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Favorite albums of the 'aughts (2000-2010)

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Perplexio
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« on: July 14, 2010, 12:12:56 pm »

What are/were your favorite albums released in the first decade of the 21st century?  Here are some of mine:

The Verve Pipe Underneath (2000) - Easily their best album, lead vocalist and principal songwriter, Brian Vander Ark really came into his own on this album.  His strongest material and the sign of things to come on his solo albums a few years later.

Dream Theater Train of Thought (2003) - Despite having only 7 songs, the album clocks @ over an hour long.  And other than the 2:57 Vacant stuck right in the middle of the album, it's a heavy metal onslaught.  Easily Dream Theater's heaviest album ever!

The Sons of Champlin Hip Li'l Dreams (2005) Two of my favorite horn bands released albums of new material in the 'aughts.  One of those albums was/is actually worth repeated listens.  Despite including some new arrangements of some older Sons material this album scores in spades!  The title track even features guest vocalists Bobby Kimball of Toto and Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers adding their voices to Bill's already exceptional vocal contributions.  The only clunker on the album is a new arrangement of Light Up the Candles that previously appeared on Bill's Through It All solo album (1995).  The much more stripped down solo version was/is far superior-- if it ain't broke...

Toto Falling In Between (2006) What would inevitably prove to be Toto's final studio album, they went out with a bang.  This was/is easily their best album since Kingdom of Desire or pssobily Toto IV, if not ever.  This was the first studio album since Fahrenheit to really make full use of 2 keyboardists (Fahrenheit was Steve Porcaro's last album with Toto, at least as a full member of the band) with Greg Phillenganes and David Paich teaming up and both contributing some fantastic keyboard work.  Phillenganes also contributed some exceptional vocals on Let It Go

Brian Vander Ark Resurrection (2003) Vander Ark's solo debut and the next step in his musical evolution.  Musically it feels almost like a more acoustic and slightly understated sequel to the Verve Pipe's Underneath.  Despite the already superlative strength of the lyrics on Underneath, Vander Ark managed to improve on them with this release.  Great songs! 

Ben Folds Rockin' the Suburbs (2001) Speaking of singer/songwriters, Ben Folds hit one out of the park with this one.  Lyrically he's somewhere between Billy Joel and Bernie Taupin.  The nice thing about Folds is that despite the sometimes seriousness of his lyrics he never really takes himself TOO seriously. After all he also produced William Shatner's CD and he had Weird Al direct the music video for his title track...  Not exactly the mark of an artist who is full of himself.  Highlights include the title track, Still Fighting It, and The Luckiest.

Bill Champlin No Place Left to Fall (2008/2009) Initially only released as an import and as a download from Amazon's mp3 store in 2008, the album was inevitably released on CD in the US in August 2009.  Bill went "swampy" with this release.  The sound is a bit more raw, acoustic, and less polished than his other solo albums.  And he finally tackles Look Away in the way HE wants to do it, not the bland lifeless version he released with his former band. 

Robert Lamm Subtlety & Passion (2003) This is how Chicago XXX SHOULD have sounded.  Featuring all current and even some former members of Chicago (even a guitar solo by the late Terry Kath on Intensity) the songs show that Lamm still has some creative juices left in the tank.  This is easily the best of Robert's solo albums which were either overly self-indulgent (Skinny Boy (1972) and In My Head (1999)) or so sparsely under-produced that they sounded more like a collection of demos than an album, (Life Is Good In My Neighbourhood (1993)).

OSI Free (2006) This is what happens when ambient music meets heavy metal.  Former Dream Theater keyboardist, Kevin Moore, teams up with Fates Warning's Jim Matheos and Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy on OSI's 2nd album which shows vast improvement over their 2003 debut.  When the band first formed, Moore laid down what were only supposed to be guide vocals as the band searched for a vocalist.  In the end, they ended up using Moore's guide vocals on all songs.  Moore is not a great singer but his understated vocals are perfect for this material.  His voice just "fits."  Of the 3 albums this band has released, this remains their strongest.  This would be Mike Portnoy's final outing with the band as their 3rd album featured Porcupine Tree's Gavin Harrison on drums.

Porcupine Tree In Absentia (2002) Citing influences as varied as Pink Floyd and Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree is largely the brainchild of Steven Wilson.  This was their US debut (although they'd released a handful of albums in the UK throughout the 90s) and as unsettling as the album sleeve is, the music is thoroughly enjoyable.  The album was also later re-released in a Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound DVD Audio format.  This isn't so much an album so much as an aural art gallery with 12 "paintings" painted on the canvas of your eardrums.

California Transit Authority Full Circle (2007) In 1990 drummer Danny Seraphine was rather unceremoniously voted out of the band he co-founded in 1969.  He dropped out of the music biz for over 17.  After playing with guitarist Marc Bonilla and sharing a musical chemistry he says he hasn't felt since the death of Terry Kath in 1978 and doing some woodshedding with Steve Smith (ex-Journey) Danny came out of his self-imposed exile with a tour de force.  Much of the album features new arrangements of Chicago classics and there are some non-Chicago gems as well... But all of the material sounds fresh as Danny has breathed new life into it with his new arrangements.  Guitarist Marc Bonilla was and is equal to the task on guitar.  Tower of Power vocalist Larry Bragg lends his vocals to several songs but many of the new arrangements remain instrumental.

My Chemical Romance The Black Parade (2006) Emo was a musical movement that unless you were a teenager or the parent of a teenager in this decade you largely ignored.  This album changed that.  This album was voted by Blender magazine as the best album of 2006 and rightly so.  This album transcends its genre and the band's influences are clearly evident without sounding derivative.  Put Queen in a blender with Green Day and the results likely wouldn't sound too far removed from this.  The songs are well written, superbly performed and the album cooks from start to finish.

The Cat Empire Two Shoes (2005) The best export from Down Under in the decade.  Mixing elements of jazz, reggae, pop, and rock into a sound all their own, this band from Melbourne is well worth a listen, or two, or three... Heck, this CD hasn't left my CD player since I received it.  My daughter loves it and even my wife whose musical tastes are considerably different than my own loves this album!

Colin Hay Man At Work (2003) 1/2 of Men At Work, Colin Hay released this exceptional album of new arrangements of many of Men At Work's biggest hits and even new arrangements of some of his solo hits.  The new arrangements are more hit than miss (there are 2 new arrangements of Down Under an acoustic version that misses and a full on brass onslaught with guest musicians Cecilia Noel & the Wild Clams that hits so well it blows away the original) and the understated acoustic arrangement of Overkill is especially haunting.
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KATH
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2010, 02:31:34 pm »

I agree with Falling In Between (thank you, Darrin...), CTA, S & P, and will add:

Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia--Dandy Warhols
These Streets--Paolo Nutini (that nice Scottish Boy...REALLY.)
Rockferry--Duffy
Them vs. You vs. Me--Finger 11
Back To Black--Amy Winehouse (the next Janis Joplin...if she doesn't get her **** together.)
Fame Monster--Lady Gaga (the next Madonna)
Travelling Like The Light--V.V. Brown
One By One/Echoes, Silence, Patience, & Grace--Foo Fighters
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2010, 07:52:10 am »

(This is a repost from my blog about my favorite albums per year of the 'aughts. I wrote it in Jan 2010 and haven't changed anything. It's long, but, then, I can be long winded.)

For those who want the quick hit, here's the list. I write in more detail following the list.

2000 - David Bowie, Bowie at the Beeb
2001 - Cousteau (self titled)
2002 - Bruce Springsteen, The Rising
2003 - Robert Lamm, Subtlety and Passion
2004 - Garden State
2005 - Caedmon’s Call, Share the Well
2006 - Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere
2007 - Bruce Springsteen, Magic
2008 - Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal
2009 - Roy Hargrove, Emergence / Kings of Convenience, Declaration Of Dependence

-2000-
Bowie at the Beeb - David Bowie

There were some great CDs this year (the debut of Coldplay, the Robert Lamm/Geoff Beckley/Brian Wilson “Like a Brother” project, my personal discovery of saxophonist James Carter) but Bowie’s 2000 concert was a gem. His characteristic trait of reexamining his own catalogue is on full display here. Not only do we get reinterpretations of hits like “Let’s Dance” and “The Man Who Sold the World,” but we get rare tracks (“This is Not America”) thrown in. As much as I love the piano poetry of Mike Garson on “Absolute Beginners,” it’s Bowie’s new take on 1976’s “Always Crashing in the Same Car” that keeps me coming back to this CD again and again.

-2001-

The music that preceded the 9/11 attacks was good but there wasn’t a stand-out huge CD that I liked. Instead, the debut album by Cousteau captured my ears and attention. Lounge-inspired, film-noirish, with deep baritone vocals, Cousteau’s music belonged in the 1950s rather than 2001. But I loved it.

The other major CD in 2001 was Sting’s concert CD, “All This Time.” After two years touring behind 1999’s “Brand New Day,” Sting was to record a concert at his Italian villa on 11 September. The attacks of that day almost cancelled the show (as you can see in the DVD documentary of the rehearsals). The band forged onward albeit with a substantially altered setlist. Starting with a rearranged (see a trend in things I like?) version of “Fragile,” the musicians coped with the terrorist attacks through music. By the last song of the night, some semblance of normalcy had returned and, via the power of music, some order had been restored if for only a few hours.

-2002-

This year saw a flood of music from some of my favorite artists. David Bowie’s “Heathen” is arguably the best thing he had released since 1976’s “Low.” Sheryl Crow’s “C’mon C’mon” is a tightly-written collection of songs that praise good times and summer. Peter Gabriel’s long-awaited CD “Up” finally landed. Coldplay’s sophomore CD, “A Rush of Blood to the Head” proved they were not a one-album wonder. Guitarist John Williams issued his CD recorded in Africa and “his Graceland” contains some of the best guitar music out there.

The 9/11 attacks produced some musical responses as well in 2002 and none was a substantial as Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising.” This was the first E Street Band album since 1988’s “Tunnel of Love” and it was, as is, phenomenal. The title track vaulted into my all-time favorite status, rivaling only “Born to Run” in my book. Redemption has always been a theme of the Boss and it’s here, too. But the songs directly dealing with the tragedy (“Into the Fire,” “Empty Sky,” among others) sear the heart and leave it altered.

-2003-

While I counted Bowie’s “Reality” (to date, his last CD), Chris Botti’s “A Thousand Kisses Deep,” Stephen Delopoulos’s “Me Died Blue,” Jet’s “Get Born,” and Roy Hargrove’s “Hard Groove,” among my favorites, one album clearly stands tall in my book. The irony of my favorite CD of 2003 was that it was the greatest “Chicago” album since Chicago VII. Robert Lamm’s solo CD, “Subtlety and Passion,” was everything a Chicago fan could want and more. With all but two then-current fellow band members playing on the ten-track collection, Lamm basically writes Chicago 7-1/2. Half of the songs would have been major hits in the 1970s but the songs didn’t sound like they belonged in the 70s. A highlight is the use of a Terry Kath guitar solo, recorded before his death in 1978, for a new song in 2003. Lamm perfectly captured the essence of Chicago.

-2004-

Rarely does my Tree of Music grow new branches but it did this year. Here’s what I mean. While I love all sorts of rock and roll, it all boils down for me to my first, favorite band, KISS. I’ve come to enjoy many artists more than KISS but they started it all. Ditto for classical music: I like a lot but my first taste of instrumental music was the Star Wars soundtrack.

Up until 2004, I rarely, if ever, listened to indie music. That changed with the soundtrack to the movie “Garden State.” These thirteen tracks could easily have been called “Indie Music 101.” I learned about The Shins, Remy Zero, Iron and Wine, Zero 7, Colin Hay, and others. This one CD created a huge new branch to my musical enjoyment, one that followed these past five years. If I define the Album of the Decade as one that changed me rather than one that merely contained my favorite songs, this would be it.

-2005-

Interesting year, 2005. Springsteen returned to acoustic songs (“Devils and Dust”), Paul Anka showed that modern rock songs might just be timeless as jazz standards (“Rock Swings”), and Rob Thomas showed that he can create fun pop songs almost in his sleep (“Something to Be”). However, Caedmon’s Call trumps them all with their version of “Graceland.” The Christian band from Houston had traveled the world in 2004, primarily in India and Central America. What they saw there touched them and changed them. The subsequent album is like nothing in their catalogue. Where they were a folk/acoustic band, for this one time, they brought in musicians from the countries they visited. What emerged was an amalgam album, full of hope, joy, pain, and musical abandon.

-2006-

With the release of Chicago’s 30th CD, you might expect me to pick it for favorite of the year. Not even close. As much as I looked forward to Chicago 30, the album didn’t live up my expectations. There were half a dozen albums I liked better. Springsteen’s “The Seeger Sessions,” the debuts of both Amy Winehouse and Rodrigo y Gabriela, Arcade Fire’s “Neon Bible,” The Decemberists “The Crane Wife,” and two selections from Elvis Costello, “The River in Reverse” and “My Flame Burns Blue.” What I loved more than any other album was Gnarls Barkley’s “St. Elsewhere.” One could argue that it was the first true album of the decade, bringing together a multitude of styles and influences. The lead single, “Crazy,” just might be my favorite song of the decade. I never tire of hearing this album.

-2007-

Another winner from Springsteen. “Magic” was Springsteen doing what he does best: looking around at the state of the world and reporting on it. While not as consequential as Walter Cronkite, Springsteen’s songs seemed something of a harbinger of what was to come in 2008. “Long Walk Home” summarized all of the Boss’s thoughts about modern America. But he was not averse to releasing a good, old-fashioned rock song with “Radio Nowhere.” And “Girls with the Summer Clothes” proved Springsteen could croon if he had the right song.

Other standouts: Brian Setzer’s “Wolfgang’s Big Night Out”; Springsteen’s “Live in Dublin” (the Seeger Sessions Band); The Shins “Wincing the Night Away”; California Transit Authority “Full Circle” (band created by Chicago’s original drummer, Danny Serephanie); Turtle Island String Quartet “The Legacy of John Coltrane”

-2008-

A fun year for music. Bill Champlin’s “No Place Left to Fall” showed how consummate a musician he really is, Gnarls Barkley released their second CD, “The Odd Couple,” Tom Jones (yes THE Tom Jones) put out an album that was spectacular in its blend of old and new, Coldplay rebounded with “Viva la Vida” after the disappointing “X&Y,” and another odd couple, Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis, recorded a surprisingly fresh CD. Vampire Weekend debuted on the scene with their unique blend of indie and African rhythms (look for the follow-up later this month) and was the freshest thing on the block for awhile. But it was Springsteen that introduced me to my favorite CD of the year, Alejandro Escovedo’s “Real Animal.” The Boss brought out Escovedo for the encore of his April 2008 concert in Houston. Three months later, “Real Animal” was released. Fantastic CD. I’ve written about it twice and can’t say anything better.

-2009-

I’ve already written about the music of 2009 here*. I made that list before my birthday. The only thing I have to add is a CD I received for my birthday. “Declaration Of Dependence” from Kings of Convenience is a quiet, introspective, yet ravishing CD. I’ve never heard of this band before December 6. Now, I’m out to acquire the rest of the catalog.

*Since I’m limiting myself to things released this year, this category, ironically, is the most challenging. Thanks to NPR’s survey of the best music of the decade, I’m currently digging in a huge way The Bad Plus’s 2003 CD “These are the Vistas” but it’s an old record. The year started with Andrew Bird’s “Noble Beast,” one of the most intellectual albums of the year. It’s opening track, “Oh No,” makes me want to start whistling better. In a year when Springsteen releases a record, he’s usually the default winner. “Working on a Dream” is a good record but not the best of his 00s releases. This was the year The Decemberists followed up their spectacular album (“The Crane Wife”) with “The Hazards of Love.” It’s a good CD but not my favorite.

Late this year, I’ve got a strong contender from an unlikely source: classical. The Orange Mountain Music (free at Amazon) samples some of the best (?) works by Philip Glass (see Honorable Mention #2). Glass has been a mystery to me for almost his entire career. I love this collection and have already scoured my local libraries to find two full albums of material. I especially appreciate that he writes for saxophone.

The one CD I can pretty much cast my ballot towards is Roy Hargrove’s first big band CD, “Emergence.” This record, eleven tracks in all, is a rich blend of old and new. On certain tracks, “Ms. Garvey, Ms. Garvey,” you’d think you were in the 1940s. Other tracks, like “Tschpiso” and “Requiem,” remind you that you are firmly in the 21st Century. Hargrove, however, never forgets when he comes from, as you can tell in the opening track, “Valera,” that pays homage to Miles Davis’s “Nefertiti.” I don’t usually listen to instrumental music on the daily commute and I almost always listen to my music on random. This CD changes things. I let it play. And play. And play.

Honorable Mention Music #1: Radiolarians II by Medeski, Martin & Wood - David Cranmer posted a link to “Amber Gris” on his blog and I was hooked. The odd time signature leaves you off-kilter with a beat that pushes you towards the end. The rest of the CD is a smorgasbord of rhythms, sounds, and textures sure to suck you in and leave you wanting more.

Honorable Mention Music #2: John Adams “City Noir” - If you needed the reason I actually downloaded that Philip Glass compilation, this is it. I happened upon an episode of PBS’s “Great Performances” when they showed the debut concert of the LA Philharmonic conducted by the exciting Gustavo Dudamel. The second piece was Mahler’s First Symphony. The piece that got me listening was the work Dudamel commissioned from Adams. “City Noir” is that wonderful type of modern classical music: melodic, with rhythms that were born in the 20th Century, and yet different enough that you know you’re not listening to Mozart. I recorded the rebroadcast of “Great Performances” and have watched it a couple more times. I eagerly await the release of the John Adams portion of the concert (oddly, not available but the Mahler part is). If it’s released in 2010, I already have a strong contender for Best CD of 2010. [Note: City Noir is available via iTunes]
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Charlie
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2010, 07:58:05 am »

Here are mine in 2 parts:

http://bloggerhythms.blogspot.com/2009/12/top-10-cds-of-decade-part-1.html

http://bloggerhythms.blogspot.com/2009/12/top-10-cds-of-decade-part-2.html

Perplexio and I share 3 discs on this list.

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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2010, 09:36:30 am »

Another one, and I don't know how I missed these:

Steve Lukather Ever Changing Times (2008): Lukather's first solo album since 1997's Luke.  While not quite as raw as Luke this is a much more eclectic mix of material that really shows the breadth and scope of Lukather's talents and influences both as a vocalist and a guitarist.

Steve Lukather/Larry Carlton No Substitutions: Live in Osaka (2000): An exceptional live album with two of the best session guitarists in the biz jamming together.  The chemistry is undeniable.  Carlton & Lukather sound great jamming together!
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2010, 08:52:40 pm »

I find exercises like this really difficult as I'm pretty damned flighty - I like something a lot for a while then I move on to the next shiny thing that catches my attention.  So the list I have below is, if anything, dynamic.  If I was asked next week to formulate a similar list, it would almost certainly be different to this one.  I'm going to limit this to a dozen because if I don't, I'll be here all day.

1. Gorillaz - self titled (2001) - it set a standard for genre-bending hip hop, world music and good fun.  Damon Albarn can honestly do no wrong, as far as I'm concerned.

2. Black Keys - Attack & Release (2008) - I never grow tired of listening to this album - a new blues gem.

3. Dan Kelly & The Alpha Males - Drowning In The Fountain Of Youth (2006) - this Australian singer/songwriter is nephew to Australian music icon Paul Kelly.  Dan writes sharply pointed songs of modern angst, injected with a wry sense of humour and large doses of rock.

4. Them Crooked Vultures (2009) - self titled - Its Dave Grohl, Josh Homme and Jean-Paul Jones and it rocks harder than all three of other bands put together.  

5. Jack White - the reason I put the man instead of albums is simply because I couldn't choose between his various projects.  Nothing he does is ****, as far as I'm concerned, from playing guitar and singing in The White Stripes and The Raconteurs to playing drums in The Dead Weather.  All his work is on high rotation on my playlist and has been for some years.

6. M. Ward - Hold Time (2009) - I believe M. Ward will be one of those artists people will reference in 20 years time as being one of the greatest of our time.  I enjoyed this album so much, I went out and brought his back catalog and none of it disappoints.

7. Tom Waits - Real Gone (2004) - Tom Waits has more music in his little finger than most have in their whole body.  This album merely continues to prove it.  

8. The Sleepy Jackson - Lovers (2003) - Debut release of an Australian act that is actually a vehicle for musical madman Luke Steele, who has since conquered the world with his latest band, Empire Of The Sun.  Only hints at the future, but what incredile hints.

9. The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (2002) - The Lips masterpiece of psychedelically giant proportions.  They also provided one of the best live experiences I've ever had.

10. Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, Thats What I'm Not (2006) - Alex Turner and co came out of nowhere with astute, incisive blasts of rock reminiscent of everything good about English music - The Who, The Jam, The Clash and The Kinks.

11. N.E.R.D. - In Search Of... (2002) - Pharrell Williams shows Will I Am, Andre 3000 and everyone else what really good soul, rnb and hip hop should sound like.  Eight years has not dulled this in the slightest.

12. Clutch - Robot Hive/Exodus (2005) - With 5 albums in the last ten years, it was a difficult decision for me to pick which of these I thought was the best.  If you know Clutch, you'll know they're never disappointing.
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2010, 07:46:09 am »

I find exercises like this really difficult as I'm pretty damned flighty - I like something a lot for a while then I move on to the next shiny thing that catches my attention.  So the list I have below is, if anything, dynamic.  If I was asked next week to formulate a similar list, it would almost certainly be different to this one.  I'm going to limit this to a dozen because if I don't, I'll be here all day.

1. Gorillaz - self titled (2001) - it set a standard for genre-bending hip hop, world music and good fun.  Damon Albarn can honestly do no wrong, as far as I'm concerned.

2. Black Keys - Attack & Release (2008) - I never grow tired of listening to this album - a new blues gem.

3. Dan Kelly & The Alpha Males - Drowning In The Fountain Of Youth (2006) - this Australian singer/songwriter is nephew to Australian music icon Paul Kelly.  Dan writes sharply pointed songs of modern angst, injected with a wry sense of humour and large doses of rock.

4. Them Crooked Vultures (2009) - self titled - Its Dave Grohl, Josh Homme and Jean-Paul Jones and it rocks harder than all three of other bands put together.  

5. Jack White - the reason I put the man instead of albums is simply because I couldn't choose between his various projects.  Nothing he does is ****, as far as I'm concerned, from playing guitar and singing in The White Stripes and The Raconteurs to playing drums in The Dead Weather.  All his work is on high rotation on my playlist and has been for some years.

6. M. Ward - Hold Time (2009) - I believe M. Ward will be one of those artists people will reference in 20 years time as being one of the greatest of our time.  I enjoyed this album so much, I went out and brought his back catalog and none of it disappoints.

7. Tom Waits - Real Gone (2004) - Tom Waits has more music in his little finger than most have in their whole body.  This album merely continues to prove it.  

8. The Sleepy Jackson - Lovers (2003) - Debut release of an Australian act that is actually a vehicle for musical madman Luke Steele, who has since conquered the world with his latest band, Empire Of The Sun.  Only hints at the future, but what incredile hints.

9. The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (2002) - The Lips masterpiece of psychedelically giant proportions.  They also provided one of the best live experiences I've ever had.

10. Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, Thats What I'm Not (2006) - Alex Turner and co came out of nowhere with astute, incisive blasts of rock reminiscent of everything good about English music - The Who, The Jam, The Clash and The Kinks.

11. N.E.R.D. - In Search Of... (2002) - Pharrell Williams shows Will I Am, Andre 3000 and everyone else what really good soul, rnb and hip hop should sound like.  Eight years has not dulled this in the slightest.

12. Clutch - Robot Hive/Exodus (2005) - With 5 albums in the last ten years, it was a difficult decision for me to pick which of these I thought was the best.  If you know Clutch, you'll know they're never disappointing.

I dig your list.  Your tastes are considerably different than mine... in fact about the only album on here I've listened to with any regularity is Them Crooked Vultures.  I'm peripherally familiar with The Flaming Lips, Jack White, and Gorillaz.  I've heard some of the Lips other material but not the album you mentioned on here.  I had a friend a few years back when I lived in Ohio who raved about that one though so I might just have to check it out.  He also used to speak highly of Gorillaz so I'll have to check them out as well.  I also plan on checking out some of those Aussie groups/musicians you mentioned.  I've had a crack at Paul Kelly but was generally underwhelmed... How does his nephew, Dan, compare?  Or is it a case where the nephew inherited a bit of his uncle's talent but took that talent in a completely different musical direction?
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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2010, 05:23:04 pm »

I am a little dismayed to hear you were underwhelmed by Paul Kelly but then, musical taste is subjective so I'm not too dismayed Smiley  Dan Kelly is nothing at all like his uncle.  He takes a different perspective and has his own style and sound.  Put it this way: I listen to Dan a lot more than I listen to Paul.

The Sleepy Jackson are quite brilliant.  I'm sure you'd like them.  They (well, really its all Luke Steele) move from kind of alt-country-ish tunes to pure pop to something else again.  We gave this album away to someone we thought would like it and never heard anything back so I don't know what happened.  But we're going to replace it because for us, it is a must-have.

And I can't recommend the Gorillaz highly enough.  We're really excited as we'll be seeing them live later this year.  And let me reiterate: Damon Albarn can do no wrong!

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« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2010, 10:21:53 pm »

I am a little dismayed to hear you were underwhelmed by Paul Kelly but then, musical taste is subjective so I'm not too dismayed Smiley  Dan Kelly is nothing at all like his uncle.  He takes a different perspective and has his own style and sound.  Put it this way: I listen to Dan a lot more than I listen to Paul.

For Aussie music I prefer James Reyne both solo and his work with Australian Crawl, Dragon (I know they're really Kiwi but they didn't really find success until they moved across the ditch to Oz), Little River Band, Jimmy Barnes, Cold Chisel, Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons, The Cruel Sea, The Cat EmpireMental As Anything, Crowded House, and even Moving Pictures.  Oh and most recently Gotye whom you introduced me to! 

I've got a bit of Paul Kelly's material I might just have to give it another try.
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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2010, 07:51:12 pm »

I do like Jo Jo Zep, Cold Chisel and The Cruel Sea.  And of course, the genius of Neil Finn and Crowded House is undeniable.  Aussie Crawl were great in their heyday but I'm not a fan of James Reyne's solo work.  And Gotye is a firm favourite.  We're really pleased you like him too.
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