I’ve listed my ten favourite albums of the past decade, and I think there are some crackers in there. Debate, which ones would, and wouldn’t you include in your own ten? The Spotify playlist including the top tracks from each of these albums can be found at the bottom of this article.
10) ‘Royal Blood’ by Royal Blood (2014)
Top Track: ‘Little Monster’
This was the debut album from the Brighton-based duo, and wow did they introduce themselves with a banger. I was lucky enough to see them perform most of this record at Reading Festival in 2015, and their set was heavy, fast-paced and just had a really full sound for two dudes. They’ll be on the scene for years to come.
9) ‘El Camino‘ by The Black Keys (2011)
Top Track: ‘Lonely Boy‘
I’m continuing things with another duo, but this time, a band from the other side of the pond. ‘El Camino’ was the first I’d heard of ‘The Black Keys’, and I loved it. The rockers from Ohio, like Royal Blood, also grabbed my attention due to the fact that I couldn’t believe two men could create such an energetic sound. The production from New York based musician, ‘Danger Mouse’ also really stood out to me, even at the first time of listening.
8) ‘Currents’ by Tame Impala (2015)
Top Track: ‘Let It Happen’
At number 8 we have ‘Currents’ by Tame Impala, or as many know him, Kevin Parker. While many believe Tame Impala to be a group, all the work under this name comes from a single man, Australian multi-instrumentalist, Kevin Parker. What I love most about this record, is the experimentation, variety of sounds and smooth vocals. Nothing this man makes is boring.
7) ‘The S.L.P’ by The S.L.P (2019)
Top Track: ‘The Wu’
This is one of the more recent releases on the list, from Kasabian’s very own lead guitarist, Sergio Pizzorno. Just last year, the Leicester born musician decided to release a solo album away from the Kasabian boys, under the name ‘The S.L.P’. Having first seen Serge discussing the album on Soccer AM, I was keen to go and give it some time over on Spotify. It contains hip-hop, electronica and grime, featuring breakout rapper, ‘Little Simz’ on the track ‘Favourites’. However, you can certainly hear some of the rock influence, and similarities between this project and his work with the alternative-rock giants.
6) ‘Channel Orange’ by Frank Ocean (2012)
Top Track: ‘Super Rich Kids’
Frank Ocean is one of my favourite songwriters, and there was no way I couldn’t include this record. Ranging from RnB to Funk and Psych Rock, I regard this one as a classic.
5) ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost: Part 1’ by Foals (2019)
Top Track: ‘White Onions‘
This one was difficult, having been a fan of Foals, since their second release ‘Total Life Forever’ in 2010 and having loved all of their albums to date. However, after narrowing it down to two, Part 1 of their latest release just nipped it. Despite losing their bassist in 2018, the boys adjusted brilliantly and managed to complete a quality two part album.
4) ‘Tourist History’ by Two Door Cinema Club (2010)
Top Track: ‘I Can Talk’
Going all the way back to the beginning of the decade, ‘Tourist History’ is an album that brings back memories of starting Upper School and transitioning from a little kid to a teenager. As a drummer, I couldn’t quite believe how theirs was able to keep up and play such a clean beat along to fast-paced tracks such as ‘I Can Talk’ and ‘Undercover Martyn’. It certainly inspired me to go on and cover such tracks with my own band.
3) ‘Settle’ by Disclosure (2013)
Top Track: ‘White Noise’
The Disclosure boys caught my attention as a 16 year old, and turned my attention to electronic music. They were so innovative and had the audacity to really experiment with their sound on ‘Settle’, despite it being their debut album. Throughout the album, you can hear a strong mix of house (influenced by the Chicago scene), garage and techno, with the brothers often regarding the late Detroit-based producer, J Dilla as a huge influence to their work.
2) ‘In Colour’ by Jamie XX (2015)
Top Track: ‘Loud Places feat. Romy’
This was Jamie’s first full length solo album away from The XX. I loved the way Mark Richardson of Pitchfork described Jamie when referring to him as a sampling & memory artist. Richardson said that on this record, Jamie “does things with the music he’s absorbed and with the associations that are embedded within it. So when we listen to his music, we aren’t just listening to music played by people in a room. We’re listening to his listening and hearing his hearing”. It’s true, and listening back through this album, the sounds are so unique and crystal clear. Accompanied by ‘The XX’ bandmate Romy Croft on ‘Loud Places’, together they created what is in my opinion, the ultimate chill track.
1) ‘No More Idols’ by Chase and Status (2011)
Top Track: ‘Blind Faith feat. Liam Bailey’
At number one, I have chosen another that was released pretty early on in the decade, and was introduced to me by my cousin, who admittedly still to this day has better music taste than me. Similar to Disclosure, I loved the array of sounds they used, and the ambition to try their hands at other genres such as dubstep and breakbeat, rather than sticking solely to drum ‘n’ bass. Not only did this include banger after banger, Chase and Status attracted massive names to feature on this record, artists such as Plan B, Tinie Tempah, Dizzee Rascal and Sub Focus. I couldn’t seem to go to a house party without hearing the soaring ‘Sweet Sensation’ vocal from Blind Faith. It’s without a doubt my favourite album of the decade, and one I’ll be enjoying for years to come.