Tag Archives: albums of the decade

My Favourite Albums and Tracks of the Decade

10 Oct

The following lists contain a bunch of albums and tracks that made a mark on me over the past decade and continue to resonate years later. Some are clever, some are dumb. Some have gone some way to innovate or influence but many don’t have that universal significance; they may simply be personal mementos or soundtracks to memories. Few would argue that ‘Complete Surrender’ by Slow Club is the artistic equivalent of Kendrick’s ambitious and groundbreaking ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ but guess which one I would rather take on a desert Island? These lists, with their neat orders, therefore, are personal snapshots and are not designed to be authoritative in any one, strict sense. They are, in a roundabout way, the albums I have loved and listened to the most over the past ten years. I’ve divided them loosely by genre (which in and of itself is a challenge – how do you categorise an artist like Grimes, whose very existence hinges on her ability to blur the lines between genres?) in an effort to bring some coherence to the task.

If it’s hard to select my favourite albums of the decade then it’s harder still to select tracks – not least because individual songs are perhaps even more dependent on their context. How could one compare a delicate piano ballad like Paul Buchanan’s ‘mid air’ to Daft Punk’s inescapable and irrepressibly catchy ‘Get Lucky’? Ask me what my favourite song is and it will depend very much on my mood, the time of day, what I’ve had to drink and the activity I’m partaking in. For example; Nothing shook me quite like ‘212’ by Azealia Banks, a song that followed me around the clubs the summer I graduated from University. Nothing moved me quite like Perfume Genius’ ‘Mr Peterson’, a song so fragile and spare that its very existence almost feels impossible. If I’m being clear headed then no song summarises the decade as perfectly as ‘Love It If We Made It’ by The 1975, which is somehow the funniest, smartest and scariest post-modern pop song of the century. It sounds like right now. And yet this song I have listened to more than any other is surely ‘DVP’ by PUP, a driving punk anthem that sounds as if it could have been released at any point over the past thirty years. It’s not that any one of these songs is better or the best. You wouldn’t mosh to ‘Mid Air’ and you wouldn’t shed a tear for ‘DVP’. No song alone is definitive or all encompassing. 

All that said, If I could choose just one album to represent this decade it would be Kanye’s ‘Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’, an album which staggered me at the time and, miraculously, still has that capacity ten years on. Kanye’s audacity and ambition, his technical mastery, and his singular vision made it a truly groundbreaking record in 2010. It made me look at Hip Hop in a new way and everything that’s happened to the genre since has grown in its shadow. It was fascinating to watch Kanye untangle and wrestle with his own notorious neuroses. He was then, and still is, the most extraordinarily unique star and ‘My Beautiful, Dark Twisted Fantasy’ is perhaps the only moment in which he’s ever tried to face up to his own reflection. It’s deep and dippy and like nothing I’ve heard before or since. I still hear new things every time I spin it (which is often).

So without any further ado…

Alternative Rock albums

  1. Lost in the Dream by The War on Drugs
  2. AM by Arctic Monkeys
  3. I Like It When You Sleep By The 1975
  4. Complete Surrender by Slow Club
  5. Avi Buffalo by Avi Buffalo
  6. Twin Fantasy by Car Seat Headrest 
  7. Currents by Tame Impala
  8. Congratulations by MGMT
  9. Suck It and See by Arctic Monkeys
  10. The Drums by The Drums
  11. At Best, Cuckold by Avi Buffalo 
  12. Teens of Denial by Car seat Headrest 
  13. Serotonin by Mystery Jets
  14. Lonerism by Tame Impala
  15. Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend 
  16. Light Upon the Lake by Whitney
  17. Sometimes I Sit and Think by Courtney Barnett
  18. Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes
  19. Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino by Arctic Monkeys
  20. Father, Son, Holy Ghost by Girls
  21. I’m all ears by Lets Eat Grandma
  22. A brief enquiry Into online Relationships by The 1975
  23. Do Hollywood by Lemon Twigs
  24. Sunbathing Animal by Parquet Courts
  25. Skeleton Tree by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Alternative Rock tracks

  1. Love It If We Made It by The 1975
  2. Beach Life in Death by Car Seat Headrest
  3. It Feels Like We Only Go Backwards by Tame Impala
  4. Thinking of a Place by The War on Drugs
  5. Sex by The 1975
  6. Best of Friends by Palma Violets
  7. Everything Now by Arcade Fire
  8. Do I Wanna Know by Arctic Monkeys
  9. Light Up Gold by Parquet Courts
  10. Step by Vampire Weekend
  11. Undercover of Darkness by The Strokes
  12. Donnie Darko by Let’s Eat Grandma
  13. Beautiful Blue Sky by Ought
  14. Tell em by Sleigh Bells
  15. Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes
  16. Seasons by Future Islands
  17. Book of Stories by The Drums
  18. Avant Gardener by Courtney Barnett
  19. No Destruction by Foxygen
  20. Fizzy by Sleaford Mods
  21. Wreckin’ Bar by The Vaccines
  22. I Didn’t Think It Would Hurt to Think if You by The Heartbreaks
  23. Superball by Magic Kids
  24. Archie, Marry Me by Alvvays
  25. Zombie by Jamie T

Folk/Country/Singer-songwriter albums

  1. Carrie and Lowell by Sufjan Stevens
  2. U.F.O.F by Big Thief
  3. A Crow Looked at Me by Mount Eerie
  4. Burn Your Fire For No Witness by Angel Olsen
  5. Have One on Me by Joanna Newsom
  6. Submarine by Alex Turner
  7. Titanic Rising by Wyes Blood
  8. Voyageur by Kathleen Edwards 
  9. Without Why by Rose Elinor Dougall
  10. On Your Own Love Again by Jessica Pratt
  11. Benji by Sun Kil Moon
  12. Tape Deck Heart by Frank Turner
  13. Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves
  14. Are We There Yet by Sharon Van Etten
  15. Something More Than Free by Jason Isbell
  16. Flaws by Bombay Bicycle Club
  17. Birthdays by Keaton Henson
  18. Mid-Air by Paul Buchanan 
  19. About Farewell by Aleala Diane
  20. Prisoner by Ryan Adams
  21. Beachcomber’s Windowsill by Stornoway 
  22. I’m a Dancer by Sweet Baboo
  23. Turn Out the Lights by Julien Baker
  24. I Speak Because I Can by Laura Marling 
  25. A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart by Bill Ryder Jones

Folk/country/singer-songwriter tracks

  1. Now Only by Mount Eerie
  2. The Only Thing by Sufjan Stevens 
  3. Mid Air by Paul Buchanan 
  4. Mr Peterson by Pefume Genius
  5. House Full of Empty Rooms by Kathleen Edwards
  6. Ben’s My Friend by Sun Kil Moon
  7. Your Love Is Killing Me by Sharon Van Etten
  8. Sister by Angel Olsen
  9. Lying to You by Keaton Henson
  10. Marked by EMA
  11. Flaws by Bombay Bicycle Club 
  12. Wrecking Ball by Ryan Adams 
  13. Motion sickness by Phoebe Bridgers
  14. Happy and Sad by Kacey Musgrives 
  15. The Greatest Bastard by Damien Rice
  16. Without You by Ryan Adams
  17. Have One in Me by Joanna Newsom
  18. Mystery of Love by Sufjan Stevens
  19. Night Shift by Lucy Dacus 
  20. Hey Ho by The Lumineers
  21. Shark Smile by Big Thief
  22. White Fire by Angel Olsen
  23. Pretend You Love Me by Sonny and the Sunsets
  24. Song for Zulu by Phosphorescent
  25. I’m a dancer by Sweet Baboo

Pop albums

  1. Melodrama by Lorde
  2. Red by Taylor Swift
  3. Progress by Take That
  4. 1989 by Taylor Swift
  5. 21 by Adele
  6. The 20/20 Experience by Justin Timberlake
  7. Art Angels by Grimes
  8. Caustic Love by Paolo Nutuni
  9. Natalie Prass by Natalie Prass
  10. In the Lonely Hour by Sam Smith
  11. Pure Heroine by Lorde
  12. Body Talk by Robyn
  13. + by Ed Sheeran
  14. Born to Die by Lana Del Rey
  15. Lover by Taylor Swift
  16. Nothing’s Real by Shura
  17. Lupercalia by Patrick Wolf
  18. Devotion by Jessie Ware
  19. Night Driver by Busted
  20. Emotion by Carly Rae Jepson
  21. 5 Seconds of Summer by 5 Seconds of Summer
  22. Family Jewels by Marina and the Diamonds
  23. 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
  24. Harry Styles by Harry Styles
  25. Immunity by Clairo

 Pop tracks

  1. Flesh Without Blood by Grimes
  2. Dancing on My Own by Robyn
  3. Royals by Lorde
  4. Video Games by Lana Del Rey
  5. Someone Like You by Adele 
  6. We Are Never Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift
  7. Love Never Felt So Good by Michael Jackson
  8. Mirrors by Justin Timberlake
  9. I Really like You by Carly Rae Jepson
  10. Everything Is Embarrassing by Sky Ferrara 
  11. Pink and Blue by Hannah Diamond
  12. Iron Sky by Paulo Nutini
  13. Pretty Girl by Clairo
  14. I Love It by Icona Pop
  15. Hotline Bling by Drake
  16. Sadness Is a Blessing by Lykke Li
  17. The City by Patrick Wolf
  18. What’s It Gonna be by Shura
  19. Perfect by Ed Sheeran
  20. Hollywood by Marina and the Diamonds
  21. Good Grief by Bastille
  22. Sign of the Times by Harry Styles
  23. Break Free by Ariana Grande
  24. Goodness Gracious by Ellie Goulding
  25. Heart Skipped a Beat by Olly Murrs

Dance/Electronic/experimental albums

  1. Random Access Memories by Daft Punk
  2. Our Love by Caribou 
  3. James Blake by James Blake
  4. Vulnicura by Bjork
  5. This is Happening by LCD Soundsystem 
  6. Settle by Disclosure
  7. It’s Album Time by Todd Terje
  8. Hurry Up We’re Dreaming by M83
  9. What is this Heart by How to Dress Well
  10. Immunity by Jon Hopkins
  11. In Colour by Jamie XX
  12. SBTRKT by SBTRKT
  13. Trouble by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
  14. Funk Wav Bounces by Calvin Harris 
  15. Within and Without by Washed Out
  16. Glow by Tensnake
  17. Swim by Caribou
  18. Glass Swords by Rustie 
  19. Sepalcure by Sepalcure
  20. Surf Noir by Beat Connection
  21. Personality by Scuba
  22. Compassion by Forest Swords
  23. Singularity by Jon Hopkins
  24. Safe in the Hands of Love by Yves Turner
  25. Compro by Skee Mask

Dance/electronic/experimental tracks

  1. Get Lucky by Daft Punk
  2. White Noise by Disclosure ft. Aluna George
  3. Coma Cat by Tensnake
  4. Dance Yrself Clean by Lcd Soundsystem
  5. Wildfire by SBTRKT
  6. Our Love by Caribou
  7. CMYK James Blake
  8. Ready for the World by How to Dress Well
  9. Black Lake by Bjork
  10. Gabriel by Joe Goddard
  11. I Know There’s Gonna Be Good Times by Jamie XX
  12. In the Water by Beat Connection
  13. The Shrew Would Have Cushioned the Blow by Joy Orbison
  14. Delirium Dynamite by Todd Terje
  15. Warmer Places by Delorean
  16. Slide by Calvin Harris
  17. Amor Fati by Washed Out
  18. The Throw by Jagwar Ma
  19. Cheerleader by OMI
  20. Are You Leaving by Sassy 009
  21. Your Love by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
  22. Electricity by Silk City
  23. I Need Air by Magnetic Man
  24. In the Rain by Teengirl Fantasy
  25. You Weren’t There Anymore by Negative Gemini

Hip Hop albums

  1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
  2. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar
  3. RTJ2 by Run the Jewels 
  4. Take Care by Drake
  5. Good Kid Maad City by Kendrick Lamar
  6. Colouring Book by Chance the Rapper
  7. Goblin by Tyler the Creator
  8. Konichiwa by Skepta
  9. Invasion of Privacy by Cardi B
  10. Yezus by Kanye West
  11. Doris by Earl Sweatshirt
  12. Damn by Kendrick Lamar
  13. We Got It From Here by A Tribe Called Quest
  14. Sir Lucius Left Foot by Big Boi 
  15. Whack World by Tierra Whack
  16. Daytona by Pusha T
  17. Nothing Was the Same by Drake
  18. Yesterday’s Gone by Loyle Carner
  19. 1992 Deluxe by Princess Nokia
  20. Igor by Tyler the Creator
  21. Room 25 by Noname 
  22. Forest Hills Drive by Jay Cole
  23. Piñata by Freddie Gibb and Madlib
  24. Surf by Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment
  25. Atrocity Exhibition by Danny Brown

Hip Hop tracks

  1. 212 by Azalea Banks
  2. Monster by Kanye West
  3. Yonkers by Tyler the Creator
  4. Close Your Eyes by Run the Jewels
  5. Blessings by Chance the Rapper
  6. Backseat Freestyle by Kendrick Lamar
  7. How Much a Doller Cost by Kendrick Lamar
  8. i like it by Cardi B
  9. Headlines by Drake
  10. Man by Skepta
  11. French by Odd Future
  12. Super-bass by Nicki Minaj
  13. Shutdown by Skepta 
  14. Pretty Girl by Stefflon Don
  15. We the People by A Tribe Called Quest
  16. Niggas in Paris by Kanye West and Jay Z
  17. Ain’t Nothing Changed by Louie Carner
  18. Starships by Nicki Minaj
  19. New Slaves by Kanye West
  20. If You Know, You Know by Pusha T
  21. Funky Friday by Dave
  22. Earl by Earl Sweatshirt
  23. Vossi Bop by Stormzy
  24. All Night by Big Boi
  25. Black Beatles by Rae Stremmurd

Rock/Metal/punk/Emo albums

  1. Stage Four by Touché Amore
  2. You’re Gonna Miss It All by Modern Baseball
  3. Here and Nowhere Else by Cloud Nothings
  4. Days are Gone by Haim
  5. Transgender Dysphoria Blues by Against Me
  6. Sunbather by Deafheaven
  7. Opposites by Biffy Clyro 
  8. Morbid Thoughts by Pup
  9. Holy Ghost by Modern Baseball
  10. Yuck by Yuck
  11. Cody by Joyce Manor
  12. The Dream is Over by Pup
  13. Drenge by Drenge
  14. Need to Feel Your Love by Sheer Mag
  15. High by Royal Headache
  16. Love In the Time of Email by Antarctica Vespucci
  17. Worry by Jeff Rosenstock
  18. Neighbourhoods by Blink 182
  19. Wild Pink by Wild Pink
  20. Kill the Lights by Tony Molina
  21. After Laughter by Paramore
  22. Late Nights In My Car by Real Friends
  23. Talon of the Hawk by Front Bottoms
  24. Spanish Love Songs by Schmaltz
  25. Science Fiction by Brand New

Punk/metal/emo/Rock tracks

  1. Dvp by Pup
  2. Your Graduation by Modern Baseball
  3. I’m Not Part of Me by Cloud Nothings
  4. Younger Us by Japandroids
  5. Just Can’t Get Enough by Sheer Mag
  6. Hard Times by Paramore
  7. If I Could Change Your Mind by Haim
  8. Biblical by Biffy Clyro
  9. Friendly Ghost by Harlem
  10. Fuckmylife666 by Against Me! 
  11. We Used to Wait by Arcade Fire
  12. Young Pros by Bass Drum of Death
  13. I Remember by Bully
  14. Best Intentions by Hodera
  15. Popular Music by Life
  16. Late Nights in my Car by Real Friends
  17. Madness by Muse
  18. Arlandria by Foo Fighters
  19. Wasted Days by Cloud Nothings
  20. Queen of My School by The Lemon Twigs
  21. 21st Century Breakdown by Greenday
  22. Bloodsports by Drenge
  23. Sixteen Saltines by Jack White 
  24. I Love You All the Time by Eagles of Death Metal
  25. Cutting Class by Cerebral Ballzy

R&B/Soul albums

  1. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean
  2. House of Balloons by The Weeknd
  3. Lemonade by Beyonce
  4. Wild heart by Miguel
  5. Blond by Frank Ocean
  6. 4 by Beyonce
  7. Woman by Rhye
  8. Process by Sampha
  9. LP1 by FKA Twigs
  10. Drunk by Thundercat
  11. Lost and Found by Jorja Smith
  12. Cupid Deluxe by Blood Orange
  13. The Electric Lady by Janelle Monae
  14. Nostalgia Ultra by Frank Ocean 
  15. Unbreakable by Janet Jackson
  16. Mirrorwriting by Jamie Woon
  17. Black Messiah by D’Angelo
  18. CTRL by SZA
  19. Beauty Beneath the Madness by The Weeknd
  20. Hive Mind by The Internet
  21. Take Me Apart by Kelela
  22. Isolation by Kali Uchis
  23. Devotion by Tirzah
  24. Apollo XXI by Steve Lacy
  25. A Seat at the Table by Solange

R&B/Soul tracks

  1. Pyramids by Frank Ocean
  2. BTSU by Jai Paul
  3. What You Need by The Weeknd 
  4. My Baby Don’t Understand Me by Natalie Prass
  5. Take Care by Drake
  6. Losing You by Solange 
  7. Bad Religion by Frank Ocean
  8. Can’t Feel my Face by The Weeknd
  9. Just Hold On We’re Going Home by Drake
  10. Love on Top by Beyonce
  11. Fuck You by Car-Lo Green
  12. Blinded by your Grace by Stormzy 
  13. Don’t Matter to Me by Drake
  14. Open by Rhys
  15. Leaves by Miguel
  16. Climax by Usher
  17. Gee Up by Kindness
  18. Best Thing I Never Had by Beyonce 
  19. Man Down by Rihanna 
  20. On My Mind by Jorja Smith
  21. Young Dumb and Broke by Khalid
  22. No Sleep by Janet Jackson
  23. Want to Want me by Jason Durelo
  24. Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke
  25. Jealous by Labyrinth 

100 Best Albums of the Decade

21 Dec

100. Since I Left you – The Avalanches (2000) (The ultimate party album, made up of seemingly endless samples).

99. Turn out The Bright Lights – Interpol (2003) (Dark and bleak but these were not the simple Joy Division copyists they may have seemed to begin with).

98. Employment – Kaiser Chiefs (2005) (A catchy (some might say to a fault) and arresting debut album from post punk popstars named after an African football side).

97. Back To Black – Amy Winehouse (2007) (It’s amazing that this album did as well as it did, what with all the tabloid stories that plagued her (of her own doing of course). There is no denying the power of her voice or the brilliant production).

96. The Coral – The Coral (2002) (Fed off the Strokes success but kept true to their own unique and influential sound).

95. Faded Seaside Glamour – Delays (2003) (An often overlooked post Britpop, psychedelic triumph).

94. First Days of Spring – Noah and The Whale (2009) (Takes a traditional but overused theme and re-energizes it for the 21st century).

93. Modern Times – Bob Dylan (2006) (Bob’s work of the last ten years has been better than anything he’s done since the 70’s. Modern times was my favourite of the albums).

92. V – Johnny Cash (2006) (The moving final statement from Johnny Cash. Understated and magical).

91. An other cup – yusuf (2006) (After 30 years away Cat Stevens returned as Yusuf and it was as if he’d never been away. An Other Cup sounded beautiful).

90. Yours to Keep – Albert Hammond Jr (2006) (Solo album from The Strokes guitarist was better than most people would have thought. Packed with brilliant melodies).

89. Permission to Land – The Darkness (2003) (The Darkness were no joke, this had some of the biggest riffs this side of Back in Black).

88. Someone to drive you home – The Long Blondes (2006) (An album that obviously recalled Blondie but had so much more going on. Imagery plucked straight out of a film noir and some stunning melodies.)

87. Final Straw – Snow Patrol (2004) (One of the least cool bands of the decade, Snow Patrol may have spent the majority of it making sickly radio anthems but ‘Final Straw’ was an important, ambitious and heart warming stab at the big time.

86. Show Your Bones – Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2006) (Fever to tell was overrated – Their second album ‘Show Your Bones’ was their masterpiece.)

85. Discovery – Daft Punk (2001) (Faceless dance pioneers make the best party album of the decade).

84. Man In The Mirror – Rhymefest (2008) (Who would have thought a tribute album to the king of pop, produced by Mark Ronson would turn out to be the best hip hop mix tape of the decade? Obviously has new significance in light of Michael Jackson’s death but this was always stunning).

83. The Grey Album – Jay Z / Dangermouse (2004) Jay Z made two classic albums this decade but I prefer the dangermouse mix that gave Jay Z’s rhymes a more cohesive and imaginative backdrop).

82. You Are The Quarry – Morrissey (2004) (Morrissey’s return was triumphant, this decade saw the release of his best album since leaving The Smiths. Possibly the best comeback (of many) of the noughties.)

81. A Rush Of Blood To The Head – Coldplay (2002) (So Coldplay, like U2 before them, represent what a lot of people hate. Yes Coldplay made some terrible music this decade, but you cannot deny the influence this album had, you can hear it everywhere. And anyway, it features some jaw dropping songs, such as ‘Clocks’ and ‘The Scientist’. Underestimate this at your peril).

80. Colour it In – The Maccabes (2007) (This was a ramshackle debut made up of seemingly endless, brilliant singles.)

79. Michigan – Sufjan Stevens (2003) (Sufjan’s first grand opus was of a more restrained album than Illinoise, but no less effecting).

78. Be your own pet – be your own pet (2006) (Raw pop punk from a band that should have been much bigger than they were).

77. Summertime – The Drums (2009) (Technically this may be a ’mini’ album but I just had to include it – this band are without a doubt the ones to watch in 2010).

76. O – Damien Rice (2002) (Sombre and moving stuff from the Irish singer songwriter).

75. Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles (2008) (Innovative digi punk from two Canadian weirdos. One of the few truly original records released this decade).

74. Only By The Night – Kings Of Leon (2008) (This album alienated their old fans and brought them twice as many new ones. To me it was a natural progression from Because of the times and their success was very well deserved. This was an album it was impossible to escape for a year).

73. I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning – Bright Eyes (2005) Bright Eyes reached a creative peak with this collection of modern folk songs).

72. A Grand Don’t Come For Free – The Streets (2004) (The 21st century concept album that could be enjoyed as a whole as well as listened to in pieces thanks to some brilliant singles. Who could forget the youthful vigour of ‘Fit But You Know It’ or the tender ‘Dry Your Eyes’).

71. Pearl Jam – Pearl Jam (2006) (Grunge rock survivors returned with a politically relevant and exciting album of rock songs. This band are true masters of their craft.)

70. Wolfmother – Wolfmother (2006) (packed with intelligent and heavy riffs, ‘Woflmother’ was better than any real metal album released in the last ten years).

69. Sams town – The killers (2006) (British 80’s pop was swapped for Americana rock on The Killers red white and blue album. Greatly underrated, this album was an ambitious, swooping stab at greatness that paid off with the band soon headlining festivals and playing arenas.

68. Kala – MIA (2007) (A Very brave album from one of the decades most innovative and exciting artists).

67. Teenager – The Thrills (2007) (As definitive an album of being a teenager as I’ve ever heard. The band showed great progression from their original surf pop sound).

66. Glasvegas – Glasvegas (2008) (The Scottish Band’s debut was prone to filler but 6 of these 10 tracks were as good as anything else this decade, and Daddy’s gone in particular was one of the most effecting songs released in ages.)

65. Boy In Da Corner – Dizzee Rascal (2003) (One of the few truly trend setting British artists of the decade, Dizzee was in a league of his own when he released Boy In Da Corner).

64. Volume One – She and Him (2008) (Who would have thought that actress Zoey Deschanel would have such a distinctive set of lungs. A very pretty album).

63. All Hour Cymbols – Yeasayer (2008) (Exploring world music and western pop, Yeasayer’s debut had a truly distinctive sound.

62. Get behind me Satan – The White stripes (2005) (The follow-up to Elephant shocked many people for it’s lack of guitar, but this was an equally stunning and even more jarring album.)

61. Cross – Justice (2007) (A Dance album that got comparisons to Daft Punk – this was better than anything they did this decade. Cross was as fun as they come).

60. Black Holes and Revelations – Muse (2006) (The Follow up to Absolution was paranoid and twitchy but it didn’t hold back on the massive tunes, and they don’t come bigger than ‘Knights of Cydonia’)

59. LCD Soundsystem – Lcd Soundsystem (2004) (James Murphy did some brilliant work with his DFA label, but his own debut set the tone for what was to come in terms of dance rock and Nu Rave. Great fun).

58. Neon Bible – The Arcade Fire (2007) (A snapshot of a scary post 9/11 world, Neon Bible was the paranoid follow-up to funeral that was instantly darker and more intense, but as a result a little less enjoyable).

57. College Dropout- Kanye West (2004) (The most consistently exciting and innovative hip hop artist of this (and maybe any other) decade. A magnificent showcase).

56. Thunder Lightning Strike – The Go Team (2005) (Cut up, Mashed, lo-fi madness. This sounded like a 70’s cop show theme mixed with just about every type of music known to man).

55. A Certain Trigger – Maximo Park (2005) (It feels like A Certain Trigger has gotten better with time, maybe it’s because it sounded so similar to many other albums released that year – it’s class is now obvious).

54. 21 – Mystery Jets (2008) (Who would have thought Mystery Jets would have produced an album like this after their bizarre debut. A pop gem).

53. Puzzle – Biffy Clyro (2007) (Biffy Gave Math Rock a much-needed facelift and introduced it to stadium rock and melancholy on Puzzle).

52. Age of The Understatement – Last Shadow Puppets (2008) (This wasn’t simply Arctic Monkeys with strings. The combination of Alex and Miles was genius and they produced a stunning debut album).

51.Youth and Young Manhood – Kings of Leon (2003) (The Southern Strokes were one of the most consistently enjoyable acts of the decade, releasing 4 amazing albums in the space of a few years. Their debut is still my favourite…just).

50. Untrue – Burial (2007) (A true innovator, dubstep surely has a much larger role to play next decade, this will be looked back upon as a big step forward).

49. The XX – The XX (2009) (A unique act with a unique vision. Dark and claustrophobic but extremely passionate).

48. Jacksonville City Nights – Ryan Adams (2005) (Of all the many albums Adam’s released this decade, Jacksonville City Nights Is my favourite. Alt Country at it’s purest and best).

47. Merriweather Post Pavilion – Animal Collective (2009) (Animal Collective were truly the leaders of the pack this decade in producing innovative and out there music but it was when they conceded some things to pop that they unleashed their best work.

46. Invincible – Michael Jackson (2002) (The Last album Michael Jackson released in his lifetime was not the grand finale it should have been. But in his death we can view the album with fresh eyes, and songs like ‘Speechless’ and ‘You are my Life’ take on new meaning and beauty. It may have been too long and overblown but at it’s best this album has moments to rival anything released by Justin Timberlake or Usher.)

45. Absolution – Muse (2003) (This album was built for stadiums, from the marching intro to the grand centrepiece of ‘Time Is Running Out.’ They went from strength to strength this decade, and show no signs of slowing down.

44. Hot Fuss – The Killers (2004) (Their influences were all British and mid 80’s but there was something warmly American and very cool about this Los Angeles band. Simply they had some of the best singles released in ages).

43. So Much For The City – The Thrills (2003) (The Killers were an American band who thought they were English and living in the 80’s. The Thrills were Irish thinking they were living in 1960’s California. Keeping up! A wonderful collection of timeless songs.

42. Give Blood – Brakes (2005) (Short. Simple. Stunning).

41. Do You Like Rock Music – British Sea Power (2008) (British Sea Power went full-out rock for their third album, but lost none of the fine eye for detail that had made their other albums so good).

40. Elephant – The White Stripes (2003) (After the raw intensity of White Blood Cells, Elephant was a much more considered and powerful beast. This was stacked with riff after riff, including the magnificent ‘seven nation army’)

39. Down in Albion – Babyshambles (2005) (This received mixed reviews at the time due to it’s shambolic production, lack of editing and tabloid lyrics. Overtime these things have become a part of it’s charm and it is now assuredly a classic album of it’s era).

38. Saturdays = Youth – M83 (2008) (A nostalgic throwback to the 80’s and teenage romance, this album arrived at just the right time and benefited from the shoe gaze revival).

37. Myths of the near Future – Klaxons (2007) (So New Rave was one of the decade’s biggest failures. After a lot of interest and early promise only this record by Klaxons could match the hype, and this wasn’t even new rave. Only a few songs on here show ed prominent dance influence, the rest of the album is more in keeping with space rock or prog traditions, although there was energy to spare).

36. Your New Favourite Band – The Hives (2004) (A throwback to the garage bands of the 60’s, The Hives were one of the key plays in the garage rock revival of the early noughties. Four of these songs are as good as anything the Strokes or White Stripes did and the rest is pretty good to boot).

35. You Could Have It So Much Better – Franz Ferdinand (2005) In many respects a better album than their debut. Franz thought out of the box with songs like ‘Walkaway’ whilst staying true to former glories with the likes of ‘Do you want to).

34. 808s and Heartbreaks – Kanye West (2008) This was a truly bold move from Kanye. The world was expecting and would have made done with another Graduation but this came completely out of nowhere. Steeped in sadness and tragedy, Kanye expressed his emotion through a vocoder and 808 drum machine. Stunning stuff).

33. Who Killed The Zutons – The Zutons (2004) (The Zuton’s debut has been forgotten in recent years, if The Zutons are talked of at all it’s usualy in reference to the Amy Winehouse cover that was a big hit. But their first album was packed with tunes every bit the equal of ‘Valerie’. Just listen to ‘Remember Me’ or ‘Don’t ever Think’, two of the best pop songs released in zonks.

32. Room on Fire – The Strokes (2003) (How to follow-up a generation defining debut has stumped many bands, but The Strokes didn’t get enough credit for their second. Of course it isn’t as good as ‘is this it’ and it never could have been but ‘Room On Fire’ has it’s own charm and it still ranks as one of the best albums of the last 10 years.

31. For Emma Forever Ago – Bon Iver (2008) (An album recorded in isolation, away from the outside world – this is an old-fashioned lp of dedication and heartbreak.)

30. Album – Girls (2009) (Girls debut arrived in the final few months of the decade but it has already become a firm favourite. The band took classic melodies and themes and subverted them in a very witty 21st century way. You just need to hear ‘Big Bad Mean Mother*****’ to get my point. A classic.

29. Primary Colours – The Horrors (2009) (Strange House was brilliant no matter what anyone says – but even The Horrors biggest defenders couldn’t have expected an album as sophisticated, innovative and plain intelligent as this. It combined shoe gaze, garage rock and girl group pop, just for starters and yet despite this complexity they remained a must see, energetic live act.

28. We Are The Pipettes – The Pipettes (2006) (The Pipettes wanted nothing short of reinventing the wheel with this debut. Not deliberately ignored the usual male originated influences eg The Beatles, The Ramones and instead looked to female icons of the past. But this retro backdrop was accompanied by feminist lyrics that used humour to fantastic effect. This was great fun and hopefully a follow-up will be out soon.

27. Silent Alarm – Bloc Party (2005) (Silent alarm really was an alarm to announce that Bloc Party had arrived, and in style. This was a classy and polished debut that built upon what The Futureheads and Franz Ferdinand had done the previous year. It stands up to this day as a first class post punk album.

26. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend (2008) (Vampire Weekend were a happy-go-lucky tornado that stuck the internet at the tail end of 2007. When their album proper came in 08 they ripped up everything. It was a unique sound that joined together upper class, sophisticated lyricism and African rhythms and guitar lines. ‘Vampire Weekend’ was sheer fun, and it never got boring despite many predictions that their sound would soon grate).

25. Day and Age – The Killers (2008) (A grand pop album that ticked all the right boxes. The Killers were always thinking big and after the music press gave mixed reviews to Sam’s Town , and ‘Day and Age’ confirmed the band as one of the brightest and most consistent of the decade.

24. American Recordings III – Johnny Cash (2000) (Johnny Cash made three classic albums this decade and it’s almost impossible to pick between them. American recordings IV was the sad farewell and V was the message from beyond the grave. The best though, if I had to choose, was American Recordings III as it was the last glimpse of Johnny in full form. His voice was as strong as ever and the songs chosen were impeccable, in particular U2’s ‘One and Nick Cave’s ‘The Mercy Seat’).

23. Stadium Arcadium – Red Hot Chili Peppers (2006) (By The Way was a great record but a flawed one which saw the band experimenting with breezy pop harmonies. It was a step a way from the funk sound towards something more clean. It’s follow up took an equally divulging path but a much more rewarding one. Stadium Arcadium is the sound of a band at their very peak, four of the best musicians in the world connecting over some brilliant music. At times it’s easy to think that Flea and John can read minds such is their brilliant chemistry and Anthony’s lyrics are a real step up from the early days. U2 released 2 good albums this decade but nothing that even came close to the brilliance of Stadium Arcadium; a staggering work.)

22. Favourite Worst Nightmare – Arctic Monkeys (2007) ( Arctic Monkeys were quite comfortably the decade’s best British band and where Oasis and The Stone Roses messed up Arctic Monkeys succeeded by following a huge debut with two great follow ups. It’s so hard for me to decide which one is better that I’ve put them together on the list. Favourite Worst Nightmare was a schizophrenic record that serves as a brilliant melting point of the intelligent rock of Humbug and the observational pop of Whatever, and their more recent album, whilst only a few months old, already sounds like a long-lost classic.

21. Humbug – Arctic Monkeys (2009)

20. The libertines – The libertines (2004) There is very little innovative here, there is some filler, some tracks are raw to the point of annoyance and you bet that very little time was spent over it. And yet has ever an album summed up a relationship, a period of time or a scene so well? ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’ and ‘What became of the likely lads’ feature the most confessional, poetic lyrics of the decade and they are set to some unbelievably passionate twin guitar attacks. The Libertines were destined to be great, and against the odds this album has proven the test of time.

19. Wincing The Night Away – The Shins (2006) ( The Shins quietly made one of the decades most forward thinking and intelligent pop records, in fact they made three of them. Wincing the night away is my pick purely for the sheer quality of the many songs, and the ingenious sonic landscapes that the listener is dropped into.

18. Oracular Spectacular – MGMT (2008) (MGMT are often called the modern flaming lips, but at the pace they are going they will far exceed anything that band have done. Over ten tracks they collect an extraordinarily diverse set of songs all bound by a sense of adventure, fun and mystery).

17. I Am A Bird Now – Anthony and The Johnsons (2005) The first thing to hit you about ‘I am a bird now’ was Anthony’s stunning voice which instantly recalled everyone from Nina Simone to Annie Lennox. The next thing to hit you were the haunting and uncomfortable lyrics that confronted the listener on sexual taboos, abusive relationships, gender issues and parental relationships. The musical backdrop was avant-garde pop that stirred emotions in a way few albums have done. A unique talent.

16. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes (2008) Fleet Foxes debut was an album of quiet majesty. Simple melodies, old-fashioned harmonies and a subtle yet intelligent group of musicians combined to make this one of the noughties most beautiful records).

15. American Idiot – Green day (2004) (Green day had fallen of the rails before their 2004 comeback that nobody saw coming. ‘American Idiot’ Captured the feeling in the air, the anger with politicians, the anger with the war in Iraq, the anger at George Bush. The songs were punky and just as catchy as anything from dookie but there was a new intelligence and strategy that hadn’t been present before, and American Idiot became their most successful record).

14. In Rainbows – Radiohead (2007) Radiohead haven’t made two similar albums in their career so nobody expected another Hail to the Thief. Neither were people expecting an album as brilliant as this, many had suggested that the band were past their best, but In Rainbows proved any doubters wrong; this was called by some their finest album yet. After the system shock of Kid A and the confusion of Hail to the thief this was a beautiful and intimate exchange with the listener that contained elements of all Radiohead’s best moments).

13. Illonoise – Sufjan Stevens (2005) (Few artists have ever been as ambitious or prolific as Sufjan Stevens, few albums as magical as illonoise. Steven’s unique style combined with lyrics about an average American state somehow melted together perfectly over an album that can only be described as a journey. From their strings and euphoria of Chicago to the sad intimacy of Casmir Pulaski day, this was a thrilling ride).

12. Sound of Silver – LCD Sound system (2007) (LCD Soundsystem provided the best dance album of the decade by some way. Whilst Basement Jaxx, Daft Punk and The Prodigy unleashed some massive singles, none of them made an album that could compete with sound of Silver as an album. Cohesive, diverse, funky, rocking, addictive – this album works well in any context be it the dance floor or the home.)

11. Hopes and Fears – Keane (2004) (Songs of subtle beauty and big chorus’s are a rare thing to find but Keane delivered 12 on one album, 2004’s biggest seller ‘Hopes and Fears’. Cool it wasn’t, popular it was (probably a correlation) but there was so much more to this album than snotty nosed critics would admit and it trumps any Coldplay album by a mile.)

10. Funeral – The Arcade Fire (2005) (Few albums were as acclaimed or influential this decade. It was an album that had it’s roots very much in the last century but seemed to fit in perfectly with American indie mid decade. Comparisons to Neutral Milk hotel were made and Funeral continues to be just as inspirational as ‘in the aeroplane above the se’a. A truly sublime record).

9. The Decline of British Sea Power – British Sea Power (2003) (A beautifully understated and oddly underrated album, this was one of the most, if not the most complex and complete debuts of the decade. BSP’s vision was, unusually for this day and age, undeniably unique. Musically they were a blend of post punk and indie but it was their literary lyrics and wildlife themed live shows that drew the most praise and attention. Most stunning of all was the chilling and epic ‘lately’ that brought the album to a jaw dropping close).

8. Up The Bracket – The Libertines (2002) (They were marketed as the British Strokes but The Libertines had been going for years before – it took Is This It to kick them into something great though. They swapped suits for leather jackets and they added some of their American counterparts fizz and sparkle. It was an extraordinarily important debut that was the first convincing British debut since ‘definitely maybe’ so many years before. In fact not since Morrissey was there a lyricist with such poetic bent, and such an artistic vision. Before his drugs meltdown Doherty was one of best talents to have emerged in a long time and his wit and intelligence are best represented on tracks such as ‘What A Waster’, ‘Horrorshow’ and particularly ‘Time for Heroes’ and ‘Death on the stairs.’)

7. The Magic Numbers – The Magic Numbers (2005) ( A slightly controversial choice for the 7th best album of the decade. Not sex pistols meets Marylin Manson controversy, in fact quite the opposite. ‘The Magic Numbers’ is such an old-fashioned, uncool and popular album that I doubt many other music writers will be placing them so high in these kinds of lists. This is an album that would have sounded more at home in 1965 rather than 2005, with it’s sunny melodies, heartbreaking lyrics and brother sister harmonies that instantly recall the likes of Mamas and Papas and The Beach Boys. The strength of the album is in it’s gorgous songs that reveal themselves overtime. Was there anything as catchy as ‘Forever lost’ or ‘Love me like you’ released this year? Was there anything as moving as ‘I see you see me’? These songs, prove that the ‘if it aint broke don’t fix it’ rule still rings true).

6. Smile – Brian Wilson (2004) (At one point nobody expected Brian Wilson to record again, let alone perform live, let alone perform Heroes and Villains live, let alone perform smile live, LET ALONE RECORD SMILE! The album that should have changed the course of musical history in the 60’s was finally released in 2004 to great acclaim and it was worth the wait. This may have been an album originally constructed for the hippie generation but it worked just as well in the noughties with its lush orchestration, beatnick lyrics and stunningly unique concept. Not quite as influential as pet sounds, but if this had been released in 67 it certainly would have been).

5. Kid A – Radiohead (2000) Kid A has been called the last traditional record and the first record of the current generation. It was probably the last anticipated album not to be leaked beforehand online (the follow-up ‘Amnesiac’ was arguably the first) whilst the digital marketing campaign was very modern and unique. This is also true of the frenzied music that sounds both distant and familiar, warm and cold, jarring and inviting. Over ten tracks they take you through every musical landscape known to man with Thom Yorke’s distorted or affected vocal being your miserable yet poetic tour guide. This was original and unexpected and it was one of the most influential albums of the decade.

4. Speakerboxxx / The Love Below – Outkast (2003) This was the white album for the 21st century. Like The Beatles, Outkast are very much a band of two distinctive personalities and musical talents. Over two discs both Andre and Big Boi have plenty of chance to shine, whether it be through hip hop, jazz, pop, rock, funk or soul. It’s best moments are Andre’ 3000’s ‘Roses’ and ‘Hey Ya’ which were fresh and catchy as hell.Big Boi’s more traditional disc is equally interesting and probably more cohesive – choosing a favourite is almost impossible, both discs offer something exciting and challenging.

3. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand (2004) (Franz Ferdinand’s role in the development of 21st century British guitar pop has been vastly underrated. When they came along they just wanted to ‘make girls dance’ and at the height of the garage rock revival this was exactly what was needed. They were the antithesis to the scruffy Libertines, and equally as important. Bands like The Rapture had meddled with dance rock only a year before but Franz were the first band of the decade to do it really well and combine critical success with commercial success. If The Strokes were the leaders of the garage rock revival then Franz were at the front for the post punk revival that dominated the indie boom mid decade.

They were tight both musically and lyrically, they wore sharp suits, had a distinct artistic aesthetic and their riffs were perfectly angular. When they arrived the likes of NME and John Peel called them the ‘saviours of Rock N Roll’, and whilst this wasn’t strictly true you could see where they were coming from. Their sound was the type of funky, intelligent pop that the likes of Orange Juice, Gang of Four, The Smiths and Pulp had perfected and that no band had really had much luck with in years. This was one of the best albums of the decade, no doubt, and it’s influence is still apparent in 2009.

2. Whatever People Say I am That’s What I’m Not – Arctic Monkeys (2006) Alex Turner could raise a serious claim to being the most poetic British pop star of not only his generation, but of all time. Time has been kind to the words of Morrissey, Lennon, Cocker, Weller and Lennon but in 20 years time I’m fairly confident Turner will have surpassed them all. The lyrics to this debut album are the sign of someone who clearly knows what he’s doing and does it well. They deal with very Northern themes of everyday life, from dirty dance floors, taxi ranks, riot vans, pubs and women of the night. The way the words twist and turn in Turner’s mouth are brilliant and unique.

The words are the stars of the show but the music accompanies them brilliantly. It may not be revolutionary but there is energy and heart in each of these songs, the drums are manic, the bass playing is funky and the guitars are fuzzy and very melodic. Whatever People Say I Am, is in my opinion the best British album of the last ten years.

1. Is This It – The Strokes (2001) (‘Is This it’ was the most important album of the decade as well as the best. Before The Strokes came along Britpop was going through a prolonged, miserable death whilst the sappy ‘singer songwriter’ school of music and big beat dance were polluting the charts. The worst offender of all was ‘Nu Metal’ the most garish and offensive form of music ever devised by the devil. Bands like Papa Roach, Slipknot, Limp Bizkit and Linken Park somehow became popular and their blend of Metal, funk and rap infected all forms of pop culture from the charts to clothing to movies.

Clearly real music was not dead, it was just hard to find in the shops, harder to find in magazines and impossible to find on the radio. In fact to anyone without the internet or musical connections good new music was nowhere to be found. The Strokes changed this. They were good-looking and well dressed. This may seem trivial but it was very important because it differentiated them from the skater clones that head banged to Sum 41. With their skinny jeans, leather Jackets, greasy hair and model looks they were instantly a band to be beloved and copied in equal measure, and people have been copying their style ever since and their look is still impossible to escape, from high streets to Blue Peter.

Of course it wasn’t a new look – The Ramones had done it 25 years previously – but ever since grunge Baggy had been the cool fashion statement. The Strokes were different and they were cool. Of course this would have been meaningless had their music not lived up to their style. But it did. ‘Is This It’ sounded brilliantly old-fashioned and strikingly new at the same time. It had a crackly, lo fi aesthetic that made it sound like it had been buried at the back of your garden for the last 30 years. The fuzzy guitar solos and rich bass sound could be found on any number of records from New York from the 70s and it’s garage sound was first perfected back in the 60s. The lyrics were typical rock n roll fare that would excite and entice many a young listener. Their sound was retro for sure, but because it hadn’t been heard in so long it sounded new. Of course just because they were the most important band of the decade does not make this the best album. It’s the best album because it is the one that better than any other exemplifies why I love rock n roll.

It is in many ways the most perfect debut album of all time and yet It isn’t perfect – it sounds live, raw, unrehearsed, messy and exuberant. I love the mistakes, the random screams, the adlibs in ‘New York City Cops’, the blatant Tom Petty Rip off in ‘Last Night’ and the slurred vocals of the title track. I love the fact that it’s short and filler free, that the guitar solos all essentially sound the same, that the lyrics all essentially deal with the same theme. It is an album of teenage rebellion, young love, city lights, rock n roll excess and girls. These are the themes of every good rock n roll record of the last 50 years and The Strokes did it better than anyone in a long time. Is This It reinvigorated indie music and the shock waves from it’s release are still being felt 9 years later.