zondag 29 december 2019

The Top 100 of the 10s, part 3

Welcome back for part 3. We will be counting down from number 30 downwards today. Continuing on the theme of what a list of favourite albums really is. Every week loads and loads of records are released. It is impossible to keep up with. Luckily not every record company sends its releases. The result for a blog like this would be that most would go by totally unnoticed. It makes us aware that a list like Wo. is producing is only the result of a) what he has heard; b) what caught his interest at the right moment in time and mood and c) what he remembered from the past years. Sometimes more a feeling than a true recollection of the music. On the other hand a memory is a strong indication. Often it simply works. So let's continue.

30. Violeta, Voileta Volume II. Kaizers Orchestra (2011)
It was in the winter of the 2012. I had bought tickets to the umptieth show of Kaizers Orchestra in Amsterdam for my son and me. Like we had been doing for several years. I was not feeling well so gave the ticket away to a friend of my son. He came home with the message that this would be the band's last show in The Netherlands ever. If I had known that .....

29. Fool. Joe Jackson (2019)
Somewhere in the late 80s I had heard enough of Joe Jackson where new music was concerned. Each album sounded a bit less interesting from 'Big World' onwards. The reunion album with his Band was nice but done before. On come the 10s. With Fool from early 2019 Jackson comes with his second great album in a row. The format, the music may all sound familiar, the quality however is so extremely fantastic that I am fully, completely a fan again. Live in Paradiso the man and his band were so good this year. And there's more to come.

28. How To Solve Our Human Problems. Belle and Sebastian (2018)
Originally released as three EPs and then as one cd. Belle and Sebastian can be listened to in its full glory. The soft spells are mixed with modest but undeniable spikes. The band plays superbly with the options it has in the lead singing and songwriting. All together it leads to my favourite album of the band as the different components come together in a fantastic way.

27. In Time To Voices. Blood Red Shoes (2012)
The second contribution of the band to this list. The final song on this album is about as close to heaven as I can possibly come musically. Laura-May Carter's voice says it all here. The rest of the album is simply fine. The band rocks out in superfine ways, leading to a melodically strong alternative rock album with the alternating lead vocals between Carter and drummer Steven Ansell. Yeah, just so nice.

26. Cluster Funk. Death Goldbloom (2014)
Tim and Tomek's duo record that explores all the high and byways of dark electric blues and stoner rock. The devil seems to live on every single intersection of down town Vancouver, British Columbia. (And just this week a grill shop blew up in Coevorden, the town Vancouver was named after, to.) Master guitarist Tim Claridge shows in many ways of what he is capable of and that is a lot. Modern blues seldom sounded this good.

25. The Tower. Motorpsycho (2017)
With The Tower the Norwegian band was back on my radar for sure. With the great show in Victoria in Alkmaar still fairly fresh in my memory, the record gets regularly out of its beautiful artwork. The inspiration simply surges from my speakers. The band explores all the different forms of music it truly loves, experiments and jams a lot and comes up with a few beautiful, small songs as well. The Tower seems bigger, better, huger than what came before. A new album like they should be.

24. Push The Sky Away. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (2013)
Guitarists keep leaving the band and, in the words of Nick Cave at the time, this led to more space in the music that was not filled up. The results is that I owned my first Nick Cave album, not having been impressed ever before by him or better formulated impressed negatively. Push The Sky Away is another record that was not in my top 10 of the year but simply kept growing with this spot as a result. Album of the decade in 'Oor'. Not bad right here contemplating where Nick Cave et al came from.

23. European Heartbreak. Amber Arcades (2018)
Another Dutch act and not the final one. Amber Arcades can count me in as a fan from fairly early on in her career. With European Heartbreak the bar was raised once again. An album containing beautiful songs, prickly songs, pop songs, alternative rockers but above all its holds a deep longing that comes through in each and every song. And it doesn't even contain my two absolute favourites by Amber Arcades, 'Fading Lines' and 'It Changes'. All together it beats all its other releases easily though.

22. Violeta, Violeta Volume I. Kaizers Orchestra (2011)
The second album of the trilogy the Kaizers Orchestra ended its career with. Three albums in about a year. A tour de force that paid off totally. Let's give it our best and then depart. That is what the band did. The music is even more serious than on the albums preceding it. The ambition level is also so much higher. The name rock opera is probably justified, let alone the term concept album. Jan Ove Otterson and his oil drum battering, crowbar swaying, car wheel smashing mates score again.

21. Drones. Muse (2015)
The album on which Muse went over the toppest of tops and found itself, as far as really necessary, back in full attention of the world, and certainly mine. I decided to buy a Muse record again and play it regularly. Drones is extremely in your face and confrontational. Something Muse's music can easily be of course. On Drones it all comes together, the force, the melodies and the execution of the whole. This makes Drones an urgent album and that was exactly what the band needed in my opinion.



As I wrote, I was bound to run into albums I forgot about. Here's another one that might have wound up around #30.

Blue & Lonesome. The Rolling Stones
The 10s did not bring the world an album with original Stones songs. The sessions in 2015 did not go anywhere we were told. Instead in three days the band did something it had never done before: record 10 blues songs, mostly fairly unknown, and made a great blues album. The Rolling Stones went back to its roots but made an album it had never made before. And all was good.

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