As these opinion pieces have gone on I thought I’d find these lists easier and easier to do. After the 80’s, which was extremely difficult, the 90’s was relatively easy but this one turned out to be harder than I thought it would be. Turns out I have a large number of favourite albums from the 00’s and it was tough deciding on which ones would make my top five. However, I finally did it.
Blur – Think Tank
This album was the first album on my list and it didn’t take any thinking or debating whatsoever. It was an automatic lock from the very start. I remember buying this album pretty soon after it came out and falling in love with it immediately. It became the soundtrack to a certain time in my life and listening to it now takes me right back to that time.
Even though the album features Blur as a three piece for the first time ever after the departure of guitarist Graham Coxon (apart from the last track), it’s one of my favourite albums of all time. The sound is drastically different to anything Blur had done before with my favourite songs being Ambulance, Good Song, Battery In Your Leg and Caravan. Battery In Your Leg is the last track on the album and the one song that does feature Graham Coxon. It’s a beautiful moment on the album and without a shadow of a doubt one of their all time best songs. What an album.
Beck – The Information
I first heard Beck’s music in 2006 and I vividly remember buying The Information when it was released. It was the first Beck album I was aware of and because of that it sits firmly on my top five albums from the 00’s. The music contained on this incredible album is some of his best work in my opinion even though the album is arguably hugely underrated in music circles. For me though it’s outstanding.
From the first song to the very last the album is brimming with some of the best music of the decade. Beck is well known for evolving musically and The Information is almost like a collage of his previous work while at the same time moving forward musically. My favourite songs on the album include Elevator Music, Think I’m In Love, We Dance Alone, No Complaints and The Information. Overall it’s faultless though, a superb album from start to finish.
She & Him – Volume 1
I remember stumbling across Volume 1 by She & Him fairly soon after it was released and being blown away immediately. After a quick search online I realised the band were in fact a duo in Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. I wasn’t aware of the band before the album was released and since Volume 1 I’ve looked forward to each and every album that has come since.
The album is perhaps their most innocent sounding an Deschanel definitely sounds a less relaxed behind the mic than she does today but all of that adds to the overall charm of the album. It’s gorgeous sounding as well with M. Ward taking production duties, as he has on every album they’ve done to date. The 60’s sound found on this album is as authentic as it gets with Ward’s reverb soaked guitar being one of the most gorgeous tones I’ve ever heard. Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? was the first song from the album I ever listened to and it remains my favourite to this day. Other favourites include I Thought I Saw Your Face Today and Black Hole.
Eric Clapton – Sessions For Robert J
Yes, the inclusion of this album means I’ve had a Clapton album or an album featuring him on my top five album lists from every decade I’ve covered so far. Why? Because he’s my favourite guitarist and this album, a collection of Robert Johnson covers, sees Clapton return to his very best after a handful of more laid back releases since From The Cradle in 1994.
The album itself accompanied an incredible documentary which saw Clapton and his band play Robert Johnson songs at studios around the world. There are also parts of the documentary which feature Clapton and Doyle Bramhall II playing those songs in the building where Robert Johnson actually recorded them nearly 80 years ago. The music is incredible and the blues really brings the best out of Clapton as a guitarist. Yes, he’s also a blues/rock and rock guitarist who writes his own songs but his ability to play the blues so authentically is what makes him one of the best of all time. I love this album.
The White Stripes – Elephant
Picking the fifth and final album for my list proved to be harder than I originally anticipated. There were a number of albums that were in the mix which are all listed below as honourable mentions, but in the end I had to go with Elephant by The White Stripes. It’s an album I remember vividly when it came out and I remember being blown away by the music and especially the guitar.
Seven Nation Army is often seen as the standout track, and it’s certainly the most famous from the album, but there are far superior moments in my opinion in the form of Black Math, There’s No Home For You Here and the incredible cover of I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself. It’s an album that influenced a generation of music fans, an album that only a handful per decade can claim to do in my opinion. And it makes my list for top five favourite albums from the 2000’s.
Foo Fighters – One By One, Gorillaz – Demon Days, Gorillaz – Gorillaz, The Cardigans – Long Gone Before Daylight, The Good, The Bad & The Queen – The Good, The Bad & The Queen, The Fireman – Electric Arguments.
Next week I will be sharing with you my top five favourite studio albums from the 2010’s.
In the mean time though, feel free to leave a comment specifying which albums YOU would have chosen from the 1900’s.