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Showing posts from March, 2020

The 10 Best Albums from 2010-2019

Now that I've finally published my number one album of the last ten years, here are all ten in order, with links to the full reviews. Enjoy.

1.  "High Violet" by The National 
2.  "The Nashville Sound" by Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit 3.  "In Waves" by Trivium 4.  "Lux Prima" by Karen O & Dangermouse 5.  "Back Roads & Abandoned Motels" by The Jayhawks 6.  "Wovenwar" by Wovenwar 7.  "Push The Sky Away" by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 8.  "Hymn Of A Broken Man" by Times Of Grace 9.  "A Sailors Guide To Earth" by Sturgill Simpson
10. "In Spades" by The Afghan Whigs

Best Albums of the 2010s: Number 1 - "High Violet" by The National

Sometimes things are just right. Sometimes you just know. Sometimes you don't need to hear it again to confirm whether or not you just heard something that cannot be improved. In that spirit I give you the 2010 masterpiece by The National. 

This is a perfect album, that somehow manages to save it's finest moment, and indeed the finest moment of their career until the very last song. I wonder if this could happen in 2020, but ten years ago streaming hadn't achieved the dominance it had now, and fortunately The National are a band with a strong enough following and reputation to still demand respect for the album as a form.
From the opening of "Terrible Love", which starts like a machine warming up and builds to a cacophonous crescendo, it grabs your attention with music that is melodic, interesting, intriguing and noisy. This album may be a classic, but it doesn't sound classic. It by turns opaque, beautiful, uplifting and heart-breaking. Unusually for an album …

Best Albums of the 2010s: Number 2 - "The Nashville Sound" by Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit

2017 produced this masterpiece from the former Drive-By Trucker. From the moment it fades in with the elegiac "Last of My Kind"to the last notes of "Something to Love" this is solid gold. Much like Gary Louris on my number five choice, the level of craft in these songs is phenomenal. Isbell's songs are so good I'd actually view him as a songwriter first and performer second. I've said many times over the years that there are two types of music fan, those who love Gram Parsons and those who haven't found him yet. Whilst I'm not comparing Isbell to Parsons as a singer, (who sits atop my list of favourite singers of all time), in terms of discerning music fans I feel the same criteria applies. If someone likes good music and they somehow haven't come across the Alabaman yet, then hand them this album or Southeastern and they will be smitten.
The whole album is practically a highlight reel, with only "Chaos and Clothes" and the aforemen…

Best Albums of the 2010s: Number 3 - "In Waves" by Trivium

My number three album of the last ten years is one which does come with a number of caveats. This is a full on metal album, an therefore those who aren't fans of the genre will struggle here. Also,unlike the two which immediately precede it, "Lux Prima" & "Back Roads & Abandoned Motels" this album does have some inessential songs, and preclude me from describing it as a perfect album , which all of the rest of my top five I would consider to be.
However, however... 

This is easily my favourite metal album of all time, and whilst it is clearly not "Master of Puppets" or "Number of The Beast" it is the metal album I would chose if I could have only one. Sure, a few tracks could easily be culled with no detriment to the album, "Dusk Dismantled", "Drowning In Slow Motion" and "Chaos Reigns" are hardly essential.

But the highs are so high they outweigh these minor quibbles. The title track has become the bands e…