Lists

List: Best Albums of the Decade 40-31

I don’t know if you’re as excited as I am! Part Eight 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, 60-51 here, and 50-41 here. But for now, here’s 40-31…

40. Sigur Rós – Takk… (2005)

I said it before – Sigur Rós won’t match Agaetis Bryjun, well they didn’t in the 00s anyway. But they did craft a magnificent selection of songs with Takk…. ‘Hoppipolla’ (translated: “hopping into puddles”) is the best, a glorious uprising of a tune, that has been used to soundtrack hope in a lot of tv shows. No wonder tis album is called ‘Thanks’.

39. Neil Diamond – 12 Songs (2005)

Not to be confused with the Randy Newman album of the same name, this return to form for Neil Diamond was as fun as Newman’s best work. And with the helming of Rick Rubin, it was dark and gorgeous like Johnny Cash’s American Recordings series. All the songs were penned by Diamond, there was no covers, and it showed how great a songwriter he is, and always was. The special edition duet with Brian Wilson, ‘Delirious Love’ was gorgeous too.

38. The Decemberists – Picaresque (2005)

The best work of Colin Meloy’s super-twee outfit the Decemberists, Picaresque is a fascinating and enchanting record. From the opener, ‘The Infanta’ through ‘Sixteen Military Wives’ to the clever ‘Of Angels and Angles’, it’s a bright shining album filled with fantastic melodies.

37. Alcest – Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde (2007)

Originally a black metal band, this was a huge departure from Alcest’s previous work. They took all they learned from their aggressive EPs and toned it down into this gorgeous album. It’s like the dirtiest soundtrack you’ve ever heard, but is irresistable in every way.

36. Gillian Welch – Time (The Revelator) (2001)

Gillian Welch’s third album is one of the best alt.country albums ever. It gets better and better with every listen. It’s nigh on impossible to turn away from the charm of Welch’s voice and the intricate guitar work of David Rawlings. Imagine if Ryan Adams had been female. This is what he’d be writing. Wonderful.

35. The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)

This decade, was there a better nonsense lyric than “Her name is Yoshimi…”? If so, I can’t recall it. This was Wayne Coyne’s breakout album, and is also his best work. Forget about the aural nonsense of Zaireeka, this was what the Flaming Lips were destined to do. The most pyschadelic experience of the 00s, and a damn good album too.

34. Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006)

What a debut. An overnight success, the Arctic Monkeys arrived with fantastically rocking singles. The riffs were addictive and the lyrics witty. All together, it was brilliant. Who hasn’t bounded and jumped around to ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’? Go on, admit it. You have, and you will again too.

33. Yeah Yeah Yeas – Fever to Tell (2003)

“They don’t love you like I love you.” It’s true, Karen O. Not enough people love you. Well not on this side of the Atlantic anyway. It’s a shame that Kate Nash and the like get airplay, but you’ll never hear the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. A major injustice. I mean, you just can’t argue with songs like ‘Y Control’ and ‘Maps’.

32. Fight Like Apes – And the Mystery of the Golden Medallion (2008)

The best Irish debut of the decade, it heralded in a new age in Irish pop-rock. The music is glamourous and sexy, but packs a fierce punch. Clever and wry, it’s the most fun anyone had in 2008. And when they quit the swearing, they got on the radio. ‘Jake Summers’ is one of the best singles this decade, and it’s not even the best thing on here.

31. Kate Bush – Aerial (2005)

Double albums are tricky things. There’s always one side that gets favoured over the other. But sometimes, like on here, that can be a good thing. The two discs are hugely different, allowing you to choose which ever one suits your particular mood. The first is a random collection of Bush oddities, and the second is a concept album centred around a birdsong suite. They are both amazing, and who else could get away with a song about a washing machine, or one which recited the numbers of Pi?

The Countdown continues tomorrow…

Related posts:

  1. List: Best Albums of the Decade 90-81
  2. List: Best Albums of the Decade 110-101
  3. List: Best Albums of the Decade 100-91
  4. List: Best Albums of the Decade 70-61
  5. List: Best Albums of the Decade 60-51

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