Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Favorite 100 Albums of the Decade: 100-91

because nothing soothes a raging hangover like public list-making. and way too many NYFF tickets. and watching I'm Reed Fish on showtime. but that’s another matter entirely. this is gonna be in bite-sized chunks cause… this whole “doing things on the internet and stuff” is hard. all right, let’s get this entirely brainless operation underway.

100. Max Richter - The Blue Notebooks

electronic disambiguations of classical pieces i wouldn’t have recognized anyway. every so often tilda swinton pops up to read poetry. the whole thing just works, and works for almost every occasion.

99. Manitoba - Up in Flames

caribou before caribou. glitchy, icily vital electronica that almost makes me not regret my techno phase.

98. TV on the Radio - Dear, Science

tvotr’s most aggressively cerebral album, and one that seems to work in spite of itself. tapers off as fiercely as all tvotr LPs, but starts with a bang. their clearest expression of fucking for freedom. if only they could find a way to capture these songs in a live environment as well as they can their earlier stuff.

97. Liars - Drum’s Not Dead

cause the other side of mt. heart attack is a surprisingly beautiful place.

96. St. Vincent - Marry Me

a startling, front-loaded debut from a singular talent. the best cover art of the decade / musical history? bumping, melody indie rock that’s almost never too clever.

95. Feist - Let it Die

my favorite feist record - before the song-writing got too perfect. best last name on this list. other than maybe assbring. replete with wonderfully vital originals and her very best covers, this album doesn’t have the steadfast sense of direction The Reminder does, but it’s erratic, unfocused feel dovetails nicely with the yearning of Gatekeeper or the lusty syncopation of “When I was a Young Girl.”

94. Rufus Wainwright - Poses

this album would probably occupy the same spot on this list if it consisted only of the title track.

93. Spoon - Kill the Moonlight

the album that propelled spoon from the awesomely sharp histrionics of Girls Can Tell to something a bit more ready for the bros… but they buffered their sound with even more lethal choruses and addictive hooks without sacrificing anything. wow, this fucking reed fish movie. 40 minutes in and the canadian from knocked up is cheating on alexis bledel. this is less realistic than the dark crystal.

92. The National - Boxer

opening track “fake empire” pretty much sets the tone - the national have arrived at their (first?) “important” album. one that tries to stretch america flat and then roll it all up in a smooth baritone. the songs rock, and when they don’t rock they practically bleed pathos. could have been pared down a bit, as i find it gets to be a bit much by the end, but the sounds of a band realizing their potential while promising their listeners the future. they’re gonna have to develop that sound (explore some new octaves, perhaps?) if they’re gonna make good, though.

91. Menomena - I AM the FUN BLAME MONSTER!

good title - better opening track. if my life were a film, an action-packed drama (and loyal readers know that it’s at least… none of those things), “cough coughing” would score its trailer. all right, reed fish is getting all sorts of meta on me. i gotta focus. and at some point i should probably shower. first focus, then shower. got it.

Cross=posted from The Ecstatic Truth.

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