Monday, 30 November 2009

Albums Of My Decade

It's one month until the start of a whole new decade. 1O years ago I was 11, it's crazy stuff to think about really.

When I was 11, things were different, as facebook will tell you;

- Freddos were 10p and Space Invader Crisps were 15p.

- Kids played outside instead on on games consoles all the time.

- Nobody knew how Harry Potter ended.

- There was no such thing as an ipod or an iphone, you had a cassette Walkman and cassettes to play on it,

- Your mobile phone was as big as a house brick with a great big arial sticking out, if you had one at all

- Everything was sequinned and sparkly because the millennium meant everybody loved futuristic styles.

- S club 7 were the hottest thing in pop and everybody did dance routines to their songs at the disco.

All that stuff seems like such a long time ago. But It really wasn't. I guess I'd have to say I grew up in the noughties. I started a child and finished an adult. I discovered a lot of things; money, shoes, mulberry, beer, sex, fashion, filth, drugs, love, Brian De Palma, heartbreak, travelling... But the most important, the most influential, the most life changing thing I discovered was music.

I come form a music loving family, my parents raised me on Brit pop and post punk, Primal Scream , Joy Division and Blur were some of my childhood memories. The radio was on permanently, Dad was a John Peel devotee and mum went to more gigs and festivals and concerts than I can remember. But it wasn't until the noughties that I really began to care about the music.

I let it rule my thoughts, my style, my habits, everything. I devoured copies of Smash Hits at 11, Kerrang at 12, Q at 14 and NME at 16. I listened to every free CD, spent my pocket money on singles and made endless compilation tapes that I listened to at every opportunity. I was, and still am a bit like a female version of John Cusack in High Fidelity.

Music made me who I am, to quote a terrible cliché there. It made me artistic, passionate, creative, expressive and idealistic. Music made me feel more powerful than any drink, drug, achievement, fuck or love ever has.

So, to jump on the 'best of the decade' bandwagon, I give you the songs, the artists and the moments that shaped my wonder years. In no particular order, here are my top 10 albums of the noughties:

- The Libertines, The Libertines
This album came out towards the end of the band's success, when Peter was off being a twat with Babyshambles. It basically describes the implosion of the libertines is heart wrenching honesty. What Became of the Likely Lads always sends chills down my spine. Purist fans will argue Up the Bracket was better, but I definitely felt more of an affinity with this record.

- Jet - Get Born
This album was successful off the back of one song, Are You Gonna Be my Girl. That song just reminds me of being in my friend's front room, with a bass guitar and a battered drum kit yelling along to the words. As an album, it made me want to dye my hair black and dress like Johnny Ramone circa 1978. So stylish, so attitude-y, so very cool.

- Amy Winehouse - Frank
Everybody raves about Back To Black, which undoubtedly a great album, but Frank was more subdued, more considered and full of beautiful, elegant love songs and songs about how guys need to shape up and how real love never works out the way it does in films.

- Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
This came out as I finished secondary school. It's all about being too cool to be a jock and how it's more interesting to be the kids in band Tshirts that carry collage-covered briefcases and have a rubbish band that practices in the music rooms after school and studies physics or history or art, which is what we were. Best song is Michael, Alex Kapranos has never been sexier.

- Ash - Meltdown
This was all about the riff, the signature track - Clones - we ripped off in one of our band's songs cos it was so cool. The guy/girl vocal dynamic was exciting and so YOUNG sounding. Fave lyric - How's it feel to be a freak? Oh so pale and so unique. To walk lonely in the rain, unashamed that we are not the same

- Red Hot Chilli Peppers - By The Way
This was probably the first entire album that I got properly excited about. It's just 4 old ex-party boys with recovering heroin habits, but they sure make good summer songs. It probably didn't help that I had a massive crush on Anthony Keidis, haha.

- The White Stripes - Elephant
The start of a long and beautiful love affair with TWS. I saw the video for Seven Nation Army and was hooked. Cold Cold night is a stand out track, as is the concluding song - It's true that we love one another. I later bought this album on vinyl at their 2005 Alexandra Palace show, it's even better as a record.

- Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
This is the album I always turn to when I'm down, when I need to relax or even when I need sleep. It's perfectly melancholy and bittersweet. A truely great break up album, will have you howling the house down. Best song is Amsterdam, right at the end, my friend played this on the piano when we were dating, very sweet, reminds me of him always.

- Daft Punk - Discovery
I liked this album thanks to the incredibly cool anime-style videos for one More Time, Digital Love and Harder Better, Faster, Stronger. I was a big Sailor Moon fan in my youth (still am) and it just caught my eye. It wasn't long before the best dance music ever made got right under my skin and stayed there.

- My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers for the Sweet Revenge
A bit of a guilty pleasure. Was a huge influence on me when it came out, me and all my little chums bought Helena on picture disk in HMV for £1 each. One friend dyed his hair black and wore eyeliner in tribute to Gerard Way, he looked a lot like him I must say. Best track - I'm Not Okay (I Promise). Perfect touch of mainstream-emo-pop fodder.

Luv and kisses,



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