Somehow it is hard to believe, but another decade is nearly over. Soon we will be talking about the 20s. "The roaring twenties" people called that decade in the 20th century. The highlight of the Interbellum period leading into chaos, violence, dictatorships and finally war in 1939. Again the world seems to be drawn to a fascination with violence and chaos.
Let's put all that doom and gloom aside for a while. It is time to look back on a decade that brought me loads of fantastic music, great shows, introduced me to the phenomenon of living rooms shows and a new band where making music myself is concerned. The 10s have produced great new bands and several fantastic albums. Some by bands no one seems to be interested in, yet everyone I introduce them to seems to be impressed when they hear the music.
The way people listen to music has changed totally. Why download (illegally) when there is Spotify? Of course this is not a sustainable business model for artists, except the biggest perhaps. Spotify and You Tube are everywhere and most youngsters and youth hear their music this way and through games it seems.
Where I am concerned, I have started to buy LPs once again. Not many as the prices do not really allow that. Not many is totally relative of course compared to the giant majority that never buys an album. Low and behold! For the first time in a decade I have started to develop a relationship with albums again. When I buy an album now, it is a conscious decision. It costs considerable money, so I really listen to albums once again. Starting with 'This Is All Yours', Alt-J's second album that I bought on a whim and did not stop playing for months early in 2015. You will find it in this list. Patrick Watson's 'Wave' is the last, an album you will not find, yet? It is too early to tell how good it really is, but I am still exploring. Something I never do with an mp3 compilation album.
So having shared with you once again my state of play musically late into 2019, it is time to share my favourite 100 albums of the 10s.
Of Suffering. Frank
Carter & The Rattlesnakes (2019)
The punker tamed. The hurricane has spent itself and continues as a tropical storm. Musically the album is totally interesting. Frank Carter is older, wiser and develops in all the right ways.
99. Stranger In A Stranger Land. Steve Waitt (2016)
Steve Waitt, the New York City soulful pianist and singer-songwriter. Part time hotel pianist but a great songwriter in his own right. The two shows in the Q-Bus in Leiden I was present at over the past two decades, convinced totally and so do his two records.
98. Pull Up. Johan (2018)
The comeback after over 10 years of Johanless no man's land can be called a minor triumph. The album perhaps is a little too underwelming in the sense that a lot of songs hold back. Over all it scores in many right places. Live the band delivered totally. It is great that the band's back and let's hope that four years is a nice lull this time.
97. Oohoohoo. Moon Moon Moon (2017)
Bedroom lo fi from the north of the Netherlands. Beautiful little pieces of self-made songs. A room, a laptop and some instruments. It can be all one needs to make a memorable album.
96. The LVE. The LVE (2015)
The album containing one of the most beautiful songs made in this decade, the previous and probably the next. 'Love, When You Don't Want It' itself deserves a spot in this list. Add the other songs and voila a beautiful album from the Antwerp based band.
95. 'Let's Rock'. The Black Keys (2019)
The first of two albums by the band in this list. After six years of silence (as a band) The Black Keys return with an album that contains everything it is good at. So nothing new but extremely welcome. Many songs surprise as they sort of begin average and somewhere along the way touch pieces of brilliance. A just listing in other words.
94. Jupiter I. Blaudzun (2016)
The first of many Blaudzun records in this list and the darkest. Looking at it as a whole, it appears Blaudzun is my artist of this decade. That is not the case, but he comes close. Probably something like five live shows over the years and all his records since 'Heavy Flowers' are as LP in the home. It does tell me something, right? Three Jupiter's and the one even more beautiful than the other.
93. Collapse Into Now. R.E.M. (2011)
R.E.M.'s swan song and a nice one at that. The reviewer in 'Oor' wrote something like "if this was to be R.E.M.'s final album, things would be alright". It proved to be the final album and no, I do not agree. If a band can come up with a strong album like this after 30 years, it can come up with more quality filled albums. Alas, things are what they are.
92. The Monsanto Years. Neil Young and the Promise of the Real (2015)
Dinosaur St. is angry and lets the world and Monsanto have it. Together with his new backing band he kicks the topic hard and like many of Neil Young's albums of the past decade it simply is alright. No not alright like 'On The Beach', but I have that album already. The 2016 show in Ziggo Dome was just as good.
91. Oondert. Ries de Vuyst (2015)
An album I had all but forgotten about, I have to admit to my shame. I listened again to the almost incomprehensible mix of Zeelands and Flemish singing and the beautiful music accompanying Ries de Vuyst's creaky voice and knew: this album deserves a spot in the list.