Alter The Press!


Albums of the Decade: Part Two (20 - 11)

After a bit of a delay, today I present the 2nd part of our albums of the decade feature, which sees Alter The Press! co-editor Sean Reid showcasing his 30 favourite albums of the past decade.

Read Part One (30-21) here.

Part Two: 20 - 11

20. Bright Eyes - Fevers and Mirrors

At the start of decade, Conor Obert and company released this delicate yet quirky American indie-folk record with subtle pop moments, that added a touch of charm to Obert's mature, emotional words. Tracks like 'A Scale, A Mirror, And Those Indifferent Clocks' and 'The Movement Of A Hand' are musically stripped but still have plenty of depth, whereas 'The Calendar Hung Itself...' and 'An Attempt To Tip The Scales' are somewhat catchy and motivating, although the latter goes off into a peculiar and lengthly faux radio interview, that hints at Obert's unbalanced approach.

19. Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

For most 18 - 25 males in modern day Britain, the Arctic Monkeys' tales of alcohol-influenced nights out, failed love and more, was something many could relate and sounded all too familiar. Although this lyrical theme had been attempted by others, Alex Turner's sensible words backed by power chord-driven indie guitars made for a strong combination, as 'I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor' and 'Fake Tales of San Francisco' became the soundtrack for many student nights up and down the country. Whilst 'Riot Van' and 'When The Sun Goes Down' quickly became festival anthems for a band. who are considered by some as one of the most important British band in recent years.

18. blink-182 - Take Off Your Pants and Jacket

After breaking through to the main stream with a few radio- hits from 1999's 'Enema of The State', the band's 2001 effort saw the pop-punk trio at their peak, with a record that was more consistent then its predecessor. On top of this, 'Take Off Your Pants and Jacket' sounds somewhat bigger and cleaner, as 'The Rock Show' and 'First Date' provided the band with a few more hits under their belt. Whilst 'Story of a Lonely Guy' and the anthemic 'Stay Together For The Kids' showed signs of maturity but kept the bands catchy, accessible side.

Listen to on Spotify.

17. Death Cab For Cutie - Plans

Bellibgham, Washington's 2005 major label debut saw Death Cab For Cutie establish themselves as American indie-rock powerhouse, as Ben Gibbard's emotional lyrics comfortably complimented the bands warm, melodic tone. 'Soul Meets Body' and 'Crooked Teeth' showed off the bands jangly, indie-pop side, whereas the bands slightly more experimental side is show on 'Different Names for the Same Thing'; haunting piano keys lead up to a electronic synths and layered vocals. 'I Will Follow You into the Dark' is also worth mentioning for its simple, delicate and intimate tone, that draws the listener in closely and tight.

Listen to on Spotify.

16. Fall Out Boy - From Under The Cork Tree

With 'From Under The Cork Tree', Fall Out Boy took all that was good with 'Take This To Your Grave' and took it up a notch; more cleaner, catchy and more addictive. The long, tongue in cheek song titles were still there, along with Patrick Stump's strong vocals and Pete Wentz lyrical wit. Tracks like 'Sugar, We're Going Down' and 'Dance Dance' became mainstays on daytime radio and the band on numerous magazine covers worldwide. Musically the band kept their pop-punk sound, except this time it sounds more broad and cleaner, that ideally fit the bands soon-to-be arena-playing status.

Listen to on Spotify.

15. The Get Up Kids - Guilt Show

After the split opinion of 2002's 'On A Wire', the Kansas five-piece last album before their brief 2005 hiatus, could be considered a 'return to form'. 'Guilt Show' proves to more poppy and upbeat then the bands previous releases, as shown by 'The One You Want’ and ‘How Long Is Too Long’. Although towards the end of the record, the bands more wider, layered sound is displayed (see 'The Dark Night of the Soul') and 'Is There A Way Out' is perhaps the bands most experimental attempt to date.

Listen to on Spotify.

14. Kanye West - The College Dropout

Before he discovered auto-tune and disappeared up his own backside, Kanye West's 2004 debut launched the Chicago into super stardom. West's tales of family, religion, and materialism structured well alongside his own beats proved to be favourable and proved hip-hop is more than sex and violence. Although there are numerous guest parts, West manages to put more emphasis on his mic-work and lyrics.

Listen to on Spotify.

13. blink-182 - blink-182

With their self-titled album, blink-182 proved they were more than a pop-punk powerhouse, as tracks like 'I Miss You' and 'All of This' showed they were capable of writing ballad-like pop songs. Although the bands punk side could still be heard ('Feeling This' and 'Easy Target'). On top of this a more edgier, rockier side was shown like 'Violence'; a cold, eerie number. Whereas 'Always' and 'I'm Lost Without You' saw the band adding more depth with layered guitars and keyboards being included.

Listen to on Spotify.

12. Sigur Rós. - Takk...

Iceland's Sigur Rós managed to establish themselves as an acceptable, non-English speaking group with 'Takk..', something that is a rarity. For those who were familiar with the bands previous work, it was more of the same uplifting, beautiful post-rock. For others it was a record that inspired with its swirling vocals and strings and took the listener on a journey, as one track seemed to flow into next helplessly. Of course for many 'Hoppípolla' proved to be the highlight with its delicate piano leading up to its bright and glorious conclusion, with horns and thumping drums. Although tracks like 'Sæglópur' and 'Mílanó' are worth mentioning, as the former somewhat wakes the album up, whilst the latter swerves charmingly into the bands comfort zone, one which is completely beautiful and inspiring.

Listen to on Spotify.

11. Manchester Orchestra - I'm Like A Virgin Losing The Child

Atlanta, Georgia's Manchester Orchestra underground hit, 'I'm Like A Virgin Losing The Child' took elements of Neutral Milk Hotel, Modest Mouse, Built To Spill and more, and put a fresh and modern approach to the indie rock genre. The five-piece's mature sound and style, showed a band beyond its years, as the records structure makes good use of the bands soft-loud approach throughout, with the rocky 'Wolves at Night' and 'The Neighborhood is Bleeding' settling the listener down to a point where frontman, Andy Hull is able to calmly and openly speak about his troubles ('Can I Feel Your Pain' and 'I Can Barely Breath'). The bands ability to pull in the listener closely is brilliantly done on 'Where Have You Been'?'; haunting keys mixed with thumping drums and Hull's passionate vocals proved to be one of many highlights.

Listen to on Spotify.

-Sean Reid (Alter The Press! Co-Editor)

Alter The Press!