Top Twenty Albums of 00s


Dez 31 2009, 17h07

Being the 31st of December and everything, I figured it was about time I looked back at all the albums I bought/borrowed/downloaded over the course of the past 9 years and 364 days, and picked out my top twenty.

That's a lie. I was only six when we came into the new millenium, and not many six-year-olds listen to Nadja (a search for "drone baby" does not bring up ANY pictures of babies listening to drone, which is too bad).

So what this list really is, is my top twenty albums that were released in the last 9 years and 364 days. Whilst the mainstream has been largely dominated by , r'n'b and this decade, the was a lot of great music if you bothered to look for it.

How do I judge a great album? Well, there are three kinds of great albums:
a) an album filled with consistantly great songs (Mellow Gold by Beck)
b) an album with many hits and a few misses, where the hits are good enough to make up for the misses, and then some (Destroy all Astromen! by Man or Astro-Man?)
c) an album with such an immense atmosphere that the idea of "good" or "bad" songs don't really apply (Deathconsciousness by Have a Nice Life)

And what is good? Good music is music that is full of emotion, whatever form that may take. Good music should be memorable and have a certain relistenable (is that a word?) quality. Last of all, it should be unique, or at least have something in it that makes it stand out from the crowd.

And now I present to you: my top twenty albums from the 00s, and some more that didn't quite make it, but were good anyway.

The Always Open Mouth - Fear Before The March Of Flames
This was a tough call. But I really love this album; not only is it filled with great songs, but even the not-so-great ones are pretty damn good. I couldn't skip any part of this album, every single song is filled with emotion and atmosphere, so the whole thing reads like a hardcore version of Deathconsciousness. Almost. Fear Before The March Of Flames had a really good thing going here. Truth be told, nothing about their previous albums interests me, as it all very much sounds the same. Unfortunately, I didn't like their latest album much either, but so long as no one takes The Always Open Mouth away from me, I'm fine with that.

Young Machetes - The Blood Brothers
It really is too bad The Blood Brothers broke up. Though they had a good run, I'm sure many people know what I mean when I say they broke up just as they were reaching their peak. Similiarly to Fear Before The March Of Flames, The Blood Brothers started out as a fairly generic-sounding hardcore band, before finding their sound with Burn Piano Island Burn. The difference is, I do actually like and listen to the earlier The Blood Brothers albums, as, while they are nothing particularly special, they are good albums and don't blend together as one big, noisy mess. Anyhow, The Blood Brothers continued their weirdness with Young Machetes, which was split between catchy songs that leaned towards pop, and noisy nonsense that was reminscent of their Burn Piano Island Burn days. Whatever you think about this album, you've got to admire the originality these guys had.

Deathconsciousness - Have a Nice Life
There's nothing really like Have a Nice Life. Deathconsciousness is my prime example for "albums that are so atmospheric there are not good or bad songs". I listened to this album a lot last summer, when I went on a school trip to France. I found it impossible to sleep on the coach, so I stayed up listening to Deathconsciousness 'til about five o' clock, when I finally drifted off. I did the same thing on the way back, got very ill, sat, unmoving (dying) on the ferry, and, after finally reaching home, caught up on sleep. So, Deathconscious will always remind me of being really really really tired. But I like it anyway.

Touched - Nadja
Only recently have I discovered the weird and wonderful genre of . And what I've heard so far is pretty amazing, especially Nadja. And pretty much everything Aidan Baker has done. This is the kind of album you want to give your full attention to, and the kind of album that the phrase "a landscape of sound" really lends itself to. From the immense riff in Mutagen to the near-silence of Untitled (Baker doesn't seem to be very good at names), Touched is one awesome experience.

Oh Perilous World - Rasputina
I know fans didn't like this album much, but I love it. It's weird and wonderful, and there's nothing quite like it. I haven't read much into the story behind it, but the lyrics are great too. is the best tag to describe Rasputina, because I doubt many people have heard their weird mixture of rock and cellos before. I, for one, like Rasputina's slight shift in sound, and welcome more weirdness from them.

6] Cloak of Love - Genghis Tron
This only works as an EP. I don't think anyone could keep up this level of weirdness, insanity and full-on, techno-rock-hardcore assault for a full album, not even Genghis Tron themselves, as I don't like any of their albums as much as I like this EP. Each song fits together perfectly without blending together, and each song remains distinct and, mostly, memorable. Awesome.

7] City of Caterpillar - City of Caterpillar
If Native Nod had released anything in the 00s, it probably would've been here. Unfortunately, they didn't. But there are many great bands out there doing something different from Native Nod but still maintaining a certain DIY aesthetic and sense of raw emotion. And City of Caterpillar are one of the best. This album is like going into a tunnel -- when you finish, it's like stepping out from a deep, dark place. Harsh, discordant and aggressive, City of Caterpillar certainly won't be to everyone's tastes, but if you like it, you will probably love it.

8] Chandeliers in the Savannah - Neon Blonde
After The Blood Brothers came about a million bands. Neon Blonde was probably my favourite, but they've gone on an indeterminate hiatus since Johnny Whitney and whoever else started Jaguar Love, which I never really liked much. Neon Blonde is yet another weird addition to this list; they are VERY weird. , , , ...pretty much every genre imaginable was thrown into Neon Blonde. But it worked. Mostly.

9] The Ascension - Otep
I know this won't be high on the lists of kvlt metal fans, but I really like this album. I went through a phase of listening to female-fronted bands, and, not being averse to a bit of shouting and screaming, I also found several female-fronted bands with a bit more aggression in the vocals. Otep is one of the best of these. They are full of anger and have a really chunky sound. They're pretty cool.

10] Burn Piano Island Burn - The Blood Brothers
The only band to sneak in two albums into the top tens. They definitely deserve the place. Burn Piano Island Burn would be a lot higher in my list if there were more hits and less misses, but there are many great songs on this album, so it's all worth it.

11] Green & Cold - Aidan Baker

12] Guilt Show - The Get Up Kids

13] Happy Hollow - Cursive

14] Strange Symmetry EP - Past Lives

15] Notes & Photographs - JamisonParker

16] Ten Songs - I Hate Myself (not sure why, but in iTunes I have the release date for this album listed as 2004. Apparently it was released in 1997...)

17] Frustration Plantation - Rasputina

18] Cypress Dust Witch EP - Portraits of Past

19] Violet - The Birthday Massacre

20] Withering to death - DIR EN GREY

Honourable Mentions:
A Prayer Under Pressure - My Ruin
The Rising Tide - Sunny Day Real Estate
A City By The Light Divided - Thursday
Clear Hearts Grey Flowers - Jack Off Jill
フリクリ サントラ - The Pillows
As the Roots Undo - Circle Takes the Square
Wood/Water - The Promise Ring
Train of Thought - Dream Theater
The Pine - The Pine
Wish Me Dead - Emetrex
Head Wound City - Head Wound City
Everything in Transit - Jack's Mannequin
Eventually, All At Once - Joan of Arc
Carnavas - Silversun Pickups
Quiet, Pull the Strings - Suis La Lune
Alphabet. Alphabets. - Trophy Scars
Dark Passion Play - Nightwish
Reinventing The Heartbeat - E for Explosion
La quiete - La quiete
Island Diamonds - Pocahaunted


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