Top 20 albums of the decade 2010-2019

The end of the decade brings a nice opportunity to reflect on the good and the truly exceptional. If you happen to have missed any of these, I implore you to give them a listen – needless to say every one is a gem in its own way…

1.) 65daysofstatic – We Were Exploding Anyway

This album opened my mind to a whole new genre of instrumental music and is one of the all-time best driving records.

2.) Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys!

A graceful masterpiece that captures both the innocence of youth and the humility of ageing. Forget the Mercury-winning Seldom Seen Kid, this is Elbow at their finest.

3.) Gang Of Youths – Go Farther In Lightness

The only album on this list that I discovered late (so it doesn’t feature on any of my album of the year lists), Go Farther In Lightness is a sprawling epic, capped off by one of my all-time favourite songs, Perservere.

4.) Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

I was very excited when Pat Smear rejoined the Foo Fighters and sure enough this record sees them scale the heights of their previous record with him, The Colour and The Shape (still my #1 album of all time).

5.) Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

Cinematic in its scope and acutely observed, Win Butler’s world-weary lyricism instantly transports you to suburban Texas. A massively underrated album due to the lack of a standout single and perhaps the quintessential grower.

6.) Dry The River – Shallow Bed

The peak of the new-folk movement, Dry The River’s debut is a blissfully brilliant listen and made for a fantastic live show.

7.) Frank Turner – England Keep My Bones

In an era when English national identity has become something of a thorny issue, the warmth and honesty of this album is something to be cherished.

8.) Arctic Monkeys – AM

After two hugely underwhelming albums (Humbug, Suck It And See), this record heralded the rebirth of the Arctic Monkeys and made Alex Turner the coolest man in Britain.

9.) Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

Daft Punk don’t release many albums (only 4 in their 22-year career) or play many live shows, but when they do it’s pretty special and makes the world sit up and take note. Of all the cameos on here, Nile Rogers’ collaboration seems like a match made in heaven.

10.) Biffy Clyro – Opposites

Most double albums leave me wishing the band had trimmed it down to one amazing record. Not this one, which is arguably the best of its kind. One of my biggest live music regrets is not shelling out to see them headline Reading with this wonderful noise.

11.) Public Service Broadcasting – Every Valley

12.) Mystery Jets – Curve Of The Earth

13.) Band Of Skulls – Himalayan

14.) Twin Atlantic – The Great Divide

15.) Dive Dive – Potential

16.) Idlewild – Everything Ever Written

17.) Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know

18.) Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool

19.) Canterbury – Dark Days

20.) Queens Of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork

Thanks to those of you who have followed my blog for the past 10 years – here’s to the next decade of fantastic music!

Top 20 albums of the year 2019

A great year for new music in my humble opinion, here’s my annual rundown…

1.) Indoor Pets – Be Content

This delightfully dorky debut album is absolutely brimming with shout-along choruses, clever hooks and distinct personality from the band formerly known as Get Inuit.

2.) Jimmy Eat World – Surviving

Their best record in over a decade, encompassing everything from cheesy saxophone solos to six-minute riff monsters.

3.) Vampire Weekend – Father Of The Bride

A diverse and sprawling record that shows off the maturity of Ezra Koenig’s songwriting skills.

4.) American Football – LP3

From emo revival to full-blown renaissance, American Football are back for good and their third self-titled album adds a new dimension with the female guest vocals supplied by Rachel Goswell, Elizabeth Powell (Land of Talk) and Hayley Williams (Paramore).

5.) Band Of Skulls – Love Is All You Love

Few bands can balance two styles so evenly as Band of Skulls, veering from a glam-rock strut to a reflective saunter and back without ever jarring in your ear. This is another fine addition to their increasingly impressive back catalogue.

6.) Get Up Kids – Problems

The emo pioneers roll back the years on this hugely satisfying record, their first in eight years, but their best in 20.

7.) The Amazons – Future Dust

“This is how Arch Rivals* would sound if you were in charge,” said Helen**. I’m gonna take that as a compliment…

8.) Idlewild – Interview Music

As subtle and diverse as you’d expect from Idlewild, this wonderfully poetic album rewards repeat listens.

9.) The Flatliners – Inviting Light

Chris Creswell’s voice leapt out at me from Spotify album radio and I still haven’t got over it. This fifth album from the Canadian quartet is a true revelation.

10.) Elbow – Giants Of All Sizes

Lead singles Dexter & Sinister and Empires set the bar very high indeed, and while the rest of this album doesn’t quite live up to that standard, it’s still a delightful record.

11.) Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost p1

12.) Foals– Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost p2

13.) Biffy Clyro – Balance Not Symmetry OST

14.) Whenyoung – Reasons To Dream

15.) Rival Sons – Feral Roots

16.) Weezer – The Teal Album

17.) Millencolin – SOS

18.) Dinosaur Pile-up – Celebrity Mansions

19.) Human Pyramids – Power Pose

20.) Dive Dive – The Waves Behind

There are plenty of new records to get excited about in 2020 from the likes of Green Day, Twin Atlantic and Weezer (yes, another one!) But for now, I leave you with my video of the year…

*My old band
** My wife