Thursday, 30 July 2009

Top 10 Albums

1. The Postal Service - Give Up [2003]
There is just something undefinable about this album. I like Death Cab For Cutie and i like DNTEL, but combine the people behind them and the music is 10 times more awesome.
Very mellow, great melodies and great lyrics. This is one of those albums you can recommend to anyone, from metalheads to ravers and there is a good chance they will like it. I just wish Gibbard and Tamborello would get their act together and release another album!
Stand Out Track: Such Great Heights

2. Tool - Lateralus [2001]
This is my go-to album for coming up with great creative ideas. I don't know what it is, but my brain just seems to work better when listening to it. I wasn't a big fan of Tool back when this came out, but after getting into A Perfect Circle it was the next logical step. It is also one of the few 'metal' albums with sufficient depth that it compares well to classical music. Next time you are stuck on a problem, put this record on and i bet you come up with an awesome solution.
Stand Out Track: The Grudge

3. Biffy Clyro - Blackened Sky [2002]
The first and only Scottish band on my list (sorry Aereogramme). I still remember seeing them play in half-empty pubs in Glasgow. So it is kind of trippy to see their album for sale in Paris and hear them on the radio in Australia. This was their first and i would argue best album. A superb rock album, some mellower stuff, some seriously heavy stuff but all tied together with catchy riffs.
Stand Out Track: 57

4. Marylin Manson - Mechanical Animals [1998]
I'll start by saying i'm not a Marylin Manson fan other than this album. I can stand some of his other poppier stuff (Beautiful People, Tourniquet etc) but i wouldn't buy any of the other albums. Mechanical Animals on the other hand really breaks away from his normal style. It is much cleaner, less heavy and almost 70's glam. Maybe its just the memories of listening to it during an awesome holiday in the Canadian Rockies, but whenever i put this album on i feel better.
Stand Out Track: The Last Day On Earth

5. Foo Fighters - The Colour and the Shape [1997]
I still remember the day i first heard Everlong on the radio. I had just pulled into the driveway and i had to sit in the car until it was done. I went out and bought The Colour and the Shape the day it was released and have loved it ever since. For me, this is the peak of the Foo Fighters. The first album was a little rough and everything that came after feels like a pale imitation. With tracks like Everlong, Monkey Wrench, Wind Up and My Hero you can't get better. Extra props for spelling 'colour' properly despite being american.
Stand Out Track: Everlong

6. Pendulum - Hold Your Colour [2005]
Simply the best electronic album i have heard. For a long time i was militantly 'rock' in my music tastes. I associated anything electronic with the terrible dance music they play in clubs. My attitude slowly started to change after The Postal Service and somehow i ended up getting a Drum 'n' Bass album. What differentiates this from most, is that while it has the incessant 'beat and repeat', it has great melodies and lyrics too. My one disappointment is the recent re-release dropped Still Grey and ruined one of the best album endings ever.
Stand Out Track: Hold Your Colour

7. Bush - The Science Of Things [1999]
After the Nirvana-esq 16 Stone and dire Razorblade Suitcase most people ignored The Science of Things. At Uni, this tour was the first gig i went to (i nearly blacked out due to dehydration) and the album really stuck with me. Written and recorded during their breakup, this album is like Gavin Rossdale's version of Gwen Stefani's The Return Of Saturn. It has much of the same cynicism about relationships but with a much darker and edgier tone.
Stand Out Track: The Chemicals Between Us

8. The Cardigans - Long Gone Before Daylight [2004]
The Cardigans went through 3 distinct phases; The first two albums sounded pop but had cynical lyrics, Gran Turismo was well Gran Turismo and the last two albums are similar to the first two without the poppy sound. This is a great chillout album, it is very mellow, with some really great acoustic tracks. While it lacks the urgency of Gran Turismo, it is much more consistent and enjoyable. I also listened to this album a lot while reading Stephen King's Dark Tower books, so some good associations.
Stand Out Track: And Then You Kissed Me

9. Kenna - New Sacred Cow [2003]
The one and only album i have bought after a recommendation in a book. It was featured in Blink by Malcolm Gladwell as an example of something that experts love but the general public don't understand. With hindsight it was about 5 years ahead of its time and hearing it now, it wouldn't seem like anything that different. Again leaning slightly towards electronic, synth and new wave, it is an excellent album that again has many fond memories attached to it.
Stand Out Track: Freetime

10. REM - Automatic For The People [1992]
I accidentally bought this CD for my parents before we even had a CD player. One of the very few albums from my childhood that i still enjoy as much now as i did then. Almost every track could have been a single. Some are so interwoven into my mind that even after a good few years of not listening to it i still remember all the lyrics.
Stand Out Track: Try Not To Breathe

Honourable Mentions: Aereogramme - A Story In White , No Doubt - The Return of Saturn
(i was tempted to sneak it in instead of Kenna, for full 1997 to 2005 annual coverage), Transformers The Movie [1986] OST, Pink Floyd - The Wall, Black Sabbath - Paranoid, Our Lady Peace - Happiness Is Not A Fish That You Can Catch, Billy Talent - Billy Talent, Orgy - Candyass, A Perfect Circle - Mer de Noms, System of a Down - Mezmerize/Hypnotize and Wildtype.

NB The 'Stand Out Track' selections aren't necessarily my favourites, just a good song to decide if you will like the album or not.

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