Best album in the decade 2000-2009

Wednesday, 19 May, 2010

Maybe I mistake most important album with most important band.
Maybe the album isn’t even their major masterpiece, that one was released in the 90ies.
Maybe half of you who read this disagree, but my choice is far that controversial as the release of the album.
To me it is a “safe choice”. Maybe many of us are wrong, when we pick an album of the last decade so close after leaving the former decade.
But this album is a landmark. Their so-called masterpiece from ’97 promised an inheritor to U2. Not extrovert, rather introvert and sneering. And while Ok Computer is facing backwards, Kid A is forward-looking into the new decade, maybe even century.

I met with a couple of guys, just the same from the previous “Night before New Years Eve”, and we played two songs from albums within three categories:

  • Most important album from a musical perspective.
  • Most important album from a personal perspective.
  • And most important album from Denmark.
  • As introduced above I chose Radiohead “Kid A” from a musical perspective. My friends chose the following albums:

      Scott Walker – The Drift
      Elbow – Asleep in the Back
      Modest Mouse – Moon & Antarctica
      Eels – Blinking Lights and other Revelations
      The National – Alligator
      Battles – Mirrored
      Kevin Drumm – Sheer Mellish Miasma

    From the personal perspective I have been very fond of Thee Silver Mt Zion. But if I should bring out an album that has meant the most to me I’d say Man’sbestfriend “New Human is Illegal”. The poetry, the aggression, the samples, the humor, everything is just a perfect ‘unit’. My friends chose:

      Ilyas Ahmed – Between Two Skies / Towards the Night
      Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights
      Sigur Ros – ()
      Christian Kjellvander – Songs from a two-room chapel
      Beirut – Gulag Orkestar
      The National – Alligator
      Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – More Revery

    In the last category I and one other chose Efterklang “Tripper” to be the best album from Denmark in the same decade. Other picks were:

      Manual – Azure Vista
      Moi Caprice – The Art of Kissing Properly
      Tiger Tunes – Absolutely Worthless Compared To Important Books
      Decorate Decorate – Normandie
      Speaker Bite Me – If Love is Missin It must be Imposed
      Mikael Simpson – Bsider, udtag og meget triste radiomix

    Oh my a lot of albums have not even been mentioned above. But if you like some of the choices above, do check out Pitchfork > P2K. Maybe you find your own favourite there.

    Decorate Decorate unreleased

    Sunday, 27 September, 2009

    decoratedecorate_normandie I found some old demo recordings and wanted to share two tracks that I believe should have made it for the first record.

    The first is an early demo of “11th“. It was originally released as a LIVE version on “Normandie”. I was sitting in a roof apartment with view over Sortedam Dosseringen and it was probably the first song I heard by Decorate Decorate. I was surprised that is was both original and at the same time somehow domestic or recognizable.

    Eternity” was never released. Although the ending of the song actually made it as an extension to the track “Europe has no heart” on their second album “Instructions”. This is how Decorate Decorate sounded in the Scandinavian winter of 2006 / 2007. Now the story has ended – and new ones may begin †

    Decorate Decorate – 11th.mp3
    Decorate Decorate – Eternity.mp3

    Best albums first half of 2009

    Sunday, 5 July, 2009

    DM-Stith-Heavy-Ghostsanimal-hospital-memoryThis is my top 10 list of albums released in 2009 (listed alphabetically).

    Animal Collective ‘Merriweather Post Pavillion’, Domino. Finally they made me understand why there is so much hype around them.
    Animal Hospital ‘Memory’, Barge Recordings. Varied and layered soundscape par excellence.
    Dan Deacon ‘Bromst’, Carpark Records. Unstoppable dance punk electronica.
    Decorate Decorate ‘Instructions’, A:larm Music. Yes, they skipped the dots. Read my review here.
    Julie Doiron ‘I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day’, Jagjaguwar. A female singersongwriter shows her personality.
    Mountains ‘Choral’, Thrill Jockey. Warm, rich, detailed drone.
    The Horrors ‘Primary Colours’, XL recordings. Absolutely stunning mix of Joy Division and Neu!
    Tim Hecker ‘An Imaginary Country’, Kranky. Dense drone and overwhelmingly captivating.
    Yeah Yeah Yeahs ‘Zero’, Interscope. Sexy and rocking with attitude and popular melodies.
    Zu ‘Carboniferous’, Ipecac. Read .chrz review here.

    I also want to promote a list of the five best albums I bought this year, but was released last year or earlier.

    b.fleischmann, ‘Angst is not a weltanschauung!’. Morr Music. Read my short review here.
    DM Stith ‘Heavy Ghost’. Asthmatic kitty records. Probably the record I’ve listened to the most. For fans of Radioheads new material.
    Kazuki Tomokawa ‘ Blue water, red water’, P.S.F Records. Read my comment on Tomokawa here.
    Mugison ‘Lonely Mountain’, Accidental records. Islandic singersong writer. Really nice, calm and lonely.
    Paavoharju ‘Yhä Hämärää’, Fonal records. Folk-electronica from Finland. Mysterious and wise.

    decorate_decorate_instructions

    ‘A child is a rose is a name is a punch in the face’

    Does this remind you of the author Gertrude Stein? Well this might be because this very author (along with Morten Nielsen, Michael Houellebecq and others) seems to be a source of inspiration for leadsinger Auring Grimm. He explores the lyrics to let the vocals be more than just an instrument of the band. In the text we find a lot of ‘letters’, ‘stamps’ and ‘words’. The themes are deprivation and love, but there are also themes such as dreaming and letting go (“Away”). I hear the Nordic desolation and melancholy through the album.

    In “Brothel” the music is dragging you down, while you listen to the words ‘Look at the water’. I believe the way they drag the listener down to the water is intentional, and I think they succeed in their efforts often. Favourite tracks are “2000 Needles”, “Brothel” and “Away”. It may also be the catchy “Paper cuts”.

    On the other hand “Montmartre” seems more blurred than raw, and “Different strengths of white” has many unnecessary effects and seems a bit too polished. It could be a matter of taste?

    ‘We are unknown addresses / and our hands / are full of letters’

    Decorate Decorate have matured. Their mini-album ‘Normandie’ had indirect references to the darkness of Joy Division. Today the band plays more than dark rock. The vocals are British and the music has beautiful references to British shoegazer. Furthermore I must point out that the music and lyrics are more complex. It seems as if the members have opened up as a band. The feelings, presence and intensity are multiple and more various than before. The album is still growing on me.

    Bonus: the new ending of “Europe has no heart” is actually a part from an early demo called “Eternity”.