and Die, All Right! you simply can’t disagree.
Key Track: Hate to Say I Told You So

8. Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars – Fatboy Slim
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Following his breakout and seminal album We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, Norman Cook faced an uphill struggle to keep the fans from his ubiquitous singles yet not disenchant the critical reception. It is a triumph therefore that he released his best album following his biggest hit. Great dance tracks, each packed with a great idea or the occasional insanely clever twist.
Key Track: Weapon of Choice

7. Jupiter – Cave In
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The turn of the century echoed a change in direction for US noisemongerers Cave-In. Jupiter lived up to its name by showcasing one huge slab of space rock. Meandering riffs were still interjected by moments of cacophonous noise, but the band were becoming noticeably more refined, and resulted in Jupiter certainly being the best album from a very strong discography.
Key Track: In the Stream of Commerce

6. Parachutes – Coldplay
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Coldplay’s current status as one of the biggest bands in the world owes little to their debut album, despite it throwing them headfirst into the limelight. Having now gone all U2-lite they’ve distanced themselves from Parachutes, and yet it still remains as their best offering. Yellow, Shiver and Trouble still instigate huge sing alongs, but the likes of Don’t Panic, Spies and Sparks complement the huge singles perfectly. Proper charming stuff.
Key Track: Don’t Panic

5. All That You Can’t Leave Behind – U2
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U2 were awful in the 90s. Achtung Baby was an overhyped piece of pretentious rubbish, while the follow-ups didn’t even bother to have a handful of decent songs. They managed to reinvigorate their career in 2000 though with their best since the Joshua Tree, simply by writing a tonne of great pop songs which still stand up well today. Such a shame that they haven’t done much of note since…
Key Track: Beautiful Day

4. R – Queens of the Stone Age
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Starting off with a juttering monster of a track, bursting out with its strained “c-c-c-c-cocaine!” chorus, it was always obvious just how good this album was going to be. There’s not a dull or derived track on it, and amazingly they still hadn’t even perfected their formula. But Rated R’s sprawling robot rock definitely set them up as one of the best bands of the modern age.
Key Track: Feel Good Hit of the Summer

3. Relationship of Command – At the Drive-In
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Until you’ve actually listened to this album multiple times, it’s hard to discern just how good it really is. Relationship of Command is packed full of incredibly raw, passionate and aggressive alt. rock songs without a whiff of self-satisfaction or loss of integrity. Yet it still managed to become a mainstream hit, and helped set Omar Rodriguez and Cedric Bixler up to experiment with the limits of rock music through their world-conquering Mars Volta project.
Key track: One-Armed Scissor

2. The Marshall Mathers LP – Eminem
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Eminem had already been gaining mass publicity, critical adulation and moral criticism for his previous album, the Slim Shady LP. In 2000, however, he got truly personal, and ended up not only horrifying most of society, but also gaining the respect you wouldn’t have expected to be aimed at a white rapper. This is an album of witty brilliance which doesn’t have to rely on shock tactics, he’s just tells things as he sees them. The fact that he could follow up the hard-hitting The Way I Am with the chilling storytelling of Stan as singles is a testament to this album’s brilliance.
Key Track: The Way I Am

1. Kid A – Radiohead
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Following the massive hits and universal acclaim for The Bends and OK Computer, Radiohead could have easily brought further success with more of the same semi-avant-garde guitar rock. Instead they surprised everyone with an album of bleak electronica, dominated by feelings of indifference, paranoia and dread. It can be a painful listen if you're not in the right frame of mind, yet the pleasure it yearns is undeniably unsurpassable. From the pummelling mindfuck of Everything In Its Right Place right through to the beauty of Motion Picture Soundtrack via varying depressive levels of the human psyche, it remains clear to see that Kid A has became a standard classic already.
Key track: How To Disappear Completely
Posted on November 10th, 2009 at 11:17am

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