Friday, 18 December 2009

My albums of the decade: 16-9

Oooh, it's getting closer. I appreciate that this endeavour is of interest to few, but I'm enjoying it anyway!

16. Mogwai - The Hawk is Howling

While other Mogwai albums this decade contained the odd song that was an absolute belter, I think this is their most coherent album since 'Young Team'. The highs are breathtaking and exhilarating, and there aren't any lows.

Scotland's Shame

15. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Real Emotional Trash

Much as I love Pavement, I'm a little bit disappointed that they're reforming now, given that this is pretty much my favourite album as a whole that Stephen Malkmus has done. There's so much power to it, so many hooks, and his guitar playing is better than ever. It's full of moments that make you want to punch the air. Also, recruiting Janet Weiss on drums was a masterstroke.

14. Alasdair Roberts - Spoils

There were a number of Ali Roberts albums that could have made it on to this list, but I thought I'd go with his most recent, simply because it's his most complete album to date. I really can't wait to see how his future albums develop.

13. The White Stripes - White Blood Cells

Not much you can say about this that hasn't been said, but it still sounds fucking amazing today.

12. Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - How I Long To Feel That Summer in My Heart

A beautiful, beautiful album. Gorkys' songwriting had been maturing for a few albums prior to this (not that that's always a good thing), but this saw a real peak, and Euros Childs' voice never sounded so sweet.

How I Long

11. James Yorkston & The Athletes - Just Beyond The River

James Yorkston is one of my favourite songwriters in the world. If I were any good at writing songs (and I do try), I'd want them to sound like his.

Surf Song

10. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam

Earlier in the year I thought that the latest AC album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, might usurp this as my favourite, but I kept coming back to Strawberry Jam. Like the Malkmus album, it's just full of hooks and punch the air moments, yet still with that sense of wonder you always get with them. It's their best album.

9. Sufjan Stevens - Greetings From Michigan...

Ah, lovely Sufjan. While the 50 States idea was probably an ill advised project to embark on, this is worth all the trouble. He's an incredible songwriter and musician, with a voice that just makes you want to cry. If he doesn't make any more albums (which he has hinted at) he has left us with some works of absolute beauty. Such as...


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