Saturday, March 26, 2011

50 Best albums of the Decade Part 4 - 31-40

40. Sigur Ros - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

Sigur Ros have always been true greats in creating moody walls of music measuring leagues instead of stories. So what happens when they make an album that has music that is happy and poppy and shines through the darkest of days? Well you have the #40 album on my list. It’s not that they abandoned what they’ve done in the past, it’s that they want to paint a world of musical colors instead of staying in the same place and while other titles from their catalogue have you scratching your head as to what they’re doing, here you not only have a better idea of which instrument is being played, but you can get a real feel for the heart of the band as a whole.

Highlight tracks: Gobbledigook – Inni Mer Syngur Vitteysingur – Via Spilum Endulaust – Festival - Með suð í eyrum - Flyotavik

39. The Strokes – Room on Fire
Say what you will, but the Strokes rock and are relevant to the hundreds of post punk bands that have spawned after Is this it. Yet even with the huge competition of slightly younger bands eager to be the new kings and queens of SPINNER Magazine and the new tween generation, The Strokes released Room on Fire and it was scorchingly good without caring for any of those bullshit audiences.

Highligh Tracks: 12:51 – Reptilia – What ever Happened – You talk way too much

38. Kings of Leon – Youth and Young Manhood
The Kings of Leon have been a great band from the starting gate. One listen to Youth and Young Manhood and you ask yourself if these were the nephews of some Hell’s Angels. or something Southern fried rock and roll is the order of the day and the special is greasy, delicious and very filling.

Highlight tracks: Molly’s Chambers – Dusty – Trani – California Waiting - Holly Roller Novocaine

37. Pearl Jam – Pearl Jam
Instead of taking the easy way out and writing more albums like Ten, Pearl Jam said screw that, that’s not what we’re about and after long years of incessant touring, the respect and appreciation they deserve has finally arrived. So of course they put out an album with a piss poor gradient, no title apart from their band name and half an avocado on the cover. It is also a sensational album with balls, grit and channeled political anger to get their point across but still rock. Hell of a way to let younger kids know that they are not a band to be messed with, even if they’re creeping towards 50. Oh and children, if you want to know what a real live show is, take a spin in one of their concerts.

Highlight Tracks: World Wide Suicide – Marker in the Sand – inside Job – Parachutes – Comatose – Big Wave – Army Reserve

36. Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
So how good can an album be about a Japanese girl who battles pink robots? Well we don’t know, because this album isn’t necessarily about that exclusively although some songs are. The point isn’t whether this album is a concept album or not though. The point is to ask yourself, does it rock? And the answer is one melodically robotic Hell yeah Mr. Roboto.

Highlight Tracks: Fight Test – One More Robot – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pts. 1 and 2 – Do You realize

35. Jack Johnson - Brushfire Fairytales, On and On & In Between Dreams
Ok so this isn’t necessarily a list including 50 albums. Sue me. But when I talk about Jack Johnson and his music, I really do not want to pick favorites among these three fantastic albums. I put them all here for very different reasons. Brushfire Fairytales is our introduction to Jack, On and On is a consolidation of talents and In Between Dreams is the evolution of all things Jack Johnson. So what’s so important?

Well thanks to Jack surfers are once again mellow friendly people who surf to soothe their soul. You see, for years surf music had gone to the side of punk rock and there seemed like no way of pulling it back. Then comes Jack and people start mellowing out a bit and smiling more in the water. Second only to  Bob Marley's Legend, Jack Johnson tracks have become the new anthem to surfers the world around.

Highlight Tracks – Constellations – Banana Pancakes – Taylor – The Horizon Has been Defeated – bubble Toes – Belle – Sitting, waiting wishing – Middleman

34. System of a down – Mesmerize/Hypnotize
Seeing each album as a separate entity is like separating Use Your Illusions 1 and 2 from Guns N Roses, it just doesn't make any sense. Which means you can do so, but why bother? Both albums wreck some serious carnage and prove that when it comes to fast vicious, crazy music, you need look no further.

Highlight Tracks: Hypnotize – Soldier Side – BYOB – Cigaro – Viscinity of Obscenity – Lonely day – Lost in Hollywood - Attack

33. The Strokes – Is this it
A great album in and of itself to be sure, but what we didn’t know is that this was actually a musical game changer because although it’s a great album, it doesn’t sound particularly revolutionary. Just a solid kick ass album. Actually, it’s been a while since a debut album by a band created that much fuss and it’s with great reason. It rocks. At 36 minutes, I won’t bother picking favorites, just listen to the whole damn thing.

32. Queens of the Stoneage – Lullabies to Paralyze
Absolutely the darkest disc in the QOTSA catalogue, Lullabies is a murky, brooding masterpiece that though not as catchy as the preceeding album is a solid collection of emotions that twist and turn with dark, funky riffs. It has enough fuck you attitude to show the signature Josh Homme but enough substance to differentiate it from other QOTSA albums. Face it, if you have tracks called Burn the Witch, The Blood is Love, You got a Killer Scene there man, etc. you have a dark album. Guest collaborators include Mark Lanegan and other usuals. It's a wonder that so many people overlook the album . Funny thing iecause from what I’ve talked to with friends, it’s one of those albums that once you put it on,  you ask yourself how you went that long without hearing it. It’s got dark brooding songs, churning bursts of rock and enough Queens goodness to satisfy ANYONE in need of some good ole rock.

Highlight Tracks: This Lullaby - Everybody Knows that You’re Insane – burn the Witch – Little Sister – I never came – Someone’s in the Wolf – You got a Killer Scene There Man – Long Slow Goodbye

31. Explosions in the Sky – The Earth is not a cold dead place
At times, the greatest music is so great because it stirs the emotions. Sometimes it’s a chorus that resonates with us, sometimes it’s a verse… sometimes it’s just music. Explosions in the sky are not just music… it is a sonic existential revelation. Guitars, drums, and bass pick and tease at what you would picture to be your soul and churn into a sonic maelstrom that makes you want to cry solely because of the notes that are picked and stacked until forming a wall of noise higher than the Tower of Babel… and like said tower, in the end it doesn’t matter what language you speak since beauty, melancholy and reflection is timeless and universal. This album could serve as the soundtrack to both the beginning of time or the end of the world.

Highlight Tracks: The entire album

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