A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.
Here’s my matrix of the most important years in music for the last 4 decades:
- 2010s: 2015 (so far)
- 2000s: 2002
- 1990s: 1998
- 1980: 1987
The years adjacent to the ones listed are also pretty pivotal, which is the case for 1999. The list doesn’t change much, but a lot of great music came out that year.
- NUMBER GIRL, SCHOOL GIRL DISTORTIONAL ADDICT
- Shiina Ringo, Muzai Moratorium
- Utada Hikaru, First Love
- ACO, absolute ego
- Nina Hynes, Creation
- SUPERCAR, Jump Up
- The Flaming Lips, The Soft Bulletin
- Port of Notes, Complain Too Much
- Mandy Barnett, I’ve Got a Right to Cry
- The Kiss Offs, Goodbye Private Life
Other favorites from the year:
- L’Arc~en~Ciel, ray
- Jordan Knight, Jordan Knight
- eX-Girl, Kero! Kero! Kero!
- NUMBER GIRL, DESTRUCTION BABY
- OBLIVION DUST, Reborn
- UA, turbo
- Moby, Play
- Maná, MTV Unplugged
- Dr.StrangeLove, Twin Suns
- The Roots, Things Fall Apart
- Fantastic Plastic Machine, Luxury
- Asylum Street Spankers, Hot Lunch
- Café Tacuba, Revés/Yo Soy
A retrospective addition of SUPERCAR bumps L’arc~en~Ciel to the extended list. Futurama was the first SUPERCAR album I owned, and I liked it so much, I was hesitant to explore the band’s early work, out of fear it wouldn’t live up.
As it turns out, Futurama was the last of SUPERCAR’s great albums. The first two albums are classics in their own right. I’ve yet to dig into Ookeah! and Ooyeah!
I’ve only added Moby, The Roots and Fantastic Plastic Machine to the extended list, but albums by Wilco, Rage Against the Machine, Built to Spill and Mos Def could have made it on there. I just wanted to avoid the kind of crowding we saw in 2002 and 2003.
Tags: aco, asylum street spankers, cafe tacuba, dr strangelove, ex-girl, fantastic plastic machine, favorite edition, jordan knight, l'arc-en-ciel, mana, mandy barnett, moby, nina hynes, number girl, oblivion dust, port of notes, rewind, shiina ringo, supercar, the flaming lips, the kiss offs, the roots, ua, utada hikaru
I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.
- Mandy Barnett, Strange Conversation
- Prince, Piano and a Microphone 1983
- Clannad, In a Lifetime: The Best of Clannad
- Gabriel Fauré / Giovanni Palestrina, Requiem / Pavane / Missa Papae Marcelli (Choir of King’s College)
- Julee Cruise, The Voice of Love
- Metallica, Ride the Lightning (Remastered)
- Taylor Swift, 1989 (Target edition)
Tags: clannad, gabriel faure, giovanni palestrina, julee cruise, mandy barnett, metallica, prince, purchase log, taylor swift
A few titles didn’t get included in the last round-up of new releases, and the release schedule for late autumn hasn’t quite yet coalesced. So this list is thinner than I prefer.
Perfume, Future Pop, Aug. 15
We probably reached peak Perfume two albums ago, if the cool reception to COSMIC EXPLORER is any indication. Imaginative videos can’t quite make up for the weakness of the last few singles, but will either stop me from placing a pre-order? Unlikely.
Blood Orange, Negro Swan, Aug. 24
How did I miss news about a new album by Dev Hynes?
[Checks date of Instagram post.]
Oh, he announced it when my mom was in town and caught the flu, about a week before I would become briefly unemployed. Has it really been two years since the release of Freetown Sound?
Mandy Barnett, Strange Conversation, Sept. 21
I’ve Got a Right to Cry is a classic album that has been relegated to bargain bins and thrift store shelves. The Owen Bradley-produced album probably did too good of a job calling up the ghost of Patsy Cline, whom Barnett has portrayed on stage.
Barnett recently did a duet with Kenny Chesney, which … whatever. But I would still check out this album because I’ve Got a Right to Cry is an album that just doesn’t wear out, even after nearly two decades.
Jason Isbell and 400 Unit, Live from the Nyman, Oct. 19
It’s easy to marvel at how effortlessly it seems Jason Isbell spins his tales, but when he shreds on stage, it’s a sight to behold.
Fastball, All the Pain Money Can Buy (Deluxe Edition), Nov. 9
Oh, hey, it looks like part of my wish is coming true — All the Pain Money Can Buy is headed for a vinyl release, albeit saddled with bonus material for its 20th anniversary, which I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting anyway.
Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer, Sept. 28
Tags: blood orange, fastball, janelle monae, jason isbell, looking ahead, mandy barnett, perfume